fame, opps, (de)centralization, &  doxxing

In one of Michel de Montaigne’s essays I read recently, he writes about fame. It’s an interesting theme because the desire to be famous, known, or credited seems innate in all people. Even though one of my bigger fears is to become world famous, I struggle with letting others take credit for some of my work and I even post selfies once in a while despite taking very few pictures regularly.

Of all the lunacies in this world the most accepted and the most universal is concern for reputation and glory, which we espouse even to the extent of abandoning wealth, rest, life and repose (which are goods of substance and consequence) in order to follow after that image of vanity and that mere word which had no body, nothing, to hold on to. -- Michel de Montaigne [Essays: On not sharing one’s fame]

I bring up this theme because of what I’ve been observing on Twitter these past few days. If you haven’t heard, Coinbase just launched their NFT marketplace to select users in the US. People can claim account names just like on ENS, which means there might be some domainers out there buying up account names likely in the hopes of selling it for profit to the individual / company who wants it later.

One Twitter account I follow, @ArtHouseGarbage, got the name of @Farokh on April 20, 2022. He has around 8K followers on Twitter.

@Farokh, who is a web3 Twitter influencer with 275K followers that I also follow, unsurprisingly was not happy about this, especially given their history (hint: they don’t see eye to eye).

Over the next couple of days, there was beef between those supporting @ArtHouseGarbage and those supporting @Farokh, to the point where @Farokh tried to dox @ArtHouseGarbage in a since deleted tweet (in which he also used the wrong person’s photo).

In the meantime while this drama was unfolding on Twitter, Coinbase froze the @Farokh account on their marketplace, and @ArtHouseGarbage decided to give it up back to Coinbase so they could give it to @Farokh.

I was left with some questions:

  1. Was it wrong of @ArtHouseGarbage to grab @Farokh’s Coinbase name, knowing he would want it badly? Is all fair in love and war?
  2. Should @Farokh have tried to dox @ArtHouseGarbage? To dox or not to dox?
  3. Was it the right thing for Coinbase to do to freeze the @Farokh account that belonged to @ArtHouseGarbage and make the decision to let @Farokh have it? What is the right balance between decentralization and centralization in web3?
  4. Why are domain names / account names still an issue? Doesn’t this sound like something web3 should be able to fix?

Going back to fame, since it played a big role in this series of events:

Everything else is subject to barter: we will let our friends have our goods and our lives if needs be: but a case of sharing our fame and making someone else the gift of our reputation is hardly to be found. -- Michel de Montaigne [Essays: On not sharing one’s fame]

Maybe one of the biggest reasons we care so much about fame is because it just so happens to be one of the more powerful intangible weapons we can wield, as demonstrated by what happened between @Farokh and @ArtHouseGarbage.

What do you think?

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