Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Hackers Claim They’re Holding Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns for Bitcoin Ransom [Update]

(Photo: Imdb.com)

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: Read More

Pony Up

Study We’ve all Been Waiting For Explores the Psychology of Bronies

(Photo: Mamapop.com)

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. Read More

Antisocial Media

The Atlantic’s Social Media Editor Busted For Spamming Reddit

SlaterHearst

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: Read More

The Internet Makes You Stupid

The Gangs of Reddit

reddit tat

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?! Read More