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Should we allow question about the developers?

I really did not understand why this question (4 up-votes so far) was closed:

What was the last life sign of Satoshi Nakamoto

The guy who closed it seems to be a StackOverflow staff: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/users/97/robert-cartaino

It is unfair because he don't necessarily understand about Bitcoin stuffs. He has 99 reputation, what is not significative.

I sent an email to him, asking to reopen but he simply said "NO".

  • Felipe, you are egregiously misrepresenting what I said. I said that I originally closed the post due to numerous flags, and now that Bitcoin has an active and functioning community, I would leave the management of that post up to the community. Nov 14, 2012 at 23:15
  • OK, I disagree but I got the lesson, I understood who charge here. I tried to erase the question but I have to wait 20h more. Thanks.
    – Felipe
    Nov 14, 2012 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


A decision was made rather early on that Satoshi-related questions were to be killed on sight with fire and napalm and nuclear munitions. This was primarily because we were seeing a tremendous amount of Satoshi-related questions that were little more than rampant speculation about identity, nationality, where he was last seen and with who and while Satoshi may be a meaningful figure in the Bitcoin world he's not Bitcoin itself and is therefore off-topic.

Similarly, we will kill with fire similar questions about Trendon Shavers (PirateAt40) and other such prominent figures who pull disappearing acts. Questions of this ilk are simply not constructive - and trust me this is the voice of experience speaking.

While this one specific question may actually be answerable, most Satoshi questions aren't and since they tend to bring trouble in their wake, we've declared them off-topic and as such this question will not be re-opened without some serious changes to the current scope.

Currently, we've defined the scope in such a way as to explicitly allow questions about the developers as long as they're actually relevant to the Bitcoin project and have a clear and correct answer. While this question is certainly answerable, it has no bearing on Bitcoin whatsoever. Satoshi is gone and the specifics of his leaving might make an excellent Wiki article but they don't belong here.

  • Wrong. Satoshi is history of Bitcoin.
    – Felipe
    Nov 13, 2012 at 20:27
  • 1
    History of Bitcoin or not, questions about any member of the Bitcoin community, developer or not, are only in-scope if the question pertains to the product, not the person. You can ask what Satoshi's motivation was for writing code a certain way, or for clarification of something in the whitepaper, but not where he went, what his favorite color was, what pizza toppings he liked etc. It's out of scope. Nov 13, 2012 at 21:39
  • I am sorry to still strongly disagree. You are trying to kill Satoshi Nakamoto, who is like a semi-God for Bitcoin users. He is the founder! I know maybe he's only a pseudonym to a group of people, but what matters is his public signature. And of course the favorite color of Satoshi Nakamoto doesn't matter, but his last signature yes, it is important to history and to future. The users still want to have a contact with the founder.
    – Felipe
    Nov 13, 2012 at 21:47
  • And why did you closed the question as "exact duplicate"? Duplicate with which question?
    – Felipe
    Nov 13, 2012 at 21:48
  • It lists the duplicate question right up at the top. You're fairly new here, so I'm being quite forgiving but trust me the Satoshi question has been discussed at great length many times. We've put a lot of thought and effort into defining the scope as it pertains to this issue and it's unlikely to change any time soon. We're not trying to kill anything, there are plenty of places for such things but we're shooting for a certain type and quality of information here and this sort of chatter is just noise that we'd rather avoid. Nov 13, 2012 at 21:51
  • It is very weird decision for me. But if you are the boss and I am the newbie, what can I do? :) Thanks anyway.
    – Felipe
    Nov 13, 2012 at 21:53
  • Trust me, it wouldn't have worked out that way if it weren't causing a huge amount of trouble. It was basically the only way to keep this from turning into Satoshi.StackExchange.com. We take the decision to bar a topic very seriously, but sometimes it just has to be done. Nov 13, 2012 at 21:54
  • I understand the motivation, but an entire StackExchange site dedicated for Bitcoin cutting one of the biggest curiosity of Bitcoin users is weird for me. Thanks and I am sorry if I didn't understand, maybe my English is too weak yet.
    – Felipe
    Nov 13, 2012 at 21:58
  • The choice was made based on the kind of questions we were getting - remember that answerable questions that have bearing on Bitcoin itself are still on topic. There was, however, sort of a flood of nonsensical questions about Satoshi that either couldn't be answered or which had no bearing on Bitcoin at all. Stopping that flood so that folks who legitimately needed help or had important and high-quality questions became a high priority. Nov 13, 2012 at 22:10
  • Just curious, what kind of "trouble" would those questions bring: administrative, community, or legal? (or some of the above) Nov 23, 2012 at 4:40
  • Administrative. Almost all such questions become overactive hotspots of activity that isn't productive and provides nothing of value. That combined with the fact that most Satoshi questions are unanswerable just makes them a bad fit for SE and we'd rather limit the scope to keep the signal to noise ratio high. Nov 24, 2012 at 20:08

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