Dead, Inactive and Toxic Nodes

I’m definitely a bit leery of bringing this up, but I do think it’s important to discuss this openly with the community before doing anything more.

The problem is simple: There are a number of nodes on the network who are willingly keeping their nodes offline and collecting rewards while doing nothing in terms of contribution. Some are even openly attacking and spreading misinformation. We’re not talking of being critical, we’re talking about openly disrespecting others.

Setting aside the contribution portion of the argument, I -strongly- believe that a node that is collecting rewards should, at minimum, still keep their nodes online. I would also say we should openly accept criticisms as a community and work to address them, but I personally don’t think we should accept these things from our Public Representatives.

I realize ICON 2.0 is trying to address the node problem at a protocol level and that is awesome, but I’m also wondering if we should consider disqualifications for nodes that have been offline for a long period of time, don’t respond to notifications or communications about this issue and, frankly, who publicly misrepresent, disrespect and attack the community at large.

I absolutely don’t want to “weaponize” the disqualification functionality, but at some point I think we need to address these issues as a community and would love to hear some feedback from others on the subject.

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Well written.

I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who keeps it professional. Venting, saying offensive things, and causing havoc isn’t becoming behaviour for a P-Rep. You don’t do the value of ICX any favours running your mouth in public.

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I think that p-reps and should be held to a high standard as they are a representative of ICON. If there is a p-rep who is not doing their MINIMUM job of running a node and/or has some kind of mental or behavioral issue that negatively affects the public perception of the community or the project, it is absolutely our duty to exclude them from the project.

This is not an attack on free speech or ‘censorship’ as some might argue. In any business in the world you cannot openly FUD the company and claim ‘fREe SpEeCh’ and still be involved in the governance of said business.

I believe we need to be WAY MORE strict on p-reps. We need to set a precedent that this type of behavior will exclude you from being involved in the governance of ICON.

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@NorskKiwi Thank you, I think as P-reps we should absolutely be professional. I don’t expect everyone always to have good things to say, but the fact is we can still be respectful, professional and work together to address and solve the issue.

@Cali Can’t agree more, honestly. I agree that P-reps should be held to a higher standard and it’s terribly hypocritical to participate in the governance of ICON on one hand, and then openly FUD, disrespect and attack its community at all, much less in open forum.

I’m considering submitting a proposal to disqualify a number of nodes on the basis of 1) attacking, disrespecting and misrepresenting the ICON community and/or 2) leaving nodes offline while still collecting rewards regularly despite various notifications. However, i’m just a Sub P-Rep so I really wanted to get feedback from other network P-Reps and leaders.

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Before you do submit a proposal I’d advise getting down on paper what you would like to achieve.

Would be prudent of us to be very clear and transparent and give slack teams time to catch up/ask for help. It would be terrible if an honest team that was struggling got caught in the crossfire.

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Definitely my biggest concern and I fully agree. Thank you!

Brandon,

Thank you for writing this. I certainly agree that weaponizing the DQ proposal should not be considered, but I also think that it’s important to use network resources wisely. Since you brought this up, I’ll let you and others lead the charge on what you think the proper direction is. Looking forward to seeing what you put together.

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My initial thought is to create a text proposal to setup the expectations around this discussion.

A couple simple rules/community expectations regarding P-Rep operators:

  1. ICON Public Representatives should endeavor to maintain their node uptime. If a node is demonstrably offline and its team non-responsive for a period of time (30 days?) or more, they may be subject to disqualification through a Network Proposal.

  2. ICON Public Representatives should remain professional and respectful when representing ICON and the community, especially through public communication channels. Those who regularly engage in disrespectful or unprofessional behaviors and do not heed warnings from community members, leaders and other P-reps may be subject to disqualification through a Network Proposal.

This is, of course, keeping in mind that no one has to become a P-rep. It’s voluntary and it’s supposed to represent some level of dedication and work for this community. Personally if you can’t agree to these 2 simple things, then you have no business acting as a representative of this community and earning rewards for doing so.

I also don’t like to have something as “subjective” as #2, but at the end of the day this is OUR community and we should be able to at least have a few basic expectations for the way it’s perceived and run.

Of course, the actual disqualifications come down to a vote from the top 22, so if the Top 22 don’t agree with this reasoning, it’s moot.

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Should people be allowed to be a p-rep if they can’t figure out how to run a node or need to be warned how to act? I think we need a very strict code of conduct for p-reps, more stronger than @Brandon_FBM wrote. If you ‘need help’ constantly getting your node up and it’s been down multiple times for more than a few days, you’re out. If you’re a dickhead and have been for months (years in the case of who were all talking about) you’re out.

This issue blends into another issue of “self staking whale p-reps” that was discussed in another thread. Because the top 22 only vote, this gives these self stakers a huge amount of power over the network. This could lead to a stranglehold over voting power in the future and even the dreaded Sybil attack. I suggest we open voting to the top 100 p-reps. Giving a true voice to voting, not just to the top22 biggest holders.

That is another subject however. Regarding the current thread. We need to hold p-reps highly accountable, many people with know how would love to be p-reps. It’s a privilege not a right. Honestly it is frustrating to see this and not have the people with the power to do so take no action. It is only hurting the project. Strong action is needed now or people will start walking away

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Just so you guys know, if you’re targeting somebody specific which I feel that you are, this person holds over 2M ICX. You can DQ him over and over and he can pay 2k ICX for a new node each time. Doesn’t seem like the right move to me. Just throwing in my 2 cents. I also don’t think it’s wise to go down the route of “we don’t like you, so we’re kicking you out”.

I would be more onboard for the manual removal of nodes that are not online, since this is at least something objective. It’s also something that we will be enforcing at the protocol level in the future, and the manual removal would be a temporary solution.

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As an iconist and not a p-rep i agree that we can’t DQ p-reps for a few tweets that might be Fud or something the top 22 p-reps don’t like. That is a slippery slope and something that goes against the decentralized nature of a public blockchain network in my opinion.

However a p-rep should absolutely run a node. That’s the minimal effort me as a iconist demand from a p-rep. That goes for all p-reps, whatever the rank is.

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I was kind of taken aback from your response @Benny_Options to be honest. Accusing people of the community of being children and simply saying “we don’t like you so you’re out” is kind of offensive and seems like you don’t understand the situation or what we are saying.

We are talking about a history of bad PR thrown out in a public forum combined with not fulfilling the minimum duty of a p-rep to run a node. If the foundation is just going to bend over and let big holders participate in governance just because they hold lots of tokens, I think that uncovers a HUGE problem that will absolutely drive holders both new and old away. It seems very simple for the foundation to stop already disqualified people opening a new node. Hope you take this issue seriously and not treat your holders like little kids.

I am sorry you interpreted my comment that way. I don’t see you as little kids and certainly didn’t intend to imply that.

If you guys want a centralized network, it’s totally possible to go the Proof-Of-Authority route. ICON can choose who becomes a P-Rep and who doesn’t. ICX holdings would be irrelevant.

If you want an open decentralized proof-of-stake network (which we currently have) then people with large ICX holdings will always have a say in how things go. Proof of stake is based on the idea that those who invest the most in the protocol should have the largest say. Proof of stake is fairly common in the industry, right behind proof of work. Every large project outside of Ethereum is using some form of proof of stake. If you want proof of authority (that’s what HashGraph and a handful of others do) then that is certainly possible.

I’m trying to figure out exactly what it is you want @Cali. We can’t have a proof of stake network where we make the amount of stake irrelevant.

I think it’s very clear what I and others “want”, can I clarify anything? I am absolutely open to conversation as I am a large holder from ico and truest care about the long term health and vision of the project. Yes I understand how proof of stake works. And anyone may stake and vote as much as they wish. However the foundation and community should have control over who is allowed to become and stay a p-rep as they become a face, one of many, of the community. What if a terrorist organization or NAMBLA decided they wanted to become an ICON p-rep? Far fetched I know but it is in the realm of possibility, would this be allowed? And what if a competing coin decides to buy a bunch of icon and become p-rep just to block innovation or vote in a bunch of hurtful changes? icon currently is not purely democratic by a long shot and I believe must take steps to protect its vision and integrity.

@Benny_Options Yeah, see this is my concern with all of this, it’s too easily misconstrued as some personal attack rather then an objective observation and then it becomes an issue.

I think that objectively, this person has shown a great deal of disrespect to this community and its members. But they also have no intention of running a node and still collect and sell their rewards too.

It’s a weird situation because we are trying to build and foster a community, but when you have bad actors who claim to be apart of that community who actively try to hurt it and dissuade growth and progress, where do you draw the line?

The practicalities of registering a new node aren’t the concern for me, it’s more about the intent of trying to protect the community. It just so happens that the node in question has also been offline for months at this point.

But it’s -very hard- to see where the line of objectivity is drawn here - I fully agree.

@Sazern Yeah, I get it. I don’t like it much either, but I guess i’m just trying to figure out at what point, as a community, we need to say stop to behavior and have some capacity of trying to enforce that. I’m also legitimately interested in what we should and shouldn’t tolerate as this point from voluntary Public Representatives.

@Cali I can see and understand the frustration, but there are plenty of documented examples of this line of reasoning turning into more of a problem then a solution, unfortunately. I think it’s super important to protect the community and foster growth, but one of the core concepts of THIS community is also decentralization, meaning we move together or not at all. This is a double edged sword case in point.

I guess I was just hoping that we could adopt some relatively simple, objective or guidelines for our P-Reps to follow that had slightly more impact on P-Reps who willingly disregard the community and its members.

It might very well not be achievable in an objective way though. But if we can get our P-Reps to at least operate nodes, that would be helpful in its own right.

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I’d also like to remind everyone of the Blockheads drama. Everyone was screaming DQ and it was out of control. DQ vote should be an absolute last resort. I honestly don’t know what the solution is, but I do think it’s healthy for us all to talk about it.

My main interest, as @Sazern said, is wanting to have offline and inactive nodes removed.

EDIT: I won a planet. Jokes on all of you distracted reading this thread.

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And here we still have blockheads taking rewards and doing nothing, very sad. We have a lot of people who want to be p-reps but there are bad actors and do nothings taking up spots that could be better used by others. We need a stronger code for p-reps ASAP. We need the ability to drop p-reps for inaction and for bad actions. Does ICON currently have any control over p-reps? This has been a major reason why people have sold and why people have not bought in. Seems like it needs to be taken a little more seriously than Benny and others seem to feel about it

Overall I am open to the idea of manually removing offline nodes after trying to reach out to them and see if they can set them up. But don’t forget this will also unstake and undelegate their voters, so some people might get annoyed by this.

@Cali the only way to prevent people from registering a P-Rep is to switch to proof-of-authority, where ICON decides who can run a node and nobody else would be allowed to. If you DQ somebody and they hold ICX, they can register with a different name, a different wallet, a different IP address, etc. etc. This network is decentralized and anonymous like almost all other blockchain networks. The only way to prevent one specific person is to prevent everybody except those you choose yourself. Fwiw I’m not necessarily for or against this model, just stating facts.

My feeling is that the root issue of all of this is the fact that these people are making money for doing nothing. If they weren’t making much money (or making no money at all) then would you still all care about this? Imo, lowering p-rep rewards is a pretty easy first step to take. You can also try to manually remove some dead nodes, and teams that don’t want to pay another 2k ICX or aren’t even paying attention will probably just stay gone. Then on ICON 2.0 this is fixed entirely with the bond and rotating slots anyway. The CPS is launching soon and the ICON Grant program is still quite active, so earning funds for contribution is not an issue at all, it’s the funds being wasted on non-contributors.

@Benny_Options That’s the core issue with the nodes, yes.

But, the catalyst (haha) for this conversation was trying to gauge the community’s ability and willingness to respond to bad actors. But if there isn’t a purely objective way to deal with that, I get that.

Ultimately I know ICON will speak for itself as we continue to develop, build and enhance, but there have been many cases of outright disrespect and personal attacks from a voluntary Public Representative I find distasteful.

It’s one thing to say it as an ICONist, but I want to believe it’s another to say it as a P-Rep, but that might not be possible.

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Would I still care? Sure, it’s the principle of the matter. It’s frustrating to watch a blockchain I am invested in be sucked by dead nodes and angry scorned investors. We need strong rules for p-reps. 1 - 95% uptime. 2 - Behavior damaging to the project is grounds for a vote of disqualification. In my opinion disqualifying someone who maybe kind of “didn’t deserve it” is better than leaving bad actors as p-reps. Doesn’t p-rep stand for public representative?