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Author Topic: Proposal for breaking "community advertising rules" deadlock  (Read 4627 times)
AllYourBase
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April 28, 2011, 01:42:52 PM
 #21

Seems to me if an individual wants a particular image for bitcoin he should purchase those kinds of products, perhaps become a provider himself, and in general encourage the kind of activity he likes.  Personally, I like gray market items and so I support those things.  
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AbeSkray
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April 28, 2011, 02:12:55 PM
 #22

While obviously anonymity is important for many bitcoiners. Mike's suggestion actually does make a lot of sense. And he is talking about merchants and offering effectively self regulating mechanism pretty much in spirit of bitcoin.

Image of bitcoin is important for us all. I personally would prefer not to be associated in any way with merchants like "Silk Road". Surely, if there is no place on "official" bitcoin web properties for such anonymous merchants, a separate "unofficial" marketplace could easily be created for them.

How about going the opposite direction? Instead of removing shady merchants from bitcoin.it and expecting them to set up their own directory, why not just set up your own directory for non-shady merchants? Since this would be a new unofficial directory, you (or whomever has the initiative to set it up) can make the rules.

There's been a lot of debate about how much shady merchants hurt the image of the bitcoin community, but it's really a lot of hypothetical speculation on all of our parts (does anyone have concrete evidence one way or another?). What we need is an empirical test. If there really is an advantage to separating advertising for "legit" businesses apart from shady ones, then this new directory should surpass bitcoin.it and eventually obtain "official" status. Instead of debating endlessly on this forum, let's put the two ideas in direct competition with each other!

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April 28, 2011, 02:42:55 PM
 #23

Let it go.

If bitcoin fails because of some wiki, then it aint worth shit anyway.

Solution to problem: war of attrition. let them duke it out, wiki style.
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April 28, 2011, 03:03:15 PM
 #24

Why don't we just take a leaf from all the Web 2.0 (3.0?) sites out there, and instead of not linking anonymous sites, hide them behind another link. That way, it is clear that we still support anonymity for merchants, but it is discouraged.

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April 28, 2011, 03:11:58 PM
 #25

If you have a bitcoin-otc rating from other bitcoin users is  a better way to go. I dont care what they sell or promote only who vouches for them.

not everyone trades in the OTC
ribuck
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April 28, 2011, 03:28:46 PM
 #26

...I find this a brilliant solution to a complex legal problem.
Well yes, but it brings with it a practical problem. How do you verify the non-anonymous sites? If you don't verify them, you just end up with the drug/porn sites being operated by "Donald Duck".

You could verify by looking for sites that have Extended Validation SSL certificates (the ones that turn the browser's title bar green), but that's going to be a very slim category in the Bitcoin community.
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April 28, 2011, 03:35:35 PM
 #27

You know, I don't like the policy of censorship and separation anymore.

Originally, this is about keeping the perception of bitcoin "pure and clean". But now we see how slippery this god damn slope is.

Mike Hearn
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April 28, 2011, 03:58:33 PM
 #28

Originally, this is about keeping the perception of bitcoin "pure and clean". But now we see how slippery this god damn slope is.

Where does this slippery slope end, exactly? BitCoin cannot be modified to exclude certain usages just like cash. It "ends" in people who want to do black market trades with BitCoin having to find out about these merchants in some other way, like by hearing about it via friends or IRC or Forbes .... lots of possibilities.

Bear in mind Tor, pretty much the flagship anti-censorship project, has no wiki, no forums and does not link to any hidden services at all from their website. So is Tor a success or failure in your mind?

Even with these changes, BitCoin would still be far more relaxed than that!
JohnDoe
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April 28, 2011, 04:49:46 PM
 #29

Did you guys already forget about BitcoinUSA? That should tell you how much bitcoiners care about trading in a non anonymous way.
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April 29, 2011, 12:20:31 AM
 #30


How about we let the free market decide?

Links that get clicked on the most get elevated to a higher or somehow more prominent standing ... just like google does, eh [mike]?
(except we shouldn't be harvesting data on which links people are clicking, should we.)

We can put a disclaimer that providing details may be helpful to bitcoin-based businesses and leave it at that.

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April 29, 2011, 12:24:12 AM
 #31

Did you guys already forget about BitcoinUSA? That should tell you how much bitcoiners care about trading in a non anonymous way.

I think it tells us that bitcoiners do not like filling out pointless paperwork.

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April 29, 2011, 11:33:04 AM
 #32

I understand the legitimate concern here. But why not make the mainstream come to us? We have lost much of our right to anonymity already, I don't think I want to give anymore. This is a feature of bitcoin as far as I'm concerned. Change to many such features and... Congratulations, you just reinvented PayPal.

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April 29, 2011, 11:43:35 AM
 #33

Seriously, I don't think it's time to remove anything from any site, not at least while the site owner hasn't been threatened by any government agency of his jurisdiction.
When that day comes, I think the best policy would be then to disassociate completely with every site, not only illegal ones. The more the bitcoin project grows, the less need I see in a trade page being hosted by the project site. You don't see paypal linking to every merchant that accepts paypal payments on their site...

But of course, all this is my opinion, which doesn't mean anything. It's up to the site owners to decide.

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Cryptoman
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April 29, 2011, 02:55:14 PM
 #34

Seriously, I don't think it's time to remove anything from any site, not at least while the site owner hasn't been threatened by any government agency of his jurisdiction.
When that day comes, I think the best policy would be then to disassociate completely with every site, not only illegal ones. The more the bitcoin project grows, the less need I see in a trade page being hosted by the project site. You don't see paypal linking to every merchant that accepts paypal payments on their site...

I've always believed that there shouldn't be any commerce advertised or conducted on the official Bitcoin site or the wiki.  The site should be reserved for downloading the client, support, development and general news.  I realize that it has been useful to have everything in one place during the bootstrap phase of Bitcoin, but, in my opinion, it should be phased out.

Those who are advocating that people willing to give up their anonymity would be allowed the "privilege" of listing their site are totally out of touch with everything that Bitcoin stands for.  Those of us who have been anticipating a viable cryptocurrency since the cypherpunk days will have none of this bullshit.  I suspect Satoshi would feel the same way.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
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April 29, 2011, 03:13:18 PM
 #35

I've always believed that there shouldn't be any commerce advertised or conducted on the official Bitcoin site or the wiki. 
I think this is a good idea. There should be some separation between bitcoin as a currency and bitcoin as a software project. Bitcoin.org is about the software.

Though I guess the rules for the forum should be somehow different. As this is kind of the central hub for the community, some advertising/showing off services should (IMO) be allowed here.

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Mike Hearn
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April 29, 2011, 03:30:55 PM
 #36

The forum already has rules forbidding trade of illegal goods/services.

Not everyone involved with BitCoin is a crypto-anarchist. Quite a few people writing code or running merchants voluntarily identify themselves and can be held accountable for their actions.

If you are a such a person, there is already a forum that allows for anonymous posting and anything-goes trade: the silk road. There currently isn't anywhere for people who don't want to be involved in that sort of thing and there should be, moreover, as bitcoin.org and the wiki is the first thing people investigating BitCoin encounter that should be the default. As already noted, some people who could make valuable contributions are put off by the fact that the wiki lists drugs and so on. If you aren't the type to be put off by that, the lack of it on the official site won't put you off either.

Eventually the wiki will be obsolete and all this will be moot. Until then, I don't understand some peoples insistence that Bitcoin is not only a revolutionary currency, but also a cypherpunk fantasy-land. The Silk Road guys are constructing such a thing out of Bitcoin and Tor so if you want to be involved in that, feel free to go take part in their forums. There's no need for two sites with identical policies nor is it desirable.

The "post your identity" thing is just a simple way to resolve disputes. There are alternatives, eg having an actual set of policies like the Marketplace forum does. But as the proposed policies have included everything from "drugs are OK but eating people is not" (!) to "remove whatever offends the pope" something simpler and more robust would be useful.
mewantsbitcoins
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April 29, 2011, 03:45:53 PM
 #37

The poll on the other thread suggests that majority would like to keep those listings

Edit: and as far as your "post your identity" proposition goes, I think it's absurd. IMHO it goes against everything bitcoin is
wumpus
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April 29, 2011, 03:46:57 PM
 #38

Some people might want to offer services and stuff that is legal in itself, but might not want to go on here with their full name, because they are still unsure of the legal status of Bitcoin itself in their country.

Hence, I don't agree with forbidding anonymous advertising.

I do agree that it is better not to allow offering things of questionable legal status such as drugs. It attracts the wrong kind of people, and of law enforcement and folks which might want to shut the site down.

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stakhanov
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April 29, 2011, 03:52:33 PM
 #39

So you're going to ban my small Mt. Gox windows gadget from the trade wiki? I don't really want to give my true identity for such a small project, but I still think this project is interesting enough to bicoin users to be listed.

Sorry but I don't think your proposal makes a lot of sense.
Cryptoman
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April 29, 2011, 04:07:57 PM
 #40

Not everyone involved with BitCoin is a crypto-anarchist. Quite a few people writing code or running merchants voluntarily identify themselves and can be held accountable for their actions.

Being anonymous and being accountable are not mutually exclusive.  That is the whole point of developing anonymous reputation systems.  Many people, myself included, wish to remain anonymous for privacy and safety reasons.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
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