White House Market and Dark0de Reborn both announced the launch of harm reduction programs focused primarily on product quality.
White House Market
This program is created to generate higher levels of product quality and lower levels of risk to buyers across White House Market. This program includes the following platforms:
The goal is to create opportunities for buyers to review products in new ways including testing products, sharing product test results and giving overall product usage recommendations based on test results. Vendors with good quality products will benefit from this as it will increase the common trust in their products and increase sales, effectively increasing the level of harm reduction on White House Market.
Vendors are allowed to offer test kits with their products as they so wish and can create sub programs for their buyers to incentivize them to purchase their products and test them, share it with the community and earn rewards and account badges.
Guidelines for Vendors:
- Vendors who receive 1 positive test results for a product can receive a Product Tested badge on WHM (only shown on the product page).
- Vendors who received 3 positive test results for a product, can receive a Quality Vendor Badge on their vendor profile on WHM (only shown on their vendor page).
- Vendors who receive enough product test results on a regular basis can apply for a reduced fee on WHM. Details for this will be announced on Dread soon.
- Vendors who create special listings where the product is shipped with a test kit can receive a free Stickie Listing on WHM. (Stickies may have a waiting list based on applications.)
Guidelines for Buyers:
- Buyers have to have proof of purchase in their account that the order was made from the vendor and the buyer account needs to be older than 2 weeks.
- Buyers need to sign the Test Results with the same PGP as on their WHM Buyer Account.
- Posts can ONLY be made in /d/HarmReduction, /d/WhiteHouseMarket /d/Reviews.
- Buyers need to add a photo of the product, test results and the vendor name + date in the same photo. Vendor name and date need to be on paper in the photo.
- Every buyer that posts a quality test result according to the guidelines will receive a special Quality Tester Badge on WHM (only shown on their buyer profile page).
- Buyers who post enough product test results on a regular basis can receive rewards on WHM. Details for this will be announced on Dread soon.
For the past weeks Dark0de Reborn and White House Market have been working together on creating a new platform within both markets to significantly increase the level of product quality for all of our users. This program is created to generate higher levels of product quality and lower levels of risk to buyers across Dark0de Reborn and White House Market. To make this program successful we needed a cross platform program and as such, the program includes:
- Dread /d/HarmReduction
- Dark0de Reborn (Market & Forum)
- White House Market (Market)
The goal is to create opportunities for buyers to review products in new ways including testing products, sharing product test results and giving overall product usage recommendations based on made results. Vendors with good quality products will benefit from this as it will increase the common trust in their products and increase sales, effectively increasing the level of harm reduction across Dread, Dark0de Reborn and White House Market.
For the Buyers:
Buyer can visit the same destination on both Dark0de Reborn and White House Market which is: [marketlink.onion]/harmreduction . These pages on both markets will explain all the guidelines for buyers (and vendors). For buyers this means they can earn a special account status, special account badges and market rewards on both Dark0de and WHM. We will both continue to work on the program and announce the rewards soon in the Dark0de and WHM Subdreads. Think about giftcards, special discounts etc.
Buyers can upload test results in various ways and on multiple places:
- Dread /d/HarmReduction
- Dread /d/Reviews
- Dread /d/Whitehousemarket
- Dread / Dark0deReborn
- Dark0de Forum
Dark0de Test Results Upload Form (accessible from order overview -> buyers only)
For the Vendors:
Vendors can incentivize their buyers in terms of deals or rewards to test their products (strict rules apply, please read: /harmreduction on either Dark0de of WHM). Vendors can receive multiple rewards for having their products tested (with good results). This can be Lower Commissions, Special Badges, Featured Listings, Account Upgrades and more. More about vendor rewards will be announced soon in the Dark0de and WHM Subdreads. Vendors who will sell and ship test kits with their products will also receive special rewards.
Vendors can also receive special badges on their product pages. A tested product will show it’s been tested and the results of that test to help sales as well as help buyers to find high quality products and vendors. On Dark0de we will also introduce a 0% – 100% quality confidence indication based on test results. Vendors can build their reputation on this quality and buyers know what to expect when buying from a Dark0de or WHM vendor.
Vendor who have products tested on WHM can also request a free Gold Vendor Bond on Dark0de. (test results will still be subject to tight judgement and guidelines) but you can earn a free Gold Vendor Bond on Dark0de.
Dread, Recon and the program:
We are also working with /u/Paris on implementing these results directly into future Recon search results for specific vendors and showing live reviews from dread on both Dark0de and WHM making it easier for both buyers and vendors to search for and sell quality products. We hope to bring about a change in this community and the Darknet as a whole to increase the level of vendors and product quality. As a result people will know where to look for the right product, effectively also increasing vendor sales and consumer trust for the years to come.
Dread, Dark0de Reborn and White House Market will continue to invest time and energy into this program and develop future implementations and rewards programs. Once we get the kinks out and dealt with unexpected issues in the coming weeks/months incl. A recon API development, connection and test, we will reach out to all markets to get this introduced.
IMPORTANT: This is a test phase of this program, many questions are still unanswered and we hope to find them in the coming weeks/months, together with other markets and fine tune this program and its guidelines.
On Dread, the announcement (posted by Dark0de), generated mixed responses from Dread users. The majority of responses to the post appear positive. Some, such as a number from the well-known /u/WilliamGibson, provided constructive criticism of the program. Gibson’s thread is available here and worth reading for those interested in harm reduction initiatives launched by cryptomarkets.
While I am generally in favor of harm reduction efforts I still think this might cause more harm by inducing a false sense of security (just like auto-encryption does) than it actually helps with harm reduction. In the worst case its even deceiving.
- Commercial tests are quite unreliable by times and very inaccurate in general.
- Lab tests take a while and usually the batch that got tested is already sold by the time the test comes back.
- What keeps vendors from sending in pure product before they step on it to pitch sales and/or abuse the whole system as a form of marketing?
- What keeps the competition from sending in dirty product instead of the originally received to slender another vendors reputation?
- What keeps customer from extorting vendors into reships/refunds with fake tests?
The way I see it the only way to make sure a vendor sells what he advertises is to hire shadow buyer to purchase certain products and have them tested by a real lab test via Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. Everything else is just screaming for manipulation and only provides a false sense of safety in my opinion.
Researchers in the past have described the potential harm reduction associated with marketplaces. “With Silk Road functioning to considerable degree at the wholesale/broker market level, its virtual location should reduce violence, intimidation and territorialism.”
See: Aldridge, Judith and Décary-Hétu, David, Not an ‘Ebay for Drugs’: The Cryptomarket ‘Silk Road’ as a Paradigm Shifting Criminal Innovation (May 13, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2436643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2436643 or sci-hub: https://sci-hub.se/https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2436643
Of course, a study such as the one above is primarily concerned with the harm associated with the offline drug economy.