Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Update: #1 For anyone concerned about the future of Ello, they’ve assured us that the site will remain ad-free and porn friendly!
Update #2: Overwhelmed by the deluge of new users, Ello almost choked off all access for new members, but have gone all-hands-on-deck to keep Ello alive and soldier on through the hype.
Update #3: Brands are showing up like crazy to make profiles on Ello. Will it undermine everything Ello stands for? Nah.
When we broke the news of Ello’s impending launch last March, we worried it might be destined for obscurity, like the thousand other failed, would-be Facebook competitors. But the mysterious social network and anti-Facebook hideaway has suddenly exploded in popularity as Facebook has begun driving away artists, performers and the LGBTQ community.
When they started their roll-out in July, Ello got a few sign-ups from the mailing list generated from word-of-mouth buzz. Each day after, they grew twice as large, which ramped up to three times as large each day. Then, after The Daily Dot declared yesterday that “the great gay Facebook exodus” had begun, interest in Ello went nuclear. Ello’s founder told Betabeat that he’s seeing 4000 new signups each hour. People are frantically tweeting each other about Ello, and traffic on our Ello stories from six months back has exploded.
Hackers do a lot for epic lulz, including trolling a credulous public in love with stories about improbable, Mission Impossible-worthy hacks. So we are skeptical of The Daily Dot’s article about anonymous (we don’t yet know if that word should be capitalized) Pastebin posts claiming GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney’s infamously withheld tax returns have been snagged by hackers and are being held for ransom.
The authors of the Pastebin missives say Mr. Romney’s returns will be released to the public on September 28 unless the hackers are given a Bitcoin ransom equal to $1 million in U.S. dollars.
In case you think the Mission Impossible allusion is hyperbole, just read how the Romney tax return kidnappers claim they snagged the documents:
It’s a question that has plagued us during many sleepless nights: What is a brony, really? We already know that fans of the rainbow-ridden My Little Pony series enjoy attending conventions and having public cybersex on Twitter, but little else has been scientifically revealed about the psychology behind the mystical brony culture…until now. (Cue Law and Order cut music.)
The Daily Dot pointed us to a study done by two researchers named Dr. Patrick Edwards and Dr. Marsha Redden, who conducted a survey in an attempt to classify the personality traits of bronies. Their findings may shock you.
Just kidding, they’re pretty much exactly what you’d expect.
The Internet Makes You Stupid
Media outlets should have learned a lesson when Village Voice Media got caught spamming Reddit and basically had to grovel for the Mechagodzilla of link aggregation sites’ forgiveness, but they didn’t. We know this because the Daily Dot ferreted out a new spammer, no less than The Atlantic‘s social media editor, Jared Keller–a.k.a. “SlaterHearst” during his time pimping Atlantic articles to the Redditorati, a.k.a. “redditors.” Mr. Keller’s skullduggery was revealed to Daily Dot by finding him on OK Cupid, where he used the same screen name, describing himself as an “Attempted journalist” and “lover of new ideas.”
As “SlaterHearst,” Mr. Keller was a highly successful redditor until the site banned him last month:
When it comes to focusing the internet’s attention on a single page, Digg.com used to be king. But it’s been about a year since Digg was upset by its smaller, more indie competitor: the highly-active forums of Conde Nast-owned Reddit, a generally happy place of kitten GIFs and funny memes and self-confessions and so on. But in the more divisive sub-forums, writes The Daily Dot, evil lurks. “Like any community, Reddit has its dark sides. It has neighborhoods rife with porn, racism, misogyny, and violence. And it’s also got gangs,” The Daily Dot wrote ominously yesterday.
Gangs?! On Reddit?!