An increasing number of questions on this forum focus on specific individuals or organizations within the bitcoin community, rather than bitcoin itself.

Some of them border on slander, like this question "When did Eligius cost MtGox many thousands of bitcoins" by ripper234. To summarize, this makes about as much sense as asking "When did Linus Torvalds cost me all of my data because I typed rm -rf / while logged into my Linux box as root" on StackOverflow. The problem is that people who don't have a deep understanding of bitcoin don't realize the bogosity going on here and are likely to simply associate "Eligius = Stolen Coins" and move on.

Could we please have some sort of policy about questions not mentioning specific individuals or specific organizations unless the question (like "who is Satoshi Nakamoto?") cannot possibly be rephrased in a way that avoids doing so? Or maybe agree to hold questions that do involve reputations to a much higher standard (maybe only two votes to close)?

Bitcoin is a young technology and a "wild west". Many reputations are being formed and hierarchies established. People are abusing this site to carry out political campaigns, and I am quite certain that does not fall within the charter of "Q&A site".

2 Answers 2


I think that this is an important discussion so let's try to keep it civil instead of starting some sort of edit-war. Here are some of my thoughts:

  • The title of the question make it sound like Eligius did something wrong so if we keep the question we should try to improve it.
  • eldentyrell's edit of the title to "When did MTGOX lose many thousands of bitcoins?" is not a good one since it instead makes it way too general
  • The question should probably had been asked in the forum thread instead, with a quick reply to the linked post, asking "When was this?". I don't have a big problem closing this post since it is sort of a Bitcoin trivia question.
  • eldentyrell is out of line accusing ripper234 of trying to "carry out political campaigns". There is nothing in his posting history suggesting that he has a political agenda and he is a great contributor to the site.
  • 2
    I tend to ask all my Bitcoin questions here and not on the forums. SE is a superior medium for asking questions, as we all believe, I hope. What makes this specific question different? The original meaning of my question really was "did Eligius cause Mt. Gox to lose money", and @eldentyrell's edit changed that meaning. Do you have another edit in mind, that would still preserve the original meaning of the question? Bitcoin Trivia is on topic here, btw, last time I checked.
    – ripper234
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 12:03
  • Right now I don't want to edit the question myself, or I might be accused of "tampering with an existing pending edit by @eldentyrell". How about adding quotes? When did Mt. Gox "lose many thousands of bitcoins"?
    – ripper234
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 12:06
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    @ripper234: After reading the question again I agree that it shouldn't be closed. The title made me think that it just asked about when it happened, so that the answer would just be a date. But we need to come up with a good title that doesn't sound like Eligius screwed up. Perhaps something like "Explain the incident where Mt.Gox. lost yada yada...".
    – D.H.
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 20:29
  • we could drop the "when" entirely.
    – ripper234
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 20:33

I did not accuse anyone of anything, but was just quoting a claim on the forum. Asking a question to explain something you read on the forum is entirely on topic and not slander.

Do you really think I have / am part of a political campaign?

I do think out-right slander should be closed/deleted, but haven't seen examples of this yet.

This is off topic to the stated title of this meta question, but the changing the title on my question changed its meaning, and this is why I reverted @eldentyrell's edit.

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