Cheetah Bot Explained.


[Image by Tambako on flickr. Labeled creative commons.]

To provide an overview of what the @cheetah bot is, and what it does and does not do on the site, I have created this post to hopefully give users an understanding when they click on her name after a comment.

Content Detection: What Cheetah Bot Does.

[Image by user @dmitlex with permission.]

If cheetah detects that an article may not be original content, it creates a comment that lets readers know that the article is likely elsewhere on the internet already. This comment is meant to be understood by the author that they should try and avoid copy pasting. It also informs readers of the article that there is a chance the author is not the original one, and have either copy-pasted or plagiarized.

Even if the submitter is the author, there is nothing wrong with the comment, it simply informs the reader that it is not unique (exclusive) content on Steemit. Voters can choose how to use this information.

What about reposts?
They can be, and are, called out. If you want to repost material on steemit it is your prerogative to do so, just as it is someones prerogative if they flag you for it. For cheetah, it is my choice to notify readers that the content is not original.

Content Detection: What Cheetah Bot Does NOTDo.

Cheetah bot does not detect all cases of plagiarism.
Users should still be vigilant with posts that look oddly similar to a news story, and if they find an original source to the article, I encourage you to write a comment, so others are notified that the content is not original. People who do this generally get upvoted and praised, and articles that plagiarize get flagged to oblivion.

Cheetah bot does not flag you.
That is, when it detects a potential source. This is because it is not perfect, and can’t tell if the author is the same as is posting, and there is the odd occasion where the source isn’t accurate. Feel free to report mistakes to the steemitabuse-classic channel in

Why is copy-paste “bad”?

[Image source. Labeled creative commons.]

Steemit is not Reddit. Steemit is not Facebook. Steemit is a place where original content can, and should, be rewarded. If you feel like you are able to curate good news stories, I welcome you to do so, but I first invite you to understand the following property:

Reddit and Facebook allow you to link to an article, which incites discussion on it. You do not copy and paste an entire article onto Reddit, nor do you copy and paste an entire article into your status in Facebook. What happens instead, is people create a link, then discuss it.

Be the discussion.
Tell us what you think of the article. Why is it important? Does it affect you? What will happen due to it? There are plenty of avenues for discussion. If the community rewards shit posts, that is all we will see in the future.

Secondly, copy paste hurts search engine optimization, which hurts our site. When articles have an original source, the original source is placed higher in ranking compared to steemit. When this happens too often, steemit will be considered a haven of plagiarism, and will be pushed off the rankings of searches (e.g. Google rank). This hurts us, as it means people will not naturally stumble upon steemit, and our user-base will not grow.

Thirdly, upvoting this low-effort content takes away shares of rewards from people who actually do deserve it, who are producing original content. [See this post.]

Fourth, plagiarism and identity theft are ILLEGAL. Do you want steemit, the company, to recieve DMCA notices? Do you want them to drown in legal fees? I hope not. Let’s try and avoid that.


Did you take or make the photo? If not…
Is it copyright protected? — DO NOT USE IT.
Allowed to use it? — CITE THE SOURCE.

The Black List.

Oh dear… Welcome to the dark side of Cheetah.

[Image by danirave on deviantart. Labeled creative commons.]

What is the black list?
It is the place for repeat, unapologetic offenders of plagiarism, scams, spam, or identity theft. This also includes users who attempt to circumvent detection and plagiarize.

Cheetah will make a comment to warn readers that the person has been manually found guilty by a reputable member of our community to be continuously involved of one or more of the above categories. Cheetah may automatically flag you, especially if it is a spammer, so the content becomes less visible.

Is it possible to get off the black list?
Yes – when one makes an appeal (e.g. a post saying they understand) and has clear intent to stop plagiarizing or spamming. They should also join, and make their case in the steemitabuse-appeals channel. Identity thieves will never leave the abyss.

What if I see a post from cheetah saying a user has been blacklisted?
I won’t tell you how to vote here. But remember that these users are only the worst of the offenders; so use your judgement by looking at their post history, or use your trust of the user who put them on the black list. I encourage you to be careful upvoting, at the very least.

The White List.

The friendlier side of Cheetah.

[Image by annemaria48 on deviantart. Labeled creative commons.]

In contrast to the black list, the white list is for members that have been accredited and found to be original authors of cross-posted materials.

Should you ask to be on the white list?
Probably not. It is NOT for people who have “verified”. It is for people who are posting content in multiple locations at the same time. In addition, these users are ensuring that the other location in which the material is posted, also contains a cross-reference to the steemit article, just as the steemit article contains a link to the secondary location.

I will remove users from the whitelist who do not do this.

Who has Authorization to Control the Black and White Lists?

The only members who control the lists are myself (@anyx), and a few users whom are witnesses. I trust these individuals for two reasons:

  1. I know them.
  2. Their reputation as a witness makes them careful choosing whom to ban.

As I also am a backup witness, keeping reputation is important to me too, which makes me careful.
Don’t forget, you can and should vote for witnesses here.

Attempting to Circumvent Detection.

[Source: quickmeme.]

Attacking Me.

[Image by arvalis on deviantart. Labeled creative commons.]

Flagging me or cheetah because you got caught, shows me your stance on plagiarism. So go ahead, join the ranks of people flagging @cheetah and @anyx all day long.
Good luck.

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