I was reading @jasonliberty's post about downvotes after being tagged in the comments, and left my thoughts about fixing downvotes on the platform. I suggest reading the post yourself, as he put a lot of time and effort explaining his perspective surrounding the issue, but I also wanted to add my comment here so it got more feedback.
For perspective, this comment has been the accumulation of the of the gut feeling that drove me to create @freezepeach, the knowledge I have since gained from years of experience on this platform, and the research I have done about other platforms.
What do you think, is reward pool policing and downvotes given out to punish dissenting views an abuse of power or actually good for the platform as proponents of downvote feature claim, a form of tyranny or free market justice?
From all the information available to me, I am convinced it breaks the gamification of the platform. Social media in general relies on dopamine rewards to keep the users coming back time and time again. Facebook understands this, which is why they have offered many different ways to react to content except a dislike button. This thread on Quora explains some of the psychological and adverse effects such a feature entails, and gives a lot of insight and extra reading to fully understand why such a feature will likely never be implemented. Twitter also has balked at the idea of such a feature, only going as far as adding a "I don't like this tweet" option for users to adjust the home feed algorithms. This is likely the best balance, as there is no direct user feedback discouraging further posting, but allowing the content consumers to express their displeasure.
What do these multi-billion dollar corporations know that we don't? Their entire livelihoods rely on their understanding of the social game theory that sustains the constant content creation on their platforms. We need to all recognize this as a problem, not just affecting a couple of unlucky people who happened to get downvoted, but as something that reverberates throughout to those completely unaffected. The psychological impact of getting $1 in rewards with no downvotes versus having a $10 post downvoted to $1 is massive, and the faster we come to terms with this, the faster we can actually reach solutions.
So what are the solutions? As it is right now, we absolutely cannot get rid of downvotes. Even with everything I said above, it would be disheartening (to say the least) to any honest person trying to earn on this platform when they see the farmers and the spam content making extreme amounts. This leaves us with a few other options:
Marketing strategies. For as long as I can remember, the rewards have always been at the forefront of any elevator pitch when trying to onboard new users. This has to stop completely, Rewards need to be seen as a bonus, as something extra, on top of all that HIVE has to offer.
UI changes. The UIs could stop emphasizing rewards so much, and instead take a cue from the other leading platforms on the web in designing the user experience. This is likely not possible with the types of budgets we're working with, but it is an option nonetheless.
Remove HIVE rewards altogether. This is my favorite option, but with some non-negotiable caveats:
The rewards would need to be moved to layer 2 tokens, each with customizable economics and features to cater to their audience. For instance, maybe a token for people who watch and review movies doesn't need a reverse auction window, while the token for people posting videos does. This allows for many possibilities to exist at once, creating competition and cooperation between ideas for each individual need, something that all the fiddling we do each and every fork can't accomplish.
Removing rewards should lower inflation. Lowering the inflation on the chain is good for all token holders, and this would be a big selling point.
Come up with a reason to have HIVE staked that makes it attractive. RCs aren't going to cut it. As it is right now, 99% of the users don't even need 50 HP to transact as much as they want. Removing HIVE rewards removes the biggest incentive to stake, so either RCs calculations need to be revised, staking rewards need to be significantly higher, a new idea could be added, or a combination of things to make staking something attractive to users and investors alike.
So what do you think? Do you have a different point of view regarding removing rewards? Do you have a unique idea that could incentivize staking if rewards are removed? Do you think I'm a dumbass and want me to shut up? Thanks for reading, and leave your comments below.