Community Guidelines

in #community2 years ago (edited)

SportsTalkSocial (STS) is a community built around sharing sports related content within the Steem ecosystem. This enables anyone to share their views and opinions and have the opportunity to be rewarded in our native token, SPORTS, as well as the traditional Steem token distribution that exists within the Steem blockchain.

While the goal of our community is to organize and advance the writing of sports focused content the token system introduces a number of incentives for users to produce content in any form to be rewarded with tokens. While we encourage users to share as they see fit we find it imperative to create a set of guidelines and enforcement procedures that help to keep our community aligned behind it’s vision.

Community Guidelines

The following guidelines are what we would consider worthy of a downvote on a #sportstalk post.

Lacking Sports Focus

This one is most obvious. Any content shared under #sportstalk should be in relation to sports in some fashion or another. Any posts that don’t tie back to our vision will be considered spam and should not be supported.


Each post created through, and it’s associated sites, is that of the user who published the post. We do not allow users to share any content that violates someone else’s intellectual property or trademarks. If a copyright claim is reported by a rights holder, or their authorized representative, we will remove and potentially restrict that user’s future ability to use our platform. Users found repetitively plagiarising may lose their ability to utilize the platform.

Fair use policy

There are instances where copyright material may not require the copyright owner’s permission for use. Only the court can determine if the use of copyright works was within fair use but they often consider four factors for determination. The four factors US courts consider are:

  • Purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
    -- Did the post include commentary or additional context on the subject?
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
    -- Was the work factual or creative?
  • Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
    -- How much of the work was copied?
  • Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
    -- By copying the work will it harm the potential market for the copyrighted work?

For more information on fair use visit Please note that each country has their own laws governing intellectual property rights. Please consult legal representation for your jurisdiction if you have questions to how those laws may affect you.


We want #sportstalk to be a home for everyone. We will not tolerate users using our services to harass others and will take actions available to stop such behaviors. If a user has said they would not like to interact with you then you should provide the courtesy to not interact with them.

We will also not condone any actions that call for harm to anyone. This includes the threat of release of private information about users such as their phone numbers, physical address or electronic addresses also known as doxxing. We encourage users concerned for their safety to immediately contact authorities.

Hate Speech

We do not allow hate speech within #sportstalk. No user should make any direct attacks on another user based on the means of race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, disease or disability. We are all humans and should all behave that way.


Users should not engage in activities to farm rewards including comment and vote farming.


Content on the platform should be safe for work. Any content that is deemed not safe for work may be removed.


Users should not pose as another person or organization with deceptive means. Users will be removed from the system for violation if your profile does not clearly state it is not affiliated or connected to any similarly named individuals or organizations.


Guideline Enforcement

To help with aligning the rewards to users who are participating in the community in a fair means we’ve devised a system to allow for fair moderation of the #sportstalk community. This is accomplished through a few means that are detailed below.

Our Community

We’ve been fortunate to have a community that’s willing to curate the good and the bad of #sportstalk. If you see any content that you personally feels violates any of the above guidelines please consider giving it a downvote. Every user has effectively 2.5 free downvotes each day that will not have an effect on your voting power so there’s a lot we can do ourselves.

Referee Team

Sometimes you need dedicated people to focus on moderation beyond what the community can provide. When this team works together they will have the ability to remove rewards from users and limit their interactions with the platform.

There are nine referees (@referee1, @referee2, etc) that you may see voting on content. If they downvote on a piece of content then that means they feel that it violated our community’s guidelines above for some reason. These accounts have 0 SPORTS and a limited amount of Steem Power so they alone have little effect on a post’s rewards.

If a post is visited by multiple referees then that becomes a slightly different story. If four of the @referee# accounts downvote a post that will trigger a downvote from @referee. @referee currently has 5M SPORTS Power to curb abuse and will be able to substantially remove a post’s rewards. It will take a group of trusted referees to revoke anyone’s rewards and no one person should be determining @referee’s downvotes.

For now the referees have been assigned by @patrickulrich to users that either showcased community moderation skills or came at a substantial enough of recommendation to warrant placement on such a trusting team. In the future it is a desire that these positions will be elected by staked SPORTS token holders.

To compensate referees for the time they will be dedicating to the platform we will be distributing 5% of inflation rewards to be split among the team.

Referees Decisions

There is a daily report that is being published by @sportsinfo that details the articles that have been voted on by a referee. This report will detail which referees have downvoted a post and give a link for users to review.

Penalty Box

If a user has 3 strikes from @referee on different daily reports within the same calendar week they will have the potential of being moved to the SPORTS Penalty Box. When a user is moved there they will be muted by the @sportstalksocial account and will lose the ability to influence the SPORTS distributions.

From here any referee can create a post with the title of “Penalty Box {@offender}” that will nominate a user for suspension. The body of the post will need to contain links to the 3 strikes from the @referee account while also linking comments from the referee team notifying the offender of their infraction. It would be highly recommended for referees to links as much data detailing their Penalty Box request as possible. If this post then receives a 60% supermajority of the referees upvoting in favor of a suspension the account will be moved to the Penalty Box.

While this is a very serious infraction against an account it is not irreversible. Just like a referee can nominate a user for the penalty box they can also nominate a user to have the suspension be removed. Once they are removed they will be unmuted from @sportstalksocial and will be able to utilize the platform again. Their reinstatement requires a 60% supermajority of the referees to upvote a post from the nominating referee entitled “Remove {@offender}”


Report Violations

We want to meet our users where it is most comfortable for them to discuss abuse. That’s why we support reporting violations to us in a number of ways.

Leave a comment on ‘Referees Decision’

If you’d like to report content to the Referee Team you can always leave a comment on the daily Referee Decision report published by @sportsinfo. This report is monitored by a number of referees and any reports will likely be seen there.

Join our Discord

We encourage users to join our Discord group for a number of reasons. One of the most notable is the ability to quickly speak with other #sportstalk users. If you have any reports on violations of our community guidelines please leave a message in #replay-room.

Additional Options TBA

We don’t have all of the bells and whistles tied in but additional means of contact will be provided in the future.


Additional Information

This post will be updated as changes are made to our policies.


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Very well put and ensures people have a pleasant experience and can feel they have a voice if issues arise. Thanks for continuing to be interactive and putting boundaries up. One of the things that is making tribes like this so appealing is that some of the things flying on Steemit don't here and it makes the users experience better and ensuring flagrant abuse does not gain a foothold.
Battleaxe :)

That is certainly our goal. I've been blown away with the support the community has come together for in this realm and have no doubt that we will solve this issue.

It's never easy but the best things in life never are. You've been doing a great job in my opinion and the initiatives on the horizon are keeping me in a positive mode of going forward and perhaps being able to do some ground breaking things!

On the issue of Fair Use, the guide and the link provided in this article are as per the law in the USA.

Readers of this article should remember that the laws differ slightly from country to country. Although generally the law is open-ended in that the courts are given a lot of leeway in deciding what is fair use, and consequently you may be inclined to stretch your imagination to think that your usage is fair use, it is best that you don't do so. It is always better to be abundantly cautious when using copyrighted content for fair use.

Always remember that if someone ever sues you for copyright infringement it is likely to be a large organization with a lot of financial resources. In the circumstances, even if you think you have a good case against them you may not be able to defend the case if you do not possess sufficient financial resources. Even if you do have sufficient financial resources, it does not make sense to get embroiled in such litigation which could have been avoided in the first instance with a little discretion on your side.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. If you are in doubt you should consult a qualified legal professional in your jurisdiction.

This is an excellent point @devann! I will be sure our guidelines are updated to reflect.

It wasn't included in the post as it didn't directly relate to the community guidelines but a special layer of appreciation goes to @voltair for their work to make this announcement possible. @voltair has provided the technology that supports @referee and @sportsinfo to operate. We are extremely thankful for your service to this community!

@referee @sportsinfo @flipstar.sports you guys downvoted my comment for self upvoting and no offence but @patrickulrich did the same on this comment. So why is there no action?
This is not just fair.

This token would be bloom and shine,thank you for all the hard works team and family.

Looks good to me, just one question - who are the referees?

Hopefully they are accounts that care about Steem and STS :)

Hopefully they are accounts that actually care and contribute to the ecosystem and not users who pretend to care by sucking up in chat all day, while at the same time spreading drama, lies and libeling others chain-wide and not actually doing much of anything that helps the ecosystem all while they pump & dump the token for small personal gains.


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The referees are:

In the future @referee system where users are elected the users will provide their own account for voting. We'll then just assign the posting authority of one of the following accounts to the elected account. We wanted to give referees the ability to referee without the fear of repercussion on their own content. For that reason we don't require referees to identity. In the future this will still be true as referees may create an account for the sole purpose of refereeing.

I'm going to stop flagging on the recommendation of the referee system since this is the case.

There is no point in making my account a target (as it is on other systems where I fight abusers) while those behind the referee accounts (who aren't flagging the abuse themselves) get to hide anonymously after calling it out for others, who's accounts will likely suffer for actually flagging the abuse.

Don't stop flagging if you see something wrong. You are big enough and there are enough around who care. I have been flagging and don't really care if people want to retaliate as they will get crunched.

The lesson I have relearned recently on Scorum is ... bullshit artist who neither have the money to invest anything meaningful, nor possess any skills to build anything meaningful for a platform (much less post quality content) have FAR more free time to chat and blow smoke up the owners of the platforms asses about how much they're helping a platform ... when it's all for their own personal gain.

When someone calls them out on their bullshit/shitposting/self-upvoting comments with sockpuppets/friends/family accounts they go on an insane libelous crusade against those who are publicly calling their actions out, because it's hurting their mission of self-glorification/gain.

Fighting these cancerous individuals on one platform is enough for me. I don't enjoy doing it, it's very stressful and costs valuable time that I could spend elsewhere. At times I simply get fed up with how long it's gone on without being checked and I tend to speak out at that point.

I suspect some of these same people from Scorum now have a foothold here and could possibly have positions on one or more of the referee accounts (I hope I'm wrong), because these types of people like to hide (once confronted publicly) and play victim to anyone who will listen. It's their drug of choice these days it appears ... but I suspect there is an entire cocktail of drugs involved judging by some of their chats I've witnessed first hand.

That all said, I hope this system works out for STS, but I'm going to choose not to support it since I have no idea who is actually behind it pointing the finger at others. Fighting cancerous individuals on one front is enough for me personally and I'm surely not going to blindly support their efforts elsewhere if that's what is going on here. They get enough blind support as it is.

I'll stick to promotion and building apps for blockchains as much as I can. I simply don't have time to fight cancerous people in chats/blog comments on a daily basis, especially on multiple platforms and especially when they've gained an ear with those who run the sites.

If that has happened here, I'm certain it will change in a short time when they turn against the platform publicly due to the price collapsing because those who can invest worthwhile amounts stopped investing/cashed out due to their cancerous presence gaining traction and spreading and the continued shitposting being rewarded as much as a FullHQ post.

It kind of makes it pointless to try at some point and then it spreads.


I'd second this.

Until the identities of the referees are known I'm stopping (and advising the SBC) to stop buying in.

Yes we don't want the same to happen as on Scorum. The ones who are in control of these accounts should be made public.

I would second this. I would encourage you to use that list as not the end all but rather a quality recommendation guide. If you find that select referees aren't adhering to guidelines then it will be worthwhile for you to be able to voice those concerns.

This will become even more important when elected referees become a possibility as the software is written. We will need community watchers who will be able to identify if there's ever incidents where referees are not acting in the good faith of the community.

I would also argue that working within that list would make you a more electable referee if you were to ever want to run for the position. It would showcase that you can use an editorial eye towards your peers and provide the context that only your personal perspective can provide.

Regardless I thank you for supporting the community and look forward to fighting abuse along side you! :)

The referees are:....

That's kinda clear from the post, but who are the people that control those accounts? I don't need to know which number is controlled by whom, but at least I need the general idea about those behind the curtain.

Good move to put that into words - thx for all you do

Excellent guidelines. And good system with the referee's.

Thank you for the support @blanchy.sports! Would love to hear if anyone has additional suggestions for them.

I've only just recently began posting regularly on the sportstalk platform. I have already noticed a very small minority taking advantage on using the sportstalk tag to simply "farm" tokens.

Nice to see some strong guidelines in place. I hope they are followed and upheld by all that use this tag.

Thank you @welshstacker and welcome to #sportstalk! If you see anything that isn't grabbing the referees attention please let us know.

Congratulations! Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on rank 5 of all contributions awarded today. You can find the TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.

I upvoted your contribution because to my mind your post is at least 3 SBD worth and should receive 226 votes. It's now up to the lovely Steemit community to make this come true.

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Have a nice day and sincerely yours,

I hope the referee can work honestly and fairly. at least it can maximize its performance to provide a card for each violation. as in competition, 3 cards must be owned by the referee as a functional weapon. I hope this will be a good start in the war against plagiarism or problematic actors in the world of sports.

This is why we will be working to prepare a way for the referees to become elected by SPORTS stakeholders. If the community no longer feels that a referee is doing their job or is not acting in good faith then they can be voted out.

In the mean time I will be happy to address any potential issues the community finds with any of the existing referees until that system is rolled out.

Users should not engage in activities to farm rewards including comment and vote farming.

activities to farm rewards , What mean it is ?
Refers to what some netizens often do.
such as .....
Shadow contest activities
Food contest activities
SBI sharing
send Card gift
Is this kind of activity?
Many activities do not ask for a vote, only ask for comment,
but ,If I had participate in activities of that kind and I will vote.
and so,
I am afraid , I will because not know,
to Violating the one,
I do not know,
What is activities to farm rewards ?

To start I'd like to alleviate your fears if you are sent a notification from a referee you'll have time to remedy any violations they may state. It would also require that at least 4 of the referees all agreed you were doing a bad activity so I hope that helps calm some of your fears.

I'm not sure how to address all of the activities that you mentioned because I'm not familiar with them all but I would imagine that some would be ok. Other activities like food contests might be shaky as they may not deal with sports so that may violate a guideline.

Farming rewards is intended towards users who are violate the concept of proof of brain through schemes like self upvoting multiple comments of your own. This is done in hopes of gaining additional rewards from both author and curator side of the post rewards. This isn't the only example of such behaviors but is one of the intentions behind its use.

Thank you for your reply.

We are really happy to read the community guidelines and we will appreciate all the rules of platform. We love Sports.

Thanks for the update.
Regards from Indonesia.

thank GOD i never copy i always bring my own way to see everything to the sportstalk platform.

You just post unsourced images which is plagiarism. You should read the guidelines carefully and act accordingly till it's not too late.

hi ! which images you talking about , i guess everyone doing the same thing download images online to do better post , i undestand we have to do good post but at the same time ,don't make us discouraged by asking tomuch ,trust me i already feel discourage because i try my best to put more in my post and everyone have their own original way to do their post like we don't have the same DNA thank you.

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It doesn't matter what everyone does, what matters is what you do as you're responsible for your own actions. If you're posting images downloaded from the internet, you must post the source link as the image is not yours. Otherwise it's plagiarism and it's not tolerated.

what you mean the source link .

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i try to do the source link images you was telling me i don't know how to do it but you hide my post because of the image it's not fair what you guy's doing ,you need to stop you gonna kill the system .

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Rules are not negotiable and apply to everyone. Consider yourself warned. This matter is closed.

i wish i never put my money in that's thing .

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you need to accept not everyone have the same skills to do their post.

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Hope the folks who like gaming the system read this especially those who upvote their own comments using their other accounts hehehe.

Thanks for the guidelines .

This post has been included in the latest edition of The Steem News - a compilation of the key news stories on the Steem blockchain.

you guy's not doing it fair i don't care you downvote someone but go to the person account to do what you guy's doing it's unfair because not everybody have the Same skill to post you guy's don't care about no body, i wish i never invest no money in the system ,but if you guy's don't do it a fair way the person who already invest a lot of money in the system ,who can't do everything like you force people to do it will find a way to kill the system .

Lacking Sports Focus

This has been sort of a concern for me and the way I use @actifit to report on my mundane daily walks.

Unless walk-walking and the occasional pokemon hunting can be considered sports related, which I doubt it can, then my posts don't really fit in here... but the tag isn't optional with the actifit app.

Any advice?

My advice would be not to worry about it 😊

hehehe... well... since nobody cared enough to even reply... why should I, right?!

That being said, thanks for replying :D

Much needed 👍