It’s one thing to stand behind your beliefs; it’s something completely different to hold onto them so tightly that you’re ready to pounce anytime someone even whispers a comment that’s out of sync. However, that is exactly what is going on with the IOTA community, which immediately cries foul anytime a blurb, a tweet or a comment is posted that doesn’t espouse the supposed endless virtues of the digital currency.
IOTA is a distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency designed for the Internet of Things (IoT). It is repeatedly in the news, and lately there have been a number of online harassment allegations against the group. One individual, a reporter for Forbes, was apparently told that “she needs to be slapped” by IOTA Foundation board of directors’ member Dominik Schiener for reporting about the security flaws in the cryptocurrency uncovered in an MIT research.
whadaya know… Today’s FT. (Although it’s hardly “news” that IOTA founders are the most toxic and obnoxious “leaders” in the space) pic.twitter.com/SsYn7TyI8O
— cryptocalamity (@cryptokalamity) April 26, 2018
Jemima Kelly, who writes for the Financial Times (FT), said that IOTA followers are obsessed with controlling any information that is published about the group. In an article she wrote on the FT website, Kelly said, “IOTA talks a lot about FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), a term adopted by the crypto community to refer to critical commentary. The acronym might also reasonably be applied to its own approach to dealing with critics.”
Kelly added that IOTA’s tactics have resulted in certain individuals being too scared to speak out. She contacted several people for comments for her story, and two declined. One was concerned about being physically harmed if identified as the person in the story. An individual who agreed to comment, Post Oak Labs’ Tim Swanson, indicated that he had retweeted a story that was critical of IOTA, but later removed it because he had been intimidated by a “senior person from the IOTA team.”
Now, IOTA’s fan base automatically calls out any piece that doesn’t paint IOTA is the best cryptocurrency ever for doing nothing more than spreading FUD. Evidence is found on Tangleblog’s Twitter feed – one example found on Tangleblog called out Zcash’s founder, Zooko, for spreading FID because he tweeted a link to Kelly’s FT article. The blog’s author went further, whining about Grayscale Investments because it liked Zooko’s tweet.
IOTA and its “troll army,” as it has become known, has pushed for boycotts against organizations such as Bitcoin.com, Coindesk, The Next Web and many, many more. Anyone who doesn’t bow down and pray to IOTA is seen as an enemy, and the troll army is all too ready with the swords to launch their attacks.
@TheNextWeb is hereby blacklisted by the IOTA Foundation and we will not proceed with our planned arrangements with them. The reason for this is @Mixtatiq repeated deliberate defamation through fabrication, lies and complete misrepresentation of our stances.
— IOTA (@iotatoken) February 21, 2018
The attacks follow a predictable pattern. First, there’s the Twitter response. An article’s author can expect to receive veiled threats soon after publishing a story, and will be told to stop the spread of FUD. If that doesn’t work, the army goes into high gear.
After that, the comments section of the article will receive numerous complaints. These are virtually all the same copied-and-pasted text, showing the lack of creativity on the army’s part. The soldiers may complain that the article demonstrates fear of IOTA’s superiority, or they might go directly after the author, using anything from his or her past as artillery to disparage the individual.
This article hasn’t exactly put IOTA in the best of lights. I guess it’s my turn to feel the wrath, to which I can only say one thing—bring it on.