The blockchain-powered blogging platform Steemit is being accused of centralization and censorship. On Jan. 7, 2019, the hacker group The Dark Overlord had its account banned from Steemit by a developer known as ‘Jredbeard’ for violating the company’s terms of service agreement.
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Steemit Bans 9/11 Whistleblower Account
On Dec. 21, 2018, a hacker group known as the Dark Overlords threatened to dump classified insurance files that are allegedly related to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings. The hackers told the public that the files were taken from major global insurers like Lloyds of London and Hiscox Group. The Dark Overlord’s announcement also included a demand for $2 million in bitcoins for a 10GB archive of files, according to the Pastebin post, which has since been scrubbed from the Internet. According to the publication Motherboard and a spokesperson for the law firm Hiscox Group, the files were stolen and likely did pertain to the 9/11 attacks. Since the group distributed this information across the web and made international headlines, The Dark Overlord’s social media accounts were targeted and the hacker group was deplatformed from sites like Reddit and Twitter. After the wide range of censorship, on Jan. 2 The Dark Overlord explained in another Pastebin announcement that they would be dumping the data on the Steem blockchain.
However, it seems publishing classified 9/11 data is not looked upon favorably by those who run Steemit. On Jan. 7, 2019, the Steemit Github repository shows the developer known as ‘Jredbeard’ appended the account ‘thedarkoverlord’ to the protocol’s ‘GDPRUserList.js’ section. Essentially this means the account was banned from using the website for violating Steemit’s terms of service (ToS) agreement. The action has also infuriated some members of the Steemit community as posts about the subject can be seen on the project’s Reddit page r/steemit.
One particular post exclaimed:
Steemit has censored the account of the Dark Overlords!! What was the point, Steemit?
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