A Bit Cryptic - Civil Registry Discussion

Hi A Bit Cryptic. You have successfully submitted your application to join the Civil Registry. Over the next 10 days, members of the Civil community may reach out to you with questions regarding your editorial policy, privacy policy, and business model. Newsrooms will get an email alert every time there is a comment relating to their Civil Registry Profile. Please make sure to check this discussion forum regularly to respond to community comments.

(Cross-posting from our previous discussion forum, for posterity:)

2 months ago

Christine Bush (Edited)

I have no interest in micro-managing applicants’ distribution strategy.

Benjamin

2 months ago

Not all feedback is micro-managing. I specifically stated with regards to that concern that it was “not a problem from the constitution”, making it clear that I did not think that it should be used as a basis for challenge. I was trying to provide the newsroom feedback of my experience, in order to help them improve.

Benjamin

2 months ago

This is my thoughts on a quick review of the “A Bit Cryptic” newsroom from having listened to all of one episode and parts of a few others:

  • I think that the Charter should be amended to explicitly include the conflicts of interest of the co-founders. Reviewing the host biographies, I understand that there are so many conflicts of interest among the various hosts that it would be unwieldy to list them all in the charter. However, I think that the conflicts of interest of the co-founders are more important than those of other hosts, especially given that two of the three co-founders are directly involved in enterprises in the space that they are covering as a newsroom.

  • It concerns me that many podcasts have been posted only to Medium or to Apple Podcasts without appearing on the newsroom’s website. This to me raises concerns of permanence if something were to happen to Medium or Apple Podcasts. Additionally, while not a problem from the constitution, this seems to be difficult for listeners to use given that there isn’t a single place to find episodes.

  • I am concerned that the podcast does not present multiple perspectives. In some interview episodes, they seem to give their guests an unlimited platform. This to me raises concerns of accuracy.

On the whole, while concerns are raised by various practices, I think that all of these are easily addressable and therefore, do not think that a challenge should be brought at this time.

DDeconomics

3 months ago

@Civil community—A Bit Cryptic is still finalizing its webpage location. If the URL, https://www.abitcryptic.com/, which is listed on the Civil registry application, does not work, then please try this link: https://abitcryptic.com/ We apologize for the convenience. -A Bit Cryptic team

DDeconomics

3 months ago

Currently, our core content are podcasts, which you can check out at Itunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Our webpage (when it’s fully functional), will feature our podcast episodes, guest interviews, event coverage, and other educational content. Like many of you, we are still figuring out how to communicate these details about our newsroom on the Civil registry and platform. Thanks! -A Bit Cryptic team

I have tried to go into the A Bit Cryptic website using both of the URLs provided, and for both I got a security warning from Firefox. Since I am not willing to override this warning, I cannot get into the site to review it. Has anyone else had this issue? Are there ways around it?

@Reidob Upon review, seems like they let their SSL cert expire. However, I was able to just access it via the non-ssl link http://abitcryptic.com/.

Thanks, that’s helpful.

Dear A Bit Cryptic,

You actually have multiple security/cert problems. You link from here to https://www.abitcryptic.com/, but your cert is for https://abitcryptic.com (no www). That’s a “Certificate name mismatch” and foils the whole goal of protecting your users and your site from eavesdropping. On top of that, visiting the latter URL provides a cert that expired on 14 Jun 2019.
See more from SSL Labs:

I.e. even ignoring those two errors, your SSL/TLS security only gets a “B” grade. E.g. you don’t support Forward Secrecy with the reference browsers.

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Another issue with your site: your terms and privacy hyperlink leads to something that appears to be an advertisement for surge protectors. This in particular calls for immediate attention, as the lack of these is a serious breach of the terms of the Civil Constitution.

Two other suggestions:

Since many of you are involved in crypto projects, you should place a clear statement of possible conflicts of interest on your website, as was suggested several months ago when your application to Civil was still pending.

Also from the discussion back in April, it is unclear whether or not you are giving a forum to those who are not actively promoting their crypto projects, though I do find it encouraging to see that you have interviewed a couple of central bankers. Still, it would be nice to see you acting as journalists and questioning your guests a bit more about the nature of their project, the feasibility of it, and the risks investors in these ICOs might face. Boosterism is not journalism.

Thanks for your attention to these things! I am enjoying your podcasts, though I am not very deeply into them yet.

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I remain concerned with the lack of appropriate conflict of interest disclosure and in my opinion, this is the most significant of the violations remaining.

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It seems that clarity of journalistic purpose would be very helpful here. A Bit Cryptic needs to define that purpose as it relates to presentation and to be very clear about potential conflict of interest. It’s fine to have some of that potential (since it is in the community’s interest to have information from within the business itself) provided that you are upfront and clear about that.

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As far as I can tell, there has been no response by the newsroom to the challenge on 2019-8-25, nor any other posts since then. Odd.

  • Can someone confirm that the newsroom is aware of the challenge?
  • Does anyone have any updates?
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Hey Neal, We’ve contacted them a number of times and again just now. Thanks for checking. Vivian

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Yes, I find it strange, too. Before challenging, I attempted contact via Discourse, Slack, and their contact email, but have never gotten any response.

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