The Reddit users were involved in an AMA session organized by the senior criminology lecturer at Macquaire University, Dr. James Martin and a PHD student, Rasmus Munksgaard of Université de Montréal. The session focussed on topics on the darknet markets. The personnel who have organized the AMA session are the members of a team of researchers who were engaged in the studying of the darknet markets since the early days of the Silk Road, one of the most prominent darknet markets that have been taken down on a permanent basis.
The AMA session aimed to help the users of the Reddit community get a better and clearer knowledge of how things work by discussing and clarifying any doubts on the darknet markets. Some of the topics that were included in the AMA session were:
- Role of the darknet markets in the opioid crisis
- The future of OpenBazaar
- Ways to study the darknet markets considering the complex factors.
The two academics also conversed with the dark web vendors on the /r/DarkNetMarkets to have knowledge of what goes on behind the actual market. Since working and trading with the dark web markets is an underground business, therefore it is quite obvious that the vendors will be hesitant in participating in the online interviews and the questionnaires so as to keep the maximum possible information covered.
By far, the lecturer and PHD team disclosed that they have interviewed over a dozen of the darknet or deep web market vendors who have opened up on certain information like who they actually are, what they do and how they do them. Initially, it was a bit tough to bring out information about how they work. But later on as some of the dark web vendors really took interest on the research and finally opened up.