More "Golden Guidelines" - What Will Get You Banned?

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othersna

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I'm pretty sure anyone who joins a private tracker and reads the rules will see the important rules of how to conduct oneself there, so this blog article is written more to explain why certain behaviors are considered so bad by trackers, and to rebut anyone who would think such behaviors are acceptable. Again, this blog article is geared more towards beginners.

1. Overview of life in the private tracker community - I've said what the motto for those using torrents is; it's "sharing is caring." For a good private tracker to run properly, all members really need to do their part to contribute. Such contributions include uploading, downloading, seeding (as long as possible), and participating in the community. Members will often spend a good amount of time contributing to their trackers to make it what it is. The same goes for the staff, who will often spend countless hours making sure the tracker is a welcoming place to go to.

Now let me briefly reiterate the mindset of the typical "bad user." In one word - selfish. The bad user is not interested in sharing or contributing, but would rather engage in behaviors which would benefit himself at the detriment of everyone else at his tracker. I will now go over the "bad behaviors" which will get you banned with this overview in mind.

2. Invite and Account Selling - Probably the worst thing a member can do to a private tracker short of doing something malicious to harm the tracker (hacking, spamming, exploiting bugs, DDoS attacks, revealing secrets/snitching). As one tracker staff put it, every good user is volunteering time and effort to make the place a good place for torrenting, and it is basically a "slap in the face" of everyone for a bad user to take advantage of the goodness there by selling invites and accounts. Invites and accounts should never be considered "commodities" with a "value" on an open market. Invites are for members to give to people who would benefit the tracker, not harm it. Further, selling an account to anyone who is willing to pay opens the tracker up to getting more bad users in. (Like the kind who would try to hurt the tracker.)

3. Invite Trading - Similar to selling in that the trader considers an invite to be a "commodity," but rather than sell it, will trade it for an invite to a tracker he doesn't have. (Or maybe he does have it and wants to make a dupe account.) Some of these characters will make lots of dupe accounts and trade them. You can see the mindset of the typical trader as the offer to trade will often be for trackers which are completely different from one another, with their only similarity being difficulty to get in and high desirability. A surefire way of telling someone is a trader is if he talks about an invite or account having a "worth." That is why I have an issue with those invite forums which feel that giving away invites gives you a "rep" which allows you to receive invites. Indirectly, this mentality is similar to trading.

Now I want to clarify something. (I've written this on the forum as well.) If you and a friend you know well have invites to different trackers, and you invite your friend to a place because you think he would make a good member and vice-versa, this is not trading. Trading means a quid pro quo exchange, usually between people who don't know each other.

On a similar note to invite trading is account trading. Usually traders engage in this when a tracker has made invites difficult to obtain. But note that when tracker staff sees an IP address change over a large distance, they will often disable the account and the member disabled will have to explain himself in the help channel. Good idea to the staff know if you are moving or going on vacation far away and will be using your trackers.

4. Cheating - When I started out torrenting, I didn't even know what this term meant. Basically it means trying to get something from the tracker without earning it the proper way. Private trackers thrive when members seed torrents long-term, increasing speeds and keeping old content alive for a long time. Some trackers use ratio rules to encourage members to keep their torrents seeding. Others use a bonus point system to help out members with slow speeds. Someone who would want to manipulate this system doesn't care about helping the tracker, and gets some perverse joy seeing good upload or bonus point stats without earning them.

But let me warn beginners - do not ever think about using a modified bittorrent client to ratio cheat. Chances are you will be caught. Do not enter communities which encourage cheating, as the "scum and villainy" who hang out there are probably the worst kind of torrent users. (Not to mention tracker staff have most likely infiltrated those places.) Don't play games with the bonus point systems of trackers. I've seen a few TPS members get banned for this and when they ask for help in Tracker Support they get no sympathy. If your tracker doesn't allow bonus points to be given away outside of the tracker, don't do it. If you are caught, you will get banned.

5. Final Warning - Bad users are scammers. Think about it. If a bad user is willing to break tracker rules, chances are such a user would be willing to be a scammer. In other words, they might offer to sell an invite to a tracker, and once taking the money, will not offer the invite. A trader scammer will make you "go first" and after you give him your invite first you'll never see him again. Note if you go to the tracker IRC to try to "turn in" the trader, the tracker will consider you an equally bad user for participating. That's also why regular members shouldn't play "trader hunter" (unless you have spoken to tracker staff in advance and they know what you are up to.) If you, a regular member, reports a fellow member as a trader, the tracker staff might get suspicious in thinking you were a bad user scammed by the trader and is turning him in for "revenge."

Now what I have written is pretty obvious to seasoned torrenters, but I'm surprised at how beginning torrenters sometimes find out what I wrote much later in their torrenting experience. (And hopefully not finding out the hard way.)
 
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LadyCuddles

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A most excellent, and informative, post :)

As "pirates", we always want to see ourselves as the evil, underhanded, cut-throat entity we all see in the movies. The one who is willing to "kill" to either protect, or acquire, that elusive treasure. The truth of it is, we just want something, that is usually higher than its worth. As in the case of games, they are so expensive that if you bought everything you wanted, you'd either be in the poor house, or a gullible purchaser who is ripped off by merchandise that is crap.

The "dark side" of private tracker users, I feel, is, as you said, selfishness. I also feel that, many of these people don't feel they have to be held "accountable" for their actions, and, that if they can get something to download in 10 seconds, that, others don't deserve that same "courtesy". As one of my private trackers displays, prominently, on their home page "Sharing is Caring". The term "Hit & Run" was made popular by these kinds of people, and, hence, all the code that has been added to every tracker site, to try and "curb" this attitude.

Considering this is TPS (The Pirate Society), we can see this as a feeling to "Rape and Pillage", and that some, may, feel that this same "attitude" should be carried out in private, or public, trackers. It is not a "good" way of acceptance, and has surely been the downfall of many a member, to take on this action.

The whole "physics" of a torrent, or a tracker of many torrents, is that more people who seed (or share), the more people can get it. As the numbers grow, so too, does the speed. If you have ever downloaded a newly added torrent from a tracker, and sat there, for days, because only one seeder existed, you can appreciate the fact that more seeders makes the time a lot less.

The "Anti" of this, is the person who feels that once they get what they want, they don't need to stick around so others can get it, either at, or sooner, then they did. One of my biggest pet-peeves is the ones who do stick around, but, choke their upload speed to something like 1 KBps. I'm not talking here about the people who really have bandwidth issues, but, rather, the ones who have seedboxes, and seriously high bandwidths.

I think, most people, feel good when they can get a download quickly, and want to "help" others, in doing the same. Its that small "fringe" that we are all talking about here, the ones that take it upon themselves to see a "community" as just themselves.
 

conscript88

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Now what I have written is pretty obvious to seasoned torrenters, but I'm surprised at how beginning torrenters sometimes find out what I wrote much later in their torrenting experience. (And hopefully not finding out the hard way.)
While the things about ratio and Hit and run might be quite obvious I don't see how can the new users know anything about how bad it is trading and selling invites. So it's not exactly surprising that a lot of the new users will make such ''fatal'' mistakes. I didn't know anything about invites and the rules about them until I got my first invites.​
The staff is always right, even when they're not.


And then they make a lot of enemies and they are either hacked or DDoSed.
 
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pWned

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If there was a member of the month/year/whatever I'd nominate othersna. His aggregated posts on topics around the use of private trackers alone would fill more than the PirateAcademy 101.[DOUBLEPOST=1366505608,1366505464][/DOUBLEPOST]Dun get any ideas now othersna othersna ! I'm on my 5th Dalmore Single Malt so I'm shmoosy!!! All no homo ya hear!!!! :p
 
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trozugi

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Obviously this is the best place to be for information and advice.

For those who aren't here the sub trackers reddit is another good place.

Old posts from torrentfreak and filesharefreak will also give people a lot of information and experiences about what to do and not to do on private trackers.
 

chiara1212

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Thank you for the real 'education' in torrents and trackers and being upright! Personally, I think 'the staff' are a race apart, demi-gods who for no reason that greed could fathom do all this work for the thousands. We cannot thank them enough!
 

meri

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Thank you. I very much appreciate the time & effort that has gone into educating us of good community practices. :)
 
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