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Increasing The Power of Voting: An experiment in community-powered curation for engagement rewards

MindsSep 17, 2021, 6:05:23 PM

Over the past few months, we have been listening to everyone’s feedback and brainstorming ways to improve the engagement rewards system and make it more fair. While the current system has worked for years, it has become increasingly clear that there are some vulnerabilities to spam and inauthentic behavior through fake engagement. 

In April of this year, we attempted to reduce these issues by only crediting rewards when you received engagement from users who were Minds+. While initially this improved the integrity of the system, it has stopped being as effective lately as many of the manipulative actors have simply moved into Minds+. 

Ultimately, we believe that the solution to these problems lies in creating a decentralized reputation and trust system. However, this is a major undertaking with many complexities, so we will need more time to figure out how to implement it correctly. In the meantime, we want to try out some simple experiments to see if we can resolve these issues in ways that require less development effort but can have a major impact. 

The Voting Experiment

Starting tomorrow, we will start a new experiment in an attempt to make the system more fair and ensure that authentic engagement is getting rewarded rather than inauthentic engagement.

The changes are as follows:

1) You no longer need to be Minds+ for your vote to count towards rewards. Anyone with a verified phone number will have their vote count towards rewards.

Hopefully this means you can all stop yelling about “Minds Minus” (yes...we listen, and yes...we deserved this). We ultimately want everyone’s vote to matter, so hopefully this is a welcome change for the community and increases the number of people who's vote counts towards rewards. 

Note: Minds+ will still be required to contribute and access exclusive content in Minds+.

2) Downvotes will now carry a -1 engagement score, while upvotes will maintain a +1 engagement score.

With this change, you all now hold significantly more power and responsibility with your vote. We encourage everyone participating in the rewards system to not only upvote quality content that you believe deserves rewards, but to also downvote low quality content that you believe is manipulative or spam. You are also still encouraged to report content violating our terms of service. We will be proposing an update to our spam policy next week with the goal of making it more clear what type of content or behavior is against our terms.

We believe this change will empower the community to better dictate who earns engagement rewards, but it will only work if you all use your vote. This does open the possibility for someone to end the day with a negative engagement score, which will simply result in 0 token rewards for that day.

3) We are temporarily removing engagement scores for all other categories (comments, reminds, check-ins, jury, referrals).

The reason for this is to simplify the game. In the past, it was far too easy for manipulative actors to simply agree to give the maximum engagement possible to each other to gain as many rewards as possible, without any care for quality of content. By removing these other rewards, there is a much more limited game board for manipulation. Rewards are now simply a result of whether you receive more unique upvotes than unique downvotes -- that is it. This is not a permanent change, particularly for referrals and jury because those are very valuable contributions, but we want to eliminate as much possibility for abuse as possible and gather focused data around voting. 

Conclusion

We want to be very clear that this is an experiment. It is not guaranteed that it will solve all of the problems, and there is certainly a chance that new problems will arise from these changes. 

However, it has become clear that the status quo was simply no longer viable. Something needed to change, and we believe that this experiment is a step in the right direction to finding the ultimate solution to the problem. We want this to be an iterative process of trying new ideas, understanding the impact, and improving on them over time. 

The other token rewards for Holding and Liquidity are still running and we recommend you get setup with them because they are awesome :) Here’s a blog on how to do so.

So starting tomorrow, these changes will all be fully in effect. We will be running this experiment until October 7, 2021, which is also the date of our first Quarterly Town Hall. At that point, we believe our team and the community will have had enough time to understand the implications of the changes and whether they were successful or not, and we will be able to collectively decide if we should keep it, revert back to the old system, or try something new.

Please feel free to reach out to us to ask any questions or share your concerns. 

But most importantly, USE YOUR POWER AND VOTE!

The Minds Team

Banner art credit to @curryhobo