What is the ideology behind private trackers?

Private trackers are well known for their elitist and insufferable users. I’d like to know the reasons behind their gatekeeping. Is it just mere elitism to feel superior or are there any other reasons? I’ve heard people saying they like to have a smaller number of high quality users for long term stability. I’ve even heard people tell they’re designed to keep government and federal agents away. I’d like to hear your thoughts.


People call private tracker users gatekeepers a lot. While thats true sometimes, its bullshit most of the time IMO. There are some trackers with open signups (sometimes), some require interview to join and some provide free invites to all users. If you join one, you get a chance to join another one. There are some that are “impossible” to join, but who cares if they want to stay small or whatever. Private trackers are not gold mine, almost all content is available elswhere, sometimes trackers go down or site is not working, sometimes they disappear forever.

Tracker wouldnt be private if anyone can join, having too many people might lead to take down. Having more people than needed (for healthy tracker) is just extra risk probably. Users more likely keep their account(s) healthy and follow the rules (like ratio and hit&run), they donate to tracker and they are willing to pay for a seedbox, thats why its better than public trackers IMO. All (10+) people I have invited got banned because they didnt care about anything there (mostly inactivity for months) and they are happy with public trackers or they moved to a payed service.

Private trackers are not for everyone, if you cba go for public or pay for usenet. If you are into movies/tv shows, setup *arr stack with VPN and public trackers and you will enjoy it the same way as anyone on private trackers. If you are nerd like me and have patience, dont mind keeping your torrent client online look into private trackers

Onii-Chan avatar

I was a member of What.CD back in the day, and holy fuck, the elitism was insufferable... but the amount of genuine lossless music was unlike anywhere else, and the site was so well organized.

@Stern@lemmy.world avatar

I was on 32pag.es before it died, and it an amazing comic tracker, still haven’t found comparable in public yet.


It is hard to find films with specific languages on public trackers. They are private one in some languages only.


It’s bullshit. You’ll get 99% of the content well seeded on a relatively open private tracker like IPT or Torrentleech as you would on BTN and anyone who says otherwise just wants to feel they are part of the cool kids club or whatever.

And certain nzb indexers are even more annoyingly elitist, see nzbs.in who get mad and ban users for even mentioning their name.


You’ll get 99% of the content well seeded

In my case, I love to be on private trackers because of the content and moderation. You will not find 99% of the music on RED or even OPS at that level of quality anywhere on the public trackers. Hell, I don’t even find a lot of the music in lossless formats on usenet.

So, one of the reasons for the existence of private trackers is to catalogue and moderate great collections (of music, movies, TV series, etc.).


Torrentleech is a private tracker btw


There’s also a “I’m not going to get some bullshit masquerading as the movie I was looking for.” thing in place.

I belong to a couple private trackers. I use them nearly exclusively and have never once downloaded a bullshit file/virus/whatever. It’s happened a couple times on public ones.

I know who the good uploaders are and know that seeding on the private isn’t going to get me flagged to my ISP, which happened twice before going off public.

I guess what I’m wondering is: why wouldn’t you use one if you can find what you’re looking for?

@hexaflexagonbear@hexbear.net avatar

Is it just mere elitism to feel superior or are there any other reasons?

Security concerns are a part of it. The idea is that there’s an added layer of security if everyone is a friend of a friend, but obviously it’s not very practical. Generally the security is added by making sure you’re drafting from an “in”-crowd, which usually means familiarity with the content hosted and how the content is generated (like the old what.cd test) in addition to being a member in good standing in a tracker or a proven history of seeding. User limits also make the need for people to be very into the specific content type in order to make sure even the more obscure content is well seeded.

@driving_crooner@lemmy.eco.br avatar

I used to visit an specialized private tracker that went offline, deli.sh, it’s had only food content, like video courses and a lot of books. Everything had at least a couple of seeders, so even that ultra rare French language pastry book was available to download. My girlfriend, now wife, was on cooking academy and I downloaded a lot of books and courses for her that would be unavailable anywhere else on the internet. I don’t think you can really have that kind of collection on a public tracker.


Nearly all the rules members need to follow (which can vary from one tracker to another) are about seeding enough. That’s the main universal thing. Not allowing people to “Hit and Run”. For a member to do that, it typically takes dedicating some substantial drive space and seed time. Far more than most people are willing/able to dedicate. This allows the tracker to curate a large library of high quality material. That’s the primary ideology.

Secondary to that, it has the added benefit of making sure everyone involved is “cool”. Cool as in, not a nark who’s going to get people sued and the site shut down. That used to be a big issue. I don’t know if it is now. I’m kind of out of touch with public torrent sites.

As to why we’re insufferable elitists? What do you want me to say? Rulers’ gonna rule.

@Vanth@reddthat.com avatar


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  • BolexForSoup,
    BolexForSoup avatar

    “Mods booted me for literally no reason”

    checks comment history


    @neo@lemmy.comfysnug.space avatar

    Almost definitely. Given the level of anger, most likely invite selling.

    @SnotFlickerman@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

    I’ve heard people saying they like to have a smaller number of high quality users for long term stability. I’ve even heard people tell they’re designed to keep government and federal agents away.

    These are both true, although the second one isn’t “government agents” but “third party companies hired by rightsholders like the RIAA/MPA.”

    @neo@lemmy.comfysnug.space avatar

    yeah, real talk if feds want in they’re getting in

    BolexForSoup avatar

    Louder for the folks who think incognito mode saves them from prying eyes lol

    quirzle avatar

    Incognito mode has always been intended for prying eyes using the same browser, and it works fine for that.

    @SnotFlickerman@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

    Yes we know that, but Google wouldn’t have changed the warning about private windows if it wasn’t clear a lot of people think “incognito” means the equivalent of a VPN and TOR (partially because they don’t know what VPN/TOR are).


    @neo@lemmy.comfysnug.space avatar


    Digital_Prophet avatar

    This. It's not like 3rd party anti-piracy firms can't get in if they want- which is why you still need to use a VPN on public trackers- but they exist to make money with the least amount of effort, just like every other corporation. They can trawl public trackers with almost no effort, and that's where the vast majority of users are anyway, so they're much more likely to go after the lower hanging fruit.

    @Nakoichi@hexbear.net avatar

    I’ve even heard people tell they’re designed to keep government and federal agents away.

    more likely that they are trying to stay off the radar of big ip holders. That is who would shine the feds eye of sauron on you and if the feds want to look at your files they will.


    TIL I’m elitist and insufferable


    Might not be you but in general most PT users are pretty insufferable


    poor Packet Tracer users. It’s a profession you know.


    No he clearly meant Pocket Tanks users. Those elitist who still play artillery combat game from 2002.


    No he clearly meant physio therapists. Those elitists who keep telling you to stretch more.

    themachine, (edited )

    Are you asking about why private trackers are private or are you asking about why a handful of people were mean to you who also happened to use a private tracker?

    Edit: typo




    The primary reason a private track is private is to make it feasible to maintain a curated community. Many users are not good torrent citizens. Many users are not good netizens in the first place. More than a few will look to actively do harm. Keeping a mostly closed community allows the vetting of users and those who end up breaking the rules are dealt with swiftly.

    The extra barrier of entry also helps prevent bad actors from operating on the site. This is of course not a full proof thing but it is obviously much better than a public site.

    Additionally running a private tracker and site takes server resources that are not free. Limiting the total number of users is a way of maintaining uptime by staying within your operational limits.

    I’m sure there are other benefits for private trackers but these are at least a few.

    I am not going to explain why someone on the internet was mean to you. Given the tone of this post I wouldn’t be surprised if it was deserved.


    Also curating the content itself, not just the users. Mods/Staff can make sure that the content uploaded is actually what’s expected.

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