Are my fears unfound? On one hand, the idea of buying drugs online is probably more safe than doing it on the streets, but the anonymity this offers has a potential downside like the one I mentioned above.
There is risk in everything. Generally people aren't sociopaths and aren't out to harm others. Risk is minimal but exists.
Sellers on Silkroad do have reputation? Anonymous does not mean "unknown".
Not really a fair comparison. If a grocery store assaults or defrauds you, you have legal recourse.
There is nothing you can do if an illicit transaction fails.
The rest of what you say is true, of course.
This is more recourse than you have in practice against a grocery store if they refuse to give you a refund - what are you going to do, sue them?
On the original silk road, it cost a very large amount to get a vendor account. So if you decided to start selling bad shit, you'd have to play nice for a while to break even, a while longer to build trust, and then go out in a blaze of bad shit.
I don't really see why anyone would do that. If you have good enough connections to get a good rep on the Silk Road (or similar site), you have good enough connections to never need to sell bad shit. As Stringer Bell would say, it's all about the product. If you have better product than your competition, you'll win in the end.
Hypothetically. If you have enough money. And enough evidence. Good luck with that. I'd rather take my chances in SR's dispute resolution center...
Point is there is a huge web of people everybody trusts to not be evil. They are trusted for no good reason (other than as stated most people aren't sociopaths). But some are. Protecting against them isn't worth the tiny risk of exposure.
Likewise fretting over being "defrauded" by anonymous (but reputed) persons whom you buy illicit goods from is not worth worrying about. Same with ebay, kickstarter etc.
These are all inspected by governments. You can argue that this is imperfect, does not happen frequently enough, leaves something to be desired, won't catch everything, etc., but speaking personally, I do take those inspection scores seriously when I see them posted on the walls of places.
The LSD Avengers are a group of individuals that perform trip, reagent, and lab tests on LSD that is found on the Silk Road in order to verify the legitimacy of the product and to weed out scammers. Their primary goal is to aide individuals in easily finding the holy grail of psychedelics.
They do, but they take the risk. Shows how much people want that stuff in their body.
If you kill people slowly, so, booze, fags, fatty food, pollution, and so on, then its fine. Killing people really fast, well, that's then it gets iffy. Oh, unless you are a government waging a jihad, or is it "war", on something.
Im sure they must be a line some where...