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Ethereum Classic Blog

Twitter Account Debacle Developments

Istora

On 6th October 2022, the verified eth_classic Twitter account with 670,000+ followers was hijacked and renamed to Ergo_Platform, and is now branded under the unrelated Ergo Project.

As a result of this action, which appears to violate Twitter's Terms of Service, eth_classic's 670,000+ followers have been deceptively bait-and-switched into following a project they did not intend to follow, and are no longer receiving updates from the verified Ethereum Classic Twitter account.

As of writing, the Ergo_Platform twitter account maintains a history of all the tweets made by eth_classic by and for the ETC Community since it's creation in 2016.

Example: https://twitter.com/Ergo_Platform/status/1562379187104743424

eth_clasic tweets appearing under Ergo_Project
eth_clasic tweets appearing under Ergo_Project

A new version of the eth_classic account has been created and is under the control of ETC Coop, but has few followers and no tweet history.

This post will be updated as events unfold.

History

The eth_classic Twitter account was originally registered several years ago by ChuckSRQ and handed over to IOHK's Charles Hoskinson in good faith.

https://twitter.com/ChuckSRQ/status/1572353721228742656

ChuckSRQ, @ChuckSRQ, Sep 20
I gave up the Ethereum Classic twitter account because I did not want to devote the time and work required. If the team running it now, doesn’t believe in the project, they should give it to someone that does want to put in the work.

Since it's creation, thanks to promotion of this twitter handle within the community, it grew to 600k followers and gained verified status.

Recent Events

A summary of the recent drama has been documented by Bob Summerwill of ETC Coop under the new eth_classic account.

https://twitter.com/eth_classic/status/1578133771647610880

So what just happened with this account? 🧵

In September 2021, the @ETCCooperative withdrew support for @InputOutputHK's proposed 20% in-protocol treasury, which led to IOHK withdrawing from the ETC community for the second time. The first time was in December 2018, again after treasury rejected.

https://etccooperative.org/posts/2021-09-20-withdraws-support-for-ecip-1098

Charles refused to even discuss a transfer of the community twitter account for months, until getting riled up by somebody calling him out on twitter:

Charles Hoskinson, @IOHK_Charles, Sep 5
Return? It's my account. As for return, I can't get back the millions of dollars of development we spent nor the years of time supporting a blockchain that didn't seem to want to do anything other than preserve a status quo. We'll call it even

So @BobSummerwill tweeted:

Bob Summerwill, @BobSummerwill, Sep 5
If #EthereumClassic is a dead project then please could you either donate or sell the verified @eth_classic twitter account (600K followers) to the @ETCCooperative rather than continuing to squat on it and impeding the ETC ecosystem?

Then @IOHK_Charles released his "Beating a Dead Horse (Choose Ergo)" video in which he called the twitter handle "a momento", like the other trophies in his office:

Charles Hoskinson, @IOHK_Charles, Sep 6
Beating a Dead Horse (Choose Ergo) https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1gqxvykyRkjJB

Bob pointed out this behaviour in another thread:

Bob Summerwill, @BobSummerwill, Sep 26
He seemingly wants a refund for his spending on ETC and calls the community Twitter handle a “momento”. Just a trophy for his personal pleasure.

And Charles validated that observation by threatened to repurpose the account (despite it having 6 years of history in the ETC community, over 8000 tweets and over 600K followers, built over years):

Charles Hoskinson, @IOHK_Charles, Sep 26
You're right Bob. I should use the account for something. I'll assign our team this upcoming week on it.

Which is exactly what happened today.

So this is where we stand.

It seems likely we can migrate the twitter-together @ETC_Network account over to this handle now.

But 6 years of community work has been erased.

Bob Summerwill, @BobSummerwill, Oct 6
Twitter support had nothing to do with this. @eth_classic was renamed/reused as @Ergo_Platform. @sigmanaut, the Ergo community manager handed this new account over to me.

It seems probable that many in the @ergoplatformorg @Ergo_Platform community are likely not particularly happy with today's actions either.

Look at the tweet-history of the @Ergo_Platform account. It's ETC's history and heritage, right back to July 2016, the time of the fork.

What's Next?

As of writing what happens next is unknown. For now, the best case scenario is that the Ergo_Platform is returned, renamed to eth_classic, and verified under the control of ETC Coop.

We hope that Twitter Support are able to assist to rectify this action, which appears to contravene Twitter's Terms of Service.

https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/platform-manipulation

Platform manipulation can take many forms and our rules are intended to address a wide range of prohibited behavior, including:
[...]
inauthentic engagements, that attempt to make accounts or content appear more popular or active than they are;

You can’t artificially inflate your own or others’ followers or engagement. This includes:
[...]
account transfers or sales – selling, purchasing, trading, or offering the sale, purchase, or trade of Twitter accounts, usernames, or temporary access to Twitter accounts.

In any case, however the dust settles, we hope to progress to a more open and transparent tweeting process via the Twitter Together action on GitHub. Using this system, a clear set of rules and checks and balances can be in place, while opening to community contributions and suggestions for future tweets. To this end, ETC community members are currently contributing to the twitter-together project to enhance user experience, also providing this option for other decentralized communities to tweet together.

Conclusion

Whatever the outcome, this event is a positive development for ETC, especially now that the eth_classic account is no longer controlled by an actor that is antagonistic to the project. Social attacks such as this have happened numerous times in the past and have always been fended off by the strong convictions and principles of the ETC community. As an anti-fragile system, such events only serve to strengthen the project.

Long Live ETC.

This page exists thanks in part to the following contributors:


IstoraMandiri
IstoraMandiri
BobSummerwill
BobSummerwill
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