[OPINION] Astroturfing Sucks
Community votes are one thing (of many) that Banfam shows up for and sets an example. We can always count on the unity and teamwork amongst our monkeys, and evidence of this is everywhere- in recent votes such as Uptrennd, Ataix, and Atomars (and more), and this newest vote is no different.
Unfortunately, a pervasive and persistent issue plaguing the cryptosphere is the use of astroturfing, bots, paid brigading and other forms of cheating in community driven initiatives and votes.
After a few days of the Banano Community kicking ass in the ongoing HitBTC vote, it was clear that the “competition” did not stand a chance at competing to win - unless they gave up on competing fairly.
Reporters on the scene observed the early beginnings of an attempt from an outside influence to offer “marketing support” in exchange for payment - but what it really was, was an attempt to intimidate and even threaten our team members into cheating.
Why would anybody think botting and cheating a vote is a good strategy, you ask? Well, we can’t stick our heads far enough up our own asses to give you the perfect answer, but what we can tell you is this: people cheat to deceive. They cheat to deceive people and exchanges on their level of community engagement and support, as well as their sustainability as a project.
It should go without saying (yet it must be said) that communities and coins that deserve to win community votes don’t need to engage in this type of deception and manipulation.
This kind of strong-arming and bullying in the crypto world typifies some of the largest issues altcoins face in organically working their way into mainstream adoption. It is not only a deeply concerning issue on a single community level, but a serious threat to the livelihood of all coins and crypto enthusiasts involved in such ecosystems
After all, how could anybody be so sure of this kind of voting turnaround unless there was dubious methods being employed to achieve it
As you can see, Banano had a very strong and consistent lead in the beginning, both in votes and in interactions thereafter. In fact, nearly all responses to the HitBTC pole came from Banano members sharing their own reasoning for why $BAN deserves to go above and beyond this next milestone. Sadly Astroturfing (manipulation) is very common on twitter. See this Justin Sun Twitter poll and its comments for an example. Astroturfing can be found all over the internet. Here is another very long and detailed example where a Moderator was caught (multiple times) astroturfing on Reddit as they made dozens of accounts to try and manipulate public opinion.
These two screenshots are only 3-4 hours apart, yet they show the aggressive rate at which the poll swung after receiving these telegram messages. The amount of votes climbed dramatically in the span of a few hours, nearly doubling all the votes previously made through the last few days. Again, such things are often common with astroturfing. This Comment regarding the Justin Sun Tweek linked above is an example.
Amongst the inevitable frustration that comes with operating in good faith while others get away with much less, what we can always be thankful for is the good humour and positivity that comes out of the Banano Community no matter what is going on. The Banano community has continued to play fair and has rose their way back up to a closer race in the poll. In a world of fake news, fake votes, and fake accounts, it's always refreshing that Banano has a community of real people doing real things that create real value for people. And sometimes they make memes too: