Proposal to Mitigate NNS Advertisement Spam - a Temporary Solution

Well said @jsull9, a Community Nervous System (an asynchronous video forum where issues are discoursed and debated with the Community voting its level of resonance or agreement with everything said) would appear to prevent spam proposals entirely.

The first level of deterrence would be the necessity of putting your face on your spammy message, but if that is overcome the Community will immediately vote you down and possibly out. We are right now developing what we call an ambient moderation system, completely decentralized.

A third strong deterrent is the fact that the Civol panelists engaged in discourse before the Community will typically be experts with skin in the game and a reputation at stake. And fourth, it is extremely unlikely that a spammer could even become a panelist as there is an auditioning process and you have to be voted to the top.

So once the Civol CNS is in place, in order to make it to the NNS a spammer would have be willing to publish a video delivering the spam payload, it would have to then not only avoid detection as spam, but actually be deliberated and voted to consensus by the Community. Only then would it be sent to NNS for ratification.

In sum, it does look like the Civol CNS will be the end of spam proposals.

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I agree. this should be an effective measure. I have seen a few other temporary solutions like @wpb proposed and I think all are worth considering. However, a good question might be what the timeline would be for this? I believe @wpb and others have been trying to come up with a temporary fix until this is implemented all the way. I’m assuming this means it might take a bit more time then the community wants. So, I think it might be useful for all of us to make it clear moving forward that what we are seeking is a temporary fix or solution until the CNS design is fully intact.

That said, I apologize for assuming @ysyms had poor intentions/ is not a credible actor (if he did not), because I am still trying to get a read on things admittedly. However, if @ysyms is the only one crafting and proposing spam proposals at this point in time, and we seem to have @civolian’s solution on the way… Would it not be the consensus of this thread (and overall topic) that maybe we just nicely ask @ysyms if he could refrain from the spam proposals until the CNS is in intact. This way he can see @DFINITY did just grant someone I believe 75k towards the project. Which essentially would be them saying, yes, @ysyms we hear you and the community and we are willing to give out a 75k grant just to attempt at a final solution. Because, if you do look closely DFINITY actually did spend more money than most of us have invested into fixing this problem.

I want to go a step further and say that if @ysyms is a credible IC member, and has the best interests at heart whichever way we feel they have handled it. Would you please openly engage with the possibility of stopping the spam proposals?

Would you be willing to work with us on a temporary solution as @wpb among many others proposed for a temporary fix at the very least? Until @civolian’s project is intact, and implemented, so we can see if this is going to be a solution to your original concerns of spam on the IC?

If you agree to stop, no one has to crowd fund or change anything, then no one has to overcomplicate the process further making nerves uneasy.

If right now there is only one spam creator (@ysyms), and we have a solution that has been funded and is in action almost ready for release, then can we not safely assume that if they agree to stop, based on their past willingness to take direct action, then they will in fact stop?

I would argue, doing so would give room for them to see this solution and then everyone could relax knowing

  1. nothings changed in the NNS
  2. spam is stopped for now
  3. A fix for spam will be implemented and has DFINTY’s funding
  4. @ysyms achieved their goal in all reality which should be celebrated as a community.

Maybe we should also have the ability to add votes on a discussion that has been put up on the Dfinity forum so we can gauge the majority response as a choice instead of a written response, maybe members feel uncomfortable with written responses from other members and then we all have a democratic outcome without the need or before we add a proposal on the NNS.

Maybe add the ability to change the vote as new arguments come up that may have changed our mind.

Thank you for starting this forum post @wpb

Here is some initial feedback (reflecting only my personal opinion, as syndication within DFINITY will take a few days)

  • I fully agree that NNS proposals do not seem to be an appropriate forum for expressing opinion/frustrations. This forum or other platforms where replies & discussions are possible seem much more suitable.
  • Raising the rejection fees seems like a quick fix for this issue at hand.
  • We should discuss how we can facilitate submissions by community members in case of higher rejection fees. I think the kind of crowdfunding you suggest for this proposal is a good approach (and we should communicate this clearly so that people who are interested in submitting proposals are aware of this). Potentially some community members (who had been crowdfunded) could offer to submit proposals for others. I would be also happy to support here.
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Thanks for your response @bjoernek. I would definitely be happy to help on your last point. I have submitted many proposals on behalf of others in the past and will be willing to continue performing that service. If a proposal reject fee is fully funded, then I don’t mind submitting a proposal even if I disagree or I think it will be rejected.


Raising the fee to 100 will stop the momentum we have for name neurons. I’d rather progress that and deal with a bit of spam.

The following proposal is still a valid,quick solution and pairs nicely with the voter based rewards as well. It would eliminate publicity for all but “spam” from large whales(who likely have financial stake to be heard regardless). Proposal to restrict rewards qualification to a threshold - #2 by wpb

I don’t think it will stop the momentum if these register known neuron proposals are crowdfunded and a 3rd party is willing to offer a service to submit these proposals.

If there were high confidence that a register known neuron proposal will pass (so the proposal reject fee is not lost), then it may not be necessary to crowdfund the full proposal reject fee. In order to build confidence that it will pass, specific criteria could be defined to justify a lower crowdfund amount. For example, all register known neuron proposals must start with a 4 day post in the Governance category on the forum, must contain the neuron name, neuron ID, description of the neuron and voting policy, and social media links for the registrant. If these criteria are met and nobody identifies a reason there would be risk of rejection when submitting the proposal, then the crowdfund only needs to meet a lower threshold. If these criteria are not met or someone identifies why there is risk, then the full proposal reject fee must be crowdfunded in order for a 3rd party to be willing to submit the proposal for the registrant.

Of course, there is nothing preventing a registrant from submitting their proposal themselves and paying the full proposal reject fee no matter how high. The point is just that it is possible to continue the momentum of adding register known neurons at a lower cost using 3rd party submission and crowdfunding.

Making proposals should be very expensive by design. Is somebody you want to make a change to the network then they need to put the money with a mouth is. Every single major blockchain has massive cost to change the protocol. So should the internet computer. At least with the IC you get your money back if it’s adopted.


The difficulty should be having the proposal accepted not getting it on the NNS.


Total opposite. A proposal should be good enough to get accepted easily. The threshold for acceptance should be 75%, not 50%+1.

I know @ysyms, and he is actually a straightforward and honest young man who expresses his views and puts them into practice, who challenges authority and takes responsibility for his own actions.
The spam proposal by @ysyms is a good test to improve the security of the NNS system. The spam proposal by @ysyms is much better than the real attacks that want to disrupt the IC, and I think @ysyms is helping us to prevent these potential attacks. We should thank rather than denigrate him.

This topic of avoiding spam proposals has been around for a long time, I don’t understand why we still need an interim solution to avoid it?

Last time it was raised from 1 ICP to 10 ICP
This time it will be raised from 10 ICP to 100 ICP
In the future it will be raised from 100 ICP to 1000 ICP?

I understand that you want to solve this problem, but I would prefer a permanent solution to a temporary one.


That’s wishful thinking, everyone has a different opinion on how the same problem should be tackled and it’s hard to estimate when consensus has been reached without the NNS.

Platforms like this forum, Twitter, DSCVR, etc… can become eco chambers and public perception can be influenced by users with multiple accounts. The NNS is the closest thing we have to an actual democratic vote and since governance proposals don’t result in immediate on chain actions, I think it’s fine to use them as a poll of sorts, if you think about it that’s what they are at the end of the day as recent events showed.

On PoW chains consensus on IP is reached when enough miners signal support in the blocks they mine, I see governance proposals as the IC equivalent, a way to get as unadulterated feedback as possible on what the community thinks about a certain topic, but what we really should keep an eye on are the code changes and system upgrade proposals.

I agree but imo only for some topics like tokenomics, 75% might also be a bit too high, maybe 66% + 1? Same as number of nodes to sign a block.

I assume you were writing this response to me. Please don’t interpret this proposal as a denigration of @ysyms. That is not the intent. I have a healthy respect for @ysyms and the impact he has had on IC governance. I have been impressed with how much he has motivated the community to engage in governance over the last several months. This proposal is intended to address the very real threat of spam attacks that can exist for advertisement or political gain. As @ysyms has indicated many times on the forum, this attack vector is based on low proposal cost and the lack of any other mechanism to block it at this time. My hope is that this proposal addresses that issue in a diplomatic and intellectually honest way. I have no interest in criticizing @ysyms. I prefer to focus on facts and not personal attacks.

Regarding the proposal reject fee…I don’t know the right amount at this time. I guess it will depend on whether or not there are very many advertisement spam attacks launched. To me, the fee should be increased until it is just high enough make them infrequent.

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From my read, this is my take on a plan.

The NNS is not the place to add ad-hoc proposal but a proposal should be judge and agreed to before going onto the NNS.

This forum is where proposals for the NNS should be raise and argue till a consensus is reached and then all will know the purpose and reason to vote, accept and then no need for a cost of a rejected proposal which could be set at a million to deter spammers and no fear of a genuine proposal not being accepted as we have agreed and secure the success as a community.

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Thanks for your fair comments on @ysyms, really appreciated :heartbeat:. I just want peoples to know what kind of person @ysyms is.

To me, the fee should be increased until it is just high enough make them infrequent.

Regarding the proposal reject fee. I don’t think the spam proposals are now so frequent that we have to take a temporary motion to stop. 79944 is the 1th spam proposal for advertisement, it’s not 10th. are we overreacting? :sweat_smile:

The temporary solution only can reduce the chances of spam proposal, But it doesn’t completely avoid spam proposal. I think the negative impact is greater than the benefit of the temporary solution.

  1. Rising cost of proposal participation makes it difficult for communities or individuals to participate
  2. Now there are not too many proposals, but too few. More proposals mean more participation, and more participation means more good proposals are raised.
  3. More and more temporary solutions (55141, 70015, and the proposal we now talking about) are causing the community to stop believing that NNS proposal decisions are being made based on long-term benefits.

My solution:
In order to avoid the impact of spam proposals on the majority of people, we only need to control the range of people whose spam proposals are displayed. For the majority of people, only proposals with a certain threshold of proposal approval rate (e.g. 10%) will be displayed by default in NNS, which will filter the probability of the majority of spam proposals being displayed without sacrificing the right of the general public to participate in the proposals.
Of course, if someone wants to see all proposals, they can simply lower this threshold to 0.

I would prefer a complete solution that not only prevents spam proposals, but also has a positive impact on community participation in NNS governance than a temporary solution.

Happy to receive all your response. :grinning:

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As long as the current exchange rate mechanism (which is currently responsible for the vast majority of NNS proposals) is in place, the reject fee should not be increased any further.

The reason is that it is always possible for exchange rate proposals to be rejected (usually, due to network issues, preventing the conversion rate providers from casting their votes in time). When the conversion rate provider neurons run out of ICP, the ICP/XDR rate will no longer be up-to-date until the they are topped up.

I agree with those who are in favor of implementing a more permanent solution to the spam problem instead. Personally, I think the first step should be the “voter-based” rewards mechanism discussed here.

If the reject fee is to be increased anyway to prevent advertisement spam, this should be done after the new exchange rate mechanism is deployed.


I propose to remove ICPMN Neuron from front-end so that they don’t continue centralising NNS with useless proposals like this one. No offense.

100 ICP? Really?

Also DFINITY employees are members of ICPMN. Just saying.

Special Projects x ICPMN x DFINITY = Insider Computer Protocol

This proposal has nothing to do with ICPMN, but you know that already. This proposal topic is my suggestion, Wenzel Bartlett (wpb), acting as an individual contributor to governance related to the IC.

Feel free to submit any proposal you want. If it’s a good one then it will pass. If it passes, you will keep the fee…meaning that good proposals don’t cost anything.

The ICPMN is very transparent about voting
members and voting policy. You have been provided this link many times in the past, but here it is again for your easy reference.

100 ICP ? What about if ICP reach 1000$ ?
Is it really so much disturbing ? Maybe we should continue to ignore the spam. I prefer a bad person who submit a proposal than 1 good one censored by the fees. The situation seems acceptable now. We shouldn’t give them more energy and wait to see what happen in future. Let them lost 10 ICP. Perfection will not exist in democraty. The goal is not to reach perfection but an acceptable level of imperfection.