Bitfinex Tries to Finesse Vocal Crypto-Critic via Twitter Bot Army, Silence Attempt Backfires
Named after the American singer and actress Barbra Streisand, the Streisand Effect describes how efforts to suppress a juicy piece of online information can backfire and end up making things worse for the would-be censor.
In the age of social media and easily available information, most people and organizations are vulnerable to this phenomenon. Recently controversial crypto exchange Bitfinex fell prey to their own attempt of silencing its critics.
The news coverage on Bitfinex said, “A vocal crypto critic says bot army got him suspended by Twitter. Twitter Inc. has suspended an account that’s been one of the loudest critics of digital currency exchange Bitfinex and its related cryptocurrency Tether. The author, known only as @Bitfinexed, declines to identify himself, saying he’s worried about his safety.”
However, it's worth noting that this incident took place on February when the battle between Bitfinex and its critic Bitfinex’ed has really heated up. Bitfinex was growing increasingly unhappy with its critic’s claims. In fact, the exchange desk went as far as enlisting law firm Steptoe & Johnson to go after the anonymous investigator.
The Bitfinex’ed suspension came at a particularly tumultuous time for Tether and Bitfinex. Following revelations that proved the two companies have ties with each other, Tether announced its financial reserves are being audited by NY-based firm Friedman LLP. The company also released some preliminary auditing files to curb criticism, though many were swift to point out that the provided documents were inconclusive at best. The two companies have come under scrutiny yet again after news surfaced that the relationship with the auditor has since been dissolved, with no clear timeline for when the dollar-pegged cryptocurrency will be properly audited.
It is worth noting that in addition to the claims made against Bitfinex and Tether, Bitfinex’ed has previously accused other well-known figures within the crypto-community of foul play. Indeed, earlier in January, the anonymous investigator suggested Litecoin founder Charlie Lee might have engaged in insider trading during his time as chief technology officer at Coinbase. Lee ultimately denied these claims. In the aftermath of this altercation, waves of Lee supporters took to Twitter to condemn the premises of the piece Bitfinex’ed authored.