Increase Proposal Rejection Cost

Abstain on spam proposal only. Not on everything else. I am quiet confident the vast majority of voters would abstain if they see a spam proposal, including Dfinity and ICPMN. That would leave the proposal with a very low participation, then being ignored by the system. I have not made the calculation needed for the minimum, can be 10 millions minimum… Just as an example.

There is currently about 60M votes being cast on governance proposals that are not cast when Dfinity and ICPMN casts their votes.

Dfinity owns their votes and have full control of them.

ICPMN owns 20 votes. All other votes come from followers who choose to follow ICPMN. That means they are also free to follow anyone else including a new group that pops up to vote on all proposals including spam.

People will always pursue the highest voting rewards. I still think we need the system to continue incentivizing participation.

Edit: others should check my math, but I think it’s finally correct.

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@wpb @Kyle_Langham I’d like to add one more idea - new Spam Filter proposal type for rejected Governance proposals, which would be automatically created by NNS for every rejected Governance proposal - and would decide, if those 1 (or 10, or 100) ICP will be burned or not.

  • anyone could create governance proposal same as now
  • could be with higher rejection cost, 10 or even 100 ICP
  • if proposal is Accepted, all is same as now, it was not a spam
  • if proposal is Rejected it would NOT automatically mean that the (1, 10, 100) ICP is burned, but NNS will generate a new Spam Filter proposal
    • if Spam Filter proposal is Accepted by community, the (1, 10, 100) ICP would NOT be burned
    • if Spam Filter proposal is Rejected by community, the (1, 10, 100) ICP would be burned

I believe that this would:

  1. discourage any spammer as per high rejection cost, this would be very effective
  2. minimise governance administration as the Spam Filter proposal would be created only for Rejected Governance proposals
  3. allow easy extension of the process also for other proposal types, in case that would start to be used for NNS spamming
  4. give more confidence to anyone who would like to propose something relevant (would discuss it on forum etc), even with higher rejection cost - as the Spam Filter proposal voting would NOT be about the proposed change, but only if it is a Spam or not - and if the proposal is relevant the funds would not be burned
  5. Rejection Cost could be renamed to Spam Rejection Cost

Or indeed every proposal could come with a check box Is Spam - if is rejected and is not a spam nothing is burned, if is spam (>50% votes) ICP (1, 10, 100…) is burned (I think I saw similar already suggested by @Kyle_Langham)

What do you think?

I totally agree with this. We have to rely on this irresistible truth :

Faking or believing it is not the case will make us less efficient and slower.

I think this idea has a lot of potential and should be further deliberated within the community, particularly in context with the increased proposal cost. If the proposal costs become prohibitive for NNS participants who fear they would lose the ICP on a good-faith proposal, then this would be a good remedy for that. There’s good arguments for us to consider this within the context of the anti-spam proposals, or to consider it on its own merit if the proposal cost increase is approved.

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Thanks @wpb. We can continue with this one. I think there has been a lot of good discussion and I would hate to lose that by starting another post. Rather than recreate the post I will just clarify my reasons for supporting this proposal.

  1. Do I see this as the final solution?
    No. I consider this to be a stop gap measure that will deter further exploitation by parties who simply want to increase their daily rewards, advertise products, and/or spread disinformation.

  2. Why not wait for a better solution to be implemented?
    Let’s consider the following steps that have to be completed in order for a better (complex) solution to be implemented:

  • Community Activities
    – Brainstorming (1 week)
    – Community deliberates on a proposal (1 week)
    – Vote on a proposal (1 week)
    – Appeal to Dfinity for support developing the solution (1 week)

  • Dfinity Activities
    – Dfinity drafts a design ( 4 weeks?)
    – Dfinity submits design for review (1 week)
    – Community votes on design (1 week)
    – Dfinity plans & schedules development/testing effort (1 week)
    – Indeterminate amount of lead time (months? - quite possible and understandable)
    – Dfinity develops the solution (2 weeks)
    – Dfinity tests the solution (2 weeks)
    – Dfinity submits code update to NNS (1 day)

    So based on that very rough estimate, we are looking at anywhere from 3-6 months (optimistically?). During this time the NNS will continue to be spammed and I believe this will cause stakeholders, and those looking to participate in governance, to lose respect for the NNS and become complacent in their voting habits. Basically, I think we will see less manual voting and more passive voting over time.

  1. Why does this proposal not suffer from the same delays?
    Because the proposal type for increasing the cost already exists. We wouldn’t need Dfinity’s assistance in developing anything. Although, I will likely need some minor support constructing the correct dfx command.

  2. Am I concerned that this will deter meaningful proposals from being submitted?
    I think the term “meaningful” can have different connotations depending on the individual. For me, a meaningful proposal is more than just a good idea. It’s a proposal that has already been deliberated amongst a community of stakeholders (not necessarily on this forum) and already has some backing. If those conditions are met then I do not see 10 ICP getting in the way of that community submitting the proposal.

  3. Would you support a proposal to reduce the cost when a better solution is implemented, or if the price of ICP increases substantially?
    Absolutely. I believe the proposal type exists exactly for that reason. To be adjusted as-needed.

Edit: I have zero insight into Dfinity’s planning & scheduling. These estimates are based purely on my own observations over the last year.


I think another idea, similar to @plsak is proposing, would be increasing the ICP cost per rejected proposal. For example, the first rejected proposal would cost 1 ICP, then the second would be 2 ICP – you could scale this in various ways (e.g., 1 ICP, 2 ICP, 4 ICP, 8 ICP, etc.). This would keep the barrier to submit proposals low for new individuals allowing for people to make mistakes (e.g., submitting a blank proposal) and submit new ideas.

This system could also reset if someone gets a proposal accepted, thus, promoting quality proposals (i.e., someone has two proposals rejected and their third accepted; following this, their fourth proposal is back to 1 ICP). This could also be time gated (six months?) where your proposal cost resets back to 1 ICP after a certain amount of time.

Also, it can be combined with the current flat increase proposal but allow for the increase to be smaller.

One potential down side that I can see is that you could somewhat evade this by creating new accounts (minimum account age to submit a proposal?). I think maybe a mix of this plus the flat increase could make sense.


Long term a more detailed layered approach is needed to address the spam and quality issue.

But for short term practicality this proposal can deliver. After this we will have time to discuss other long term structural solutions.

I agre with this proposal as it is!


Daniel, could you review this please ?

Hey @LightningLad91 do you want any information in the first post changed to better reflect your thoughts? I’d be happy to updated as per your preferences.

Also, do you think deliberation on this is proposal has gone quiet? I know there have been comments, but do you think any of them are in scope for this proposal or are they ideas that need to be deliberated as separate proposals? If you think the conversation has gone quite on this proposal, then I would support you moving forward with making this proposal.

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Yes I think so. Seems like we can move forward.

@plsak @eluemm I think you’ve both proposed some good ideas and I recommend starting separate topics to discuss further. I’d be happy to spread the word if you choose to do so.


I think 10 ICP might be a bit too much, what about 5 ICPs?

I think 10 ICP might be too little. We are proposing protocol level changes it shouldn’t be easy. I say 50ICP.


It’s not easy at all, there is no guarantee the proposal will pass, the difficulty should be achieving majority not getting the funds to do a proposal.

I agree with the spirit of the proposal but I would price it in cycles to make is stable

Is it possible to add a third option, to signal a spam or meaningless proposal where if majority people vote for it as opposed to “yes” or “no” the penalty is higher than just rejection?

This would take the penalty off of mere rejection as well, I assume it was initially there to prevent spam

Thank you @Kyle_Langham and @LightningLad91 !

I was just going to start a new topic with this update (change Rejection Cost to Spam Rejection Cost) but see that the proposal to increase rejection cost is already out, so let’s wait for the result first:

  • Note, that my personal (strong) preference will be then the check box Is Spam in every proposal, due to increase in administration with new Spam Filter proposals.
    • To have new Spam Filter proposals might seem manageable now, but when SNS is released the governance work will multiply, so simplicity will be very important here.

Also note that if current proposal is accepted, the 10 ICP Rejection Cost will be a blocking factor for me so I won’t be able to propose this (or other) change (until Rejection Cost will be changed to Spam Rejection Cost) and will rely on better ICP situated community members with that.


I thought we were waiting until the 18th?!


Agree with this short-term. Maybe a good long-term idea is to have rejection cost adjust to ensure a target percentage of failed proposals? If a large proportion of proposals are rejected increase rejection cost, and vice versa.

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