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Buying Perception: Bitcoin Propaganda War Hits Reddit

  • Microtask workers were employed to pump the visibility of a post made to the r/btc subreddit, screenshots reveal.
  • Propaganda battle continues between two deeply oppositional groups in the cryptocurrency space.
  • Bitcoin’s scaling debate continues to make itself felt.

Bitcoin’s ongoing faction wars spilled over onto Reddit this week when screenshots revealed people had been paid to upvote specific posts on the r/btc subreddit.

Screengrabs from Microworkers.com shows someone paid to boost the visibility of a Bitcoin Cash hit-piece. The photo below shows an open task which directs people to upvote the post in question, with promise of payment on delivery.

An open task on Microworkers directed workers to upvote a specific post on the r/btc subreddit. | Source: Reddit

The post in question claims to reveal how Bitcoin Cash’s Australian adoption numbers were intentionally inflated by Hayden Otto, CEO of BitcoinBCH.com. Three copies of the purported expose appeared on Reddit at the same time, and were all quickly upvoted to prominence.

But the Bitcoin Cash community refutes the claims, and maintain that their published numbers accurately represent everyday crypto usage in Australia.

The Five-Year War

The war between Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporters stretches back five years, and stems from both camps claiming to represent the real Bitcoin.

Interestingly, the employer profile that commissioned the upvotes was created in 2015, just as divisions began to grow between the two poles of the Bitcoin community.

The employer who set the task has a 5 year history which encompasses 13,000 campaigns and nearly 2 million tasks. | Source: Reddit

The employer launched 13,000 ‘campaigns’ between 2015 and now. Those campaigns were comprised of almost 2 million individual tasks.

Propaganda wars on Reddit are nothing new. In 2015, the section of Bitcoin support that disagreed with BTC’s off-chain scaling were unceremoniously booted from the r/bitcoin sub. The exiles congregated in r/btc, which eventually became home to Bitcoin Cash.

For a taste of some of the more controversial notes to come out of the Bitcoin scaling wars, view this extremely interesting thread. Accusations of social engineering, astroturfing, hiring spies, committing false flags – it’s all there.

This newest revelation is just the tip of the iceberg. The fact that likes, upvotes and even comments are regularly bought in the cryptocurrency space is now undeniable.

Our perceptions have always been for sale, and have been purchased cheaply by those in power since forever. Who’s doing the buying now?

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.