Ok, I don't care that much about moderation. To begin with, the moderators get to have the kind of community they want. That's how that works. If they don't want your content, you should take it elsewhere. That said, this community should probably start having a discussion about what they want, and how they want it to look. So, I thought I would give a little bit of advice to the mods, should they choose to accept it, and all of you out in Bitcoinlandia can take it for what it's worth because... well... this is a community of whiney little babies, and I can't imagine how hard it must be to not listen to the constant complaining. I, myself, am regularly moderated, which I usually face by sending a quick message off to a mod or two. Frankly, I don't care that much if I'm moderated, but I do find moderation ironic in a world filled with anarchists.
Now, I'm often called a bully and a troll. They are distinctions I'm fine with. The only thing I really care about is truth, and I hate when people show up here and try to convince the community of things that are untrue.
When I started in Bitcoin I was much younger and much more naive. I remember negotiating to purchase bitcoins with Paypal with people forever ago, or free Bitcoins that were given out of faucets. I remember Bitcoinica and the weird failure. I remember the first edition of Bitcoin Magazine. I remember when [email protected]
was asking for money, and I watched as people gave it to him. The forums were abuzz with rumors that he was investing in dark markets, and that's how his returns were so incredible. I didn't know enough then. I remember sitting there watching it and thinking, "how can you know that it's a ponzi" as others accused him loudly of running an obvious scheme. I remember when Matthew N. Wright made a bet with the community of (I believe) 10,000 Bitcoins that it Pirate would pay, and when that time passed, Matthew withdrew his bet, and told everyone he was teaching them a lesson. He was drummed out of the community, gave up his equity in Bitcoin magazine and the other dozen projects he was a part of. I remember when bitinstant came about and saved us all so much time, as we had to go to our local drug store and pick up the weird blue phone. An Indian would pick up and you would feed him a random set of numbers. Then suddenly, a few hours/days/indeterminate amount of time later, money would show up at Mt. Gox. I remember TradeFortress, and the Bruce Wagner ordeal, and dozens and dozens and dozens of other weird scams or things that looked like scams. I remember when mining started and people began bilking investors out of mining contract profits. And I remember getting scammed myself numerous times. And always, scammers feed on one thing: your personal greed. I was taken for many many Bitcoin by TradeFortress when he offered a Bitcoin index fund. I thought I was being reasonable when I put my money into the slow-growth fund. The returns that were promised were far less than all the other scams, what could go wrong? In a world where people were promising to double your money every month, TF promised only that he would double it every year or so. Reasonable, right? When I went to withdraw my funds... they weren't there. I didn't know then what I know now.
I remember sitting in the audience at the first North American Bitcoin conference put on by Pumper Moe Levin. By that time, I'd become fairly sensitive to scammers in the space, though I'm still surprised by their brazenness. I even tweeted about one scam that was pitching shares in an oil drilling company https://twitter.com/junseth/status/427102576824582144
. It was there that I saw Neo&Bee stand in front of a packed room and explain their plan to bring freedom and wonder to the people of Greece. I remember feeling uneasy about the polish of the pitch. It looked great, but I didn't understand a goddamn thing they said. I didn't trust my gut. Months later, millions had been stolen, and the CEO was flaunting his newfound wealth on Facebook as he took pictures of himself in nice cars. All of us sat there and watched that happen. And since then, I have heard dozens of others who were in the audience tell me that they also were as uneasy as I was about the Neo&Bee presentation. None of us said anything because we are blinded by our desire for this to work.
After Neo&Bee, I promised myself I would never let something that sat uneasy rest without asking probative questions. I was called a troll for attacking bitcoin-trader.biz when bitcoin
took their money as the main sponsor of Coins in the Kingdom. They were an obvious ponzi, and he let them show up to try to bilk the community. That's fine. I'm happy to let Sean profit, in spite of himself. It speaks poorly of his character and makes me know that he will put his own desire for popularity or success or whatever the fuck it is ahead of the wellbeing of those he is hosting. But in lieu of my promise, I camped myself at the Bitcoin-trader.biz table for the remainder of the weekend, and explained to everyone who spoke with the man and woman behind the table (themselves investors in the ponzi) why it was an obvious scam.
"We do arbitrage to make 1% per day," the man behind the table would say. They had a live feed of all the arbitrage that they said they were doing.
There is a simple investment mindtrick called the rule of 72. Basically, if someone is giving you a percentage return, you can figure out how long it will take to double your money. You divide 72 by the percentage, but make sure to keep the units the same. So at 1% per day, they are promising a doubling of your money every 72 days, or 5x per year. So a quick extrapolation would mean that if you put $10 in on day one, 365 days later, you would be able to pull out $320 and 730 days later (2 years) you'd have earned a cool $10k. Three years in, if you invested $10, you'd have earned over $300k. Does that sound reasonable to you? "So what you're telling me is that if I give you $10 today, in 3 years, you'll give me over $300,000?"
"No, that's not what I said," the guy manning the booth told me. "I told you 1% per day."
So I did the math for him, which he scoffed at, but which seemed convincing enough to the people thinking of investing. Those two threatened to sue me and they went back to Canada, where they emailed the head of the Bitcoin-trader.biz group. They pressed him for an audit after my so-called trolling, and then a week and a half later, he disappeared with their money and a few million dollars more. In the aftermath, I had a call with the man behind the booth. He said something like, "I thought that the guy who was standing at our booth all weekend was trolling us, but when the fund closed, I realized he knew something we didn't."
Here's the thing, probative questions are uncomfortable. I have been around these parts pretty long, and I'm incredibly familiar with the technology for a guy who doesn't know a lick about comp-sci. You have seen my memes
batted about, and you may have even used them yourself in spite of hating me. You may listen to Bitcoin Uncensored
even though you hate the Bitcoin gossip. You might have even accidentally been subject to my ire in a debate you accidentally got into with me. The reality is, I create a huge amount of the content that Bitcoiners consume. Others like u/eragmus
, and even u/americanpegasus
are doing content and curation as well. You can hate our content, you can like our content, but the reality is that these communities are built by maybe 1% of us content creators. I enjoy the childish requests for no moderation, because behind the curtain, most of you will run like a child to any of the many moderators here and tell on people. The Open Bazaar team just did it to me, and I got warning from moderator u/Aussiehash
whom I told to fuck off. What everyone really means when they say they don't like censorship, is that they don't like censorship of the content they want to consume. The instant they are offended, they want that content censored. Words like troll are used against people whose content you don't like, hijacking posts is the word used for the person creating the most content in a post. Recently, Andreas Antonopoulos (despite being on the front page lamenting the censorship) blocked me on Twitter because Tatianna Moroz told him I'm a sexist. Again, fine, but ironic considering the claim that one is against censorship carte blanche. Adam Levine censored me while trying to prove that he's completely against censorship.
Me, I don't care about censorship. Community's are built through some kind of pruning. The kind of community I like is one that self-polices and makes prunes itself much like Wikipedia. Those that don't want to be a part of it, don't have to be, and those that want to be a part of it choose themselves to participate. Censorers are always vilified. So I don't do it. I don't do it at all. So the great question is not whether you should censor, but who gets to decide who gets to censor. So here's my proposal. Everyone, stick around bitcoin
. It's a great place, and u/theymos
has done a pretty darn good job of not fucking shit up. Do I agree with his current moderation decisions? I wouldn't have done what he did. But I don't think this is a moral question. On the other end, I have bitcoinarchy
. I have set it up, me and u/brighton36
will be the only moderators. And our only promise is that we won't moderate anything. And we have a history of being completely unrelenting in our unwillingness to censor. So now you can't say dick. You can hate me, you can love me, but if what you are ACTUALLY looking for is a uncensored forum, then join my subreddit. Somehow, I'm willing to bet that most of you are looking for a place that does the kind of censorship you like, and not no censorship.
Does that solve everybody's problem? u/ThePiachu
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