Banned for not sharing "enough" jazz - get banned for sharing but not what others like

Dear music lovers,

If it is well-known that some poeple in Soulseek tend to abuse from their "banning" super power.
One recent example: while I am actually sharing hundreds of albums, a guy apparently passionate about jazz banned me because I am not "sharing enough" jazz.

The funny thing is that I actually play jazz :-) The reciprocity principle would require that I ask people coming to one of my concerts if they like jazz as much as I do before letting them in... eventually. Or banning them if they like hip-hop better.

So from now be careful and ask to the users you wish to download from if you are qualified enough to be allowed to download from them!

Question: have you also experienced such as situation?


It's interesting that you bring that up. Very recently we had some drama over a system we were trying out that omits search results from users who ban a lot. The motivation was basically the type of thing you describe, users banning other users en masse for not complying with any number of absurd rules. The most common rule was that the downloading user was required to share, but nearly everyone affected by this system had a whole bunch of other rules. Don't share too little, don't share crap music (whatever that means), don't share everything in one big folder... we were hoping automatically omitting search results from users who have such rules would create an overall better experience for the majority of the Soulseek community. We eventually gave up on the system because, while it did do a good job of separating the Soulseek usership from real abusers, it also had the effect of cutting off a few users who were banning for understandable reasons. Users who are publicly exposing a massive library and are literally plagued with dozens of users an hour who download from them and aren't sharing anything. Whether or not you care about that sort of thing is a personal matter. I don't care whether someone downloading from me is sharing themselves, but I also don't share anywhere near as many files as some of the users who do. Also, my wish for Soulseek is that isn't just a resource for one to exploit unconditionally. The system was designed for exchange between enthusiasts. Many such enthusiasts on Soulseek have given up on public sharing long ago precisely because they became tired of being an unconditional resource to be exploited by every passing stranger, and in the end, those who do come to Soulseek to share and are then denied exchange with these users because they're no longer sharing publicly are the ones who lose. Eventually, we decided it's better for us not to interfere in matters between banner and banned.

The other side of the coin is that in a system like Soulseek that stresses individual interactions between users, you're always going to get a few assholes that ban you for no good reason, and possibly then refuse to discuss it with you. It's the sort of thing that happens very infrequently in my own personal experience, but it does happen, and is something that appears to be unavoidable sometimes.

I've been banned myself for a plethora of moronic reasons. Some of them being like "You don't have anything I like", "Your shares are not organised well enough" (sorry for having a life and not having enough OCD to minute-label everything by record company/decade/cat. number subfolder), "I only trade here", etc.

Damn, I share my whole library, which is nearing 1TB in size in total, plus several dozens of music documentaries I got from torrents and that are not available on SoulSeek generally, but, yeah, there's always gonna be assholes and you can't do much about that. Unless a new system was put in use, with a scoring/report points, and then if someone had collected enough points would have been e.g. warned (no point in banning people, a message from an "Administrator" would most certainly freak them out enough to stop this).

Also, not banning would allow SoulSeek to avoid involving a human element in all that, i.e. there would have to be no moderator to review the reports - which wouldn't have been the case were someone to be banned (what, in turn, would be open to massive abuse by trolls & pranksters). Hope you get what I mean.