The IOTA community represents the people that are interested in IOTA or hold investments in IOTA. They are active in all social platforms. While it is natural for investors to support their project and engage in arguments hoping to clarify misinformation, the IOTA community is special since they have organized themselves into “Evangelist” networks (Source) as well as “Anti-FUD” teams (Source) and “Counterintelligence” accounts (Source).

This type of self-organizing reinforces an “us vs them” tribal mentality of the world, and makes it hard to reach a conclusion when debating IOTA supporters as their ideas, arguments, and thought patterns are often unfalsifiable. No amount of old or new information is able to change their opinion. These self-organizing communities are also often hostile when debating in the open-internet, something that seems condoned by the IOTA Foundation and its founders since they themselves are hostile at times in a discussion. (Source) (Source) (Source)

During a brief 4-day exchange in twitter and other platforms, it was possible to identify several traits and tactics used by IOTA supporters when debating critics. These included:

  • Threats of doxxing/identity revelation/gaslighting (Source) (Source)
  • Attempts at silencing critics by reporting their accounts (Source)
  • Legal threats by the Founders (Source) (Source)
  • Focus on the identity of the messenger (and lack thereof) rather than the contents of the message (Source) (Source) (Source) (Source) (Source) (Source)
  • Avoiding addressing criticisms claiming they have already been answered before ad nauseam or there is not enough time to address everything (Source) (Source)
  • Dismissing criticisms outright as irrelevant (Source) (Source)
  • Justifying their actions as profit-driven (Source) (Source) (Source)
  • Avoiding the points being discussed (Source) (Source) (Source)
  • Claiming criticism is merely trolling (Source) (Source)
  • Focusing on the character, motives, or perceived experience of the messenger rather than the message (Source) (Source)
  • Resorting to conspiracy theories about perceived attacks to IOTA (Source) (Source)
  • Displaying double standards for a website displaying criticisms, when similar websites exist purely for promoting IOTA while hiding the criticisms (Source)
  • Admitting that the ends justify the means to promote and protect IOTA (Source)
  • Impersonating accounts to discredit the messenger (Source). Real account
  • Sending insults, hatemail, and personal attacks (Source) (Source) (Source) (Source) (Source)
  • Justifying the benefit of having an evangelist approach to discussions (Source)

Faced with all these traits and tactics, it is extremely unlikely that someone with legitimate concerns is taken seriously by the IOTA community and their developers since everything is perceived as an attack. While we are sure that cherrypicking, concern trolling, and similar traits shown above are also displayed by those hating the IOTA project, and we condemn and discourage this type of behaviour, it is not a good sign when the whole community and the Founders themselves engage in the same type of tactics and condone others that do so.