The latest salvo in the BTC vs. BCH skirmishes comes from Roger Ver, who just tweeted out an offer to aggregation and discussion website Reddit for $100,000 USD if their team would appoint a moderator to the r/Bitcoin sub who “supports free speech.” Unsurprisingly, detractors quickly lambasted the posturing, though it’s resonated with those who see the sub’s censorship practices as increasingly absurd.
Ver: ‘Simply Appoint a Moderator’
No stranger to stirring up debate, Bitcoin Cash entrepreneur and Bitcoin.com owner Roger Ver is now lobbying Reddit’s leadership to appoint a moderator who “supports free speech” to the platform’s main Bitcoin subreddit, r/Bitcoin.
The move comes as the sub has long weathered charges of censorship, i.e. deleting threads and comments and banning users for dissident opinions.
Dear @reddit, I heard that as of recently you were not a profitable company.
I'll pay you $100,000 USD if you simply appoint a moderator to /r/Bitcoin who supports free speech. https://t.co/pFWK21QE6q
CC: @alexisohanian @wtfspez @brian_armstrong https://t.co/KTV8Rptk37
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) April 18, 2018
In his tweet, Ver said he’d give the “recently […] not profitable” Reddit $100,000 to step in and appoint a new moderator to r/Bitcoin. He linked to a 2016 “fireside chat” between Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Reddit CEO Steve Huffman where Huffman commented that Reddit wasn’t profitable at that time.
Ver also linked to a post by the pseudonymous John Blocke that’s made the rounds in the cryptoverse over the last year-and-a-half called “A (brief and incomplete) history of censorship on r/Bitcoin.” The article lists out the early progression of censorship on the increasingly rebuked sub.
The Bitcoin.com owner, who recently publicly tackled a manipulation incident of his own, has long been one of the most vocal pro-BCH personalities in the ongoing scaling wars. Yet it’s not just the Bitcoin Cash community that backs Ver’s criticisms of r/Bitcoin’s moderation, as pundits across the cryptoverse, including Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin, have called out the sub’s practices in recent weeks.
Indeed, back in February Buterin went so far as to say “Theymos’s moderation policies on /r/bitcoin [are] absolutely deplorable.”
This is often quite nuanced. For example, I consider Theymos's moderation policies on /r/bitcoin absolutely deplorable, but if the subreddit had been called /r/lounge_of_theymos the whole time instead, then it would be 100% totally ok.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) February 15, 2018
On the pro-BCH r/btc, one Redditor — u/jimbtc — made a stir by alternatively suggesting Ver give $100,000 to charity if the mods of r/Bitcoin even just open up their moderation logs to the public:
“This message would of been better had you offered $100,000 USD to a children’s hospital had the community of /r/bitcoin opened up their moderation logs. That’s all people need to see – the moderation logs. This would go hand-in-hand with their narrative regarding the “saving babies” thing they use to attack you after you owned Samson Maw. You would be offering them the chance to save babies by just demanding their moderators open up the logs.”
Detractors Snap Back
Unsurprisingly, those on the other side of the scaling debate quickly jumped on Roger’s tweet.
Casa engineer Jameson Lopp was among the first, sarcastically offering to be the moderator that Ver was asking Reddit to appoint:
I nominate myself; I have a strong track record of hands-off moderation of /r/bitcoinxt. My non-moderation is so strong that I even removed myself from power!
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) April 18, 2018
Udi Wertheimer chimed in too, poking at Ver for “buying subreddits” to get his way:
Wait what? Are we buying subreddits now?
OK whatever, I'll pay $100,001 for /r/btc
(just let me know in advance, I'll need at least 24h to run the ICO)
— udiverse (@udiWertheimer) April 18, 2018
BashCo queried Reddit too, requesting the site “enforce your policy” against paid moderators:
Dear @reddit, please enforce your policy against monetized subreddits and paid moderators. Roger Ver & his employees have monetized /r/btc, using reddit to conduct systematic harassment campaigns and fraudulent marketing. #Bitcoin #reddit@alexisohanian @wtfspez @brian_armstrong https://t.co/w3Rw8iP1Zp
— BashCo (@BashCo_) April 18, 2018
Needless to say, that’s only scratching the surface of the strong responses that Ver’s position evoked. Thus the political tit-for-tats between the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash communities continues gyring for now.
What’s your take? Are you for or against Roger Ver’s request of Reddit? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via CNBC, CharityStars