Is There Any Point To Being A "Snitch" In The Torrent World?

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othersna

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Now I don't mean a snitch to an anti-P2P group, but to the staff of private trackers. Read on...

We had a post here at TPS where a member was upset that someone had "snitched" on him. Turns out he invited someone from an "invite forum" to one of his trackers and when tracker staff caught wind of it, he got banned. So here's some thoughts that came up. If he did a "giveaway" on that forum, chances are a tracker staffer would have easily seen it and the ban would have happened fairly quickly. This didn't happen. He got banned much later after the invite occurred, making him suspicious someone had "snitched" on him. I also don't know if the invite offer was done via an open "giveaway," or if it was done in private, but from what I understand, the tracker didn't like that he met his invitee at an "invite forum."

So the first issue is, if you meet someone at an "invite forum," or here at TPS for that matter, and befriend the person and get to know and trust him, then are you breaking any rules if you offered an invite to him in private? I will say flat out inviting your friends in private is NOT against the rules of TPS. We never snoop into what our members do by PM, but can only suggest they know and trust anyone they invite. For that matter, is such private inviting against tracker rules as it's not a "giveaway?" In other words, if you like someone at TPS, offer him an invite privately because you think he will be a good member at your tracker, but it turns out he's a bad user, will you get banned because you made the offer at TPS as opposed to at a tracker?

The second issue is about the snitching. I assume it was done by a non-tracker staff. To what purpose does it serve someone to snitch on his fellow pirate when it comes to this kind of thing. I already mentioned that if a regular member tries to play "trader hunter" it will backfire. Tracker staff will wonder why you are doing this. Could you be a fellow trader yourself and reported a trader whose trade went bad? The same goes for snitching on someone for making a giveaway. I can't speak for other invite forums, but if someone did that at TPS, the person wouldn't get banned from TPS for being a "snitch," but he would cause a lot of ill will with his fellow members and lose their trust. At TPS I prefer an honest relationship with members and tracker staff, so if an invite offer is frowned upon by someone, how about sending us TPS staff a PM about your concerns rather than "snitching" directly to the tracker staff? (I will also say I am not aware of any "snitching" going on here anyway.) I'll also make an exception to a certain "Unwanted Publicity" thread at one of my trackers. That thread isn't for "snitching." Members of that tracker report open trade threads they see at trading forums which are open to the public. It is up to the trackers' staff to root out the trader.

I'll also ask our tracker staff members what they think of "snitches?" Are these people "heroes" who help your tracker, or are they weasels who shouldn't be trusted because they act underhandedly?
 

jammyone

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It's slightly off topic, but my big concern about the whole thing is if the staff just took the 'snitch' at their word. What if someone at a tracker just doesn't like you and makes up a story like this?
 

Cherokee

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It's slightly off topic, but my big concern about the whole thing is if the staff just took the 'snitch' at their word. What if someone at a tracker just doesn't like you and makes up a story like this?
they dont
Actually, it's been done before. It can be a pain in the ass for an innocent person to sort this shit out. Also, I can tell you from personal experience, if someone starts a rumor and someone buys it without verification, believe me, my estimation of that person who bought into the rumor goes way, way down as well. There are lazy people out there who buy whatever they're told, and really, they shouldn't be staff anywhere, but sometimes they are. There are also people who staff trackers who are actually nasty people when they get into it with someone.

As to the original question, as tracker staff, I would really consider who it was that told me the information, first. There are people who I actually do trust on something like this. Second, I'd want to verify the information. Really, no one really has ever bothered me with trader info before. However, I do remember a time when someone had reported someone had uploaded something somewhere else without attribution. I sort of felt they were trying to brown nose. Fortunately, I was merely a forum mod back then, and wasn't the one to actually handle it.
 

othersna

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Shit i'd snitch on a trader/seller in a heartbeat if I ever came across such information, whether staff approved of me gathering such info or not

Remember I posted in a previous blog article this got me within inches of getting banned at what.cd . As a junior TPS staffer way back when, I got into the big "trader hunter" kick and would report traders I could find directly to tracker staff. (What I should have done was forward it to my senior staff here at TPS.) So after I did this a few times I got hauled into the help channel at what.cd as the staff was suspicious of my motivations. Fortunately I did not get banned, but that's when my fellow TPS staffers said that some traders will turn in their fellow traders if they felt they got a "bad deal," so some tracker staff think "trader hunters" are traders themselves.

Better to report the trading you find to the TPS staff here and we can forward the info to tracker staff.

Note this is different from what happened in my initial blog article. It seems like our member here got backstabbed by somebody who for whatever reason wanted to get him in trouble. Plus offering an invite to someone you met on a forum is nowhere near as bad as trading invites.
 

othersna

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I suppose people will only rat on friends (inviters/invitees) to save their own sorry asses when they find themselves in some kind of trouble, it's not even tracker related.

This is an interesting point. When someone is hauled into a #disabled channel of a tracker, or goes there trying to get their account back, the tracker staffer will almost always ask where did you meet your invitee/inviter . If you say "at torrent-invites.com" chances are you won't get you account back and the person you invited or invited you will get banned. (That was my whole point about wondering if it is a bannable offense for meeting an invitee there.) So here's the conundrum - do you answer that you met your inviter at t-i and rat out your friend, or lie to tracker staff to protect your friend? (this is what I call a lose-lose situation ;) )
 

Dwarsligger

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So here's the conundrum - do you answer that you met your inviter at t-i and rat out your friend, or lie to tracker staff to protect your friend? (this is what I call a lose-lose situation ;) )
It is in fact like you say lose-lose, and one should be aware of that before they start whining to get an account back. You have 2 options: being honest which probably means giving up on your inviter (the one who cared enough about you to invite you in the 1st place) or lie your way through it. The first is snitching on your fellow pirate and like Cthulhu Cthulhu said: snitches get stitches, you will meet sooner or later people who know you snitched and will hold it against you. The second option isn't good either, if you think you have some excuse respected tracker didn't hear before you're not thinking very clear.
So yes it's lose-lose, I think that's why people always tell each other to stay away from the easier side of getting invites and to get to know people. Sure it takes longer or might be harder and requires some effort but in the long run you, your fellow pirates and trackers gain from it...
 
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LuciusVorenu

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I think othersna othersna hit it on the nail when retelling the story of his what.cd incident. We operate in the shadows of the internet and as such paranoia is par for the course. A distinctive and unique feature of TPS is the staff, along with long time members, all have strong ties with private tracker staff and their respected members, of which we're amongst. I've made personal real life mistakes in the past where paranoia got the best of me and burned bridges with exes and even former bossed and coworkers. On a post factum analysis, the more level headed move would've been consulting a trusted and experienced friend and colleague.

It's feature in the footnotes here at TPS that most new members don't appreciate. If you're active in IRC or the forums, you'll build trust with fellow members who you could always approach when needed. The same goes for the staff here, a fact I can attest to when I was a PT youngin' and then later a staff member here. Depending on the message, our world is one where the messenger can get killed along with the subject of the content. Maybe its my old age these days but calm caution prevails over the nervous trigger finger.

That's the purpose of TPS; more than invites or any of the other vanities, it's the relationship building that makes this subculture worthwhile.
 
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N0M4D

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Half the staffers in question probably got invited from the said forums. I am one of them.
I met some really good people who helped me with the basics, and invited me to most sites that I am currently on. Having said that, as long as you have known a person for a while, and are reasonably sure about him/her, inviting him/her to a certain site shouldn't be an issue.

There is a certain degree of risk involved with anything that you do online - Online banking, dating and even piracy. One can only exercise caution and try to use his/her sense of judgement online. But, the odds of getting cheated/befooled are always present. So, IMO, just be careful and use common sense when dealing with invites etc.

A few years back, I distinctly remember inviting an old FSC member that I met on their IRC to what.cd. The guy donated to WCD within minutes of joining it. Then, went on to trade the 2 complimentary invites on FST (Which used to be my stomping ground back in the day). Anyway, I spotted this guy's post in the trade section, and probably ended up as one of the first people on the WCD support channel who actually got his own invitee disabled for trading. (This isn't something that I am proud of, but shit happens. I learned lol'd and moved on after deciding to be very careful with my invites in the future. This guy lost his FSC account ofc)

Times have changed, and BT has certainly become a bit more mainstream / visible. Its understandable that the views/position of private trackers concerning Invite forums have changed to the same effect. From the PoV of being a staffer, and being responsible for the security of sites that I volunteer to staff at, I can only expect members of the said trackers to be careful / cautious. A site can only be as secure as the weakest link (Often a member with access to invites). Staffers generally are pretty level headed and understanding. I advise people to be 100% honest in such cases, as it can lead to vastly different outcomes.

Hope this provides some insight to members and helps them at some point.
//N
 
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megamind

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well i don't know if that makes me selfish but i think of it like that, it's like irl where you mostly look at your problems and the problems of your own family except if it's happening right in front you, likewise I try to be a good member and look after the people i invite and i almost never play deductive to other peoples giveaways
the best way to help, i think, it's like any other case to spread awareness to how can people make sure the people they invite are good members
 
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othersna

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well i don't know if that makes me selfish but i think of it like that, it's like irl where you mostly look at your problems and the problems of your own family except if it's happening right in front you, likewise I try to be a good member and look after the people i invite and i almost never play deductive to other peoples giveaways
the best way to help, i think, it's like any other case to spread awareness to how can people make sure the people they invite are good members

I don't think it's being "selfish" to not report other peoples' giveaways to tracker staff. As a regular private tracker member, you're a good member by downloading, seeding, uploading and posting on forums/IRC (any combo). Rooting out bad users and rulebreakers is the job of the tracker staff, so regular members are under no obligation to go after bad users. I agree about the part about spreading awareness on the proper way to invite people to trackers. I do my part with my blog articles. ;)
 

Nostalgia

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Honestly I tend to just mind my own business. The way I see it, if I was able to find blatant evidence of someone trading & I don't even have all of the tools available that tracker staff do, it should be twice as obvious to them who the bad seeds are. Snitches shouldn't even be necessary. Sure some can slip through the cracks but they'll expose themselves eventually. They always do in some shape or form.
 
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Dwarsligger

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Rooting out bad users and rulebreakers is the job of the tracker staff, so regular members are under no obligation to go after bad users.
Don't know about that. Tracker staff has already many things at hand, if I'm aware of someone trading/selling I won't hesitate to inform them. GA's don't fall under that (because some trackers don't mind or have agreements with some forums) but an actual active member at known trading/selling sites deserves no mercy in my opinion. To me it ain't even snitching, we all want them out so better have some out when there's an opportunity, some trackers even have a thread to expose them. Ratting on someone you know, many months after an invite was given through some GA, is another thing.
 

othersna

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Hey D, note I wrote
under no obligation
which means it is not a member's DUTY to go after traders. If you want to do it voluntarily, then fine if your tracker is ok with it. Some trackers have "Unwanted Publicity" threads where you can specifically report trading threads at trading forums, but I also suggested don't do this at what.cd because they get suspicious of regular members playing "trader hunter."
 
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Betrayed

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If you say "at torrent-invites.com" chances are you won't get you account back and the person you invited or invited you will get banned.
I somehow immediately got the feeling from OP alone that this was about T-I.com and BTN. :D These things come with delay, but they surely come, sooner or later.

Lying in disabled is probably the worst thing you can do, we rarely ask questions we don't already know answer to. They're asked to see how you are as an person - honest and straightforward about your f-ups or trying to weasel out of it because "nazi admins dont tell me what to do". Getting disabled doesnt mean end of the world immediately after you see the banned screen, it most of the time means that you're forced to have an chat with a staff member, whether you want to or not. This also needs to be in real time, talking about certain things via site PM system is not viable due the delays.

My BTN forum signature said:
Bought your invite? Be _first_ of his/hers tree to PM me, rat out your inviter, keep your account. If you don't, someone else will. Sooner you PM, better the chance that we will get your money back too.
That's a real thing, oddly, very few that have taken the offer, those that did, still have active accounts on BTN.

To "snitching" itself; be prepared to provide proofs of connections made and how you made them. Otherwise it might be you in the #disabled channel explaining your whole private tracker "career" instead of the person you're trying to frame.
 
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