Am I late for @anthonyadavisii's JoJo meme thing? Of course I am. The Justin Sun derail was too strong for anything fun. Anyways, here's a meme in relations to anti-abuse that could be somewhat offensive to some. But, it holds some truths.
The context is here
While it's meant to be humorous, I have seen the things that went down since HF21/22. For the most part, I say it gave everyone some leverage when it comes to downvoting abusive behavior. On the other hand, it is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, it allows malicious individuals to take it out on others. Worse, those around them.
Now, what defines a
circlejerk? It's rather subjective. Is it a group of people coming together voting for literally whatever crap that comes out? Is it a group of people whose sole purpose is to "mine" STEEM together? Sometimes, the line between "curation/support" groups and circlejerks is thinner than thread.
Any actual content consumer knows that there's a limited amount of time in a day. There is only so much time dedicated to certain content one would consume. For example, out of all the Hearthstone streamers out there, I only follow several of them. There are definitely better content creators than the ones I follow, but I am set in my ways.
When it comes to going out of my way to discover new content, the answer is why would I bother? These days, the only times I go out of my way is if people I already follow Resteem some posts. Or, people I talk to recommend something to me. Otherwise, I am generally not interested in doing a curator's work. Because, once again, I can only read so many things a day.
A Curator's Problem
It's not easy being a curator and I commend those who spend the time to do so. But, we all know there's a long way to go in terms of internal quality control and consistent criteria. And it's possible that is the issue. Most of the current curation groups have their nets cast too wide. They think they can evaluate all and every subject under the sun.
In my experience, I have experimented with curation in tribes such as @stemgeeks. While the tribe encompasses all STEM topics, my understanding lies within biological sciences. I can gauge a post written about medicine and related technologies. I can attempt to grasp engineering or even mathematical content. That's with the help of retained knowledge from basic courses I have taken in university. Other than that, I don't know much about other topics. It makes it difficult to make a sound judgement call when pressing that upvote button.
But, let's be honest, we know some "curators" who'd vote anything under the sun. They'd then chastise people for questioning their voting pattern. Because, well,
behold, their work and glory. They are egotistical wankers anyway.
The question is, does everyone start out as a circlejerk? Or, is that something that develops over time? From Steem's whitepaper, it says the following:
Sounds familiar? Have you seen that from some of our favorite whales? They would rather vote on @burnpost than spending time voting on meaningful content. It could be that there aren't any meaningful content on the chain. As in, content that resonates with them. The alternative is to vote on whatever that gets posted early to get curation rewards. Better yet, let's all take turns voting for each other's "posts".
The givers got tired of giving. Altruism only goes so far.
Of course, this does not include individuals who were hellbent on abusing the system. We know who those people are. They are antisocial people who came to a social platform to exploit its weakness. After all, Steem's the only project I know that offers
proof of click mining.
It doesn't seem fair to label content creators as such, but that's their functionality. They are here to contribute work. They are here to get paid. Whether or not those work are any good is another story.
Most of us have read or heard the stories of the "struggling minnow". They try to get noticed, they put a lot of effort into their publications. Then, nothing happens because our content discovery suck. And, it's much easier to vote on stuff that gets you curation rewards.
The inevitable result is the individuals behind the accounts leaving. Retention suffers. It's not much different than getting no likes on Twitter or Facebook. It's that support that drives them to continue to produce. It's not about giving a handout. It's about how to discover and reward contributions.
When the takers disengage from the network. Growth stalls.
As the whitepaper states, it is a balance. You can't have a thriving ecosystem with only one or the other.
What is a contribution?
That's a tough call because everyone's mileage vary. This is why communities are important. It's insane that Steem went on with their general purpose curation for years. How do you judge between a gaming content and a DIY post? People are comparing apples and oranges all the time.
This leads to inevitable conflicts. Conflicts between various interests. Conflicts between different languages. I could go on and on.
Do contributions have to be a piece of content? Or are posts placeholders/representation of other work done in the ecosystem? Look at the @steemcleaners and @steemflagrewards reports. Look at curation groups' highlight posts. Those are less than content, but they symbolize the work people underwent behind the scenes. Are those not contributions?
And no, this does not apply to some of you voting your self-aggrandizing comments to the top of a post. That's plain selfishness and you should feel ashamed of yourselves.
In the end, it doesn't even matter
I've been here for almost two years and I have seen the same things repeating itself. It's tiresome. It's dumb. I don't even know why I put my time in anti-abuse. It's much easier for me to do whatever everyone else's doing.
These days, I take a laid back role. I rather see other people motivated and doing things I used to spend time on. That was the goal all along. People actually doing something for themselves. That was the whole point of crypto. But most people prefer to take only the freedom part and ignore their responsibilities.
Now, go enjoy your "decentralized" social networks with looming presence all over it. It's only a matter of time before you realize Big Brother left you all in a carnal sense of security.