"Because you have shown a willingness to share, we are promoting you back to full membership."
Those were the words a friend of mine had been waiting to hear from the moderators of a site that runs a private BitTorrent tracker. Her label as a "leecher" had been removed and full download privileges restored. We were curious, and she explained that she had registered to become a member of an invitation-only private tracker, but was later denied access to the tracker because she hadn't been seeding enough.
The 2007 demise of OiNK, reportedly the biggest private music tracker on the web, is said to have spawned the rise of many other trackers that adopted the popular site's ratio guideline, which basically required members to upload as much as they downloaded, lest they be kicked off the site or labeled leechers, which was what happened to my friend.
Their world is not so much a secret as it is elite, with all the information that's practically out there, not excluding actual listings. But without having to go into piracy and copyright issues, it appears to be a pretty impressive setup that weeds out those wretched leechers and trolls. While it can be difficult to maintain ratios precisely because they're closed communities, I think that's a fair sacrifice for higher speeds and safe, high-quality downloads, both of which are tougher to come by - I've heard - when using public trackers.
#14 - Somayyah Abdullah
[Previous posts: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13]