Real Friends: How Many Of Us?

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spacely

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#1
My last blog post was about TPS' role in facilitating entry, but there's a 3rd head of the hydra of What's death that's rearing its ugly head right now: real friends.

I know not a single soul in real life who uses private trackers. Now though, it's the standard in which invites must be dealt on various trackers with more joining that mind state slowly but surely. Maybe some of you have this luxury, but I'd wager that most of you don't know your inviters or invitees in real life either. What's death showed just how dangerous this thing of ours can be & now everyone's holding with their cards very tightly to their chest because the risk is seemingly too high not to. I don't disagree here, but now more than ever it seems like invites are destined to collect dust because of the large lack of trust.

"Make friends" has become the default answer to entry questions since there still isn't & seemingly won't be a central hub for gaining access. I have personally attested to friendship helping me out in the past. However, that person & I don't know each other IRL & I was banned on a tracker because of it. When it happened I was pretty alarmed as one might expect. The staff were cordial about it thankfully, but I was given the 3rd degree about our familiarity. My answers weren't good enough & *poof*, account deactivated. I spoke to said friend about it, thanking him for his generosity & opportunity. I then dropped it because I didn't feel a right to "fight" for my spot. They're the judge, jury, & executioner of their domain. I am no one to question that. The story ends happily with reactivation but some aren't so lucky. I've heard of entire trees biting the dust because the guy at the top used his invites too liberally.

Don't worry; this isn't some gloom & doom tale about stranger danger. It is, however, a cautionary tale with myself as proof that this danger is becoming very real very fast on some of the best trackers out there. TheDeh told me that the last post was my first step in gaining friendship with many here. I was flattered, but having been in the situation I was put in since then I'm now apprehensive on whether this is even worth it or not. My inviter was banned too & I'll be honest: I did feel some culpability for his demise. I don't want to put others in this same position again.

But this is the question of the thread: As more trackers scrutinize friendship how many of you think it's worth the risk to invite despite it? Do you at all?

I've read several threads that speak on the luck or lack thereof with IRL friends & most say that their friends ended up deactivated due to inactivity. As streaming services improve I believe interest will continue to wane. A previous blog asked if trackers faced an existential threat in the government. I think this is the real existential dilemma.

Maybe, rather, hopefully, this is just a phase & the more open system from before will resurface. From the way it's handled now though, I'm not holding my breath. Thanks for reading.
 
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SunnyC

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#2
I will have to say that when I joined the world of private trackers a little more than 4 years ago, I was extremely cavalier in the use of my invites. I had passed the what.cd interview, uploaded like mad to reach TM+ on the big 3(among others), and was enamored by this whole new world. The downside of this, of course, was carelessness with my invites. While I never gave them out freely, I was a lot more relaxed after talking with someone on IRC for awhile and would offer them an invite via PM which carried content that we both had interest in. Thankfully, I only ever ended up inviting one truly bad user, or at least one that staff of any site contacted me about, which was cleared up with simply being honest.

I then looked back at my invite trees and saw that many people had been disabled due to inactivity. That, combined with the most recent experience, swiftly changed my attitude. The pendulum swung swiftly towards the side of, "If you want it badly enough, you'll find a way in. Network, find recruitment, etc" type of silent attitude. Note: I did not want these people to 'resort' to buying invites, its that I wanted them to value their accounts, as I was certainly newly appreciative of my own. I read on /r/trackers almost daily on the requirements to receive an invite to BTN for example, expecting to jump in without any work or effort on their part. You put your time, effort and money into things that matter to you.

Real life friends are even worse in my opinion and for different reasons. They simply want a reliable source to movies/tv/music/apps and could care less about scene vs P2P, release groups, epeen, quality, etc. Some business models have gotten or are slowly starting to get it right. I hardly pirate games anymore unless it's to test them or unless its a very old title. Why? Steam & Company make it so easy between sales, seamless updates compared to patches, cracks and painful updates. They also could care less about the politics or drama behind pirating. To them, pirating is pirating and that's it. The few friends in real life I have given private invites out to, the only ones that remain alive are the ones with IPT accounts.

Currently I haven't given out an invite in almost 2 years, due to the potential pain in the ass it could lead to down the road. It's a double edged sword. Those who are freely offered invites or beg for them don't seem to value their accounts while the serious users will wait, do the proper research, put in the effort for proper invitation or recruitment, and don't need personal invitations from other users.
 
largos7

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#3
Interesting topic. Whenever someone says "make friends", that is because they took the time and effort to connect with people online and develop trust.

I'd encourage you to share your interests and follow conversations that connect with you, whether it be here on this forum or on tracker IRC channels. You're probably already doing that at some level, so just keep it up and you'll have a circle of friends in time.

I do agree with you that "friends must be IRL friends" is rather tough. It's not just trust that they're a good person, but there are many other things to consider such as technical aptitude and experience.
 
king

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#4
"Make friends" is something you'll hear everytime when you ask how to get an invite to a certain tracker.
I'll say the truth, my first private tracker was AnimeTorrents and after KAT went down i started looking for some reliable sources for my stuff (not many know but KAT had remuxes for every new movie which came out). So someone told me make friends on IRC, oh well...i'm not really good with it but i just tried then someone told me that a guy can invite you to AB so i asked that guy if it was possible (P.S. i never talked to that guy before or knew him.) he asked me about what all anime i've watched, about my fav. anime characters and if i know how to torrent. I answered all his questions politely and he invited me to AB. I asked him why he shared an AB invite with someone he doesn't know well? his answer was "invites are given to users for sharing not for collection on their accounts", if someone proved to him that they're really into anime and can take care of their account then he . Then after a while i wanted to get into ADC, i just requested one of the AnimeTorrents mod. and she invited me to ADC. On ADC i asked a guy for PTP and he asked me a few questions on why i want PTP and he invited me after that and after a week i got to know that the person who invited me was a retired PTP admin and only 2 places were left until the max user limit was reached. Same way i got on u2.dmhy, i just asked a person on IRC and he did invited me.

At the end i would say that i've been a good user to all my trackers (PU on all with good ratios), so do not let the "trust" die. As you can make out from my story i NEVER really was a good friend to the people who invited me to my trackers but they still trusted me, not everyone asking for an invite is a bad member, just try trusting some new people for once, they might stand out to be a better user than the ones you know well.
 
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fdemon

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#5
Never again will I give an invite to a RL friend.
I would trust a random on reddit to take care of an account better at this point.
 
Xemaniac

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#6
I think the issue is not as much how to get in to top trackers, but people not being content with want they have.

There are a lot of trackers with enough content that are not the elite ones. You have MTV, TehC, TVV, Freshon, IPT, HD-T, HDSpace, UHDB and so on. With those you find more or less anything. One does not need to have HDB, PTP or BTN to find content, one needs to be content with what one has. And as someone noted in a thread yesterday, many of those higher up trackers are just for e-peen enlargement. Why would anyone invite people who see it as a such?

I have invited people I know only on the internet, but that I trust, and know that, if push comes to shove by tracker staff, they can prove that they are outstanding members of the community. Just a few days ago I invited someone from here to the top music tracker. Why? Because I trust him, and vouch for him.

I have gotten into top trackers thanks to friends here, but I made an effort to fit in and contribute, so I think your reasoning is flawed. However, there are trackers you should ONLY get recruited into, to avoid problems, BTN being one of them.

But then there are those that only come here to make friends for invites. Yesterday a guy/girl posted in the "tracker recruitment radar" thread, and it was their first post after their introduction, and asked where MTV recruits from? How do ydo you think anyone would invite them, when they obviously do not even try to help to contribute here?

So getting in through "friends" is THE best way to get in to some trackers, but an effort needs to be made. I have never been questioned for inviting anyone, since I always behave on trackers, and chose my invites carefully.
 
Cherokee

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#7
I wouldn't invite a real life friend to a tracker. I don't even normally talk about p2p when I'm offline. When people say make friends, they mean, that if you have regular interactions at the tracker(s) you're already at with the other active people there, then they might offer to invite you somewhere. Most of the invites I've gotten have been this way. I've never tried to get into a special "user class" so I could get invites. Most of the time, I let them find me, and if I don't think I'm interested, I don't take one when it's offered. I do hate it when you invite someone and there's no activity. But I have had experiences where I've gotten invited to a tracker, and when I got there, it just didn't work for me. They didn't have anything I wanted that I didn't already have, and my uploads weren't snatched. So those trackers it's like, well, didn't work for me, what can I say. Fortunately, that hasn't happened very often, but it's nothing against those trackers, if it does. It just wasn't a good fit for me personally.

As far as you getting banned for inviting someone you didn't know in real life, I think that probably the tracker staff at that place just has at least one person who is kind of clueless, y'know?
 
spacely

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#8
I have gotten into top trackers thanks to friends here, but I made an effort to fit in and contribute, so I think your reasoning is flawed. However, there are trackers you should ONLY get recruited into, to avoid problems, BTN being one of them.

So getting in through "friends" is THE best way to get in to some trackers, but an effort needs to be made. I have never been questioned for inviting anyone, since I always behave on trackers, and chose my invites carefully.
I attested to "friendship" in the OP, but then explained why it wasn't good enough anyway. This isn't about having a strong tracker resume, because regardless of my statistics whether it be how many uploads I have, my average seed time, my uploaded amount, downloaded amount, forum or IRC activity - none of this matters to the staff if we don't know each other IRL. That's the point here. No, that idea isn't ubiquitous but having been on that side of it already what's flawed about my reasoning? The staff's rule? Because I'm not making this up; it's all real.

As far as you getting banned for inviting someone you didn't know in real life, I think that probably the tracker staff at that place just has at least one person who is kind of clueless, y'know?
It was the opposite of that actually, but I can't comment on their lack of competence. Said place celebrated its 7th birthday not too long ago. They gotta be doing something right.
 
Xemaniac

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#9
if we don't know each other IRL.
As I said, I've never had this issue, so I don't think they enforce it crazy much. And they always put the bar high, because people always lower it.

So if they say you can "invite people you know online", then people will invite randoms. Now if they say "only real life friends", then people lower it to " real internet friends ".

But as said, depends on trackers.
 
megamind

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#10
i found no correlation between good or likeable person and good user so it's usually hard to give invites to friends, even if you are sure he wouldn't trade or cheat, thats a low entry bar to give someone your invite and risk your account

i have only invited 1 irl friend to a greek tracker and i have to say, not so much the fact that he was disable for inactivity but how difficult it was for me to explain what it is and how to use it make me unwilling to give any more invites to people i have seen there faces

but i have helped some people in the past that i 'll have a bear with if i ever meet them offline, and i do appriciate all the people that trust other people every day online because "sharing is caring"

i leave you with two familiar phrases
"what? so you leave your pc open all day long? you know thats not good for you laptop right?"

"do you ever rewatch any of your movies? then why aren't you deleting them all from your hard drive?"

:explosion:
 
T

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#11
So, I just invited someone to PTP about a week ago. He inboxed me and asked if it would be ok to invite him there. He saw that I was active in a discussion about What.CD replacements on AHD. I check on his account from time to time and I see that he turned about to be a good user. I have not invited anyone because of the concern that I could be banned and my invites could be stripped away. Sometimes people ask for profile links from other trackers before inviting them. That still does not mean they will do right by their account. Its all a wildcard really.
 
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#12
So far I have had good luck with all the people I have invited, but out of 20 or so ppl, none of them are rl friends. However, there are some trackers that I would be very cautious to invite people to, real life or not. For the most part, I've never had the opportunity to invite a rl friend to a private tracker. The ones who torrent are happy with public trackers. Back in 2009 I had a buddy that got me into modding xbox 360's, so I offered him an invite to BCG because all he was using was TPB. All he said to me was "nah...I'm into downloading...not uploading." At least he was honest with me. Funny thing is though, whenever he came to visit he would marvel at my 360 game collection and wished he could find some of the stuff I had access to. Go figure!
 
Cherokee

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#13
I attested to "friendship" in the OP, but then explained why it wasn't good enough anyway. This isn't about having a strong tracker resume, because regardless of my statistics whether it be how many uploads I have, my average seed time, my uploaded amount, downloaded amount, forum or IRC activity - none of this matters to the staff if we don't know each other IRL. That's the point here. No, that idea isn't ubiquitous but having been on that side of it already what's flawed about my reasoning? The staff's rule? Because I'm not making this up; it's all real.


It was the opposite of that actually, but I can't comment on their lack of competence. Said place celebrated its 7th birthday not too long ago. They gotta be doing something right.
There are places that function, with a large community, for years, who have totally dysfunctional staffs. I think once the tracker population gets past a certain point, it's almost inevitable. So what they do right might not have anything to do with whether or not one staff member knows that much. Few of the people I have ever met on private trackers invite people from real life. Just about anyone I've ever met that's tried it, wouldn't want to do it again. That's why your experience sounds so out there to me.
 
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#14
"Make friends" has become the default answer to entry questions since there still isn't & seemingly won't be a central hub for gaining access.
What would you envisage such a "central hub" to look like?

It sounds like it could range from class restricted forums on one end through to T-I at the other
 
peta

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#15
I can say the same guys. I have no one in my real life frients that are using any private torrent tracker. Most of them won't understant why a private torrent tracker and PTP must exist. They just download and they do not sheare. So in my opinion its hard to invite someone today to some trackers that you love and you are online. So the best way for me is by interviews. Thats the only way foe the trackers to get new blood and to know who is this guy you are inviting. There are a lot of examples with users invited by staff and disabled after that but this always will be that way.
So if you want to invite someone the best way is to let the staff know about him!
 
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#16
Real life and virtual world of freedom/ piracy are poles apart. Its always good to keep them away. If you mix them because of any valid or invalid reason; consequences are there. I never talk to my real life friends about Private trackers , DDL , or a secret small world of people who believe in freedom, There is very a small amount of people who really understand it. I am more confident and feel secure handling my invites to a person with basic private tracker past than my real life friend.

We are came across the private tracker world because of our digging and countless hours of search. For me, it was an accident on 31 dec 2008...... We all have our stories and we say strong together regardless of all boundaries.
 
AbeSimpson

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#17
I invited one RL friend to a fracker last year. I don't think he ever logged in.

As for internet friends. I have usually had good success, but was burned once and lost invite privileges at one fracker because of it. I'm much more cautious now
 
everfang

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#18
I have only ever given a few invites out in all my time torrenting. A couple have been to people I know IRL, and a couple to people I know online. A few different stories of friends in real life:

I think the first invite I ever gave out was for WCD to a coworker of mine while I was in university. He ended up getting disabled because of his ratio, I think. I told him that it was important to keep his ratio up (even though it wasn't even 1:1 there) but as soon as he got his account, he just downloaded tons of albums and never was able to get his ratio up. Another friend IRL I have invited was much better and he didn't just jump the gun. I invited him to WCD as well, and he took his time building his ratio and uploading his CDs. He got into PTH by himself after WCD got shut down, and I invited him to APL because I trust his torrenting habits. He's now a good member at BTN, PTP, and a few other sites. A third friend, who is actually my closest friend out of all three, I haven't given any invites too. He just doesn't have the patience or motivation to actually share to the community. Like SunnyC SunnyC said, to a lot of people "Pirating is pirating, and that's it." I told him that if he doesn't seed and keep a good ratio, then he'll probably lose his account, and I might too, and he just doesn't feel the need to have that "pressure" and join. Occasionally he'll ask me to find some music for him which I happily do. This has been said on this site before, but just because you are really close friends in person, doesn't mean anything about their ability to properly utilize tracker accounts. Which is why....

I feel way more comfortable inviting people I know online. By knowing someone online here, or at different trackers, you can actually see their torrenting practices and if they are able to, and know how to share well. There is a direct correlation to how they manage their account on one tracker and how they will likely manage their account on another. There is no guarantee, obviously, but it's a hell of a lot safer than inviting a friend IRL even if you've known them forever. The thing is, with most of my friends online, they are already where they want to be. They don't really need any invitations, and neither do I. I remember when I first started out here, I did ask for a couple invites through either the requests forum, or the offers forum, and to be honest, I don't know why I got any invites. I wasn't very close to anyone here at the time, but maybe it was because I had a demonoid account with good stats or some other sort of "proof."

Which brings me to my next point: some trackers seem less risky to give out invites for. The more "elite" the tracker is, the riskier it seems for someone to give out an invite. Some trackers are extremely easy to maintain ratio on, or have no ratio requirements at all, so it's pretty safe to invite someone to. MAM, MTV, BTN, et al all are easy to be a "good user" on, so they are great to invite people you are getting to know to. This gives them a chance to test the waters, and learn a bit about the entire torrenting scene before they move on to other trackers. Though I don't particularly like the whole "eliteness" of some trackers, it kind of is necessary. Some content is really difficult to keep a seed for, and if you don't have good users, there's just no way to keep it up. By having more "entry level" trackers with files that are easily replaceable if the last seed dies (ebooks for example), it's really a great way for newer members of the community to get a handle on how to be a productive member, and opens up doors to them to get more content they want at different trackers.
 
Xemaniac

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#19
BTN, et al all are easy to be a "good user" on, so they are great to invite people you are getting to know to
This I disagree on totally.

Firstly I would NEVER invite someone to BTN as a first tracker.
Secondly I would say that BTN is probably the only tracker to scrutinise invites a lot.
So in my opinion it should ALWAYS be entered into through recruitment.
 
everfang

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#20
This I disagree on totally.

Firstly I would NEVER invite someone to BTN as a first tracker.
Secondly I would say that BTN is probably the only tracker to scrutinise invites a lot.
So in my opinion it should ALWAYS be entered into through recruitment.
I actually shouldn't have included that in my comment, because I'm not a member there and I'm only as informed by the screenshots of the rules and I added it mainly to group together with MTV due to the fact that it is ratioless. Poor judgement on my part for including it in the first place, and uninformed opinion. Sorry for the lapse in judgement, and thanks for pointing this out.
 
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