BitcoinTalk’s Theymos On Free And Open Discussions

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BitcoinTalk is the decentralized fountain of so much Bitcoin-oriented dialogue.

Often heralded as the original Bitcoin forum, Satoshi introduced BitcoinTalk, in the forum’s first post in November 2009, as the second forum for Bitcoin, after SourceForge. Theymos, the administration of BitcoinTalk, had this to say of the forum’s importance: 

“The free and open discussions on this forum help individuals and the Bitcoin community achieve Truth. Everyone has some wisdom or knowledge to contribute to a discussion, and everyone who reads the discussion and gains that knowledge gets closer to the Truth. This is much more effective than having truth dictated by a handful of moderators or voted on by an electorate.”

Members describe BitcoinTalk as “where the pulse of the Bitcoin community is.” Some members view BitcoinTalk as a place to “learn about Bitcoin things before they happen.” One member claims, “You can trace many, if not most, of the big ideas in Bitcoin to threads on this forum.”

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What Theymos says is ironic considering the heat he’s received from well-known Bitcoin spokespeople, as well as the community at large, who lobby claims he censors his forum, BitcoinTalk, as well as the Reddit page he administers, r/Bitcoin.

He has long defended claims he censors his websites, stating that often the topics he delete are not about Bitcoin, and thus off-topic. These topics often revolve around so-called alt-coins, which are crypto-currencies other than Bitcoin. Many have expressed disappointment that Theymos could control so much of the online social activity in Bitcoin. A typical complains reads:

In the beginning I thought he was cool for hosting the bitcointalkforum. But when I found out he also ran the /r/bitcoin subreddit I was already less amused that most of the online social interactivity could be controlled by one person. Then there were the bitcoin donations that were never spent on improving the forum, quite the opposite, the forum has actually become more broken and lost functionality.

Another one reads:

Still, that wasn’t too bad, however when he started censoring near majority opinion concerning and discussion concerning blocksize on /r/bitcoin he crossed a terrible line. He also simply refused to give in, even though most people from both sides of the debate wanted to have it uncensored.

Theymos has also come under scrutiny for the alleged mishandling of $1 million of entrusted forum donations, censorship of block size debate proposals , and the banning of the posting of his own personal information on bitcointalk. Even moderators from his own communities have spoken out against his actions .

Images from Shutterstock.

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Justin is the founder of GoldSilverBitcoin . His work has appeared in VICE, MERRYJANE, Bitcoin Magazine and elsewhere. If you appreciate this piece, please consider a tip: 1MjJ4NBi3ALFitNKpWgoWQmugH7czEdSNV