Those who closely follow the world of digital currency know the fact that XRP and its founding company Ripple Labs are quite controversial. Both are known for their ability to convert a seemingly civilized conversation into a tussle. It has been noted many times by crypto enthusiasts that whenever someone says something defaming about Ripple or XRP, they often find themselves flocked by a huge army of the XRP or Ripple supporters.
Ryan Selkis, the co-founder of Messari, has recently been on the receiving end of such a brawl. After writing what we can call a somewhat critical article on XRP, Ryan shared recently how much XRP enthusiasts harassed him. The ardent supporters of the cryptocurrency went beyond limits by calling up at his residence just to bother him. Alongside this revelation, one of the recent news updates has revealed that varied social media channels have thousands of bots (fake accounts) which go on to manipulate the Ripple sentiment.
To come to conclusions and tell the truth, Geoff Goldberg spent time studying the bots and their relation to both XRP and forged Twitter accounts. Geoff’s findings were disclosed late the previous year. His statement said,
“Astroturfing is the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with an interest in shaping public opinion.”
astroturfing = the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with an interest in shaping public opinion #xrparmy #xrpthestandard #xrpcommmunity #xrpthebase #xrp cc: @yoyoel @vijaya @JoelKatz @CoryTV pic.twitter.com/H3s9PfuiwM
— geoff golberg (@geoffgolberg) December 4, 2018
Geoff supported his findings with a variety of graphs as well as analytic tools and shared the same. His research took him to one specific account called @Giantgox since it was connected to multiple accounts which appeared as bots.
Absence of Responsibility
According to Geoff, there are around as many as 8,000 accounts on the microblogging site that come across as forged XRP users. In addition, he goes on to claim that he had made a bet with Ripple’s CTO David Schwartz where the latter had promised to probe issues if Geoff could prove their credibility.
But what’s more interesting is that ever since Geoff has shared the information online, the Ripple CTO has chosen to go unspoken. Geoff also stated that David is not willing to keep the promise he had made to him. He exclaimed through his tweet,
“There’s been crickets from Schwartz since I shared data outlining the magnitude of the XRP/Ripple astroturfing efforts.”
Ripple's CTO, @JoelKatz, mentioned to me in July that if "there's a real problem" with the XRP Army that he'd be "willing to deploy resources to investigate it"
Has been crickets from Schwartz since I shared data outlining the magnitude of the XRP/Ripple astroturfing efforts pic.twitter.com/bjlCJyI7Or
— geoff golberg (@geoffgolberg) February 6, 2019
Other than @Giantgox, there was another handle Geoff found questionable which is named as @Xrptrump. The account has close to 30K followers, most of which either appear as fake or seem completely disinterested in XRP. This is the way in which XRP army develops support, Geoff points out.
The Continued Harassment
Similar to what Ryan Selkis faced upon challenging XRP, Geoff has also stated that he continually faces harassment by plenty of XRP enthusiasts. He further stated that post sharing his analysis about the Ripple bots present online, he got a threatening message from an account on Twitter asking who could kill him.
Geoff immediately reported the received message along with the Twitter account to the microblogging site, however, he got the reply saying the account hadn’t violated the harassment policies set by the platform. After some days, that account holder made an apology to Geoff and also withdrew the Twitter profile.
In spite of such ongoing harassment, Geoff refuses to stop and is determined to continue his research.