Scams are not the prerogative of Web3 projects. They also massively infiltrated the revolving marketing sphere.
At Kryptview, we position ourselves as defenders of transparency in Web3. That is why we had to speak up. We observed alarming phenomenons first hand; and sadly, we know we are far from the only ones. Here’s our whistleblow.
This content might appear pretty self-evident to many of you. However, we believe, as actors of the onboarding of newcomers into Web3, that many people will still be faced with such situations and won’t necessarily be equipped yet to make informed decisions. Just like in crypto and NFT projects, the creativity of scammers within the Web3 marketing seems limitless.
Scams are taking over the AMA sphere!
Project leaders, did you ever feel like AMA attendees asked you questions and did not even listen to your answers? Respond with a “Great, thanks” before hopping to the next, totally unrelated question? Did you ever pay for an AMA — a great deal of money, btw — and end up with ZERO yielded traffic on your socials, despite a decent-to-massive engagement on the announcement post of the organizer?
You got it. We’re talking of real businesses organizing set-ups: hiring bit-part people for an hour — preferentially from low-income countries — having them come upstage for their part against a cheap ticket… while themselves cashing in the couple of BNBs extorted from the client. At this point, allow us to doubt the mere humanness of non-vocal attendees.
So, how to avoid that? Performing thorough due diligence on each AMA group is terribly time-consuming. Just like in the rest of the crypto sphere, information is fragmented and confusing. We adopted the strategy to systematically contact a couple of previous customers — up until having voice conversations with them to get their genuine feedback. Needless to say, the energy wastage here is gigantic. And we all know about time & staff shortage in early phases of projects. This solution won’t be sustainable. Aren’t people within the community the very owners of precious knowledge though? This collective intelligence seems unseizable because it is disorganized and scattered… Rings a bell?
The theory of evolution of Twitter bots
Now let’s move on to Twitter.
We’ve been contacted by several of these Twitter shillers — who hasn’t? While we’re not huge fans of such kind of marketing, we admit it can sometimes be a welcome nudge. So, as DYOR evangelists, we took the time to perform our due diligence. The metrics from an analysis tool for Twitter accounts reported no alarming proportion of bots nor inactive users. But something — you know, that “too good to be true” feeling — pushed us to dedicate some extra time to manually check these blue check accounts. And guess what? The level of the comments on those tweets was afflicting. Even for bots. Come on, scammers, you can do better than that for a couple grands, can’t you?!
For the newcomers who might be reading that article: if comments seem a bit off, if they give you a feeling that they are totally unrelated to the project, if there is an indecent amount of fire emojis and “to the moon” or “LFG” filling your screen with shooting rockets, RUN! Let’s f*cking go indeed, [away from here]. Keep that in mind, friend’s advice.
Truth is, you can’t even start imagining the degree of ingenuity at play when developing new social media bots designed to escape detection mechanisms. Bot accounts are usually spotted based on the quantification of the regularity and repetitivity of their activity. How to cover their tracks?
It turns out that, when it comes to encoding complexity, there is probably no better inspiration than evolution itself, as the reflection of millions of years of autonomous optimization. As such, innovative kinds of spamming accounts are inspired by genetic engineering. In a nutshell, accounts’ behavior is modeled as a sequence of digital DNA. And the digital counterpart of complex genetic events accounting for genetic variation within a population (mutations, cross-overs…) enables them to evade classic detection methods .
Nerdy digression closed, when we confronted our dear shiller with our newfound information, he suddenly disappeared; and the story tells we never heard of him again.
Take-home message is: blue checks don’t mean anything, Twitter account scanning websites don’t do their job, misinformation is everywhere and greed has deeply corrupted Web3 marketing. The lack of regulation and overall fomo in the space fostered the rise of dishonest people, enabling them to steal from mostly small and young projects — but not only. And there will probably be many more to come.
That is why we need to watch out for each other and make this information visible. We are confident builders of a healthier crypto space where reliable information can be shared among users, and experiences mutualized by leveraging collective intelligence. Let’s keep spreading the word, and while waiting for a massive cleaning of the space, watch out for their next stroke of genius.