The Hivewatchers & Spaminator Operational Proposal



THE DATA

Since the start of the successful funding of Hivewatchers proposal in August 2020, we have accepted 5192 reports of which 5024 reports have been accepted as valid abuse which falls within the scope of Hivewatchers work.
Tens of thousands of Hive Dollars have been returned to the reward pool from these abusive posts.

  • 2819 reports for Plagiarism
  • 66 reports for Identity Theft/Deception
  • 365 reports for Photography/Art/Image Plagiarism
  • 374 reports for Copy & Paste
  • 1103 reports for Spam
  • 237 reports for Unverified Identity
  • 41 reports for Comments' Spam
  • 20 reports for the category "Other"

During this period, we have also verified the identity of 313 users and have given them @hivebuzz verification badges.

The break down of downvotes:

Hivewatchers

  • Number of downvotes: 957
  • VP: 89520%

Spaminator

  • Number of downvotes: 1643 (with autodust votes below 1% 80001)
  • VP: 129808% (with autodust votes 153072%)

Steemcleaners

  • Number of downvotes: 1078
  • VP: 93174%

ADM

  • Number of downvotes: 8679 (with autodust votes below 1% 13288)
  • VP: 153521% (with autodust votes 153616%)

THE HIVEWATCHERS

Hivewatchers provide consistent and scope-based anti-abuse services to the Hive ecosystem. Our prime focus is fighting fraud directed at the Hive Ecosystem and its communities.

Fraud includes any form of deliberately misleading activity or deception aimed towards monetization or other malicious goals.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Fraud can be defined as:

1a: DECEIT, TRICKERY
specifically: intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right
was accused of credit card fraud
b: an act of deceiving or misrepresenting: TRICK
automobile insurance frauds
2a: a person who is not what he or she pretends to be: IMPOSTOR
He claimed to be a licensed psychologist, but he turned out to be a fraud.
also: one who defrauds: CHEAT
b: one that is not what it seems or is represented to be
The UFO picture was proved to be a fraud.

In relation to Hive, Fraud refers to any and more of the following:

  • Identity theft
  • Identity deception
  • Plagiarism (text, image, art)
  • Malicious deception
  • Phishing/malware links

What are Hivewatchers?

Hivewatchers project first and foremost aims to fight the fraud and the exploitation of the Hive Ecosystem. Users who engage in one of the above activities get a comment on their posts. The comment usually links to the original source of the content they have presented as their own. The comment offers a very succinct educational point.

Users who engage in identity theft or identity deception are immediately added to the ban list (also known as a blacklist). This is because, in identity-related cases, there is always an innocent victim who may have severe personal consequences if the perpetrator isn't stopped.

Users who either refuse to acknowledge that fraud is wrong and continue to carry on with it, eventually get added to the list as well. That time varies depending on multiple factors.

For many users that ask to come to talk to us, it is the only time they get to chat with other Hive members. Often, they themselves have been victimized by those who have scammed or misled them and ask for help. Many stay in touch long after their appeal is up or question answered.

Hivewatchers rely on the community to locate instances of fraud and report them. Community members submit their reports anonymously on our website at http://hivewatchers.com and, should their reports be accepted as valid and correct, receive a small payment of appreciation. We manually check every report to make sure it is within our scope and is accurate. The comments from Hivewatchers are all manually published (although they are templated for consistency).

Background

Hivewatchers were originally Steemcleaners. The project was started in 2016 by @Anyx who, as a Ph.D. student, was troubled by all the plagiarism and fraud he saw on Steem. He created @cheetah, a hands-off similar content bot, and then formed Steemcleaners. Many people have joined in along the way and have spent time in the role of a Steemcleaner. Those of us who are part of Hivewatchers now are not the founding members and cannot speak of the project's full history as some of it is beyond our knowledge.

When the Steem blockchain was lost during the hostile takeover that gave birth to the Hive ecosystem, Hivewatchers was born.

Infrastructure

The Hivewatchers service is more complex and robust than it looks. This section is here for general information and is not related to this proposal.

http://hivewatchers.com is a ruby site hosted alone on a VPS. It has a bridge that allowed it to post directly to the Hive chain.
The bot that writes the automated comments is hosted on an entirely different server and is hands-off. It is commanded only through on-chain interaction. It is currently disabled but we plan to enable it again.
The ban list/blacklist is issued on-chain through commands. They are then parsed and channeled through multiple redundancies to ensure that if any hacking occurs, the list is unaffected.
Additional servers and scripts exist for Cheetah and Spaminator but are not related to this proposal.

Risks

You may guess that fighting fraud is not always popular. We have gotten every type of threat and form of harassment. Most users are good people and the educational part of Hivewatchers is perfect for them. However, organized scammers are different. They enter the ecosystem with a clear intent to exploit, scam, deceive, and steal and they create approaches that can rival some corporate business plans to do so. When caught, they fight tooth and nail and resort to everything under the sun. Being a member of Hivewatchers is a thankless and dangerous job.

Proposal

Type of Proposal: Hive service, non-tech operational, and labor costs
Technology: Partial OS

Time and Commitment

Hivewatchers is a part-time job at best, a full-time job during peak times. Complex investigations, particularly ones involving multiple victims and accounts, can take days. Helping users can take anywhere from a minute to an hour per person. Assisting another project can take an hour or over a day. Processing reports always takes hours. Maintaining the infrastructure takes time. It all adds up.

Average time commitment per 7-day week: approximately 49 hours divided between three people.

49 / 7 = 7, rounded up to 7 hours per day, every day of the year.

Current Ask

We are asking for 105 HBD per day. This ensures that our current three members and daily reporters are paid for their time and dedication, and the service can be supported (100 HBD per day), and also to cover operational costs of The Spaminator (5 HBD per day).

Project Maturity

Phase 1: Establishment

The project is 4 years old and this phase has long been completed.

Phase 2: Technical Maturity

The Hivewatchers reporting frontend platform, backend processing platform, list servers, and all supporting technology have already been funded, paid for, and donated by the team.

Phase 3: Evolution and Ongoing Operations

Hivewatchers must continue to operate as per normal while completing this phase. Included in this phase (but excluded from the above funding request) are:

  • Documentation development hours (documentation is ongoing and will be released shortly in due course)

  • Liaison hours

  • Server, script, bot, and site upgrades

  • Related servers

  • This proposal is to fund the ongoing operations only. All additional task hours or costs will be donated out of pocket by the Hivewatchers team.

  • If unfunded.
    If unfunded, the service may explore alternatives for funding.

We are aware that many organized, malicious scammers are eagerly waiting for Hivewatchers to lose funding. We will never let anything prevent us from stopping an identity thief, among others.

Final Thoughts

Hivewatchers have been around for years in different forms and are always evolving. We appreciate your support, your feedback, your criticism, and your collaboration. Thank you for considering our funding proposal.


SPAMINATOR

Spaminator is an anti-abuse and anti-exploitation project designed to restore funds back to the reward pool.

Financial Ask

  • $50/year x 2 domain names (Hivewatchers and Spaminator, keeping them together for the sake of simplicity)
  • $10/month for the servers that host the bots and API
  • $100/month for maintenance of infrastructure and misc costs such as IP address(es) (including Hivewatchers infrastructure)

Total: $1370 / year

Why is there a slight increase? One of the old servers had to be lifecycled and was replaced by a more powerful machine.

Notes

This is a no-usage labor costs proposal. The maintenance costs above are purely for a developer who is not myself to monitor and update the framework (backend bot, its database, etc). No frontend hours are included because frontend updates are non-critical.

The $100 monthly amount is calculated on average based on annual hours. It is conservative and includes miscellaneous costs.

My own labor costs (@guiltyparties) (my hours are always donated free of cost) or the labor costs of Hivewatchers members (investigating, entering data, researching, etc) are not included in this amount. This is purely to pay for the tech and its upkeep. It does not include any maintenance of the Hivewatchers site.


Thank you for all the support from the community that has been given to us throughout all these years.


Approve The Proposal with Hivesigner

Approve The Proposal with PeakD


Addendum

Hivewatchers and Spaminator are both scope-based projects. It is the official policy of both these projects that they are to focus on their respective scopes and do not deviate from said scopes.

It is the policy of Hivewatchers and Spaminator that at no time is the account used selectively outside of its scope for personal or political-related ends. All content and subjects are treated equally under the Hivewatchers and Spaminator frameworks and their treatment is further restricted by the technical limitations set as part of the bot algorithms and the front and back-ends.

In extreme cases such as terrorism, murder, child pornography/exploitation, and similar situations of grave consequence will the accounts be used outside of their main scope. Those are extremely rare and in the entire history of these projects, there have only been a couple of times this was required.

The personal opinions of team members are not subject to regulation but may not be uttered on our professional project accounts. Where errors occur, we thank all community members for letting us know and will correct them.

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