Six days ago [31 May 2021] I received downvotes. The thumbs up were kept at zero, although I know I had got at least two likes. There was nothing wrong with the article, Deceptive Symptoms - A True Story; judge for yourself! I have never been downvoted before and first I thought it was a technical problem. As the day passed, however, I came to believe that it was really a question of downvotes.
Among articles posted that day or the day before, were unnaturally many with zero thumbs – which implies at least one downvote. Many of those articles were fine, with no apparent reason for any downvote.
I suspect this to be a systematic application of bad will. In my case I suspect revenge for my hard criticism of plagiarism in a couple of cases I found on read.cash or in my moderation queue the day or days before.
No doubt downvotes affect tips and visibility negatively. I noticed that clearly.
The day after the day when this happened, I blocked the authors I had criticised, and I have not received any downvotes since then. Only that very day for me, although yesterday [5 June 2021], I still saw articles by others with zero thumbs. Some might be justified, but not all or most of them.
I don't know if this is a permanent problem, and it might be a small one. However, all forms of abuse starts small, and, if successful, tends to grow. That is to say, it should be nipped in the bud.
Anyway, downvoting can too easily be abused for personal reasons, or for no reason at all more than a desire to disturb proper function of the system. Far too many individuals are amused by doing meaningless things like that and cause, if not direct trouble, so at least an inconvenience or irritation for others. It gives small minds a sense of importance that they can do something others notice, no matter what it is. They just want to feel the power of influence, even if it is just to cause a minor irritation.
If this happens to you and you have any idea who is doing it, especially if it is some sort of ill will or revenge: block them. Then they will no longer see your articles and cannot continue to downvote you.
Personally, I have never downvoted anyone. If I don't like something, I just refrain from upvoting or tipping. I think that is enough. The option to downvote oughtn't be there, it's too easy to abuse it.
Or should it be used for flagrant plagiarism?
No, plagiarism should be reported, and the option for that is available.
I must admit that I rarely bother to report it myself. I reject it in my communities, mostly that's all. Occasionally I write a comment about it. But there is too much to waste time on. Yet it ought to be reported every single time. It should be.
As for copyright, I have written about that in What You Need to Know about Copyright. It covers most aspects of it. One thing, however, has turned up a couple of times lately: translations. The “author” might acknowledge that it is a translation of this or that, seemingly unaware that publishing a translation of someone else's copyrighted text is illegal without permission from the copyright holder of the original text.
Copyright violation is a crime and deliberate copyright violation is an abomination. However, a lot of honest people, who don't want to infringe on someone else's copyright, still do so - simply out of ignorance. If you belong to them, please read my article about copyright. It provides quite extensive information in a clear and simple-to-understand way.
I have been on read.cash for a good 14 months by now. I have seen the steps of its evolution to the platform it is today. Although the problem with copyright violation is still prevalent, it was much worse in the beginning – and the number of good authors of original material (and who have something to say with their words), has grown considerably. Then I mainly refer to topics outside the BCH/Crypto sphere; such topics have gradually gained more space as read.cash has grown. That is a positive development, since it also brings familiarity with cryptocurrencies and the use of BCH into new circles of people, people who would probably never have touched it otherwise.
Let's not allow this platform to be degraded by saboteurs of any description, be it abusers of downvoting, spammers, or plagiarists. We must fight all abuse, and we must do it together.
Articles referred to in this article:
Deceptive Symptoms - A True Story
What You Need to Know about Copyright
Words are Power - But only if you Have Anything to Say
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You find all my writings on Read.Cash, sorted by topic, here.