Announcing the first student project of my class: Proof of Blind -- a way for unknown authors to get recognized & rewarded quickly

Proof of Blind

This project represents an idea that I shared with my students a couple weeks ago and at least one student (a finance major) has decided to pursue it as his semester project.

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image used under license (shutterstock)

A quick overview of how Proof of Blind will work ...

  • Content creators can submit original content to be posted on Hive (submission instructions will be periodically posted via @blind.submit).

  • Submitted content will be subjected to a plagiarism review before being accepted into the project.

  • Plagiarism-free content will be posted via the @proofofblind account (typically within 24 hours after submission), with

    • the original author as an 85% beneficiary,
    • the person (e.g. student) who coordinated the plagiarism review and finalized the @proofofblind post as a 10% beneficiary (may be split if more than one person works on reviewing and prepping a given post),
    • @proofofblind will retain 5%.
  • Voting from my primary accounts (@trostparadox, @trostparadox.pob) will focus first and foremost on those original-content posts submitted via @proofofblind.

    • This is to ensure that, during the early launch of the project, every post submitted via @proofofblind will have a reasonable chance to earn some significant author rewards.
    • My sincere hope is that other curators who genuinely value high-quality content (and want to reward it accordingly, especially for new authors), such as @onealfa, will follow suit.
    • NOTE 1: FWIW, I intend to cast all my votes within 24 hours after each piece of original content is posted via @proofofblind; however, I will likely wait at least 12 hours to intentionally give other manual curators a chance to cast their votes before any of my votes (and any curation trails that follow me) begin to influence the voting.
    • NOTE 2: As suggested by @revo in this comment to my post requesting feedback for student projects (which was generously supported and promoted by @theycallmedan -- thanks!), we may eventually try to incorporate some extra curation rewards into the project, to reward those who manually curate via @proofofblind.

Caveat: If we end up with more submissions than we can initially handle, we may institute a random lottery to decide the order in which submissions get posted (until we can scale up enough to handle all submissions). Authors who submit original content that ends up not being selected for posting via @proofofblind will be free to withdraw their submission and post it normally, if they so choose.

Double-posting of content (including posting one’s own content from another source without proper references) will not be tolerated and will result in a permanent ban from submitting content via the Proof of Blind project.

Why authors should participate (especially new or relatively unknown authors) ...

We envision Proof of Blind as a mechanism for new authors and/or authors who have not yet been able to establish a following to get their original content quickly seen by prominent Hive and tribe (i.e. Layer 2) account-holders.

Although individual posts will be ‘blind’ (in the sense that curators will not be able to see who the author of a specific post is, unless they intentionally check the beneficiary list), we will post periodic (e.g. weekly) statistics (via @blind.stats) showing which authors are posting to Proof of Blind and the rankings of cumulative and median rewards earned by each author. This can serve as a gateway for extremely talented authors to quickly establish a name for themselves. These periodic reports will also serve as a way for manual curators to easily expand the list of authors they choose to follow, thus enabling relatively unknown authors to readily connect with proactive manual curators.

As such, we envision Proof of Blind as a project where talented new authors can earn modest rewards in the process of becoming known, then move on to greener pastures once they’ve established their own following.

Why curators should care (especially those intent on manually curating to reward new authors for exceptional content) ...

One of the worst experiences for a manual curator is when you upvote a particularly well-written and informative post, then discover after-the-fact that the ‘author’ was actually a scammer who merely copied someone else’s work. As a curator, you instantly feel cheated and robbed, because [1] you spent your valuable time reading and evaluating the fraudulent content and [2] you will receive zero curation rewards (because if you remove your upvote (as you should), you receive zero curation rewards and you can’t get your vote back, or if the post gets downvoted to zero (as it should), then your curation rewards will also be zeroed out). So, it ends up being a lose-lose situation for the curator and merely a no-gain situation for the fraudulent ‘author’ (meaning they are likely to repeat the process if they only get caught part of the time).

Although plagiarism reviews are never perfect, we will be using a state-of-the-art plagiarism-review process that incorporates far more than mere publicly-available documents. Even so, there is no fool-proof way to vet posts for plagiarism; as such, we will be offering a guarantee to curators. If a post is found to be fraudulent after initially being posted via @proofofblind and before the voting period has closed, we will [1] coordinate downvoting and/or muting the post to remove as many misappropriated rewards as possible and [2] refund 150% of any would-be curation rewards lost by such action (subject to a lower limit, e.g. $1 worth per token per curator).

What to expect in the near future ...

Within the next few days, we will make our first post from the @blind.submit account, which will clearly detail the procedures that need to be followed in order for a new post to be posted via @proofofblind. As soon as that post is live, I will add a link to it here.

In the meantime, be sure to follow the @proofofblind account, so that you can have a chance to see how this project progresses, and to upvote some of the great original content that is sure to follow.

What to expect in the distant future ...

If this concept takes off, we might eventually try to develop a custom front-end, e.g. with its own onboarding process, to allow the benefits of posting original content via the Hive ecosystem to be more easily experienced, far and wide.

Closing remarks ...

I (@trostparadox) am really excited about this project -- both as a learning experience for my students and as a way to improve upon and encourage the process of manually curating original content on Hive.

In addition to vetting content for plagiarism, we will also make the final determination as to which tags get included with each post (to prevent tag abuse). As such, original content posted via @proofofblind can potentially earn more than just HIVE.

With that said, if you are a tribe owner or moderator and discover @proofofblind content that should have been tagged for your tribe and wasn’t, or vice versa, please reach out to me (e.g. via discord at trostparadox#8559) and we will make adjustments moving forward. Or, if you want to be proactive and send me some specific guidelines up-front regarding what Proof of Blind content you do and do not want to see tagged for your tribe, please do so.

We will also, at our discretion, refrain from posting via @proofofblind any content that we consider ‘spam’, and any content that is NSFW.


Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your future support of this Proof of Blind project.

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