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Author Topic: A suggestion to deal with bad BTC PR  (Read 1540 times)
Tyrion
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September 14, 2012, 05:21:50 PM
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If we want for BTC to take off in the near future as a legitimate currency by the mainstream, then we must take steps to limit bad PR damage from the numerous "scam" accusations that have taken place on this forum. I believe taht it is very demoralizing for a new user to come here and see that most forum posts are taken up by people cry babying that they have been "taken advantage of" because they chose to make bad investments and it does far more harm to the Bitcoin reputation than it ever helps them in getting any of their money back.

Given that this community is for the purpose of spreading the word on Bitcoin and given given that it is one of the first places new Bitcoiners and the curious are likely to check when they are just finding out about bitcoin, it would behoove the mods here to limit the scam whining from being seen by them. For instance, the "scam accusations" forum should be hidden from view to anybody but posters with a high post count, and any discussion of scams should be eliminated from the rest of the site entirely. 

Also, what is the purpose of a "scammer" tag? It certainly doesn't stop these people from posting and in many cases it seems to have been misapplied (on Matthew N. Wright for instance). Why not simply eliminate this silly punishment and let the freemarket do its job and make it so people have to avoid "scams" the old fashioned way: by doing their research and not making bad decisions?

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September 14, 2012, 05:27:06 PM
 #2

If we want for BTC to take off in the near future as a legitimate currency by the mainstream, then we must take steps to limit bad PR damage from the numerous "scam" accusations that have taken place on this forum. I believe taht it is very demoralizing for a new user to come here and see that most forum posts are taken up by people cry babying that they have been "taken advantage of" because they chose to make bad investments and it does far more harm to the Bitcoin reputation than it ever helps them in getting any of their money back.

Given that this community is for the purpose of spreading the word on Bitcoin and given given that it is one of the first places new Bitcoiners and the curious are likely to check when they are just finding out about bitcoin, it would behoove the mods here to limit the scam whining from being seen by them. For instance, the "scam accusations" forum should be hidden from view to anybody but posters with a high post count, and any discussion of scams should be eliminated from the rest of the site entirely. 

Also, what is the purpose of a "scammer" tag? It certainly doesn't stop these people from posting and in many cases it seems to have been misapplied (on Matthew N. Wright for instance). Why not simply eliminate this silly punishment and let the freemarket do its job and make it so people have to avoid "scams" the old fashioned way: by doing their research and not making bad decisions?

The scammer tag is just a warning.

Why would we hide the scam accusations? That makes no sense. New people should be aware of what is going on and who is a scammer so they do not get taken advantage of.

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September 14, 2012, 05:36:58 PM
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The scammer tag is just a warning.

Why would we hide the scam accusations? That makes no sense. New people should be aware of what is going on and who is a scammer so they do not get taken advantage of.

Because this site gives people one of their first understandings of what bitcoin is. If you go to the Coca Cola site, you don't see them list every law suit that they are involved with and every accusation against them having unhealthful products where everyone can see it. The people at coca cola who need to know about those things do and they deal with them where they belong, in private.

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September 14, 2012, 06:01:06 PM
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I'm not gonna censor/moderate people who were wronged and want to discuss it or who need help. Talking about it can help to bring about more ideas to combat it, how to be more aware, and remind people not to drop their guard. Attempting to suppress it would do the exact opposite, and allow new people to be even more easily scammed. I do try to keep threads on topic and in the appropriate subforum though. It's annoying to have people complaining about a specific service or person in bitcoin discussion, or derailing threads over it.

Quote
Also, what is the purpose of a "scammer" tag? It certainly doesn't stop these people from posting and in many cases it seems to have been misapplied (on Matthew N. Wright for instance). Why not simply eliminate this silly punishment and let the freemarket do its job and make it so people have to avoid "scams" the old fashioned way: by doing their research and not making bad decisions?

It's not intended to stop people from posting, just to warn people dealing with them. Scammers can still be productive.

I do kind of agree with you, but it's kind of necessary because with the large amount of posts on the board, the many pages within threads, the different subforums and subforums for those, and relative anonymity, a user can be scamming many people across multiple markets and via pms as well, so just having a thread about it in scam accusations doesn't do much. Especially if they don't even respond to it so it doesn't show up in their latest posts. Think of it as baby steps for people who've relied on others for decades. Most people expect scammers to be banned, so the tag is an alternative.

And no it doesn't really fit Matthew, more appropriate term would be fraud.

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Tyrion
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September 14, 2012, 07:14:49 PM
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I'm not gonna censor/moderate people who were wronged and want to discuss it or who need help. Talking about it can help to bring about more ideas to combat it, how to be more aware, and remind people not to drop their guard. Attempting to suppress it would do the exact opposite, and allow new people to be even more easily scammed. I do try to keep threads on topic and in the appropriate subforum though. It's annoying to have people complaining about a specific service or person in bitcoin discussion, or derailing threads over it.

Quote
Also, what is the purpose of a "scammer" tag? It certainly doesn't stop these people from posting and in many cases it seems to have been misapplied (on Matthew N. Wright for instance). Why not simply eliminate this silly punishment and let the freemarket do its job and make it so people have to avoid "scams" the old fashioned way: by doing their research and not making bad decisions?

It's not intended to stop people from posting, just to warn people dealing with them. Scammers can still be productive.

I do kind of agree with you, but it's kind of necessary because with the large amount of posts on the board, the many pages within threads, the different subforums and subforums for those, and relative anonymity, a user can be scamming many people across multiple markets and via pms as well, so just having a thread about it in scam accusations doesn't do much. Especially if they don't even respond to it so it doesn't show up in their latest posts. Think of it as baby steps for people who've relied on others for decades. Most people expect scammers to be banned, so the tag is an alternative.

And no it doesn't really fit Matthew, more appropriate term would be fraud.

I can understand all of this. But I still think it should be somehow limited as it seems these days everyone is very quick to cry out "SCAM" at any opportunity and it starts to make it look bad around here. Maybe a warning-ban system to stop the more obvious trolls like Micon and others who go into so many marketplace threads and start derailing them as soon as they can.

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September 14, 2012, 07:50:09 PM
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I'm not gonna censor/moderate people who were wronged and want to discuss it or who need help. Talking about it can help to bring about more ideas to combat it, how to be more aware, and remind people not to drop their guard. Attempting to suppress it would do the exact opposite, and allow new people to be even more easily scammed. I do try to keep threads on topic and in the appropriate subforum though. It's annoying to have people complaining about a specific service or person in bitcoin discussion, or derailing threads over it.

Quote
Also, what is the purpose of a "scammer" tag? It certainly doesn't stop these people from posting and in many cases it seems to have been misapplied (on Matthew N. Wright for instance). Why not simply eliminate this silly punishment and let the freemarket do its job and make it so people have to avoid "scams" the old fashioned way: by doing their research and not making bad decisions?

It's not intended to stop people from posting, just to warn people dealing with them. Scammers can still be productive.

I do kind of agree with you, but it's kind of necessary because with the large amount of posts on the board, the many pages within threads, the different subforums and subforums for those, and relative anonymity, a user can be scamming many people across multiple markets and via pms as well, so just having a thread about it in scam accusations doesn't do much. Especially if they don't even respond to it so it doesn't show up in their latest posts. Think of it as baby steps for people who've relied on others for decades. Most people expect scammers to be banned, so the tag is an alternative.

And no it doesn't really fit Matthew, more appropriate term would be fraud.

I can understand all of this. But I still think it should be somehow limited as it seems these days everyone is very quick to cry out "SCAM" at any opportunity and it starts to make it look bad around here. Maybe a warning-ban system to stop the more obvious trolls like Micon and others who go into so many marketplace threads and start derailing them as soon as they can.

I don't think Micon is a troll. He has trolled and derailed threads in the past, but that was resolved. I'm also hesitant to censor posts like those, because even if I fully believe he's wrong and trolling, what if I'm wrong, he's right, and I just helped a scammer by hiding legitimate accusations? If a "business" can't answer his questions and allegations, then there's probably a reason for that, and it's up to the reader to make up their own minds based on all the information, without being misled by moderators on a power trip. If Micon is being unreasonable, then people will see that on their own.

That's not to say people who cry scam can't also be trolls, I banned someone just a few days ago for "SCAM!" trolling. So it isn't entirely unchecked.

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bitcoinbear
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September 14, 2012, 09:36:18 PM
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Just to check the rules, are people allowed to show up in a thread an post a reply of "SCAM" without anything more thoughtful or even any other words in their post?

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September 14, 2012, 09:49:43 PM
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Just to check the rules, are people allowed to show up in a thread an post a reply of "SCAM" without anything more thoughtful or even any other words in their post?

There's no rule against that no (it would probably fall under no spam/insubstantial posts clause if I did apply it), and I don't really have a problem with it, but there should probably be more substance to a post like that. Depends on the poster and the thread, if a poster is doing it excessively for no discernible reason I would probably pm them and ask them to add some reasoning at least.

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September 14, 2012, 09:51:55 PM
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I can understand all of this. But I still think it should be somehow limited as it seems these days everyone is very quick to cry out "SCAM" at any opportunity and it starts to make it look bad around here. Maybe a warning-ban system to stop the more obvious trolls like Micon and others who go into so many marketplace threads and start derailing them as soon as they can.

What do you mean 'these days'?
You registered 2 weeks ago and your first post claims you're new to bitcoin...
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September 14, 2012, 09:51:58 PM
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For instance, the "scam accusations" forum should be hidden from view to anybody but posters with a high post count, and any discussion of scams should be eliminated from the rest of the site entirely.
It would help tourism in a lot of cities to hide their crime rates. But it would also make it a lot harder for people to make rational decisions about what precautions are appropriate when traveling.

Right now, Bitcoin is to currency like Nigeria is to email. It appears that the majority of the Bitcoin economy (at least, as seen in the forums) currently actually does consist of either scams or really bad deals, and cleaning that up is probably more helpful than trying to hide it. A community that doesn't tolerate scams will eventually see fewer of them. A community that hides them will see more.

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Tyrion
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September 15, 2012, 12:08:12 AM
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I can understand all of this. But I still think it should be somehow limited as it seems these days everyone is very quick to cry out "SCAM" at any opportunity and it starts to make it look bad around here. Maybe a warning-ban system to stop the more obvious trolls like Micon and others who go into so many marketplace threads and start derailing them as soon as they can.

What do you mean 'these days'?
You registered 2 weeks ago and your first post claims you're new to bitcoin...


I've been reading about bitcoin for most of the summer and lurking a bit here. It's pretty different now than how it was a few months ago mainly due to the pirate stuff and what not (which, it seems to me is responsible for most of the other high yield programs going down at the same time). All I know is that if I had started reading bitcoin stuff here now instead of earlier in the summer I would be pretty turned off and I think that's a shame because it's a great idea thats getting dragged through the mud because of some bad apples.

Regarding JoelKatz's post: it makes me think of Giulliani's New York. The first thing he did is get the homeless and the criminals out of New York and times square to make it more welcoming to tourists. Couldn't this site be thought of as a "times square"? It's one of the first places that people see when they visit. Maybe getting the bad and ugly stuff off site would help with bitcoin overall.

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September 15, 2012, 12:17:24 AM
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Regarding JoelKatz's post: it makes me think of Giulliani's New York. The first thing he did is get the homeless and the criminals out of New York and times square to make it more welcoming to tourists. Couldn't this site be thought of as a "times square"? It's one of the first places that people see when they visit. Maybe getting the bad and ugly stuff off site would help with bitcoin overall.
Well, sure. Get rid of the scams and the scam warnings will go away too. I'm with you on that strategy. I thought you were suggesting getting rid of the warnings while leaving the scams.

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Tyrion
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September 15, 2012, 04:44:26 AM
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Regarding JoelKatz's post: it makes me think of Giulliani's New York. The first thing he did is get the homeless and the criminals out of New York and times square to make it more welcoming to tourists. Couldn't this site be thought of as a "times square"? It's one of the first places that people see when they visit. Maybe getting the bad and ugly stuff off site would help with bitcoin overall.
Well, sure. Get rid of the scams and the scam warnings will go away too. I'm with you on that strategy. I thought you were suggesting getting rid of the warnings while leaving the scams.

Well, my thought is that most of the real "scams" have already gone away and nobody is likely to try that kind of thing again. Instead we just have a bunch of people yelling "SCAM" at some innocent investors  that got caught in the wake of pirate and so forth. Pirate is already gone and all the people accusing others of scamming are just hurting bitcoin, so why not a crack down on baseless accusations?

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September 15, 2012, 01:18:52 PM
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Regarding JoelKatz's post: it makes me think of Giulliani's New York. The first thing he did is get the homeless and the criminals out of New York and times square to make it more welcoming to tourists. Couldn't this site be thought of as a "times square"? It's one of the first places that people see when they visit. Maybe getting the bad and ugly stuff off site would help with bitcoin overall.
Well, sure. Get rid of the scams and the scam warnings will go away too. I'm with you on that strategy. I thought you were suggesting getting rid of the warnings while leaving the scams.

Well, my thought is that most of the real "scams" have already gone away and nobody is likely to try that kind of thing again. Instead we just have a bunch of people yelling "SCAM" at some innocent investors  that got caught in the wake of pirate and so forth. Pirate is already gone and all the people accusing others of scamming are just hurting bitcoin, so why not a crack down on baseless accusations?

What about bitcoinica?
They are having a conference right now but still distance themselfs from any responsibility.
That is a big fuck-you finger towards the community.
These people sitting on top of the bitcoin community will provide much much more butthurt in the future than any scam yellers on the forum.
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September 15, 2012, 02:34:51 PM
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I've been reading about bitcoin for most of the summer and lurking a bit here. It's pretty different now than how it was a few months ago mainly due to the pirate

No, it's exactly the same. Only before Pirate it was Bitcoinica and before Bitcoinica it was Betcoin and before Betcoin it was Linode and before Linode it was Bitconica again and before Bitcoinica again it was Bitscalper and before Bitscalper it was Bitcoin7 and before Bitcoin7 it was Mooncoin and before Mooncoin it was mybitcoin and fucking underage kids in Pattaya and before mybitcoin and fucking underage kids in Pattaya it was Mt Gox and before Mt Gox it was allinvain and before allinvain it was ubitex.
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September 15, 2012, 08:58:11 PM
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Well, my thought is that most of the real "scams" have already gone away and nobody is likely to try that kind of thing again.

Bwahahahahaha.  A lot of "innocent investors" have turned out to be not so innocent after all, having lied to people about having no exposure to pirate.  It's also likely that some people claiming pirate losses as a reason for their own default had either no exposure to pirate or less than they claim.

Of course people are going to try "that kind of thing again".  Hell, the whole Black Pearl thing was an obvious joke and people still wanted in on it despite pirate having just defaulted.  Not only will people try that kind of thing again, they'll get away with it again. 

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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September 15, 2012, 11:39:39 PM
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Well, my thought is that most of the real "scams" have already gone away and nobody is likely to try that kind of thing again.
Unfortunately, you are wrong on both counts.

Quote
Instead we just have a bunch of people yelling "SCAM" at some innocent investors  that got caught in the wake of pirate and so forth.
I don't think any innocent investors got caught in the wake of pirate. If you invested in an obvious Ponzi scheme while dozens of people are telling you that it's an obvious Ponzi scheme, you are not innocent. The closest you might come is people who invested in a loan scheme that promised no Pirate exposure and actually had Pirate exposure.


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Pirate is already gone and all the people accusing others of scamming are just hurting bitcoin, so why not a crack down on baseless accusations?
Can you link to some of these "baseless accusations" you speak of?

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September 15, 2012, 11:55:30 PM
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I've been reading about bitcoin for most of the summer and lurking a bit here. It's pretty different now than how it was a few months ago mainly due to the pirate

No, it's exactly the same. Only before Pirate it was Bitcoinica and before Bitcoinica it was Betcoin and before Betcoin it was Linode and before Linode it was Bitconica again and before Bitcoinica again it was Bitscalper and before Bitscalper it was Bitcoin7 and before Bitcoin7 it was Mooncoin and before Mooncoin it was mybitcoin and fucking underage kids in Pattaya and before mybitcoin and fucking underage kids in Pattaya it was Mt Gox and before Mt Gox it was allinvain and before allinvain it was ubitex.

You forgot about that polish exchange that lost the keys to the wallet with all their bitcoins in it or whatever.

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September 16, 2012, 12:01:33 AM
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Well, I don't see the point in linking to anything specific as there are so many in so many places that I have to question if you're asking about it whether you've actually been reading the forums, but for instance, look at the Patrick thread in long term offers where most of his time is wasted in replying to people who are just happy to throw the word "SCAM" around like it's nothing just because he offers a good interest rate. It's basically become the forum equivalent of the frivolous lawsuit around here and the same way that those need to be cracked down upon in the US the scam calling needs to be cracked down on here. IMHO of course.

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September 16, 2012, 12:41:49 AM
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Well, I don't see the point in linking to anything specific as there are so many in so many places that I have to question if you're asking about it whether you've actually been reading the forums
Let me give you an analogy. Say there a hundred people in a group. They may all agree that there are a few bad people in that group who should be kicked out. But if they don't agree *which* people are bad and should be kicked out, their agreement is very misleading. So even if there's an agreement that there are some bad posts that should be avoided, if there's no agreement on which those are, the apparent agreement is an illusion.

Quote
but for instance, look at the Patrick thread in long term offers where most of his time is wasted in replying to people who are just happy to throw the word "SCAM" around like it's nothing just because he offers a good interest rate.
And it turned out they were right. A lot of people were borrowing money from Patrick to invest in Pirate and when Pirate defaulted, Patrick was unable to meet withdrawal requests. (At least, this is what it appears to be. For all we know, Patrick just took advantage of the Pirate default to stop making payments.) Patrick has still not stated what his assets and obligations are or identified how much bad debt he holds. The future is very uncertain and a lot of people are wishing they didn't invest with him. These warnings were *correct*.

Quote
It's basically become the forum equivalent of the frivolous lawsuit around here and the same way that those need to be cracked down upon in the US the scam calling needs to be cracked down on here. IMHO of course.
We'll never know if people who agree with you *really* agree on anything if you won't identify specific posts. Any agreement is likely illusory with everyone thinking other people have different posts in mind. There is likely no agreement on which posts are the bad ones and thus no consensus on what should be done.

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