Ethereum probably has as many interested developers as it does people interested in ways to make a quick buck off of potential victims.

There have been a number of questions I have witnessed, which could be malicious in nature:

  • Asking for help with smart contracts which are ponzi schemes
  • Asking for help with Web3.js front ends which make it easy for a user to accidentally send a transaction to a specific address
  • Asking for help with a smart contract which has a backdoor to access funds
  • Verifying the behavior of broken/malicious smart contracts
  • etc...

Generalizing this: users may ask legitimate questions, but we may be able to tell that helping this user could harm others.

Should we still help these users with their legitimate Ethereum questions?

Should we flag the post? Downvote it?

Looking to see what the community thinks here.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Are there any specific examples you can point to? This seems almost too hypothetical, for now I would say that if a question abides by the letter and spirit of the site guidelines then it should be left alone. Users are always free to downvote and/or comment.

Also, many of the first smart contracts to be written were Ponzi schemes, and transparently so. These have a perfectly legitimate purpose as educational tools, so it's not really a cut and dry issue.

Downvoting and commenting are the first steps to handle questions that you think might be malicious. A comment could also be used to try to determine or clarify the intent of the question.

If you're pretty sure that something is dangerous, please do flag it. However, think of flagging as close to a last resort or triggering an alarm. Moderators really only have blunt instruments: they can basically either delete the question or let it stay. Moderators typically do not want to censor users, and singlehandedly deleting a question is heavy-handed, compared to the community downvoting a question many times. Similarly, moderators usually want to avoid taking sides: the community can usually resolve most issues itself.

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