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

Internet Drama

Reddit Readies for Brewing ‘Inter-Website War'; Major Subreddits Ban Links to Gawker Media

(Photo: Says-it.com)

If websites are one big dysfunctional family, Reddit and Gawker Media are the two drunken uncles who can’t stop fighting over who has to pick grandpa up at the airport. Now, the two sites are preparing for a grueling “inter-website war” that threatens to rob netizens of wifi packet rations and provide hours of popcorn-eating fodder.

After news broke on Reddit that Gawker writer Adrian Chen was preparing to publish a post revealing the personal information of Reddit user Violentacrez, a moderator of the controversial subreddit r/creepshots, Reddit began to batten down the hatches. The politics subreddit, which boasts almost 2 million subscribers, announced that it will ban all links to Gawker Media properties–including Gawker, Jezebel and Lifehacker–in response to the news that Mr. Chen may be preparing to publish personal details about Violentacruz. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Eric Schmidt’s BlackBerry Problem, a Foursquare Stalker & Sheryl Sandberg’s Frenemy

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If your week was as hellish hectic as ours, you must be in need of a stiff drink. Pour yourself a cocktail and get comfy: here comes this week’s rumor roundup.

Step Away from the Crackberry! In case you missed all the Instagrams, Mayor Bloomberg performed some titillating acts of Startup Theatre on the stage at Gracie Mansion Tuesday night. The crème of tech society, including MakerBot’s Bre Pettis, General Assembly’s Adam Brimer, Yipit founder Vinny Vacanti, Google trends & insights editor Caroline McCarthy, Sailthru’s Aubrey Sabala, chief digital officer Rachel Sterne Haot and her husband, LiveStream founder Max Haot, gathered on the lawn for canapés and cocktails to celebrate NYC Connects 2012.

To enhance his usual Silicon Alley cheerleading, Mr. Bloomberg opted for props on the podium, like an array of Warby Parker sunglasses and a Seamless delivery guy, who shlepped takeout up on stage. The spotlight was enough to lure Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky out of Twitter hiding. Besides one of the guests complaining about a scripted “Hello world” joke that fell short, everyone seemed to eat up the promotional opportunities. Read More

Lit Crit

Judging Lauren Leto’s New Book, Judging a Book By Its Lover

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The journey from blog to book is well-trod ground for New York City’s literary aspirants. (Half of Urban Outfitters’ book selection, it seems, got its start as an acerbic single-serving Tumblr.) But, it’s not a career path you see startup founders attempt to cross. “Truthfully, I don’t think most people in tech even know I have this book coming out,” Texts from Last Night cofounder Lauren Leto confessed over the phone last week.

Surprise or not, Judging a Book By Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere, her collection of essays on the culture of fiction reading, goes on sale today from Harper Perennial, the paperback unit of HarperCollins with a reputation for publishing work by promising young authors.

The idea started with a blog post Ms. Leto published in 2010 called “Reader by Author,” which was picked up by Observer alum Foster Kamer, then Gawker’s weekend editor. In it, Ms. Leto offered funny snap judgements about personality quirks based on reader’s favored author (for example, “Maureen Dowd: Women who remember fondly the first time they got their period.”) Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: The Machines Turn on the Science Fiction Fans Edition

Neil Gaiman shows off his Hugo for fans who missed out on the livestream. (Photo: Twitter)

Sorry, musicians: Unless you’re already Lady Gaga, streaming services probably aren’t going to net you much money. [The Next Web]

This weekend, copyright robots shut down Ustream’s livestream of the Hugo Awards, just as author Neil Gaiman won for his (pretty great) Doctor Who episode. Scifi fans are not happy. [io9]

There’s an app for that, and by “that” we mean war. [The Wall Street Journal]

Cambodia plans to hand the founder of The Pirate Bay over to Sweden. Unless, of course, Ecuador wants to make a habit of hiding Internet-beloved Swedes in its embassies. [Reuters]

“Meanwhile, AntiSec says it will not provide further statements or interviews until a mysterious request is fulfilled – to have a photo of a Gawker staff writer dressed in a tutu featured on the company’s homepage.” [The Next Web]

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

Commenting Wars

Sound Familiar? Gawker’s New Commenting Threads are Called ‘Branches’

Mr. Denton (flickr.com/scriptingnews)

After a week of closed commenting sections, Gawker released its new commenting system today, and it’s a doozy. Nieman Lab has a great rundown of the changes, including a computer algorithm that sifts through the comments and looks for ones to feature, as well as “a new inbox [that] focuses attention on all replies to a user’s comments… the original commenter must explicitly approve a reply to allow it into the conversation.”

Nieman Lab reports that the proprietary system is officially called Powwow, but interestingly enough, the actual discussion threads themselves are called “branches.” Read More

The Third Degree

Gawker’s Ryan Tate On How You Can Do 20 Percent Time Better Than The GOOG

Mr. Tate

After years of reading Ryan Tate’s piercing coverage on the free time and foibles of Silicon Valley’s demigods at Gawker, Betabeat finally had the pleasure of making his acquaintance the other night. Spoiler alert: He might be the nicest dude in tech blogging, despite what the press releases regurgitation factories would have you think. Mr. Tate’s former pen pal Steve Jobs probably put it best: “He’s no dummy.”

We also had a chance to peruse his new book “The 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off, and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business,” which takes its title and subject matter from Google’s much-admired practice of letting employees spent a fifth of their work week building whatever they want to. Like, say, multi-billion dollar revenue streams like AdSense or lifelines like Gmail. Read More