Censorship is the suppression of information, usually by government authorities. You could write an encyclopaedia on the topic since the instances of its practice are truly countless. But the one that can cause the most profound side effect, is money. It’s a big one.
To this day, a very large part of the Bitcoin community is still unaware of the extremes that Core affiliates have undertaken to establish totalitarian rule over BTC. The main communication channels for Bitcoin are today, still heavily censored. The historical trail of censorship is profoundly evident if you know where to look.
John Blocke’s material on the subject is a must read.
At the height of the blocksize civil war, numerous individuals found themselves banned from discussions and their posts deleted simply for voicing their opinion and preference on the blocksize debate. Astoundingly, simply mentioning a competing client ‘BitcoinXT’ would result in a ban. Their reasoning? They considered it “alt-coin” speech and therefore didn’t belong on Bitcoin forums. On the contrary, BitcoinXT actually provided the community with an ability to vote on their preferred option for Bitcoin’s development. How can a community vote on an open source project be deemed non Bitcoin, with a banishment punishment?
One of the main chiefs of Core’s censorship brigade is ‘Theymos’. He infamously once poasted “posts about anything especially emotionally-charged will be deleted unless they introduce some very substantial new ideas about the subject. This includes the max block size debate”. With the main debate on Bitcoin censored, Core ended up getting their way with BTC.
When people started crying out foul play, and their hostile methods became pronounced, the moderators upped their game. They started banning people who so much as questioned the bans… (source)
Then BTC Core developer Luke-jr seemingly under pressure to explain moderation actions, actually comes out with this whopper:
There are some real mental gymnastics at play to even attempt such an oxymoronic explanation.
Anti-censorship organisation projectcensored.org explains its take on social manipulation with the following:
We define Modern Censorship as the subtle yet constant and sophisticated manipulation of reality in our mass media outlets. On a daily basis, censorship refers to the intentional non-inclusion of a news story – or piece of a news story – based on anything other than a desire to tell the truth. Such manipulation can take the form of political pressure (from government officials and powerful individuals), economic pressure (from advertisers and funders), and legal pressure (the threat of lawsuits from deep-pocket individuals, corporations, and institutions). – Project Censored
BTC fell at the hands of those who would seek to destroy its prime use case – Cash.
They won that battle… But not the war.
Roger Ver found refuge for the big-blocker Bitcoin community over at reddit sub forum r/btc. Many moved over, but many are still unaware that it even exists to this day. Astonishingly, Roger has managed to deploy a strict anti-censorship policy on the forum, to the extent that even trolls get to have free speech. And no kidding… try to criticise the Core folk over at the censored r/bitcoin, or try to speak positively of Bitcoin Cash and you’ll find yourself in shadow banned land. But speak negatively of and try to smear Roger Ver, and the worst you’ll probably face is a down vote of your post by people like myself. Your comment won’t be removed, and your account will remain intact. Your comment may be unpopular, but the message will not be artificially manipulated or censored.
It’s the principle of the matter. Bitcoin is censorship resistant, and if you truly believe in censorship resistance, why on earth would you engage in the very opposite extreme?
I can only conclude that such people are not Bitcoiners, and are in fact the antithesis of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s mainstream communication and discussion channels have been hijacked once before, and the possibility of this happening once again despite valiant efforts by key members of the community should never be completely ruled out. This is why, now is the time, more than ever that we need to actively involve community discussions with on-chain solutions like memo.cash and blockpress. Equally, incentivised content tools like yours.org play an important role in ensuring brigading, vote manipulation and sock puppetry are kept to a minimum.
It’s only fitting, that censorship resistant money, also incorporates censorship resistant discussion.
In a dialogue with Roger Ver not too long ago, he said “… just from a moral standpoint, one side is engaging in censorship… even if their technical position were better, I’m still inclined not to support them, their heart’s not in the right place… why are they engaging in censorship?”.
It’s a valid question that Roger poses. Because a logic implies that those engaged in censorship, have something to hide. Those that have something to hide, have ulterior motives.
When Satoshi released Bticoin into the world, it was open source, the intent was clear, and a very early, vibrant community was in open discussion. There was no need to conceal or censor anything, because the technology speaks for itself. The solution is holistically evident, demonstrable, and quantifiable. Bitcoin doesn’t need to be protected by gatekeepers…
If you support censorship resistant money, then your default stance is to be anti-censorship. Any other position implies dishonesty
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