Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, recently hosted a firechat with Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, to discuss the seriousness of the censorship in /r/Bitcoin, a subreddit moderated and curated by Bitcointalk administrator Theymos.
The long-lasting feud between Armstrong and Theymos began on June 6, 2015, when Theymos threatened to ban Coinbase and any Coinbase related content from /r/Bitcoin, for promoting a project called Bitcoin XT, a hard fork designed to increase the Bitcoin block size.
“If Coinbase promotes XT to customers on coinbase.com and/or switches all of its full nodes to BIP 101 software, then Coinbase is no longer using the Bitcoin currency, and it doesn't belong on /r/Bitcoin.”
Shortly after the announcement from Theymos, Bitcoin angel investor Roger Ver a competing subreddit /r/btc, receiving support from Coinbase and other startups in the community. Promoting minimal censorship and freedom of speech, Ver’s subreddit gained massive momentum and immediately became one of the major online Bitcoin forums in the community.
Since the creation of /r/btc, the supporters of Armstrong and Ver continuously criticized /r/Bitcoin and the strict moderation from Theymos, stating that the largest and most popular Bitcoin forum in the entire community is discouraging—as explained by Roger Ver— “free and vigorous debate.”
Explanation of Theymos
At each presented criticism, Theymos emphasized that the moderators of /r/Bitcoin don’t receive compensation nor are involved with Bitcoin companies. Thus, Theymos strongly believes the /r/Bitcoin’s moderators’ curation of content is best for the community.
While some, including Armstrong, disagree, a moderator cannot be banned by the Reddit Administrators for censorship of content. If Theymos or other moderators engage in actions which break important rules or moddiquettes of Reddit, they, the Reddit Administrator, which Reddit CEO Steve Huffman describes as the federal government of all subreddits, can consider banishing moderators from their subreddits.
Through his efforts to ban Theymos from /r/Bitcoin, Armstrong also received heavy criticism from the community for contradicting his own arguments. At this moment, the Reddit administration team and its CEO don’t plan to ban theymos nor take care of the level of curation ongoing on /r/Bitcoin.