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741  Other / Meta / Re: New investigations board & restrictions on posting personal information on: August 05, 2016, 11:14:13 PM
Is that reportable too?

Yes. They'll at least be nuked, and then maybe I will rename the user.
742  Other / Meta / Re: New investigations board & restrictions on posting personal information on: August 05, 2016, 08:52:33 PM
OK, I changed the text.
743  Other / Meta / Re: New investigations board & restrictions on posting personal information on: August 05, 2016, 08:15:28 PM
The search page encourages people to use the google search. So if a person who is a full member, were to be doing a trade with "John Smith" from "Springfield" and this person is sending a Western Union payment and expects to receive Bitcoin in return, then this person might use the custom Google search to search for "John Smith Springfield" then the Custom Google search will come back with no results, even if there is a thread in investigations warning people that "John Smith" from Springfield has scammed many people for smallish amounts each (all adding up to a large sum).

Yeah, only public sections are indexed by Google. If you're looking for something in Investigations, you'll have to use the forum's built-in search.
744  Other / Meta / Re: New investigations board & restrictions on posting personal information on: August 05, 2016, 05:06:08 PM
Do you think this would meet this criteria (also this thread should probably be moved)? Would this ("...go away or I post your dox...")?

I don't know enough about those cases to say. If you think so, create a new topic in Meta with your reasoning.

I would argue that this probably meets the criteria for an exception -- this guy has scammed many people for a large total amount over a very long time.

For now, I'm thinking that maybe the whole idea of publishing dox should be reexamined. What does it really gain? If people are going to use the dox to illegally harass this person, then that's not a good result. If people are using the information for legal cases and police reports, then that is good, but I think that in most cases this can be done from the non-public Investigations board.

On a case-by-case basis, I'd like to see a utilitarian argument in Meta about exactly what is gained by publishing specific bits of uncovered info. For example, maybe there is significant utility in publishing this person's name and general location, to warn others, but not his full address. Another thing which must be addressed is how we can be sure that the person being doxxed is the person who did the scamming, and that they are actually guilty of the scamming. I certainly don't want to return to the scammer tag era of me single-handedly deciding these things. After a few of these cases are hammered out in Meta, perhaps a uniform policy will emerge.

Say there is a thread in "Service Announcements" promoting a scheme which appears suspicious, posted by username XYZ.
A bit of research done perfectly legally by searching publically available data linked to XYZ and his scheme on company names, addresses and other info provided in that thread shows that in real life XYZ is John Doe, with an MO of questionable practices/outright scams/failed enterprises.
Will this new initiative prevent posts in that thread linking XYZ to John Doe and asking whether or not this is him and his history?
Instead, should I post a new thread in "Investigations" and crosslinks in the two threads? Will this be acceptable?

Yes, cross-linking is good. Post your conclusions in Scam Accusations (eg. x is an alt of y, x has a history of scamming, etc.), but keep the investigations themselves in Investigations. My idea is that trustworthy members will export any important information about alts, trustworthiness, etc. from Investigations, while keeping the actual private information in a non-public section.

Is this an indication of your personal view of the (lack of) importance and desirability of these type of posts?

No, that's just where it ontologically belongs.

If someone has dox in their signature do we report one post or all posts and how will moderators deal with that?

Report one of their posts. If they don't have any posts, post in Meta about it.

When a user is autobanned (ie. a specific type of permaban initiated by moderators, but then put in place automatically), their signature is cleared. If a user doesn't deserve a permaban, then either they can be autobanned and unbanned by one of the mods with manual-ban permissions, or else an admin can adjust their signature directly.

How will the custom Google search (found in between help and donate) handle threads in the investigations section?

They'll be deindexed a while after being moved.
745  Other / Meta / Re: New investigations board & restrictions on posting personal information on: August 05, 2016, 05:03:45 AM
However, on the other hand I think it's also beneficial to have accurate dox information publicly accessible for everyone, especially potential employers of these scammers.

My first draft of this policy was 3x longer and had a process for moving info out of Investigations, but the other mods and I were thinking that this was too complex.

Let's wait and see how much demand for moving stuff out of Investigations there really is.
746  Other / Meta / Re: New investigations board & restrictions on posting personal information on: August 05, 2016, 04:44:46 AM
Would it be beneficial to report posts/threads that aren't in the Investigation section yet but should be located there?

Yes. In fact, reporting is especially important for this because you often have to follow these cases pretty closely to notice doxxing. I was only able to quickly find a handful of threads that should be moved.

I'm also curious about protecting the innocent when attempting to dox scammers. If a dox is made of the wrong person (for example, someone with the same name as the scammer, or living at the same address as the scammer) will this information be removed from the website if proof is given that the information is inaccurate?

No, that's the point of the Investigations board. I was receiving many reports from people who were apparently incorrectly identified in this way, or from people who may have actually been innocent, and it just seemed unreasonable to leave the posts where Google can index them. However, in the interest of free speech and open debate, they can exist (even if incorrect) in the Investigations section.
747  Other / Meta / New investigations board & restrictions on posting personal information on: August 05, 2016, 04:23:54 AM
The reason that doxxing has been allowed up until now is that it's occasionally very useful in scam investigations. However, oftentimes doxxing someone is used as a weapon in itself instead of a part of any investigation, and as a result innocent people are sometimes hurt. So to protect the innocent while hopefully not hampering scam investigations too much, here are some new rules on doxxing:

1. Personal information must be confined to the new "investigations" board (under Scam Accusations), which is only visible to Members and above. Personal information is defined as anything which links a user's online identity (username, email, etc.) to their meatspace identity, excluding links that the person himself has posted. It is not allowed to post somebody's personal information in any other public place, including in signatures.
2. It is not allowed to post someone's dox if it is especially obvious that you're just using the dox as a weapon. For example, if there are no remotely-plausible trade complaints, then the person can't be a scammer, and their dox should not be posted.
3. As before, anything that the legacy insecure government/banking system requires to be secret is not allowed anywhere. This includes social security numbers, credit card numbers, and certain account numbers.

This applies retroactively to old posts. If a thread contains a lot of personal information strewn throughout it, then the whole thread will be moved to Investigations. If it's only a few posts, then those will be split off. From now on, it's probably a good idea to create two threads for big scammers: one in Scam Accusations and one in Investigations.

From time to time there may be cases where it is very desirable to publish some results of an investigation. For example, if a class action lawsuit is filed, then the person's username should probably at least be publicly linked to the legal case so that other people can join in. For now, there is no uniform policy for this, and if you need to make some personal info public, post in Meta and we will deal with it on a case-by-case basis.
748  Other / Meta / Re: I've been off the scene for over 4 years. Bitcointalk profile BTC address?? on: August 03, 2016, 05:41:05 PM
Addresses are never automatically added to your profile. scans to create those labels.
749  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitfinex discovered a security breach and halted trading! on: August 02, 2016, 08:20:37 PM
The rumor I heard is that BitFinex was set up such that although all BTC was held with BitGo, which apparently has reasonable cold storage practices etc., the BitFinex<->BitGo settlement setup was such that anyone with BitFinex's (hot, online) key could withdraw large amounts of money from the BitGo accounts at any time. Exactly how much could've been stolen would depend on how much BitGo allowed BitFinex to "settle" at one time, but I don't know the details of how that worked.

Sort of reminiscent of having a "cold storage wallet" that will blindly follow the instructions of the live server... (Though maybe some limits were enforced.)

I'd suspect that BitFinex is insolvent, though I definitely don't know for sure. Still, I recommend withdrawing everything as soon as possible.
750  Other / Meta / Re: Proposal: remove steemit links on: August 02, 2016, 08:35:59 AM
It seems to me that steem is a classic scamcoin, and steemit is being astroturfed like crazy. However, if a steemit link contains substantial, on-topic content, then the shadyness of steem/steemit doesn't warrant removing the link.

But if people are posting low-content steemit links in low-content posts, or posting steemit links constantly, then this should be reported. (Note that we might give a little extra leeway for steemit posts in the steem/steemit threads.)
751  Economy / Speculation / MOVED: ETC price speculation on: August 02, 2016, 05:31:00 AM
This topic has been moved to Speculation (Altcoins).
752  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 181 on: August 01, 2016, 07:05:57 AM
The forum sells ad space in the area beneath the first post of every topic page. This income is used primarily to cover hosting costs and to pay moderators for their work (there are many moderators, so each moderator gets only a small amount -- moderators should be seen as volunteers, not employees). Any leftover amount is typically either saved for future expenses or otherwise reinvested into the forum or the ecosystem.

Ads are allowed to contain any non-annoying HTML/CSS style. No images, JavaScript, or animation. Ads must appear 3 or fewer lines tall in my browser (Firefox, 900px wide). Ad text may not contain lies, misrepresentation, or inappropriate language. Ads may not link directly to any NSFW page. Ads may be rejected for other reasons, and I may remove ads even after they are accepted.

There are 10 total ad slots which are randomly rotated. So one ad slot has a one in ten chance of appearing. Nine of the slots are for sale here. Ads appear only on topic pages with more than one post, and only for people using the default theme.


- Your ads are guaranteed to be up for at least 7 days.
- I usually try to keep ads up for no more than 8 or 9 days.
- Sometimes ads might be up for longer, but hopefully no longer than 12 days. Even if past rounds sometimes lasted for long periods of time, you should not rely on this for your ads.


Exact historical impression counts per slot:

Info about the current ad slots:

Ad blocking

Hero/Legendary members, Donators, VIPs, and moderators have the ability to disable ads. I don't expect many people to use this option. These people don't increase the impression stats for your ads.

I try to bypass Adblock Plus filters as much as possible, though this is not guaranteed. It is difficult or impossible for ABP filters to block the ad space itself without blocking posts. However, filters can match against the URLs in your links, your CSS classes and style attributes, and the HTML structure of your ads.

To prevent matches against URLs: I have some JavaScript which fixes links blocked by ABP. You must tell me if you want this for your ads. When someone with ABP and JavaScript enabled views your ads, your links are changed to a special randomized URL which redirects to your site when visited. People without ABP are unaffected, even if they don't have JavaScript enabled. The downsides are:
- ABP users will see the redirection link when they hover over the link, even if they disable ABP for the forum.
- Getting referral stats might become even more difficult.
- Some users might get a warning when redirecting from https to http.

To prevent matching on CSS classes/styles: Don't use inline CSS. I can give your ad a CSS class that is randomized on each pageload, but you must request this.

To prevent matching against your HTML structure: Use only one <a> and no other tags if possible. If your ads get blocked because of matching done on something inside of your ad, you are responsible for noticing this and giving me new ad HTML.

Designing ads

Make sure that your ads look good when you download and edit this test page:
Also read the comments in that file.

Images are not allowed no matter how they are created (CSS, SVG, or data URI). Occasionally I will make an exception for small logos and such, but you must get pre-approval from me first.

The maximum size of any one ad is 51200 bytes.

I will send you more detailed styling rules if you win slots in this auction (or upon request).

Auction rules

You must be at least a Jr Member to bid. If you are not a Jr Member and you really want to bid, you should PM me first. Tell me in the PM what you're going to advertise. You might be required to pay some amount in advance. Everyone else: Please quickly PM newbies who try to bid here to warn them against impersonation scammers.

Post your bids in this thread. Prices must be stated in BTC per slot. You must state the maximum number of slots you want. When the auction ends, the highest bidders will have their slots filled until all nine slots are filled.

So if someone bids for 9 slots @ 5 BTC and this is the highest bid, then he'll get all 9 slots. If the two highest bids are 9 slots @ 4 BTC and 1 slot @ 5 BTC, then the first person will get 8 slots and the second person will get 1 slot.

The notation "2 @ 5" means 2 slots for 5 BTC each. Not 2 slots for 5 BTC total.

- When you post a bid, the bids in your previous posts are considered to be automatically canceled. You can put multiple bids in one post, however.
- All bid prices must be evenly divisible by 0.05.
- The bidding starts at 0.25.
- I will end the auction at an arbitrary time. Unless I say otherwise, I typically try to end auctions within a few days of 10 days from the time of this post, but unexpected circumstances may sometimes force me to end the auction anytime between 4 and 22 days from the start.
- If two people bid at the same price, the person who bid first will have his slots filled first.
- Bids are considered invalid and will be ignored if they do not specify both a price and a max quantity, or if they could not possibly win any slots

If these rules are confusing, look at some of the past forum ad auctions to see how it's done.

I reserve the right to reject bids, even days after the bid is made.

You must pay for your slots within 24 hours of receiving the payment address. Otherwise your slots may be sold to someone else, and I might even give you a negative trust rating. I will send you the payment information via forum PM from this account ("theymos", user ID 35) after announcing the auction results in this thread. You might receive false payment information from scammers pretending to be me. They might even have somewhat similar usernames. Be careful.
753  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 180 on: August 01, 2016, 07:01:34 AM
Auction ended. Final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
6 1.05 BitcoinVideoPoker
3 1.00 victorhing
754  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 180 on: July 30, 2016, 12:43:58 AM
5 @ 0.9

Sorry, but you currently have negative trust from my perspective, so I will not accept your bid.
755  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: For those who think that Bitcoin is ruled by miners on: July 28, 2016, 11:40:31 AM
but practically it wont work and would cause more issues, rather than benefits.

I'm not proposing this. I'm putting forward a system that is to my mind clearly broken, but then I claim that this is no different from the hypothetical Bitcoin in which miners have ultimate control, which is how a lot of people believe Bitcoin actually works.

well i think you are proposing a second database where each transaction accumulates upto 6000 signatures (because there are 6000 nodes) making a transaction chain bloated.

Only up to 40 distinct nodes are selected to be signers at any one time, and only 20 of them actually have to sign any particular transaction.
756  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / For those who think that Bitcoin is ruled by miners on: July 28, 2016, 11:21:57 AM
I'm often frustrated that a lot of people think that Bitcoin is absolutely ruled by the majority of miners, and that miners are kept honest only by various magical incentives. This is false, of course, but for those who believe it, I have a proposal for a far better new cryptocurrency:

The cryptocurrency has two chains, the mining chain and the transaction chain. The mining chain works just like Bitcoin except that it has a target time of 6 hours between blocks, and these blocks don't contain any transactions. Like Bitcoin, miners who mine a block on the mining chain get some coins. Say that the most recent block on the mining chain is MBlock 0. The miners who mined MBlocks 21 through 60 are designated "transaction signers".

To send a transaction, you create it, sign it, and send it to all of the current transaction signers. (In their blocks, signers will publish a public key and some IP addresses for contacting them.) If the transaction is valid, the signers will sign and date the transaction and return it to the sender. Signers get a small fee for this. The sender then gives the signed transaction to the recipient directly. The recipient knows it's valid because it's signed by a majority of the current transaction signers.

To keep track of the current ledger, the miners maintain amongst themselves a no-PoW transaction chain, which could just be one transaction per block. Since all transactions will be signed and dated by a majority of transaction signers, there can be no ambiguity about the correct ordering of transactions. Double-spending is impossible unless there's tampering by miners.

This has several advantages over Bitcoin:
- Transactions are always confirmed in seconds, and once confirmed they always have the maximum level of security (no need for a variable number of confirmations).
- End-users just need to download the mining chain's headers, which will be only a few MB in total, plus the most recent couple hundred full mining chain blocks, which will be another few MB. Non-miners only need to download their own incoming transactions.
- Since only miners need to maintain the current ledger info and see global transaction traffic, this is far more scalable than Bitcoin.

As far as I can tell, this network would have exactly the same level of security as a hypothetical Bitcoin network in which miners have 100% control over everything. For those who believe that Bitcoin is ruled by miners in this way, I put forward the following questions:

- If Bitcoin was intended to be ruled by miners, then why didn't Satoshi design Bitcoin as I described above? It'd be far simpler and better.
- If you see any problems with the above design, why don't they apply to your view of how Bitcoin works?
- In this design, what incentive do miners have not to collude together in order to create more coins than originally planned, or to steal coins from people? Maybe they wouldn't want to risk causing people to lose faith in the system, but whenever there is any possible justification for such action (deflation, stolen coins, etc), why wouldn't they jump at the chance?
- In the above design, what is the point of the mining chain at all? Wouldn't it be better to carefully select 20-40 extremely trustworthy entities to do the signing? In light of this, how do you justify any of Bitcoin's design?

In reality, Bitcoin is not ruled by miners because full nodes will ignore blocks that actively break the rules, no matter how many miners support such blocks, and full nodes can (and must) change the PoW function if miners are maliciously blocking or reordering transactions. It is absolutely essential for Bitcoin's security that a large chunk of the economy be backed by full nodes, or else Bitcoin devolves into a particularly inefficient version of the cryptocurrency I described above.
757  Other / Meta / Re: Can one's PM be full? on: July 27, 2016, 08:18:42 PM
I am not really sure that I understand why, but according to theymos, after you have a certain number of PMs in your inbox, it will take longer to access your PMs. I have 515+ pages of messages in my inbox and it takes a noticeably longer amount of time to access my inbox, verses how long it takes me to access my inbox in accounts with ~20 pages of PMs.

It started being noticeably slow when I had 200 or so pages of messages in my inbox.

Right. When you load any PM page, it actually does some processing of all of your PMs. The SQL query is really complicated, so I haven't been able to figure out how to optimize this. (After you load one page, it'll be fast for a while due to caching.)

Also see:
I actually have code written for exporting PMs into an mbox file compatible with Thunderbird, but I haven't gotten around yet to figuring out how best to present this functionality to users. (It's unusual because it takes a bit of time to generate and the resulting file should maybe be encrypted.)

If any established members have a strong need for it, I can manually create an export for you. For example, if you have so many PMs that the PM page is slow to load for you, you can get a PM export from me and then use the "purge PMs" feature. I'll probably only do this one time per person...
758  Other / Meta / Re: Question about Forum finances on: July 22, 2016, 05:59:00 PM
Wow, that's a lot of expenses.  Was that calculated using the current price of bitcoin at the time that you paid those?  They were paid in bitcoins, right?

Yes, it's the value at the time of the transaction. All income and most expenses were paid in BTC.
759  Other / Meta / Re: Question about Forum finances on: July 22, 2016, 05:33:25 PM
I haven't finished with 2015 yet.

2014 is as follows:

Donations: $114.78
Ads: $419,671.12
Fees & services: $10,886.03
Forum software project: $1,151,595.23
Other contractors: $39,297.05
Mod payments: $104,575.79
Bounties: $505.30
760  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 179 on: July 22, 2016, 04:58:52 PM
Correction: the auction result is:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
4 0.60 AcoinL.L.C
4 0.60 BitcoinVideoPoker
1 0.50 victorhing
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