None For me, Thanks :)

I asked to cancel & close an account recently because the company was “offering an NFT” to its paid users.

I don’t have the text of my original support request because I can’t find how to see that, but I’ve included the reply I got from the support team and my reply to that because… I’m just… so tired of all of this, and I’m hoping it will encourage some of you to do similar things when you spot this stuff in the wild, and also I’m secretly hoping that a few years from now I will be able to look back on this and be relieved that we’re not “doing this” any more.

Also, I’ve decided to delete the company name, because they’re a fairly small startup, and I’m not trying to drag them specifically in the mud or anything. And I’m aware that there are enough identifying details here that a determined person could play internet detective and deduce what company I’m talking about, but please respect the fact that if you do that in 2022 and think you deserve a prize of some kind, you need to find a better use for your time.

I’m interested in publishing this because of how I feel about the overall “moment” we’re in or whatever, and what better way to engage with that than to blog? Anyway:

Hi Casey,

Thanks so much for taking the time to send constructive feedback about our optional [redacted] Premium NFT. We want to assure you that we thought carefully about this.

First, I’d like to point out that receiving the [redacted] Premium NFT is a completely optional benefit and not a requirement for [redacted] Premium subscribers.

When we decided on this benefit, we approached it carefully, taking into consideration the environmental impacts of minting NFTs. We looked at Solana, Polygon, and other blockchain networks and chose Polygon which is an energy-efficient, eco-friendly Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain.

We are also working with notable artists to produce a high quality piece of art for the NFT.

We thank you for your feedback. Please remain assured that our ongoing and only ambition as a company is to create a great search experience that makes your life better. If you’d still like to cancel your [redacted] account, please let me know.

Best,

[redacted]

Member Success Associate

[redacted]

My response:

Hi [redacted],

While I do absolutely have very strong ecological concerns with PoW blockchains, I think the stated goals of any blockchain-based technologies as they exist right now are almost universally at odds with the realities of their implementation. I say this as someone who has watched this technology grow since  the early days of Bitcoin.

My primary impression of Polygon in particular is a project absolutely rife with scammers— you can easily search Twitter to see the amount of effort being put into stealing people’s money using $MATIC right now— and that’s the *only* real perception I have of that ecosystem, as someone who knows more than they would like to about most of this stuff.

It’s funny that you bring up that the NFT is an optional benefit for users— I consider a search engine getting involved with NFTs at all to be purely optional itself and it’s in the process of reading the announcement and speculating why your company would do it that leads me to a number of possible conclusions, none of which I want to be involved with.

It’s literally not possible to say that your “only ambition” is search experience— an NFT has nothing to do with that. It’s possible there’s been pressure from investors, or from people internal to the company that have an interest in the technology and want to see it proliferated, but it’s simply untrue that this has anything to do with search.

I understand that I, as one person, am not going to change the direction that has been chosen here, but I also have plenty of alternatives to choose from when it comes to search, so I think it’s for the best that I cut ties here and move on. Thanks in advance for deleting my account & any information you have stored about me. I hope you have a good day!

I hope *you* have a good day, and it involves something better than all of this nonsense.