Steem
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STEEM · 62w

"Help! My Steemit Post / Comment Disappeared!" - And What This Has To Do With Witnesses

Lately, a few fellow Steemians complained (to me or to other people) that their post or comment just disappeared after initially showing as posted. It happened on the main Steemit.com website, but also on other channels like eSteem or Steepshot.

To understand why this happens and where is your post, you have to understand how the entire Steem ecosystem works.

So, first of all, just to get on with it: if the post /comment disappeared, it is lost. Forever. And ever and ever.

Second, this is how things are working in the Steem ecosystem:

Everything Is A Transaction

All the operations in the Steemit ecosystem are , in fact, transactions. Every post, every comment, every vote, every power up or power down, every transfer, everything. These transactions are not saved in a central database, like it happens in a traditional, database-driven website. Nope.

These transactions are packed, signed (with your posting or active key, so everybody will know they belong to you) and then broadcasted. Like a radio is broadcasting waves to all potential receivers.

This is where it gets interesting.

Every 3 seconds, a witness in the Steemit ecosystem is picking up these transactions, verify them and then pack them into a block. This block is then pushed in the blockchain, where it stays forever. If your post was picked (which happens in 99.99% of cases) it will then be available in the blockchain forever, at the specific address of the block.

If you happen to run a witness node, and if you look at the logs, this is what you see (edited for brevity):

handle_block ] Got 23 transactions on block 13532820 by timcliff handle_block ] Got 39 transactions on block 13532821 by clayop handle_block ] Got 28 transactions on block 13532822 by pharesim handle_block ] Got 29 transactions on block 13532823 by timcliff handle_block ] Got 33 transactions on block 13532824 by klye handle_block ] Got 38 transactions on block...
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