IOTA, a distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrency for the Internet of Things, is rarely out of the news, with the list of crimes to earn the opprobrium of its fans growing by the day. Journalists who fail to pen fawning hagiographies of David Sønstebø and his team are singled out for persecution by IOTA acolytes. But it’s not just reporters who are blacklisted: anyone who tweets a link to an IOTA story – or who even likes a tweet – is also deemed an enemy combatant.
IOTA’s Defenders Go on the Warpath
As someone famous once said, “The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape from it.” It’s an ethos that a subset of the IOTA community have taken to heart. Last week, the Financial Times’ Jemima Kelly wrote about IOTA’s obsession with controlling the narrative. While no organization welcomes unfavorable press coverage, IOTA has gone to extreme lengths to penalize anyone who doesn’t toe the party line. In her piece, Kelly explained:
IOTA talks a lot about FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), a term adopted by the crypto community to refer to critical commentary. The acronym might also reasonably be applied to its own approach to dealing with critics.
She added: “IOTA’s ‘troll army’ – which is how its team of online disciples is often referred to as – have scared off some people enough for them not to want to speak out. Two people we asked to speak to for this story told us they didn’t want to because they were worried about the consequences of doing so. One was worried about being threatened with physical harm. Tim Swanson, founder of tech consultancy Post Oak Labs and a leading authority in the space, told us he undid a retweet of a story that was mildly critical of IOTA because he felt intimidated by…a senior person from the IOTA team”.
Liking a Tweet Is Now FUD
Jemima Kelly wasn’t kidding about sharing a tweet being grounds for referral to IOTA’s Politburo for Public Enlightenment, better known as Tangleblog…