Way forward on spam - Proposal for tactical fix

hmmmm, a bit late isn’t it…

^ Please NO, we get a 20x reduction for spam incentive with just reverting the votes back to 1, which can be gradually increased to boost the participation.

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It’s very hard to correlate a 3% increase in voting power over several months with spam and to say it’s had a noticeable increase on voter participation.

From the chart image you linked in your comment here, it looks like there’s a near negligible increase and a few dips in participation along the way - I’d eyeball a 80-90% confidence interval of a +/- 5% change in voter participation over the last 3 months. Additionally as an engineer I’m sure you know there’s a big difference between correlation and proving causation.

There have been multiple other events during this same time including Supernova, many new projects/grants/developers coming to the IC ecosystem, and the price of ICP dropping (the ICP price dropping allows more ICP to be bought and staked, potentially resulting in an increase in voter participation) over this time. There’s so many changing variables - it’s a stretch to attribute the near negligible growth in voter participation to “spam”.

The informational campaign you ran in Feb-March had a much, much more significant impact on voter participation - one that could directly be attributed to the daily proposals you put forth and the +20X change to governance voting weight.


Fair enough. I agree.

A proposal just like laws in the real world should be publicized and discussed on various platform, if a proposal doesn’t get enough attention due to spam, then it’s the proposer’s fault, the NNS should be the final step where the community decides, not the complete process.

Could be, but I think it’s mostly cause: 1) There isn’t a topic important enough for the community to make a proposal 2) Even if there were Dfinity wouldn’t implement it right away and eventually it might have to be re evaulated, e.g Way forward on spam - Proposal for tactical fix - #8 by bjoernek.
Besides even with increased cost making as proposal now is cheaper in XDR compared to 7 months ago.

Agreed, but keep in mind the current state of things is the result of proposals both the community and Dfinity voted for, there was no “allow spam proposal to boost APY” proposal, so reverting to a previous state which was deemed imperfect in the past to fix an “issue” the active community is actually getting a benefit from seems a dubious decision in my opinion and makes me doubt Dfinity’s decision making.
If the current situation is considered so bad a temporary band aid is needed, why hasn’t Dfinity considered this scenario BEFORE increasing weights? Why was it fine when they rejected the proposal to revert them just a couple months ago, but it isn’t now coincidentally after someone makes a thread accusing Dfinity to benefit from spam proposals?

I get the impression at times Dfinity doesn’t plan thoroughly when it comes to NNS/tokenomics and is too reactionary.


@bjoernek How would you feel about moving this sentence from “proposal” to “next steps” (which I imagine would not be part of the actual motion proposal)? Then it’s clear that we’d now be voting on changing the weights, and not already endorsing future changes.

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I wrote on this topic a few months ago:
Who's Voting - by Kyle Langham - ICP Analysis? and a little bit here: Who's Voting: Part 2 - by Kyle Langham - ICP Analysis. At the time (early March) about 50% of the total vote was from active voters. I haven’t repeated the analysis since, but I could certainly do so in the near future.


Would love to see that!

Makes sense and is adjusted.

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I think in this scenario (or also in case the spam continues for other reasons) we could increase the submission cost as a further short-term measure until a permanent solution is available.


Yes, I agree that it would also be a sensible option to revert Exchange Rate proposal weight to 1. This was also discussed internally in DFINITY and (as usual) there are pros (this makes spammig even less attrractive) and cons (FX proposals are meant to be removed anyway and real governance proposals would get even less rewarded).
Thus, I plan to submit the current proposal as is (so that the voting can start soon and I can avoid another syndication round) and I am very open to further measures like this next week.

Yes a higher proposal fee would also be a good further option (which does not create engineering effort). And I am sure that DFINITY would be happy to contribute to crowdfunding efforts.

There is one thing I have never quite understood about rewards, say rewards stayed as they are but spam proposals disappeared, if there were no legit governance proposals for an entire year would the APY be lower?

Currently (due to Exchange rate proposals) we always have proposals each day.

Once the Exchange rate proposals are removed, we indeed need a mechanism for dealing with a potentially unclaimed daily reward pot. Probably the easiest option is to carry over the rewards to the following day (otherwise we would create an incentive to submit spam on a day with no other proposals)

Hi all, the proposal is up for voting now.


Will the foundation vote on this proposal?

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I’m for this. Voting on the spam is a pain in my ass. 15 attention minutes a day from developers focusing on creating value is a negative drain on over all ICP price and screws up the signal to noise ratio of people trying to keep up. An temporary fix would be very welcome while we explore long term options.


I’m voting against this proposal. I actively vote and use the NNS daily.

I do not give a sh*t about inactive users missing out.

Not my problem.


Connecting my ledger, merging maturity and voting on all governance proposals doesn’t take me more than 10 minutes, which I’d say are pretty well spent considering they give a considerable higher APY boost.


Spending 10 minutes every day (for proposals that serve no purpose other than spam) multiplied by the number of developers on the IC is a huge waste of time.

If there are truly 1000 devs on the IC, that would be 10,000 minutes or 6.94 days of development wasted every day.

If we asked the citizens of their country to vote on ballot measures every day, but 95% of those measures were spam - everyone would grow complacent and either not vote, or just let someone vote for them.

The biggest danger to the NNS is people losing interest - you may be an exception, but the complacency with spam as the “new normal” is leading many of us to stop voting manually.

I commend @bjoernek and DFINITY for taking action to solve this issue, even if it is against their own short-term financial interests.

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Thing is they dont have to, they could follow a named neuron for spam proposals and only vote when legit ones are submitted or if they don’t want to follow anyone, not voting is also an option if those 10 minutes are too much and they’d rather spend their time doing something else.

If the IC will become a major player in the Crypto space, it’s very much possible we’ll get lots of legit proposals everyday and they won’t be nonsense that only require a couple clicks, we’ll have to either spend time informing ourselves and make a decision or delegate our vote to someone else, in practical terms not much would change from the current scenario so I see it as a non issue. The NNS already provide all the tools to let us decide.

I should be pissed cause I have to login daily and merge maturity manually on all my neurons, that is a waste of time, clicking a couple buttons to get a +5/10% APY boost not so much.

or just let someone vote for them

Yeah that’s literally how most countries work, pretending every single citizen to be informed and vote on all laws is nuts, the power of the NNS is we have the choice to vote ourselves if some topics are of our interest and we can immediately remove support to a party if they betray our trust.


I completely agree that people will and should delegate their vote - that is the beauty of the design of the NNS. There are detailed long term proposals that have been brought forth by the community for providing an easier UX for NNS voters in terms of making sure the proposals reach a certain threshold of support before they community is mandated to vote on them in order to receive rewards. I detailed such a proposal [Proposal] Introduce an incubation period and minimum support threshold for governance proposals, and responded to this exact concern from @cryptoschindler about hundreds of proposals coming in a day here

This being said, what you bring up with the NNS being flooded with legitimate proposals (that aren’t financially motivated) is a separate voter UX problem.

There should not be a financial incentive for spamming the NNS - period.

(Or at least it should be very, very difficult to do so)

I agree with this sentiment. Auto-merging would be a big NNS UX improvement, but that’s for another discussion.

That being said, you forgetting to merge your maturity isn’t as big of a deal as missing a potentially critical vote on the IC.