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Question: If it was up to you would you pick that drugs be allowed to list at en.bitcoin.it?
Yes - 76 (55.9%)
No - 52 (38.2%)
Only some - 8 (5.9%)
Total Voters: 135

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Author Topic: Should drugs be listed at bitcoin.it?  (Read 14273 times)
AbeSkray
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April 27, 2011, 03:37:39 PM
 #21

Morally, and in principle: of course it should be on the list.
However, if we consider the argument from effect I think it's obvious that for the sake of bitcoin gaining popularity it should be left off the list.
This hits home for me. I voted "Yes" because it was the right decision, but I'd change my vote to "No" because I'm now convinced its the smart decision.

But think two steps ahead. If we remove all illegal stuff, what kind of people are we going to encourage to adopt bitcoin. The answer is your average Joe. Bitcoin gets popular - all good and well. That's step one. Step two is when governments take action against bitcoin and I believe it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when. What do you think the average Joe is going to do then? The answer is simple - leave. If we lose big portion of adopters it will cause major problems.
Not too long ago I argued the same argument, but now I realize I was wrong. We should firstly obtain a stable user base who realize the concepts and implications that bitcoins brings and not just think it's a cool new get rich quick scheme. Average Joe will have their chance to join when bitcoin is mainstream.

This is pure speculation on my part, but I don't think that removing drug markets from the bitcoin wiki is going to have a big effect on the drug trade. I think that bitcoins offer a huge advantage over other currencies for black and gray market trading. The potential is so great, that I think sellers will still be able to attract buyers without being advertised on the wiki (through other means: forums, IRC channels, word-of-mouth, etc...).

Removing drugs markets from the wiki will not stop people from buying drugs with bitcoins (and I don't think it will really hurt sales, either), but it will give bitcoins a broader appeal. I think the benefit outweighs the cost in this case.
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mizerydearia
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April 27, 2011, 03:41:51 PM
 #22

Also see http://bitcoin.witcoin.com/p/1386/Poll-Should-Bitcoin-Wiki-Trade-Page-Be-Censored

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<gavinandresen> I think the main page should be "G-rated", with a link offsite to R and X-rated stuff.
<gavinandresen> Of course, that'll bring up arguments on whether gambling sites are "G-rated"...
<nanotube> neither is currency exchange
<necrodearia> everything should move to Trade_R page

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade_R
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April 27, 2011, 03:42:26 PM
 #23

Morally, and in principle: of course it should be on the list.
However, if we consider the argument from effect I think it's obvious that for the sake of bitcoin gaining popularity it should be left off the list.

I agree.

Morally and in principle, of course it should be on the list.
However, if we ignore the previous sentence, it should be left out.

Invoking then negating a statement of morality and principle is utter bullshit.

Want it off the list? Say so. Don't try and make yourself out to be concerned about morality and principles.
xf2_org
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April 27, 2011, 03:52:26 PM
 #24


No, drugs and illegal items should not be listed on bitcoin.it.

Three reasons:

1) Forbes and other media love to point at the drug stuff on bitcoin's "official sites" (that being a wiki linked via bitcoin.org).  If you know how the press works, you know this causes the press to focus on drugs, rather than bitcoin's revolutionary properties.

Evildoers and lawbreakers will use bitcoin regardless of what we do, or don't do.  But making it easy for the press to paint bitcoin as a haven for nothing but drugs will hurt bitcoin's success.

2) There are other places, such as the anonymous forum on Tor, where such items are more appropriate.

3) Rhetorically speaking, wouldn't a criminal / law evader want bitcoin to be a success, and therefore, not wish drugs/etc. to be listed on bitcoin.it?

There are simply no good reasons to list such stuff on the main bitcoin wiki, and plenty of reasons not to.

I want bitcoin to be a success.  Unlike some on this forum, I do not want bitcoin to be marginalized into being used only for drug transactions.
mewantsbitcoins
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April 27, 2011, 03:55:57 PM
 #25

This is pure speculation on my part, but I don't think that removing drug markets from the bitcoin wiki is going to have a big effect on the drug trade. I think that bitcoins offer a huge advantage over other currencies for black and gray market trading. The potential is so great, that I think sellers will still be able to attract buyers without being advertised on the wiki (through other means: forums, IRC channels, word-of-mouth, etc...).

Removing drugs markets from the wiki will not stop people from buying drugs with bitcoins (and I don't think it will really hurt sales, either), but it will give bitcoins a broader appeal. I think the benefit outweighs the cost in this case.

I wasn't talking just about drug dealing. The problem is if you start censoring, where do you draw the line. What this site is now - it's perfect. If someone doesn't like what they see, they can look the other way. There's always a choice of closing your mind and letting your government decide what's best for you.

P.S. drug dealers have feeling too   Smiley
mizerydearia
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April 27, 2011, 04:06:53 PM
 #26

No, illegal drugs should not be listed.  everyone here needs to think of BTC as your new baby.  u can be the biggest, baddest, meanest SOB but when u have a new baby or young kid, u don't expose them to the horrors of life.  any parent will understand this.  even non parents should.  once they grow up, thats a different story.

The concept of legality is localized.  Bitcoin is universal.
fetokun
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April 27, 2011, 04:09:07 PM
 #27

This is pure speculation on my part, but I don't think that removing drug markets from the bitcoin wiki is going to have a big effect on the drug trade. I think that bitcoins offer a huge advantage over other currencies for black and gray market trading. The potential is so great, that I think sellers will still be able to attract buyers without being advertised on the wiki (through other means: forums, IRC channels, word-of-mouth, etc...).

Removing drugs markets from the wiki will not stop people from buying drugs with bitcoins (and I don't think it will really hurt sales, either), but it will give bitcoins a broader appeal. I think the benefit outweighs the cost in this case.

I wasn't talking just about drug dealing. The problem is if you start censoring, where do you draw the line. What this site is now - it's perfect. If someone doesn't like what they see, they can look the other way. There's always a choice of closing your mind and letting your government decide what's best for you.

P.S. drug dealers have feeling too   Smiley

This is where I draw the line: the oficial pages (wiki and .org).
mewantsbitcoins
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April 27, 2011, 04:09:21 PM
 #28

No, illegal drugs should not be listed.  everyone here needs to think of BTC as your new baby.  u can be the biggest, baddest, meanest SOB but when u have a new baby or young kid, u don't expose them to the horrors of life.  any parent will understand this.  even non parents should.  once they grow up, thats a different story.

The concept of legality is localized.  Bitcoin is universal.

Exactly! What if I live in Amsterdam and would like to find a local coffee shop that sells weed and accepts bitcoins?
mewantsbitcoins
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April 27, 2011, 04:17:25 PM
 #29

I wasn't talking just about drug dealing. The problem is if you start censoring, where do you draw the line. What this site is now - it's perfect. If someone doesn't like what they see, they can look the other way. There's always a choice of closing your mind and letting your government decide what's best for you.

P.S. drug dealers have feeling too   Smiley
This is where I draw the line: the oficial pages (wiki and .org).

I wasn't talking about websites. It's what goods and what topics should be censored that is in question. Some things are illegal in some places but not the others. Can we talk about drugs? What about politics and overthrowing governments? Maybe politically incorrect topics should be banned as well? Before you know it, the weather will be the only thing allowed here!
I said it before and will say it again bitcoin is a tool - it's not a problem. In order to deal with problems, whatever you perceive it to be, it's the cause that you have to address. Not to ignore or ban something
AbeSkray
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April 27, 2011, 04:21:39 PM
 #30

This is pure speculation on my part, but I don't think that removing drug markets from the bitcoin wiki is going to have a big effect on the drug trade. I think that bitcoins offer a huge advantage over other currencies for black and gray market trading. The potential is so great, that I think sellers will still be able to attract buyers without being advertised on the wiki (through other means: forums, IRC channels, word-of-mouth, etc...).

Removing drugs markets from the wiki will not stop people from buying drugs with bitcoins (and I don't think it will really hurt sales, either), but it will give bitcoins a broader appeal. I think the benefit outweighs the cost in this case.

I wasn't talking just about drug dealing. The problem is if you start censoring, where do you draw the line. What this site is now - it's perfect. If someone doesn't like what they see, they can look the other way. There's always a choice of closing your mind and letting your government decide what's best for you.

P.S. drug dealers have feeling too   Smiley
Right. In general, I'm anti-censorship (especially on the internet). I think everyone has the right to have opinions and that trying to prevent the free flow of ideas is a Bad Thing. However, the wiki is a knowledge base. So filtering certain things out (not just drugs but all illegal activity) is not really censorship in my mind. This forum is the place for opinions, and I think that it should remain uncensored.

You and I are open-minded enough that we aren't put off by seeing illegal activity advertised on the wiki. But nothing we can do will change the fact that there are people who will get offended and bolt at first sign. I think you're arguing that we shouldn't really care about people like that adopting Bitcoin at this point. And that it's more important to attract people who understand the benefits of bitcoins whether they be alpaca farmers or meth dealers. However, I think removing drugs from the wiki will attract some "puritans" without losing any meth dealers. Win-win.
eMansipater
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April 27, 2011, 04:34:36 PM
 #31

As at least a temporary measure can the link from BitCoin.org be changed to say "Unofficial Wiki"?

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xf2_org
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April 27, 2011, 05:23:37 PM
 #32

You and I are open-minded enough that we aren't put off by seeing illegal activity advertised on the wiki. But nothing we can do will change the fact that there are people who will get offended and bolt at first sign. I think you're arguing that we shouldn't really care about people like that adopting Bitcoin at this point. And that it's more important to attract people who understand the benefits of bitcoins whether they be alpaca farmers or meth dealers. However, I think removing drugs from the wiki will attract some "puritans" without losing any meth dealers. Win-win.

That's the key point.

Removing the drugs mess will attract more people (or turn off fewer people).  People who are seeking drugs will inevitably find that stuff anyway.

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April 27, 2011, 05:30:56 PM
 #33

I think your doing something similar to "self-negotiation", what's silly in this case.

Self-negotiation is when you want X, but you know the counterpart you have to negotiate that X with won't accept what you want, so you previously try to predict what that counterpart will accept and you decrease your own ambition, asking less than what you wanted.

What I mean is: has the administrator of bitcoin.it received any formal threat from any government agency of his jurisdiction? If not, why are you worrying? Before coming with guns on your head they will threaten you, simply because that's much easier and cheaper. And when they do threaten you, then you think about what you want to do (either stick to your principles no matter the consequences or obey the gangsters).

I see no reason for banning the links to the illegal services right now, so I voted yes.

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April 27, 2011, 05:39:05 PM
 #34

Removing the drugs mess will attract more people (or turn off fewer people). 

I don't agree with it. It's true that a few extremely conservative and silly people may turn away for this reason, but in general, people from the "black markets" using a technology is a positive advertising for that technology. It shows that's a robust, trustworthy technology.

Truecrypt officially states on their FAQ that a Brazilian bankster managed to protect his data using their software, for example. (http://www.truecrypt.org/faq, link at the end of the first response)

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mizerydearia
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April 27, 2011, 06:21:03 PM
 #35

See http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=6649.0 for pr0n
xf2_org
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April 27, 2011, 06:41:42 PM
 #36

What I mean is: has the administrator of bitcoin.it received any formal threat from any government agency of his jurisdiction? If not, why are you worrying? Before coming with guns on your head they will threaten you, simply because that's much easier and cheaper. And when they do threaten you, then you think about what you want to do (either stick to your principles no matter the consequences or obey the gangsters).

Because, as has been already illustrated by the press articles, they directly reference the "official" bitcoin wiki prominently displaying drugs.

Drugs are not representative of the entire bitcoin economy (or even a large part of it IMO), but the press focused on that.

Bitcoin should not be marginalized, and this clearly works against that.  If you want bitcoin to be a success for people other than drug dealers, we should be working towards positive press and a robust bitcoin economy.

As a business owner who accepts bitcoins, this definitely hurts my business.  And I can easily see how it would discourage other business owners from accepting  bitcoins.

Please do not let personal ideology trump bitcoin's success.  That is the classic definition of a pyrrhic victory.

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April 27, 2011, 06:45:25 PM
 #37

+1

Psilocybin made it to the byline of the Forbes article.  That is a big deal for those of us risking our real world identities to help bitcoin succeed.

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April 27, 2011, 07:07:29 PM
 #38

Forbes and other media love to point at the drug stuff on bitcoin's "official sites" (that being a wiki linked via bitcoin.org).  If you know how the press works, you know this causes the press to focus on drugs, rather than bitcoin's revolutionary properties.

You're either mistaken, or full of shit. The word "drug" only appears twice in the Forbes article (not at all in the Times article), both instances are in the following paragraph:

Quote
Also drugs. Particularly illegal ones. Since Bitcoins can be spent on the Internet without the use of a bank account, they offer a convenient system for anonymous purchases. There's no centralized storage of funds, so accounts can't be frozen by law enforcement or PayPal administrators. "Illegal stuff will be a niche for Bitcoin," admits Andresen. "That bothers me, but it's just like any currency. You can't stop dollar bills from being used for the drug trade either. That's an unfortunate feature of any cashlike system."

So... who's the one making a big deal about drugs again? Forbes, or you?

Quote
I want bitcoin to be a success.  Unlike some on this forum, I do not want bitcoin to be marginalized into being used only for drug transactions.

Nice try painting those against censorship as being for the failure of Bitcoin. Might want to turn down the crazy there, buddy...  Roll Eyes
BitterTea
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April 27, 2011, 07:09:07 PM
 #39

+1

Psilocybin made it to the byline of the Forbes article.  That is a big deal for those of us risking our real world identities to help bitcoin succeed.

You guys are killing me with this chicken little bullshit
carlerha
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April 27, 2011, 07:28:25 PM
 #40

Morally, and in principle: of course it should be on the list.
However, if we consider the argument from effect I think it's obvious that for the sake of bitcoin gaining popularity it should be left off the list.

I agree.

Morally and in principle, of course it should be on the list.
However, if we ignore the previous sentence, it should be left out.

Invoking then negating a statement of morality and principle is utter bullshit.

Want it off the list? Say so. Don't try and make yourself out to be concerned about morality and principles.
If considering arguments for/against important issues is utter bullshit, we could just all shut the hell up and create polls for every thread instead. This is why we have discussions.

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