Periodic Followee Confirmation Follow-Up

This thread intends to serve as a follow up regarding the Periodic Followee Confirmation, originally brought up by @wpb , which can be found below

After engaging in extensive deliberation and dialogue on the matter, it became evident that there is a shared recognition of the necessity of periodic followee confirmation to safeguard the long-term decentralization of the network. By implementing periodic followee confirmation, we can establish a system that promotes consistent and reliable voting behavior and standards. Named Neurons, in particular, are required to ensure that the individuals who have assigned their voting power to them are content and satisfied, should they desire to have their voting power reassigned. This ensures a fair and accountable process for all participants.

Given this, the initial periodic confirmation of neuron followees proposal was created, which can be found below

This proposal received an acceptance rate of 30.012%, taking into account that Cycle DAO abstained and IC Devs voted no. It is noteworthy that both DFINITY and a significant portion of the community expressed their support for the proposal, which was interpreted as a positive indication of acceptance and commitment.

It is important to acknowledge that developing reliable code takes time and cannot be accomplished overnight. Understanding this, the community has shown patience toward the DFINITY Foundation regarding the immediate implementation of the complete functionality. Instead, the community suggested an immediate followee reset as a step towards addressing the concerns at hand. The details of this proposal can be found below.

In contrast to the previous proposal, this one did not succeed, receiving a rejection rate of 41.183%. The notable distinction between the two proposals lies in the fact that the previous one had the support of both DFINITY and ICA, whereas in this case, they opted to vote against it.

Regrettably, I was unable to find any extensive discussions about this specific decision on the forums, and I believe it would be counterproductive to include potentially off-topic Twitter conversations in this context. However, if anyone possesses additional information shedding light on the rationale behind this decision, I would greatly appreciate learning more about it.

Again, the community decided to practice patient with the DFINITY Foundation, and waited for the followee reset. However, it was never brought up again, until @justmythoughts created the following topic

Essentially, the topic at hand emphasizes the importance of prioritizing network decentralization over short-term tax optimization. A constructive debate ensued, with active participation from various members of the DFINITY team. As the discussions progressed, a general consensus emerged among team members, leading them to vote against the proposal. Their reasoning centered around the belief that the NNS should not be employed as a mechanism to signal off-chain actions.

During this discussion, a new proposal was introduced, which stands out as the closest outcome we have witnessed thus far within this thread. The referenced proposal can be found here

However, the recent proposal yielded a rejection rate of 31.815%, with only 17.347% in favor. This outcome signifies that while the community had the opportunity to voice their concerns, the decision to initiate followee resets and decentralize the network still rested solely with DFINITY.

It is important to note that the events discussed thus far took place between April and July of 2022, nearly one year ago.

I have raised this concern multiple times, primarily through Twitter and also within the forums. However, these attempts have either been dismissed or met with promises of imminent action, only to result in no tangible progress.

I want to make it clear that I do not intend to be excessively critical, as I understand that the DFINITY team is concurrently working on multiple features and implementations.

Nonetheless, in light of the considerable patience displayed by the community regarding this topic, I believe it is reasonable to seek an update from the DFINITY Foundation on the progress of this implementation and the prospects for near-term network decentralization.


I still support proposal 55651 (periodic confirmation of neuron Followees) as it was written because of the advances to decentralization and the minimum definition of active participation in governance that it attempted to suggest. However, the drivers for it are not as strong as they were at the time (spam was solved in other ways) and it was recognized by many people after the proposal was completed that it would leave us exposed to security risks that DFINITY would no longer be able to resolve quickly (since critical updates would not pass by absolute majority). I look forward to the day periodic confirmation gets implemented, but I also agree with the position that the community should not try to force DFINITY to do something that the community should be able to do itself. That was a learning for me after proposal 72189 (proposal to prioritize periodic confirmation and manual voting over compounding maturity) failed and was the primary driver why I started to believe that it was time for the community to step up and make these kinds of code contributions to the IC. However, that requires funding. I thought it made sense for the NNS to control a treasury to fund development of protocol level code and critical infrastructure that is important to the IC community, but certain members of the community were not too keen on the idea. Hence, I guess we are back to just complaining when DFINITY doesn’t do what the community wants. We’ll see how far that gets us this time around, but I don’t plan to get as heavily involved in these types of discussions moving forward.

Proposal 56622 (instantly reset followers for all topic categories) was submitted to the NNS without any discussion or warning to the community. It was submitted by @ysyms not long after he stopped his spam efforts. He has always been vocal about his opposition to any requirement for community discussion about a proposal before it is submitted to the NNS. That’s why you can’t find anything about it on the forum. I personally do not support that proposal because it called for the immediate reset of Followees. In my opinion, a reset of Followees should only occur after giving voters fair warning about new participation requirements and enabling voters to take action that would inhibit the automatic reset of their own neurons.

I suspect your goal in resurfacing this topic is to put heat on DFINITY to reset neuron Followees because you believe that the neuron triggers too much voting power when we vote and a lot of SNS proposals are forthcoming. If that’s the case, then it might be interesting to see what happens over the next several months after we submit a proposal next week to create a new Synapse named neuron and we recommend to our followers that they switch to the new neuron. If they switch, then it will be confirmation that people who have chosen to follow Synapse continue to do so intentionally. Interestingly, even though Synapse took a lot of heat during the treasury discussion, the total amount of voting power that we trigger when we vote actually went up, not down. I would argue that everyone who is a voting member for Synapse believes strongly in decentralization and none of us are trying to hang on to a large percentage of voting power, but people are free to follow us at their own discretion and we have no control over it.

I think there is also a misconception that a lot of voting power follows DFINITY on the Governance proposal topic. The reality is that when neurons 27 and 28 vote they trigger only a couple percentage of total voting power more than the voting power that is directly owned by DFINITY and ICA. This is evident by looking at the largest voting power jump in any Governance proposal and comparing that number to the the amount reported on the dashboard. I mention that because a Followee reset is not going to change the amount of voting power that is cast when DFINITY votes on Governance proposals.

From my perspective, Followee reset was not about redistribution of voting power. It was about enabling the tokenomics to incentivize active participation in governance. I see default following as an inhibition to active participation in governance. I want to see an increase in total voter participation on the Governance topic and I want to see better than a binary vote participation on other proposal topics such as Replica Version Management. Anything that can be done to achieve that kind of decentralization is a positive movement in my opinion.

Anyway, I hope this provides some context you were asking for in your OP and I wish you luck moving the needle on this Followee reset topic this time around. I’m supportive, but perhaps for different reasons.


Hey @Accumulating.icp, if I’m understanding correctly, what you would like to do is reset every neuron so it doesn’t follow any other neuron, and make the people select who they want to follow again? That way, voting is current and handled by people who are still active in the community?

Is that correct?

As I understand it, DFINITY will surrender their voting power in the future as part of their roadmap.

The issue I have:

I go to bed after checking the Proposal Dashboard with no Open proposal that I have not voted on to find when I get up in the morning many Executed proposals while I was asleep. How can I participate in active voting in this situation?

I believe that DFINITY decisions, for me, has been in the interest of the project and all Stakers.

Some of the proposals I have seen I would consider stigmatized in their ideals as I do with the issues raised with the Following list or as it was called in the past, dead people.

When I voted for dead people and for the Followers List I was thinking of us as a group but those who want to use excuses to take others votes and rewards sound like centralisation and corruption.

Don’t worry I will make sure that I periodically check and have been checking my list of followers every month.

While I understand your perspective, I want to emphasize the importance of decentralization in our network. While it may not be a driving factor for you personally, many in the community believe that achieving decentralization is crucial. Considering the initial allocation of voting power by the foundation, it is reasonable to expect them to take responsibility for the process of decentralization. Even some DFINITY employees have acknowledged this responsibility and expressed the need to prioritize it.

I’d rather not get into the nuance of your treasury again - but we all know what the issue there was. There’s a problem when you want to start forcibly taking rewards from people (that they stake for insane lockup periods to achieve), to pay yourself.

Thanks for the clarification regarding why I can’t find anything on @ysyms proposal , I figured it was something along those lines.

However, I’m curious how you expect a notification to be delivered to neurons? The forum had been utilized extensively for discussion regarding the topic - so that is debatably a notification. Twitter certainly was vocal about it at the time - so that is debatably a notification.

Are you expecting a notification within the NNS UI (which we’re saying people utilize as set&forget to begin with, meaning they wouldn’t truly receive the notification) disclaiming that a followee reset had been discussed for weeks, had passed via NNS (which they’d know if they are opening the NNS for your notifications), and will now be enacted (after a proposal has already passed for it)?

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some form of “timer” within the NNS frontend dApp, but in that instance, it was discussed thoroughly throughout the ecosystem. I don’t think its intellectually honest to say that proposal 56622 had to be rejected because people weren’t aware of the discussion.

I’d also like to take a moment to remind you, you are not the center of the world Wenzel.

This topic was not inspired by Synapse, or quite frankly, any other named neurons, aside from the DFINITY Foundations - which triggers 98%+ voting power in topics aside from “Governance” and “SNS & CF”.

Based off our private conversations, I know you don’t find this to be an issue, due to the “competence” of voting parties, however I’d like to stress the long term risk of the foundation withholding 98% control indefinitely. I’m not saying that followees should be outright removed, or that DFINITY should not be reassigned the voting power. I’m saying that people should have to periodically reaffirm, “yes, I am comfortable with DFINITY utilizing my voting power still”.

The foundation for decentralization needs to be layed, even if it is something that has to be achieved gradually over time.

I am very well aware of the difference between voting power DFINITY owns, and what is assigned to them. I am also very well aware that the governance topic was removed of default followees, and therefor not automatically assigned to DFINITY - resulting in them receiving a much smaller VP allocation. This has resulted in the majority of their governance VP being their own.

However, this isn’t about the governance topic.

This is about the fact that DFINITY controls 98%+ of the voting power, on all other topics.

The ones that actually matter. That effect change.

While you personally have a different agenda regarding the followee reset, I don’t think it’s intellectually honest to say it does not serve the decentralization of the network. It would be forcing people to reassign their voting power manually, for the first time outside of new topics - which inherently translates to gradual decentralization from the current 98%+ control.

I think we can all agree we want to increase voter participation, and in turn the decentralization of the network. I’m simply asking for an update on the progress, of something that will contribute to this. I appreciate the response & clarity regarding ysyms proposals.

Goodmorning @jwarner

In essence, yes, I’d like to see the foundation follow through on the reset of neuron followees, having them periodically re-confirm who they’ve assigned their voting power too.

This establishes two things;

Primarily, it begins decentralize the 98% network control DFINITY assigned themselves, by making themselves the default followee for neurons.

Evidenced here, because I feel as though I’m going to get some "that didn’t happen"s

Secondarily, it instills a sense of responsibility for the voting power held by named neurons; knowing if they don’t perform satisfactory, the voting power will be reassigned elsewhere.

I feel as though there might be a language barrier here, so I apologize in advance if I’ve misinterpreted your message.

However I’d like to emphasize that this proposal does not aim to remove people’s rewards (while it may be an unintended consequence, if users are not reassigning their VP, or actively voting).

The point of this is to accelerate the decentralization we see on the network level. DFINITY has stated eventually they will turn over their voting power.

Which is fair, however, it’s been a year+ since this proposal has passed - with no progress made, other than promises.

I don’t think we should have to wait indefinitely for DFINITY to decide they’re ready to decentralize the network.

Which is why I’m simply asking where we’re at on this.

I’m confused, because when I created my neurons, there was no default following. They were all blank and I had to manually go in and select who to follow for all 13 options. So section “a” from that proposal was implemented, at least for me when I created a neuron a couple weeks ago. I don’t know how to check voting weight to see if section “b” was implemented.

Also, the proposal said " As a final note, if this proposal is adopted, the NNS dapp user interface will be updated to say All Topics Except Governance instead of All Topics. In my interface there is no “All Topics”, it says “All Except Governance, and SNS & Community Fund”. So it looks like they followed through on that part as well? Unless I’m missing something, or they didn’t implement section “b”, this proposal was voted through and completed? I have all these question marks because I’m still new when it comes to looking at the information.

If that proposal passed and was implemented, you’re working towards getting just the reset implemented now?

The proposal I cited was the one in which they resolved the default followee for the governance topic - however it references how all neuron followees were assigned to DFINITY by default at genesis. (This proposal was passed in 2021)

Meaning if you’re a newer neuron, you didn’t even notice the default followee. However the neurons from genesis, which are the grand majority (we’ve been at ~50% ICP staked since genesis), received a default followee, and in most cases, left it to ensure rewards, under the “set and forget” mindset.

That proposal is completely unrelated to the Followee Reset, and was just used as a reference, to showcase how they obtained 98% voting power.

The original post details other proposals, passed in 2022, which, yes, although passed via NNS, have not been implemented to this day.

Which is why I’m trying to understand where the progress is at on this, as DFINITY has acceptable responsibility regarding the matter.

I’ve been driving this message throughout my engagement in IC governance. It’s not clear to me why you would try to claim my intent is otherwise.

This is your false narrative that you are constantly trying to drive even today. That is not what happened nor was it the intent by anyone in spite of your accusations. I’ll admit though that it makes a great sound bite for anyone who is trying to discredit anyone who believed a treasury is important for the decentralization of the IC. I’d prefer to agree to disagree on the topic instead of fighting about it using smear tactics.

I think proposal 55651 offered a reasonable suggestion on how to execute this type of change.

Didn’t I write this in proposal 55651 and confirm it in my comment above. I’m not sure how you are reading it otherwise.

I agree. Thanks for the reminder.

It seems like responding to each of your accusations is not going to result in a productive conversation. I’ll avoid wasting people’s time trying to respond to everything. I respectfully ask that you not claim that you know my intent, agendas, or personal opinions. You frequently get it wrong and twist my words to fit your narrative. It is just not worth arguing with you. My response above was intended to be productive, but I now regret engaging.

All neurons created at genesis and for the first 14 months after genesis were set to follow neurons 27 or 28 on “All Topics”, which is the catch all category that covers all other topics where someone does not intentionally choose a Followee and formerly included the Governance topic. This topic has transitioned twice and now includes “All Topic Except Governance and SNS & Community Fund” as you observed. Since no neurons had a default following on the Governance topic at genesis and since SNS & Community Fund did not exist until more recently, one can reasonably assume that the total voting power that is actively participating in governance is equal to the total voting power that is cast on these proposal topics, which is currently close to 54%. Yet 99.4% of total voting power is cast when neurons 27 and 28 vote on any topic other than Governance and SNS & Community Fund. If a Followee reset were to occur, then it is likely that the total voting power that would be cast on these other proposals topics (e.g. subnet updates, Replica Version Management, etc) would be around 30% in the beginning and quickly move up to match the voting rate for the Governance topic. However, DFINITY would not have the ability to immediately trigger Absolute Majority with their vote and execute critical updates. It would take up to 4 days to execute all proposals. Typically we don’t achieve Absolute Majority on Governance proposals until day 3 or 4, so it would be reasonable to expect the same if periodic confirmation of neuron Followees were implemented. Since we do see 99.4% voting power cast and these proposals execute immediately, it is reasonable to assume that periodic confirmation of neuron Followees has not been implemented. Plus I’m sure that DFINITY would have posted it on the forum if it had been implemented since it has always been a topic important to the community for a variety of reasons. In regards to proposal 34485, both parts a and b were implemented in Feb 2022. Part a removed Governance from All Topics. Part b resulted in a lot of spam in the NNS, but it was later reversed to mitigate the spam problem. The voting reward weights still exist in the code. Does that explanation help?

1 Like

No language barrier here, I have made my case on the subject and it wasn’t personal against you and your right to have your say.

DFINITY has the final say on the subject and I am happy to accept their decision and timeline as I feel they have a responsibility for the decisions made on this project.

Too often I am seeing other projects having problems from bad actors who believe they are right and are now causing project and legal problems, which is not democratic or practicing decentralized decisions but more about their beliefs and needs.

We have the right to offer our opinion and accept the outcome.

Under DFINITY we have not suffered any of the problems of other projects and they have my full support.

I also believe the majority of neuron owners on this project have the best interest of this project and if DFINITY makes a decision that is not popular they will feel the opposition and as they have in the past made changes in my opinion from the backlash they often seem to receive as do I from others in this forum from my opinions.

I see a change in the practice of how we should discuss proposals on this forum by the frequent use of the term, twitter, as a place for discussion. I do not support the use of twitter, I do not use twitter.

Currently I am seeing many Governments legislate against twitter and in my opinion provides a place for bad actors to provide misinformation.

This is where I want to see discussions about his project and I have liked you in other subjects and see you as a valued neuron owner with good intentions.

1 Like

Maybe we aren’t reading the same forum posts, but the ones I’m reading claim the decentralization of voting power would leave ICP exposed to security risks, that DFINITY can’t resolve without the super majority of voting power.

As I stated, I’d rather not get into the treasury here, as it has its own topic, which is still available. However, it was beyond transparent controlling governance parties were advocating for a treasury which would in turn fund their own ventures. Again, the topic is still available for people to do their own research, this isn’t a “smear tactic”, but instead, an easily verifiable fact.

The following topic lays out how there is only one named neuron, and that this is likely because it is not an incentivized task. The topic then goes on to explain why it should be one of many incentivized tasks via the NNS, and details how to either generate a stream of rewards, by either taking them from people, or minting new ones.

Again, not what we’re talking about however, so I’m not sure why it was brought up to begin with.

I keep getting the feeling that maybe we aren’t reading the same forum thread, but you started by stating while you once supported it, this isn’t necessary anymore - as the driving forces that made it a necessity are no longer relevant. I’m clarifying to you that this isn’t about spam proposals, but rather decentralization itself.

I thought I was beyond cordial with you, given your passive aggressive tone from the beginning

I’m not sure why you’re trying to make it out as though I am twisting your words, as though the complete dialogue is not available for everyone to read. I directly responded to what you said to me, while quoting the material.

The only person crafting a narrative, is you, with the victim statements.

Apologies ser!

I don’t disagree with you, as they have in fact accepted it their responsibility to implement. I just feel as though with how often this topic has been discussed - and in turn, reassured that it is soon to come, it is fair to ask for an update on the matter.

I agree for the most part, DFINITY has kept us clear of legal scrutiny, and critical failures within the protocol. However, I don’t think it’s unfair to request transparency regarding promised implementations - that directly impact the decentralization of the network.

I can understand this sentiment, hence, I’ve tried to keep the majority of my long-form governance discussions within the forum itself. I agree its the one place to ensure that anyone within the IC ecosystem who wants to see it, can see it, and that is something that needs to be prioritized for everyone within the Internet Computer Community.

I appreciate your support regarding my governance contributions, and will continue to keep them cordial & forum-based to ensure its available to all.

1 Like

I see, thanks for taking the time to help me understand. Proposal 55651 passed showing voters like the idea of a followee reset, but proposal 56622 shows they didn’t want it done immediately, and 72189 shows it’s not really a priority to voters.

Kudos to you for trying to push the network towards decentralization and keep the voters active. Unfortunately, in my personal experience working in a large organization, you’re fighting an uphill battle while trying to heard cats. Ha ha!

TLDR: Put a bounty on it and pay for a proposal that has the code written and will be implemented without have to wait for Dfinity? Is there a way to make it NOT feel like they’re making big changes and rugging rewards from people who staked from genesis with the understanding they could follow and forget? (My suggestion below.)

In my experience, a lot of people think change is a good thing and they love new ideas. But when it comes to implementation of those changes, no one has time to put in the work, really WANTS to put in the work, or wants to take responsibility for what might happen when those changes are implemented. Looking at it from the point of view of Dfinity, it’s a good idea that people like, but it’s not a priority.

With that being said, with the NNS set up the way it is. Is it possible to put up a bounty for someone to write the code to implement this without Dfinity? That way you and the voters who want this can avoid waiting around for an answer and just get it done?

This sounds to me like a pretty significant change to how the protocol operates and deviates quite a bit from the expectations of people who staked from the beginning. I fully understand that if these things were important to people, they should be paying attention and participating, but in my experience, that is rarely the case.

I believe a lot of people want to set their neurons to follow whoever and forget about it (essentially yield farming). And there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that because that’s how the initial system was designed. Also, in this bear market, since there is no way to exit a staked neuron until it is dissolved, some people have resigned themselves to the fact their funds are locked and at least take comfort in the belief they’ll still earn voting rewards because they followed neurons.

With that said, my concern would be people would come back from a hiatus from the ecosystem and wonder wtf happened to their voting rewards? “When I signed up, it said XYZ, then you changed it without informing me personally.” Should they being paying attention? Yes. DO they always pay attention? No.

Since the system is changing, they’ll want out of the ecosystem altogether. But since they locked the neuron for a few years based on their belief in follow and forget, they can’t. And now you’re in the realm of FORCING them to participate every 6 months to earn the rewards, when they didn’t have to do that before. Everything I’ve ever read says making people spend time/lose out on something that was previously free/easily attainable is a terrible idea.

Also, six months seems short to me. Again, just an opinion. Living in the U.S. my entire life, I don’t think any major political decisions are made/confirmed every six months. Hell, I only get a chance to pick the leader of our country every 4 years. ICP has only been alive for 2. Ha ha!

Hopefully you can get some sort of update on the status. I’d be interested to know as well.


Definitely helps. Thanks for taking the time to explain!

1 Like

I’d agree with this if it was actually the community voting, but when named neurons who are assigned followees by default are doing the voting - I don’t think that’s an accurate reflection of community sentiment.

Oh, if only you understood the significance of this quote to this ecosystem. Herding Flee’d Cats is the story of my life.

This is actually the ironic part of it all. Upon genesis, this model wasn’t employed - you didn’t have to vote to receive rewards, you simply received rewards for staking. The voting power was automatically assigned to ensure DFINITY could pass what they needed (because 30% isn’t enough). Participants within this thread went out of their way to remove rewards from people who didn’t vote, and only assign them to those who do vote.

So while I sympathize with the “rugging” sentiment - that part has already been done and clearly isn’t a concern to those involved.

The issue here is that it’s been promised as a priority, countless times over. Those inconsistent promises begin to add up into a bigger issue, of indefinite 98% control of the network.

While, yes, it is possible to pay somebody to write the code, should I half to, if DFINITY has accepted the responsibility & promised it will be done? The DFINITY Foundation receives a salary for their contributions to ICP - I personally, do not. ( No Wenzel, this is not me advocating for your treasury. )

I’d like to re-emphasize that, this system that we currently have, was set in place by participants within this discussion. The genesis expectation of staking has already deviated drastically, on multiple fronts, including rewards.

Some countries do their taxes on a monthly basis, others do it quarterly, many do it annually. Is it unrealistic to expect people to log on to a website periodically to re-affirm that “yes, this is the person I trust my voting power with”?

You would be surprised with the amount of governance discussion that happens in 6 months, let alone two years. I’d agree that 6 months could potentially be extended to an annual basis, but I don’t think it’s an unrealistic time period - when you’re trusting your voting power over the protocol to someone.

This needs to be clarified. There are no named neurons that are voting on Governance proposals with voting power that was assigned to them by default. All voting power that is cast on all Governance proposals including 55651, 56622, and 72189 is voting because of actions taken by the neuron owners to either vote manually or to select a Followee on the Governance proposal topic.

I don’t think anyone from DFINITY has engaged in this thread yet. Proposal 34485 was created and implemented by DFINITY because the concept of decentralization of governance motion proposals was untenable due to default following and inclusion of the Governance topic in the All Topics catch all category. That proposal resulted in the decentralization that we see today, which is vastly improved compared to what existed at genesis. ICPMN (now synapse), cycle_dao (now Arthur’s), and ICDevs had all put themselves forward as options as Followees for the Governance topic since the time proposal 34485 was implemented because we all believe in the decentralization of the IC. However, we did not set that change in place. We were all aware that the change was going to occur because it was discussed on the forum for several weeks before it was submitted to the NNS as a motion proposal. Then it took another 2-4 months before it was implemented and took effect. In the meantime, the concept of the registered known neuron was developed and implemented so there would be options to consider. The ability to form a registered named neuron has always been open to everyone and all organizations who participate in NNS governance.

Touché. I recognize that you are not advocating for it here, but it would be a good use of NNS treasury controlled funds if it existed. The community has many ideas on what code changes are important and having a way to pay for them still seems like a greater good for the NNS.

I agree with you. Six months seems about right to me given the pace of discussion about ICP governance.

This is true & an oversight on my part - thanks for pointing that out.

Regardless, the foundation still personally owned 20-30% of VP, which represents a grand majority of VP cast within these proposals.

Which is why I can’t agree that these proposals were an accurate representation of community sentiment.

1 Like

While it’s true they may be responsible for the inception of the concept, if I remember correctly, you were a large advocate for it.