Hello! It's me again, time to BRING DOWN ANOTHER COMMUNITY! evil laugh
In all seriousness, I hate these posts quite a bit and at the same time it's pretty lame that these things need to be addressed to begin with. You may have noticed that a lot of my recent posts have been about abuse towards proof of brain and the most recent changes to how pob should work; the EIP, meaning, 50% curation rewards, 50% author rewards and 25% downvote mana. There were other changes with the EIP as well but they're not as relevant to what I'm going to talk about today, except maybe the convergent curve, a.k.a. tax curve.
In a perfect world, some hivers create content, some hivers curate content, some hivers do both. There's nothing wrong with self-voting but if you do it all too often you're not making it fair to everyone else to also receive some rewards on their content.
Now let's talk about friend-voting. It's your stake, you should do with it whatever you want, upvote whoever you feel like and downvote whoever you feel like and it's perfectly understandable if you don't want to participate in downvotes at all, many barely even have the time to find 10 posts to manually curate. You all know I'm a proponent for manual voting, in 2 weeks it'll be 5 years of manual voting with a few days I may have missed during travels or sick days. So what is the issue of overvoting friends? Well, in short there isn't, but let me explain how or why it does become an issue relevant to the paragraph above.
We all have 10x 100% votes per 24 hours give or take. Upvotes are a great tool to make hive a great place, not everyone may have time to curate and look for new people to reward so many may delegate their upvote mana away in exchange for returns and knowing it'll be used for what they don't have time with, this is perfectly reasonable for content creators and influencers who got other things to do. The thing that people like to do, and may think they're geniuses for having figured it out but in the end it only comes down to 10x self-voting, is that they look for other similar sized stakeholders to votetrade with. Now of course just because I vote for @tarazkp now and then (although I haven't in a long time, sorry mate, been busy to check on your writing lately) and he may support me back with autovotes/manual votes it doesn't instantly mean we're vote-trading. If it happens in moderation it's alright, similar if you're close to people and trust that they're not going to abuse your autovotes and they may do the same to you it should also be alright, 10 votes per day is not a lot and if you have your girlfriend, family members, other friends all on Hive it's quite okay to constantly support them with your votes. When it isn't okay, though, is if the only reason you're supporting them is in exchange for a vote back. I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.
Why? Well, there's this "service" created by trevon whatever his name was, but it doesn't even matter who created it, the fact he's not someone many like doesn't help, but either way. I haven't looked too deeply into how it operates, a week or so ago I didn't even know it was still operational, guess I've just been too busy with other things Hive. This service takes into account your upvote mana, amount of participants and then votes up with your account to everyone involved depending on their mana to practically get everyone 10x self-votes per day on 1 post.
Why is this bad? Well, it centralizes upvotemana so that everyone is only voting up themselves all the time. Whereas some of you may receive your 50% curation share + some post rewards from followers, friends, curation projects, other connections, these guys are technically just self-voting 10x per day disregarding everyone else not in the group. They're choosing to maximize ROI, create one or two posts per day (seems most just focus on that one post knowing the second one won't receive the backscratcher votes) and then go about their day without care if new users are being curated, deserving content is also receiving some love, retention, distribution, decentralization basically and if that's improving.
As I mentioned before, voting your friends manually or even automatically now and then is fine, but if there's no real connection between certain accounts except that they may have similar stake and constantly just vote on the same 9-10 people or have literally signed up for a service that does this for them in a more "clever" way, it goes against what proof of brain curation and the EIP stand for. It's really sad to see that there's over 480 accounts on the backscratcher trail on hive.vote: https://hive.vote/dash.php?i=15&id=1&user=backscratcher and so many big stakeholders as well who I personally have curated and helped grow over time. Just disappointing cause I know they should know better but choose to go full selfish at the cost of everyone else on the platform who aren't maximizing returns he same way and instead making sure distribution is better to make this one of the best distributed currencies in the world.
Found this image on google randomly searching 'back scratching hive', lol. source
Anyway, we're still kind of busy downvoting some of that 50% beneficiary scheme and some votes of haejin/rancho that constantly land on the same people who get to trending due to the same autovotes no matter the content, right now but would probably be something to tackle next to disincentivize as with linear curve coming up there's a risk this trail will gain popularity since the tax curve won't exist anymore and it'll be lucrative even for smaller accounts to participate in self-voting 10x per day through other people in the circle/trail.
Would appreciate to hear your thoughts on the matter and if you also feel that this should be disincentivized with some downvotes.
Thanks for reading and to everyone who's been an amazing example of how to use Hive properly without trying to take shortcuts or create schemes to enrich yourself at the cost of everyone else on the platform.