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Bitcoin backlash against NYT continues with #StopThePresses

source-logo  protos.com  + 1 more 19 April 2023 14:04, UTC

As previously covered by Protos, several senior journalists at the New York Times (NYT) published a critique of Bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) consensus. Unfortunately, the article contained a number of factual and rhetorical errors, and within hours, it was ratioed on Twitter with more likes for a comment pointing out these mistakes than NYT’s original tweet.

Hashpower secures Bitcoin’s $550 billion financial system. And like any financial system — whether it’s used on military-protected trade routes, banking conglomerates, or data center-intensive payment technologies — electricity use is unavoidable.

Bitcoin miners procure and pay for electricity in global markets. And like any electricity consumer, they may use their purchase for any legal activity: clothes dryers, holiday lights, water fountains, or Bitcoin mining. They pay for electricity and use it.

The thing is, @nytimes wastepaper business doesn’t HAVE to ruin the environment. It doesn’t HAVE to harm local communities with pollution. They could #StopThePresses 🛑 & reduce environmental harm by 99%.

Our planet, people, & trees must be a priority over profits.#NYTimesUp pic.twitter.com/8ubk5ChKex

— #StopThePresses (@NYTimesUp) April 18, 2023

Read more: Opinion: The New York Times looks to have a real problem with Bitcoin

Given that this is the case, the NYT’s article has presented its critics with a gaping open goal. Indeed, rather than persuading people that Bitcoin’s mining is nothing more than wasteful pollution, it has been countered by a viral #StopThePresses social media campaign demanding that the NYT cease its wasteful printing of newspapers.

The troll is sublime

The Times relies heavily on its physical newspaper subscriptions, mostly from older readers. These subscribers prefer to burn trees, use ink, and give a pass to vast carbon-emitting delivery operations rather than read the news on their phone, tablet, or computer.

Prior to the NYT’s critique of an industry it disapproves of, nobody was demanding that it cease printing newspapers. Indeed, consumers have a reasonable right to pay for printed newspapers in the same way that Bitcoiners have the right to use electricity to secure the world’s largest decentralized blockchain.

Unfortunately, the blue touch paper has now been lit and the backlash over the NYT’s anti-Bitcoin mining stance is in full swing across social media. Hashtags like #StopThePresses on Twitter are providing a highly visible home for the onslaught of anti-NYT memes.


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