Planet Reddit

Reddit Feels Pretty Bad About That ‘Witch Hunt’ for the Boston Bombers, Actually

Guilty! (Photo: Reddit)

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, many Redditors stepped forward to help in the only way they knew how: Gathering up scraps of information from across the Internet and sitting in front of their computer screens sorting through the pile.

Unfortunately, the wisdom of the crowd turned up little beside the suggestion that a missing Brown student might be involved, an accusation that went viral. He wasn’t, and now Reddit feels really, really bad.

General manager Erik Martin has posted an actual public apology for Reddit’s part in the rumors. (Not the site’s usual m.o., to say the least.) While “the vast majority” of Redditors’ responses were positive, he said, some of the activity “fueled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties.” Read More

Planet Reddit

Reddit Hires Former Kleiner Perkins Partner Ellen Pao to Work on ‘Strategic Partnerships’

(Photo: Kleiner Perkins)

Kleiner Perkins partner Ellen Pao, who made headlines last year for suing the company in a widely publicized gender discrimination suit, is gainfully employed once more. After reportedly being fired from KPCB in October 2012, she has now taken a gig at community site Reddit, where she’ll be “helping us build strategic partnerships that benefit the community.” Read More

Internet Drama

Violentacrez Admits Doing CNN Interview Was a ‘Huge Mistake’

(Photo: CNN)

Last night, the now-notorious Reddit troll Violentacrez, whom Gawker recently exposed as a 49-year-old Texas-based programmer named Michael Brutsch, appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 for God knows what reason. In the painfully awkward two-part interview, during which Mr. Cooper thankfully gave us a commercial break to collect ourselves and tweet our thoughts, Mr. Brutsch invoked every possible excuse to justify his poor behavior, which includes creating controversial subreddits like PicsofDeadKids and Jailbait.

Throughout the interview, Mr. Brutsch referred to his Reddit username Violentacrez in the third person, echoing other statements he’s made about Violentacrez being a character he played and attempting to distance himself from taking personal responsibility for his actions. He also admitted that his sole purpose for creating racist and misogynistic subreddits was to get a rise out of people (he bragged he has a “gift” for it) in order to accumulate “meaningless internet points.” Read More

Internet Drama

Reddit Bans Creepshots and Creepsquad, the Subreddits That Fueled Its ‘War’ With Gawker

(Photo: Reddit)

For the last few hours, the controversial subreddit Creepshots–which is at the center of an “inter-website war” over photos users published of non-consenting women–has been inaccessible.

The message “This subreddit has been banned” is affixed front and center. The banned page notes that the subreddit may have been caught in the site’s spam filter, but Reddit general manager Erik Martin confirmed to Betabeat that a moderator from Creepshots asked an admin to ban the subreddit. Read More

Planet Reddit

President Obama Does Reddit AMA, Reddit Promptly Goes Into Read-Only Mode Due to Heavy Traffic

He even uploaded this pic to Imgur like a real Redditor would. (Photo: Imgur)

A little over 20 minutes ago, President Obama announced that he would be doing an AMA on Reddit, and the Internet promptly imploded. Within minutes of the announcement, it was confirmed by both Reddit moderators and the New York Times. Ladies, geeks and lady geeks everywhere swooned at the photo of the President stationed at his Macbook prepared to address the Reddit masses, who will undoubtedly only ask questions about weed. Read More

SOPA Opera

First the Cat Signal, Now a Bus Tour: Alexis Ohanian Raising Money for Cross-Country Open Internet Campaign

(Photo: Indiegogo)

First came the Declaration of Internet Freedom, a document defending a free and open internet that would probably have moved the Founding Fathers to eye-roll, hard-core, had they been around to see it. Then there was the Internet Defense League, a collection of websites that promised to bond together in the name of the internet whenever the signal of a cat is flashed. And now? Well, now there’s a bus tour, spearheaded by Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, to raise awareness about the importance of a free internet across the country. Read More

Can You Digg It?

The Digg Bang Theory: Can Betaworks Make a Run on Reddit?

Mr. Rose (Photo: flickr.com/joi)

In the winter of 2004, soon after the husks of once-great dot-com startups had dried and shriveled, a 27-year-old college dropout named Kevin Rose deployed a barebones new site, simply named “Digg.”

It was one of the first social networks in existence. Back then, the term “social networking” hadn’t shouldered its way into our lexicon yet. Facebook was a nascent, walled platform for college gossip; Google was still idly toying with its search algorithm; Twitter wouldn’t launch for another two years.

News itself was a hierarchical affair, largely produced and disseminated by trusted broadcasters and editors. Journalism’s democratizing forces hadn’t congealed, yet; bloggers weren’t sitting front row at fashion shows or making a living off of Google Ads. The idea that a community of Internet geeks could manipulate the news cycle would’ve elicited howls of mocking laughter from the Conde kingmakers. Read More

Science Rules

At the Rose Center for Earth and Space, First Comes the Dream; Then, the Soon-To-Be Reality

(Photo: Brooke Hammerling, Instagram)

Last night, gangs of glammed-out New York techies and science enthusiasts trekked uptown to the Rose Center for Earth and Space to take in a stunningly optimistic program presented by Gizmodo and the American Museum of Natural History. The event was planned and hosted by Gawker Media founder Nick Denton (with the help of Brew PR), who appeared so eager about the “celebration of technology and discovery” that he tweeted about it numerous times prior to the event, published a grandiose blog post on Gizmodo reveling in the glorious achievements of science, and sent out an email to attendees: “This evening should be inspiring and fun,” he wrote.

“I’ve never seen Nick so excited for a social event,” one colleague remarked.

And who could begrudge Mr. Denton his excitement? The event was everything he claimed it would be–and perhaps more, depending on how many free cocktails you indulged in. Hosted by Ellen V. Futter, the president of the American Museum of Natural History, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and Mr. Denton himself, the gathering was as swank and inspiring as expected. Read More

Planet Reddit

Loving the Alien: How Erik Martin, King Bee of Reddit’s Hive Mind, Harnessed the Buzz

erickredd

The top-scoring link of all time on the social news website Reddit is a post that users were never meant to see at all. It is titled “test post please ignore,” but almost 27,000 Redditors found it so amusing that they voted it up.

That is testament to the website’s impassioned community—and their brand of dry, often geeky humor (the site’s logo is an alien, after all). But Reddit’s user base, which a recent PBS documentary pegged as 72 percent male, has wide-ranging interests. Other top posts include a link to a news item about the elderly volunteering to clean up nuclear waste in Japan following the 2011 tsunami, and a Q&A session with the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Reddit is one of the country’s most highly trafficked websites, but its general manager, Erik Martin, keeps a remarkably low profile. Most Redditors know the 33-year-old Mr. Martin solely by his username: HueyPriest. Read More