Bans Infamous Hacker @thedarkoverlord for Violating ToS

in #steemitlast year (edited)

The hacker group The Dark Overload that made the news last week, has officially been banned from with their account no longer being accessible. This is on the flagship frontend owned and operated by Steemit Inc., not the Steem blockchain itself.

As you can see, @thedarkoverlord can still be found on other frontends: is still the #1 most used frontend app, and most used Steem app in general.

Earlier in 2018, Steemit Inc. added Terms of Service to, which anyone using the site was obligated to agree to in order to keep using it.

@thedarkoverlord is apparently in violation of the ToS for hacking, and has been blacklisted from the frontend as a result.

Here are the ToS sections that explain why:

  1. Suspension or Termination of Service.
    13.1. We may suspend or terminate your access to the Services in our sole discretion, immediately and without prior notice, and delete or deactivate your account and all related information and files in such without cost to you, including, for instance, if you breach any term of this Agreement. In the event of termination, your access to the funds in your account will require you access to the Steem blockchain via the command line API or third party tool, and will require you to have access to your backup of your Account data including your Account and Private Keys.

  2. User Conduct
    14.1. When accessing or using the Services, you agree that you will not commit any unlawful act, and that you are solely responsible for your conduct while using our Services. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you agree that you will not:

14.1.2. Use our Services to pay for, support or otherwise engage in any activity prohibited by law, including, but not limited to illegal gambling, fraud, money-laundering, or terrorist financing activities.

Hacking is prohibited by law, hence Steemit Inc. decided to remove the account of the @thedarkoverlord from being used or accessed through

What do you think of this action?

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I think it is Steemit's call to make. It is the blockchain itself that is censorship resistant, not the individual front ends. Those are at the discretion of whoever is running them. Maybe someone will come up with an open source local interface to the blockchain one of these days...a program you can download and use as your interface instead of relying on a web interface that someone else controls.

I am fucken pissed! The hacker in question has proof that the 9/11 was a false flag operation, this was supposed to be a descentralized blockhain, with no external censorship, what do we do to defend freedom!? We banned the poor guy who is risking his live for telling the truth...We now live in a dictatorship of minoritys, murders, pedophiles, and fagoots...Let´s see if the faggots have money to maintain STEEMIT... Cause smart people won´t buy this shit...I am almost for shure powering down after this.

Read rather than cry.

They can use other frontends.

We seek more listings, coinbase and co would never list a coin which can be used by hackers, scammers and potentially terrorists .

What do you want, ISIS next?

Their page is gone from, but not the blockchain .

Steemit just made it more difficult to access their content .

Ok ok...ISIS has nothing to do with showing the world the truth about 9/11...

If we want STEEM to get listed on CoinBase ever, then we can't have hackers attacking US government. Coinbase will be de-listing coins that harbor such activities. Sucks, but that is reality.

Kind of ridiculous... It looks like SteemIt is turning out to be exacly like Facebook. What a pity.

That's what happens when you operate as a business - Steemit Inc.
When you're a business, you deal with bank, and they'd fuck you. Also you're private, they can easily fuck one, but they will have a hard time fucking millions

So, the only way is to have a Steem that is own by no one...

Can someone help me to put up a Steem?

I will make it a free for all ... with modification. Take this is a world/humanity project. Interested party please contact me.

That's already in place. As you can see, the account was removed from but not from the STEEM Network. Use instead. Or eSteem. Or SteemPeak. Or Partiko. Or 1Ramp... No need to re-invent the wheel.

No need to re-invent the wheel.

I agree completely! Someone please tell Jordan Peterson and his buddies.

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So a bunch of scam artists who had been on Steemit for a few days trying to rip people off with their fake "hacks" have been banned. And that is being seen as censorship. Meanwhile there are Steemit posts with real content being flagged all over the place and nobody is calling that censorship. Double standards much?

It's interesting how this post has earned $12.40 and 127 votes while another post saying essentially the same thing has been flagged because someone doesn't like the presentation...

I have been flagged twice for speaking my mind already. I won't do it a third time.

SteemIt is obviously not the right place to have political or religious debates.

I will keep my blog neutral.

I will keep focusing on art, photography and if I want to talk about anything even slightly controversial I'll head back to Facebook. I feel safer over there, as odd as that might sound.

I will not stop speaking my mind. They can flag as much as they want. That's on them and their conscience.
You are right, this SP bullying is ruining everything Steem stands for.

If you want to make money and please everyone, then dont post controversial. If you want to post controversial, then accept that some people get offended. You will make less money. You just cannot have both.

There is no reason to feel safer on fb. There is simply no money for you in the first place and therefore you dont feel the consequences of pissing people off.

You have a good point there! :-D

Anyway, if I want to return to Facebook, it will be a problem, since they erased my account because I refused to submit my Identification Documents.

wow you need to give them identification nowadays? I left long time ago when it was still possible to make accounts without any form of identification.

Me too, I never give my personal information. I think the most personal that I could give to them was my name and my birthday.

Unless we can speak our minds we have nothing! (but I must admit I'm using a few different Steemit accounts to make that more viable)

flagging is not censorship. It is disagreement over rewards.

Removing some accounts from a front-end is censorship, especially when it is done without official announcement. All of the people going on steemit and not seeing new posts from thedarkoverlord think there were no new posts.

It does not even matter if they are scammers. It is not steemits job to protect me. I dont want a nanny interface. I can make my own decisions what to read.

That is a thing that I always talk about. I'm a grow man that doesn't need a government or a organization saying to me what is good and what is bad. For me, the steemit made a censorship, however, if the thedarkoverlord say, "OK, I agree with the rules", they could make this by their rights of todo.

Flagging as it is being done on Steemit - certain accounts targeted with down votes and abusive comments - until they have a sub zero rep and they are forced to leave the platform - that is a standard censorship tactic on Steemit and is being carried out as we speak.

The idea that flagged posts can still be seen, so it's not censorship is often put around on Steemit, just as the idea that because the flagging is being done by one account that means it isn't censorship either is also promoted.

Both these ideas are very inaccurate...

I fully agree about not wanting protection from scammers, but keep in mind that there were very few people on Steemit willing to point out that they were scammers when a bunch of high profile Steemians were promoting this as a great breakthrough in freedom. Simply because we can see we will be flagged if we say anything.

One day we may all have to use a range of different Steemit accounts because we simply don't know what we are "allowed " to say - now I'm talking about long term Steemians here, not two day old scam accounts!

Very good comment, true and sad last part.... Fk the flagging assholes, I will still say what I believe in and try and help out when peeps are flag bullied.

Is this the first time someone has been banned from First I have heard of it anyway.

I use busy exactly for this reason ;) or

There are other accounts that have been banned. You can check on the github page.

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While I sort of see why STInc did it, I have mixed feelings. Their posts belong on the ‘dark web’ with their content not the way most see it. I disliked their focus on selling to the highest bidder but was interested in the material they offered. I am still unsure if it’s even legitimate, ya people looked at it but it was only a very basic layer. Did they truly have damaging info or was it just a larp?

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I think this is a great move. Why?

As you can see, @thedarkoverlord can still be found on other frontends:

It's yet another move that separates Steemit from the Steem blockchain. We need people looking at our platform from the unique perspective of what it is, not some Podunk social media that will never make it.

That's totally true!

That is the thing that I love in steem blockchain. Even if I want to censor all people by creating a front end just with my content, I can do this and all the other accounts continue to exist in the blockchain.

I'd like to see a front end which only publishes content that's on chain but not on

That could certainly provide some fuel for an exodus to other front-ends. I wonder if you could add scripted posts to that list of excluded content, and how the the general quality of the visible posts would look. Interesting!

Wow. I can understand why the company would want to shield themselves and Steem from liability for illegal acts. But I don't like how those TOS are worded - "prohibited by law" in what states or countries, exactly? "Hate speech" and language or art that may blaspheme certain religions are against the law in some places. What about all those Venezuelans earning Steem as an alternative to their devalued currency? Is that legal, in a socialist country?

I do defend Steemit's right to remove people in extreme cases. I do not want our beloved Steem economy supporting really harmful things like child porn or terrorism. I do not see the dark overlord as equivalent to that type of threat. Maybe there are things I don't know, but it bothers me.

Steemit Inc. can do whatever they want, but actions like this will just further encourage the use of other interfaces.

that is the point that I'm trying to say in my posts. They have the right to to this, since everyone who use the agree with the ToS, however, that shows they are trying to censorship the account just for the content, which could create a run out of the front end.

Less reliance on Steemit Inc and more on witnesses and community to drive the chain forward. Steemit Inc. maintaining core software great, SMTs great, but can retire, or hand it over to the community somehow. I know it gets difficult, how to fund that etc. Prob needs a higher token price and community voting to direct funding to shared purpose of token holders. Being an uncensorable platform is steemit's best differentiator just now. This action sets that story back. Very bad form from Steemit Inc. other competing platforms are on the. way

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Instead of using @thedarkoverlord in the aim of mass-adoption STINC ruined that chance. Also having those guys on the blockchain can positively impact the STEEM price.

I think it's indicative of where the crypto space is heading. Much like with the early days of the internet, crypto has been revolutionary, liberating, and largely free from control and restriction. With mass adoption comes mass control and restriction. Just look at bitcoin, it's transitioned from something independent of governments and the financial system to where people are begging for "better" regulation and the involvement of the financial system.

However, just as with the internet, you can still manage free speech / anonymity, it just takes more work and effort than before. This is Steemit Inc covering their ass so that the government don't come after them.

First time I heard anyone being banned from Steemit; that in itself is surprising news. Also I don't know enough of the details to have a firm opinion on this, but in general I'd say shouldn't play the role of speech-arbiter as long as no laws are broken. Also there shpuld be no reason whatsoever to allow politicians to hide information from the public in a free and open democracy (which exists in theory only). I'm always surprised to see how many people think it's okay for democratic governments to have secrets. "They can't go telling in public what their strategy in armed conflicts is; the enemy would crush us!" or "Of course some trade deals should be secret and not transparent, how else would we maintain our advantage in the world markets?" There are many reasons people give, and on the surface they sound legit. But they aren't. There can be no secrets from the government in a democracy and the government can't be allowed to violate the privacy of it's citizens in a democracy. These are basic rules without which a democracy can not function. Information is power and at the moment the power-balance is skewed one way only: the man knows everything about you while telling nothing of himself. This is how false flag operations keep succeeding. If governments were honest about their reasons for war, no democratic country would ever go to war.

Geez... sorry, went on a small unrelated rant there.. Like I said; I know too little about this particular hacker and his accomplishments to make any valid judgement, but I basically don't like the idea of any company or central authority limiting speech.

How are the ToS for and different from
As long as it is on the blockchain and cannot be deleted and can still be accessed I am okay with this.
Funny I was just noticing, before this post that I could not see the overlord post that I saw a few days earlier. Thanks for the explanation,
This shines light on how steemit is not the same as steem.

I haven't been able to find any TOS for, no clue there.

I can understand their decision to mitigate a foreseeable legal problem by not allowing their venue to promote what, if true, would put them in the same class as WikiLeaks. Guessing Ned doesn't want to live in an embassy while plans are hatched for his demise.

Wait. It is banned from Steemit, but not from and

Think ... think ...

So what you really are saying is Steemit is for the dumbo's and the other 2 are for the smarter peeps?

Thanks for posting, Steemit lost a golden opportunity to grow! A censorship free platform, I never would have guessed it would be Corporations that destroyed the Constitution, I always thought some Uber Fascist in Government would be responsible!

It is sad to see this happen, because the number 1 reason for steem to exists is being uncensorable.

Of course the account still runs on the chain, but removing it from the biggest front-end is a blow to free speech. I think it shows that we need to move to different front-ends.

I hope this will not affect any of the steem-operated api's and nodes. That would cause a mess.

I also wonder if steemit was pressured to act? This does seem very very strange.

For me that is a kind of censorship, HOWEVER, the is a property from Steemit Inc, which could ban anyone that they don't like it, is the right of them. Of couse, I think that is a kind of Facebook censorship, which prohibit the free speech, but if you agree with the terms of use, you cannot say that they don't advise you about that.
That is what I like in the blockchain, you can only banned from front-end, since everything he posted continue to be on chain!

That is interesting.

@krnel, until today I have never heard about The Dark Overload .... So, I don't know what kind of information they usually post. But I happy that the case with this account is a proof that STEEM Blockchain is decentralized. We have many alternatives (I mean frontends). So, now I am more optimistic about the long run success os STEEM ecosystem ..., because it seems thyst we can survive even without

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I really do not know what to think about this.

If true, and not some glitch, then there is a filtering layer being run on steemit dot com. That it exists is abhorrent when considering what steem was built for/on/about. It may turn out to be the same piece that allows a person to block/mute someone, and as such ...

I will take a lot of time to think about this.

Steemit != Steem. It's about time people get that.

I am pretty sure i used the two words appropriately.

Further, Steemit and Steem are much more interconnected than anyone would like, and those connections must be acknowledged or they will come back to bite anyone who makes a decision based on the ideal that the two are separate.

Depends on what you mean by Steemit, the UI or the company. Seriously, a lot of people conflate the blockchain and the UI.

By the way, I wasn't accusing you of confusing the two.

Steempeak has followed Steemit in blocking TDO btw!


Never heard of him, lol but what kind of things information does he get?

I think it's really fucking stupid. Do criminals not have free speech? Granted, technically a company doesn't have to allow anyone to use their service, but it's a real dick move to deny access to an account for crimes unrelated to the service. Unless of course they posted something stolen from a hack to the Steem blockchain?

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That's what Steemit Inc should do. Why should they make an exception in the case of this hacker group? I'm not a big fan of anyone hacking into any information systems just to extort money. I find that despicable.

Snowden is different. He did what he did to expose criminal and immoral acts perpetrated by the government.

This post has been included in today's SOS Daily News - a digest of all you need to know about the State of Steem.

Since is starting to ban some content, the matter is clear to me...
It's worth breaking down your comfort and habits and changing to a different frontend.
That's why we value Steem so much because it allows us to get away from censorship.
Meanwhile, is starting to turn into Facebook on blockchain.

Interesting. Stopped by their page yesterday, seemed like a load of bollocks but definitely created a buzz in the community. I haven’t seen someone get banned due to ToS violations here before

Is steemd a part of steemit inc? I thought it was. But since the account in question is visible there it must not be. However the important thing for people to realize is that while the account is not visible with steemit, it still is with other front ends. So the steem blockchain is working as it should.

Has anyone tried to resteem one of their post via another front end and see if it shows up in their blog list? If it does show up then steemit was unsuccessful at banning the account from their system.

Also steemworld gets all their info from the blockchain and the account is visible there also.

This app is reaching him too
Go and get it.

Interesting discussion in all the comments: A lot of you have made a good point, why should Steemit stick its neck out for the hacker? I guess this is what happens when you hack a law firm. The law firm is going to sue whoever they can -When you have a hammer the whole world looks like a nail. And when you are a law firm, the first inclination is to sue. It should also be pointed out with steemit had significant layoffs and is not exactly in a financial place to fight a lawsuit. Lawsuit's get very expensive fast -racking up bills of $250 to $500 USD per hour. One has to think about -if you were the executive, is this where and when you want to fight? A lot of winning in war is strategically engaging the enemy when the odds are on your side. From Steemit's perspective, this is only going to bring bad news and bad attention and is not what any Public Relations professional would want or Middle Manager wants to deal with. Steemit has much more pressing problems.

There are things that should remain private. Hacking is against the law. They may have tried to get the simplest and easiest out. Almost every platform out there has had to deal with these same issues.