Proposal to Mitigate NNS Advertisement Spam - a Temporary Solution

Edit: this proposal has been in deliberation for 7 days. A prerequisite for moving forward with this proposal was crowdfunding. Since no donations have been received, I am retracting this proposal and I have deleted the donation account information from this post. I will not be submitting this proposal to the NNS at this time. I appreciate everyone who participated in the deliberation on this topic in a diplomatic and intellectually honest way. Thank you.

Edit: The recommended proposal reject fee in this proposal has been lowered based on a counter proposal offered by @marcio below.

The proposal 79944 today by @ysyms kicks off a potentially new era of spam that we haven’t seen too much previously because it comes after we have moved beyond the period of spam for the purpose of financial gain and because it has a political agenda. Proposal 79944 is spam for the purpose of advertisement. I think we need a temporary fix for advertisement spam and it needs to get implemented quickly before a trend starts where people use the NNS as a megaphone for expressing their opinions.

In today’s example, the discussion that occurred that prompted @ysyms to launch a spam attack against @zire via the NNS originally started in this forum discussion. That is where this discussion should have stayed because it offers two way conversation. In my opinion, the NNS should not be used to announce frustration with a person or with an organization. The NNS should be used to conduct the business of governing the internet computer.

The potential problem with advertisement spam has existed since genesis and has nothing to do with proposal weights or removal of the Governance proposal topic from the All Topics catch all category. It exists because anyone who can execute DFX commands can submit a proposal to the NNS and because the proposal reject fee has always been very low (initially 1 ICP, now 10 ICP). The long term solution will need to include some mechanism for filtering spam before it makes it to the NNS. I propose that the short term solution can be to increase the proposal reject fee so spam proposals become cost prohibitive. Taking this action would help disincentive advertisement spam, but it also will help mitigate spam for financial gain on weekends when the exchange rate proposals are soon removed from the NNS as discussed here and here.

My proposal is defined below, but I’m open to considering tweaks.

I propose we raise the proposal reject fee to 30 ICP immediately. If more advertisement spam continues, then we should keep increasing the proposal reject fee until it titrates away the desire to submit spam proposals. This would be a temporary solution that can be reversed when DFINITY rolls out a spam solution that is a disincentive for all forms of spam.


Willing to discuss this with you. DM me please. I could crowd fund you some.

While, I encourage everyone to vocalize their thoughts and opinions, I do believe in finding an appropriate setting to do so. Personally, I felt the first post/ thread (on the forum) discussing the issues this proposal spoke too was going to be the end of it. I felt that was a more appropriate place to vocalize their frustrations than an actual NNS proposal. However, seeing the proposal in the NNS today made me realize this is not the case. So, I am willing to discuss this further. I just think it needs to be discussed more, before taking any concrete steps. Just so everyone is on the same page moving forward…

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Would the reject cost apply to all proposal types, or just governance?

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This is a fair/ good question.

I’d personally like to go further, and create a sub-categories here on the forum so people who need the space to perhaps vocalize their opinions can, and then would get more appropriate responses being that it is the category or appropriate space to do so. I feel, we should avoid shunning community members who may (if anything) be having a temporary lapse of judgement.

Yet, I do agree. The reasons I voted “Yes” to reverting governance back to 1 is because these spam proposals were especially confusing for me trying to learn the proper procedures. In my mind, I could have been declining important changes that I simply did not read Chinese to understand, so I would have to vote “No”. However, now it is becoming clear what (or who) was confusing me in the space and thus I agree it needs this immediate response or actions. However, I just want to allow them the opportunity to “come back” if they’d like to.

Again, I think we should be willing to create the space for individuals to vocalize these concerns in the future. Just not on the NNS. I felt the discord was probably going to be that space, however, it is clear not everyone will do so. Perhaps, creating the space on the forum might be as useful.

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The proposal reject fee applies to all proposal types. It’s also important to know that the proposer only loses the fee if their proposal is rejected. If the proposal is approved, the proposer keeps the fee.

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this was a helpful bit for me/ one of my questions thanks

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Whats to prevent someone with a massive stake from screwing with the Ic community by brigading subnet management proposals with huge reject numbers, thus costing routine subnet maintenance hundreds of dollars.

Gotta think what would someone do out of pure spite.

I’m not sure I fully understand the attack vector you are describing, but I’ll try to answer. Let me know if your question is still unresolved.

All neurons created at genesis through the first year of the IC were configured to follow DFINITY for the All Topics catch all category, which includes Subnet Management proposals. Hence, when there is a Subnet Management proposal, approx 98% of total voting power in the NNS is cast by liquid democracy when DFINITY votes. There is no neuron or group of neurons that are big enough to attack the IC by submitting or rejecting Subnet Management proposals out of spite. They can be submitted, but they would all be rejected by DFINITY and would be expensive for the proposer. They can be rejected in protest by individual neuron owners, but they wouldn’t have enough voting power to overcome the liquid democracy available to DFINITY on these critical updates.

Another layer of protection is that DFINITY can vote on subnet management proposals any time. Their vote on Subnet Management proposals immediately executes the proposal by Absolute Majority due to liquid democracy. This means they can implement these proposals minutes after submitting the proposal. In order for a group of neurons to reject out of spite, they would need to add a neuron follow target to their Subnet Management proposal topic so they don’t follow liquid democracy from DFINITY. If they do that then they risk not voting on other legit proposals they don’t intent to protest. They become committed to voting manually until they change their follow relationship again. It doesn’t seem likely that anyone would want to protest in this way.

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Here we go again, another neuron holder @wpb asking for coins to create more spam and choose the same path like @ysyms while claiming to be to our benefit.

This has been kick around before and failed but at least this time you could get some extra coins for yourself

Well at least the proposal today on the NNS by @ysyms seems to be, for the first time, being rejected.

No coins from me and I would suggest that all spam and its supporters are locked out from spamming on the NNS for a 6 month period or maybe for 5 years when @ysyms neuron expires because it is dissolving.

Dfinity in my opinion is a software internet company and not a marketing and advertising company.

Too many spruikers and not enough making what they claim.

Where in my proposal does it lead you to believe that I would be submitting a spam proposal. The proposal I will be submitting will immediately change the NNS code if it passes. If you point me to the miscommunication, then I will be happy to correct it.

Also, every proposal that has ever been submitted by @ysyms has been rejected (except his Register Named Neuron proposal). Hence, the fact that the latest one is being rejected at this time is not a new result.

I totally respect your lack of support for this proposal. I expect you will not be the only one. I’m happy to respectfully agree to disagree on whether this is a new issue and how to handle it. Thank you for your input.

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Fair enough, but he wants a reaction and you are giving it to him, ignore.


I’m tired of temporary fixes to spam which only make the NNS experience worse, if the issue you talk about actually becomes a thing then let Dfinity feel the heat and fix spam once and for all.


That is a fair suggestion. I’ll try to explain why I think we should not ignore.

@ysyms has been around a long time and is a man of action. He doesn’t just talk about his opinions. While I don’t agree with the tactics he has used in the past regarding NNS spam, he is a very credible actor. He has carried out every single NNS spam attack that he has said he would carry out so far. He has also recognized in prior forum discussion regarding spam that removing the financial incentive for spam is not enough to mitigate the spam problem. He is right. This is well recognized. The proposal he submitted today is an example.

@ysyms has pointed out that it is very inexpensive to submit advertisements through the NNS. Same for political commentary. Someone who is really intent on making a statement could even start submitting lewd photos or, worse, horrifying content via the NNS. In the past @ysyms has indicated that he will apply pressure through spam proposals to drive change. I believe him. He knows what he is doing. I want to at least give him a reason to think twice about whether or not it is worth it.

Today it cost $70 to prove a point (or advertise) via NNS spam proposal since the proposal reject fee is only 10 ICP. That is a form of advertisement that is well worth it to many people. I believe this needs to change until we have a better way to mitigate spam.

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@ysyms has been around most likely 3 years form the neuron information like many of us and we have all had the right to make our thoughts heard on the forum but does not have the right to prove his point by spamming which can only workout badly for him as I told him sometime ago and it looks like his mental health may be in question from the last discussion he put up and I told him to get better.

Any points he has are for discussion in the forum and not spam that he has added to the NNS that takes away from him, no matter how well meaning he claims.

My concern is he may take this a step further and then my warning will come, sadly, true.

All points that have been raised have some resemblance of relevance but the road map shows that these changes will come about in time and not on demand.

Horrible content is everywhere and it will be on the IC so we will have to get ready for the many opinions of others that see what you think is horrible their right.

Personally in my mind I don’t get the spam as it creates rewards for me that I don’t feel I earned and that are not useful. I would think and I am not a programmer that a person could write code that is harmful to the NNS and that is the concern for me not lewd photos.

I have seen this same discussion about the cost of a proposal and nothing has changed and we need something new. Why then can’t we simply lockout a neuron for a period of time when the proposal is rejected that is not in the followers list which should only have Dfinity approved groups.


True but actions speak louder than words, you might not agree with his way of doing things but he highlighted a problem and got the community to actively talk about it, we are lucky all his proposal were meant to increase the rewards and get Dfinity to prioritize a fix. I’m impressed nobody has posted harmful content on the NNS yet considering how many haters and trolls the IC has.

Cause anyone can create an arbitrary number of neurons with ease.


The cost of many neurons would be greater and disable to be used were current spam by @ysms costs nothing and possible fruitful from donations and be updated constantly.

My concerns are his actions proving a point are costly, personally.

The minimum amount required to create a neuron is what? 1 ICP? The tokens are not lost so it’s not a cost plus you’d have to take in account all possible ways to bypass the limitation, e.g make a proposal, then dissolve the neuron after it’s rejected and create a new one, personally I’m tired of all these proposed band aid fixes which only make the NNS experience worse for the average user while not completely fixing the underlying issue.

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Have taken the information below for ICS
Make the Minimum higher and dissolve longer and the threat of revoking submitting proposal on a sliding scale.

Only Neurons can submit NNS proposals
Minimum 10 ICP and 6 months of dissolve delay
Absolute Majority Vote
more than half of the total voting power has been achieved
Simple Majority
When the voting period ends
More than half of the total voting power has been achieved
Less than half of the total voting power has been achieved
Votes given to others specified in the Followers List
Change the governance parameters
Upgrade one canister
Motion proposals that facilitate discussions in the community but do not have any immediate, automatic effect.

I want to make sure there is no confusion. This proposal is narrowly focused on changing the proposal rejection fee. I would be open to suggestions for tweaks to what I presented, but not the broader scope that you described.