“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.” Read the rest
Sarah Jeong reports on the bizarre and public wrangling over Reddit, whose free-for-all atmosphere blew up just in time to singe new investors expecting rapid growth. A labor problem, hidden in free speech posturing…
To outsiders, it looks like a form of collective insanity, a sign that Reddit itself is overrun with the denizens of r/CoonTown, utterly broken beyond repair. Yet Reddit still drives much of the Internet’s traffic. How can such a mainstream site appear to be so fringe? … Reddit appears to be overrun by a racist, sexist fringe. It’s not. … Reddit has driven itself into the ground by the same cost-efficient model that made it rise to the top. The site has a content problem because it has a moderation problem, a terrible labor problem that it has long hidden behind proclamations of “free speech.”
The hostiles there are expected to get a haircut today, following the installation of co-founder Steve Huffman as CEO and hints at more moderation. But who gets paid? Read the rest
Reddit's army of seething adolescents found a target for their anger in the form of Ellen Pao, the site's caretaker CEO and the presumed feminist fascist monster who presided over the censorship of r/fatpeoplehate and other bastions of free speech.
According to her predecessor Yishan Wong, however, the Reddit board has long wanted to rid the site of its nastiest subreddits. Ellen Pao, he claims, was in fact the last person around "upholding my free-speech policies" and telling them no.
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How’s everyone doing? This is AWESOME!
There’s something I neglected to tell you all this time (“executive privilege”), but I’m declassifying a lot of things these days. Back around the time of the /r/creepshotsdebacle, I wrote to /u/spez for advice. I had met him shortly after I had taken the job, and found him to be a great guy. Back in the day when reddit was small, the areas he oversaw were engineering, product, and the business aspects - those are the same things I tend to focus on in a company (each CEO has certain areas of natural focus, and hires others to oversee the rest). As a result, we were able to connect really well and have a lot of great conversations - talking to him was really valuable.
Well, when things were heating around the /r/creepshotsthing and people were calling for its banning, I wrote to him to ask for advice. The very interesting thing he wrote back was “back when I was running things, if there was anything racist, sexist, or homophobic I’d ban it right away.
The embattled interim CEO of Reddit, who became all the more embattled after the sacking of a popular admin left unpaid mods outraged, is leaving the company. Read the rest
The bitcoin blockchain could be used to decentralize media, putting it beyond the control of individual hosts. Read the rest
A number of Reddit communities were effectively shut down last night to protest the unexpected departure of staffer Victoria Taylor, an important liaison between Reddit's employees and its army of volunteer moderators. Read the rest
Bravo! Sysadmin Ricky Ramirez wrote that come June 29, all site traffic to be over HTTPS and HTTP will no longer be available
. (We're working on it, too) [painting
by linanddani] Read the rest
A few days ago, Reddit began applying its new anti-harassment policy, shuttering subreddits (such as r/fatpeoplehate and r/shitniggerssay) found to be regular originators of personal attacks. This resulted in a lot of whining from a vocal minority of Reddit users, whose clueless beliefs about free speech remind everyone else that the site has a culture problem that piecemeal enforcement actions won't change.
Digg's Brian Menegus writes that, despite the appearance of an exodus, the misfits have nowhere to go—most of them, ultimately, don't care about Voat or 8chan. They want to participate in Reddit.
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Across multiple (soon-to-be-banned) subbreddits — 8Chan, the barely-functioning Voat and fph.io, which many of the old moderators of FHP allegedly created — these cells of small, angry and quickly-dwindling groups not only pale in comparison to the size of the original community, but have nothing justifying their continued existence other than ire at Reddit’s growing pains. Many who sought free speech (or the illusion thereof) without consideration for the quality of what was being said will likely realize they no longer enjoy the company they keep. Those who do leave permanently may hopefully realize they are a vocal minority, rather than the voice of “The Frontpage Of The Internet.”
What seems to be lost in this discussion of free speech is that, like it or not, Reddit — or any discussion platform on the Internet — is well within its rights to censor or ban anything they see fit. Whether it’s for the prospect of monetary gain, to create a more welcoming space for new users or to soften their image in the public eye is utterly immaterial.
The Button, the Reddit game that started (perhaps) as an April Fools' joke and became a social experiment, religion, and drug, has ended after 1,008,316 presses. Time's up. "The Button has ended" (Reddit)
• Reddit's hot 'button' game is practically religious
• Realtime chart of "the button" game on Reddit Read the rest
Got some extra .40 cal casings kicking around and want to cosplay the scene in the Dark Tower books where the gunslingers stick bullets in their ears to block out the siren call of the "thinny?"
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Big groups can do amazing things with surprisingly few implements, and internet communities can spontaneously become collaborative experience designers. Redditors are playing a new game of sorts with themselves and each other involving a color-changing button and a timer, and the emergent memes are weird and glorious. Read the rest
Redditor Fallenmyst just started a job at Walk N'talk Technologies, where she listens to randomly sampled speech-to-text recordings from our mobile phones, correcting machine conversions.
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The site has emerged as an important creative platform, but getting—and keeping—an audience there is a tricky thing.
Redditor Shatteredankle went rock-climbing with glowsticks affixed to wrists and ankles, and took a long-exposure shot of the result -- gorgeous.
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