Your Torrenting Past Affecting Your Future Pt 2: Handling Invites

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othersna

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#1
So in a previous article I mentioned how to handle your situation if you have had a "past" at a "dodgy invite forum," especially the ones which allow "really bad behavior" like trading or selling. So for this part 2 article, let me assume that you as a n00b joined one (or 2) of these forums, made a few posts, maybe grabbed some invites and gave out an invite (or 2). I assume it was against the rules of the tracker for you to receive or give out those invites, and one or more of those places has banned you. Now I assume when applying for TPS membership, you did the "right thing" and came clean with us, detailing everything you've done with us and did not hide anything. You gave us all of your profile links to those "bad forums" and have left them permanently, and we've invited you.

So... now you're interested in getting invites to trackers you are interested in, or perhaps offering invites to your friends here. (You have learned that invites are not to be given away randomly to strangers, but to friends you know and trust.) Well here is my advice, and sorry if it sounds harsh. Initially, DO NOT offer to or receive invites from anyone here. I already wrote before , tracker staff have thoroughly infiltrated those "bad forums" and know who the big players are. That is why those doing trading, selling, or illegal giveaways over at those forums get caught so quickly. If you have been banned from a tracker because of your activity at a "bad forum," your name will be on what I call "the list." (Again note I do not know specifically how trackers share info on bad users. I do not even know if "the list" is a single one or if there are multiple "lists.") But rest assured, if you had activity at a bad forum (even if you never did anything but sign up as a member and make a few posts) there is a chance all the info about you may be on "the list."

Although you may have "come clean" with the TPS staff, we don't go around spreading that info to other members or tracker staff. So if you don't tell a potential inviter or invitee about your "past," it will be very embarrassing for both of you when both of you get banned after the invite occurs. At a minimum, your inviter will lose invite privileges. Now I know potential inviters are probably not going to invite you if you tell them upfront about your "past," but it is the right thing to do. Again, I am sorry a mistake from your past will affect you like this, but that is how life works in the private tracker world. Private trackers are often unforgiving once you show up on "the list." In the meantime, continue to be a good user at the trackers that you are already at - downloading, seeding, uploading, etc.

So what's the best thing to do? Well first, don't give out any invites to the trackers you are at. TPS members are under no obligation to give out invites to anyone, so it's OK. If you are interested in getting an invite from somewhere, there are other options - tracker recruitment (from here or power user sections of trackers) and open applications, for example. But it is very important you let the tracker staffer know everything about your past. You may get rejected by them, but that's a whole heck of a lot better than getting invited and then banned. Remember trackers and their staffs don't act in a "monolith." Some trackers may never accept anyone with any kind of a "past," but you never know. The most important thing for them is you are honest with them upfront.
 
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Antomon

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#2
Since i don't have connections in BT community, i was always wondering how do certain forums get labled as "shady" place for getting invites ? While i understand if forum/site/place primary goal is for trading or selling invites, that i will get blacklisted, but are views on something like subreddits or torrent-invites.com which on surface do not promote trading or selling.
I ask primarly because some of those places are popular starting points for people getting into private torrent scene and would like to hear input from somone who is more knowledgeable.
 
monkies8it

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#3
Any forum that either advertises or identifies as a place to get invites is 99.9999999% a problem. Many trackers' staffs are highly suspect of even TPS (because it is a forum ABOUT trackers, but isn't actually a tracker many people view it as inherently suspect), let alone getthebestinviteshere.com. As a general rule, if you're TRYING to get into trackers, sorry to say, you are probably already raising suspicions for a lot of people. Hang around a awhile, listen to what more experienced people have to say, learn what some of the 'easier' to get into trackers are (without begging), and then prove your worth by getting promoted and eventually gaining access to invite forums. Once you do, don't go nuts. Join one and hang out for a while, a month or two later join another that strikes your fancy. If you ask a lot of questions and join a bunch of trackers the day you get access you will attract attention as at best a collector or at worst an account trader/seller. Patience and open eyes and ears is the best recommendation I can offer.
 
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#4
Two 'mistakes' that I see, in addition to those mentioned above are:

1) People who seem way too keen to make Shipmate or Captain. For Shipmate you obviously want to access the invite forums. For Captain, I assume you want access to the "secret" forums and think these are where the '1337' tracker invites are. The problem with this is, you seem impatient and unwilling to "work" your way through the ranks. It might make you seem like the sort to take short-cuts.

2) People who seem to think that invites are 'burning a hole in their pocket'. Got some invites? Great! Please feel free to invite a friend (including a TPS friend of Shipmate and above) who you think would enjoy that tracker and be a good member. If you don't know anyone just keep your invites. I know on a few trackers there is an account statistic based on how many people you have invited but that's just a number - it's not a competition to invite the most people!
 
othersna

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#5
Since i don't have connections in BT community, i was always wondering how do certain forums get labled as "shady" place for getting invites ? While i understand if forum/site/place primary goal is for trading or selling invites, that i will get blacklisted, but are views on something like subreddits or torrent-invites.com which on surface do not promote trading or selling.
I ask primarly because some of those places are popular starting points for people getting into private torrent scene and would like to hear input from somone who is more knowledgeable.

Well obviously if there are invites for sale or for trade it's more than just a "shady" forum, it's a "bad forum." As mentioned before, trackers will ban you just for being a member.

A "shady" forum is one which encourages (or forces) you to use a nickname different from your tracker name, and in their invite section asks you to black out your username and stats on "ratio proofs" so trackers can't identify you. A "shady" forum will have a "rep" system where you get a "rep" for giving out an invite, and if you get enough "reps" you are deemed worthy to receive invites. At these forums, their staff will ask you to give out invites to deem yourself a good member there. (At TPS we will NEVER say that.) Finally, a "shady" forum will often have a "VIP" section where supposedly you can get into 1337 trackers or ones which clearly don't want their invites given away on forums.
 
dakka

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#6
This is a real issue these days, I see more and more people falling for this trap. "Private BT" hmm sounds like you have to pay to get in right? Sux that those sites come up first in google now and more and more are being taken for a ride.

Lots of great advice already, but there is another way to get back into the good graces. IRC...there are lots of places with open signups or easy interviews to get into. Join the IRC and be very active in there. Once people get to know you doors will open. The most important thing is to find a place that know about your past mistakes and are willing to give u a go for coming clean and being honest.

It will be pretty hit and miss, but if your totally honest and the people u tell believe you, then its just a matter of time that you form friendships and your past will be both forgiven and forgotten. So on that light here is a little staffer inside info that may help...

There are lots of things we can check about a person, but i wont disclose all of that. What I will say is that its very easy to check on someones activity at these dodgy places. So best course is to never use your account at those places if u had one. I have had people come clean and tell me this and that etc. If I spot a single lie its history. You can't come clean, and then hold 1 thing back, and then when asked u lie...yep thats a sure hell ticket to get burned for life.

The other aspect is we are all pirates, for most of us this shit is illegal, so we are all paranoid as all fuck! So many characters in BT land, from the nice polite staffer, to the old cynical mean bastard that wants to ban everyone. The trick is finding the right site/irc with like minded people. I dont fit in, in a lot of places, so I dont participate in their communities. But I do fit in, in lots of other places. Once you become chatty and people see you for weeks/months they begin to trust u. However if you finally get an offered an invite make sure you tell the person of your past. Then get them to ask the site you want to join if its ok to join knowing your past. Also offer to go to IRC and have a chat to the prospective site etc. Just be honest and direct. A lot of staffers dont have time to hide behind the bush.

EDIT: wtf did that last sentence mean...lol...i think i need more sleep too early in the morning.
 
Gruffalo

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#7
I think it's an extremely easy path to follow at the start. Unless you're fortunate to have somebody to lead you down the right path, your Googling inevitably returns sites like TI for your Go To Place to access the world of private bittorrent that you've heard rumours about. Some of the big sites have the luxury of not needing to accept people with a history, no matter how innocent their stories are. I don't think it's a case of being judged, it's more a case that there's a small risk associated with it and why take it when you can afford to take the cream of the crop. Honesty, I agree, is always the best policy... in everything... except perhaps when dealing with women.
 
dakka

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#8
There are many times not to be honest! I have been trying to teach my gf to lie for years now! I think I almost have her telling white lies, but she still screws up her face when she tries...its hilarious! But in respects to talking to tracker staff, some can sense a lie a mile away, so best be honest for this particular instance.
 
othersna

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#9
If I spot a single lie its history. You can't come clean, and then hold 1 thing back, and then when asked u lie...yep thats a sure hell ticket to get burned for life.
Agree 100%. There are members here who aroused our suspicion that they might be a bad user, or perhaps a tracker staff member voiced a concern about such a member, but we have no "smoking gun" on them when it comes to wrongdoing. So for those members, sometimes we will ask them to chat with us in IRC or we ask them something via PM, and if the response is a lie of any kind, then that's a good enough reason for being banned here. (lying to staff)
 
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#10
Shady forum to me = Well its those that like to collect and cause trouble for the topsites and blow there cover to all. They expose they to others and bring in the omg factor I want in there. This cause all tom dick and harry on the net to draw attention to that tracker that just want to share among a few buddy's and some good people. They also build up accounts and sell them as well known started and have good buffer. To some its a small business to other its just knowing ( I HAVE THAT TRACKER). Its hard to be a site owner or a site coder. Better lone be a release group that just want to have some fun. Just my 2 cent on SHADY.. There was one forum that had more shadyness on it, that it had to close and reopen under different names. Then that owner was outed and global bad.

:) :) Keep low key is the way to go..
 
dakka

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#11
Fully agree with MarTal. Being a staffer these days sux ass. Dodgy sites to me are the ones that allow trading, invite selling, invite giveaways to random peeps, as well as disclosing private tracker info publicly.

Doing a search in google for your tracker url or name and it comes up with all these posts etc easily gotten too. Yea makes is super easy for the wrong people to both find you and know a lot about the site before they infiltrate.
 
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#12
Good points made. Also; if you get banned/rejected from getting an invite, take the matter as it is. You've done something wrong, and there is nothing personal from staffs side, thats how the rules are and they're the same for everyone. As someone mentioned, its not worth the risk to recruit/invite someone with background vs someone without such baggage when there is a choice. Starting to harass said staffer on other trackers/IRC is sure way to get your other tracker accounts (that might've given you benefit of an doubt) disabled. Let alone dupe/get the invite regardless of what you've been told. Thinking always seems to be "I only have something to gain from doing this" instead of "What do I stand to lose by doing this".
 
Antomon

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#13
Thanks for the answers, i'll try to provide input as someone new to BT scene, i used torrents many years ago, but that data is obsolete, so will only reflect on this past period of 6 or so months and my impression of current scene. I'm no expert by any means.

When you decide to join private BT scene, there is usually good reason for it. Maybe you country is watching all those public trackers and you can't download from them. Maybe you are feed up with low quality releases and want better. You are tired of all those dead torrents on public trackers. You have general gist what are you after (music, movies, anime etc.). Naturally you search forums/Google/reddit to see what "top" trackers are in respected fields, that is natural thing to do. There are even nice flowcharts describing BT tracker higharchy. Since most of this "top" sites can't be accessed directly (except what.cd through interview), you are forced to go through motions of geting into "lower" tier trackers, building reputation and working your way up to desired tracker and i feel that is bad thing. This leads to effect "collecting" and "throwaway" trackers. You simply try to get power user on those trackers so you can move up to "better" ones, leaving previous trackers forgoten or at best as "backup". Or even worse, you feel forced to join trackers that don't even have things you like, just because they have invite forum. When i say "bad thing", i mean bad thing for all trackers that are collateral victims.

Lets say someone listens to your advice and decide firmly he won't join torrent giveaway site and he won't accept invite from strangers because you don't know strangers past. That someone doesn't have any friends who are into BT scene and would like to join private scene. I feel that he has 2 options:

1) join open signup tracker
2) try application/interview path

While some reputable trackers now and then do have open signups, most of open signup trackers aren't known for their reputation. You can use sites that give overview of open signups, many times i have found out that those open signup trackers have bad reputation or at best no reputation at all.

I still feel that interview/application is the best path of getting new members on your site/trackers but many times there is classic catch 22; to join tracker you often have prove you are active on some trackers and those have to have somekind of reputation. To join reputable tracker you have to have reputation. Also not that many reputable trackers have interview/application process, considering how many trackers are out here.

Getting into private tracker scene, reputable one, it is very very hard from ground zero. While i agree you should put some work in it, i feel many trackers fall as victims in process. Building trust with strangers is hard and risky. I can understand why people choose to give/accept invites from strangers. It speeds up things greatly. I'm not trying to defend practice of giving invites to stranges, but often times situation can be blurry. Ex. on this site there is no movement list and on that list is music tracker that is considered 2nd best general music tracker. At same time, you can see invites for that tracker floating around everywhere + there is good invite forum on that tracker.
 
SocietyLottery

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#14
since giving out invites seems unfavorable here (I don't have a problem as long as the tracker rules don't have a problem hence:NML) then why just not close the giveaway section ? am pretty sure that this suggestion came at some point between you as a staff , why not depend solo on invite request maybe ? would like to know why you kept the section even though some staffers are clearly against giving out invites.
 
Dwarsligger

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#15
would like to know why you kept the section even though some staffers are clearly against giving out invites.
Trackers are against publicly offering invites on forums where everything's out in the open and viewable to every one just passing by. This is a closed forum where people who get to know each other can give an invite to trackers outside of the NML without gaining anything by it like rep in any form or needing it to advance in the userclass ladder. People here are considered to be wise enough on what to offer and who to invite but ofcourse newer people just seem to still like to offer whatever invite they have available (which is no problem when our rules are followed). The invite section is just an extra, you probably have seen yourself by the inactivity there it is certainly not our main focus. Besides that there's a good understanding between us and tracker staff so when everyone follows some simple rules you won't have trouble anywhere when you got an invite from here and from someone you actually know a bit better.
 
othersna

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#16
The invite section here is small and not a big part of TPS. For the most part, these invite offers are for trackers which don't forbid this from happening. (These trackers usually just say "no public giveaways" and our invite section is not a "public giveaway." ) Our members also know the invite offer is not a "giveaway." Those offering invites need to get to know their invitee, and not just blindly accept a "ratio proof" and a speedtest.
 
jammyone

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#17
The invite section here is small and not a big part of TPS. For the most part, these invite offers are for trackers which don't forbid this from happening. (These trackers usually just say "no public giveaways" and our invite section is not a "public giveaway." ) Our members also know the invite offer is not a "giveaway." Those offering invites need to get to know their invitee, and not just blindly accept a "ratio proof" and a speedtest.
Just to add onto this - you do need to check the specific wording of the tracker's rules before offering invites. Recently a TPS member offered invites to a site whose rules stated "Trading and selling invites is strictly prohibited, as is offering them in public - this includes on any forum which is not a class-restricted section on an invitation-only torrent site.". They were banned for breaching the invites rule. I confirmed with their staff that it is because TPS is not a torrent tracker, so it's important to check exactly what the rule says, not what you think it says.
 
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#18
I wonder if making a list of sites that allow people that are new to private BT scene would be worth while for those trying to get in. Its a bit of a risk for sites to do that, but I do know some will allow a brand new person with no prior history on to their site as a trial.

However making a post listing them could certainly be open to misuse. The other option is joining IRC, like here at TPS. Get to know people, ask advice on how to go about getting into some sites etc. IRC is much nicer to discuss these things, as its kind of fleeting data. Sure people keep logs, but its not stuff that is "publicly" visible. Especially when you talk to some one 1 on 1 in IRC. As in private chats.
 
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#19
Every one has to start from somewhere :book:
 
othersna

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#20
Just to add onto this - you do need to check the specific wording of the tracker's rules before offering invites. Recently a TPS member offered invites to a site whose rules stated "Trading and selling invites is strictly prohibited, as is offering them in public - this includes on any forum which is not a class-restricted section on an invitation-only torrent site.". They were banned for breaching the invites rule. I confirmed with their staff that it is because TPS is not a torrent tracker, so it's important to check exactly what the rule says, not what you think it says.
This is a tracker that should be on our No-Movement list, since you contacted their staff and they said they don't want invite offers done here. There are so many trackers now it is impossible for us to know all the rules of all of them, so I would have to count on the individual member to respect his tracker's rules before offering an invite here.
 
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