When the Internet’s ‘Moderators’ Are Anything But [New York Times] The title suggests a steward of civility and decency. But online, unpaid moderators can become a force for mayhem. [more inside]
"Ellen Pao is stepping down as Reddit’s CEO, a move that comes amid mounting pressure after a series of management mishaps that has angered its very vocal online community. Steve Huffman, Reddit co-founder and its original CEO, is taking over immediately."
Subreddit Moderators rebel against Admins Triggered by the surprise termination of Victoria Taylor, AKA /u/chooter, Director of Talent and sole official contact for /IAMA by the Reddit admins, and more generally in protest for what has been seen as a lack of communication with and appreciation for the unpaid volunteers that act as moderators of Reddit, many of the most popular subreddits have gone dark, setting their status to private and thereby hiding their content to the vast majority of users. /r/AskReddit, /r/Books, /r/science, /r/Music, /r/gaming, /r/history, /r/art, /r/videos, /r/gadgets, and /r/movies have followed /r/IAmA in making themselves private. Many other subreddits have also taken steps in solidarity.
When 'meh' just won't do: blep. But maybe you're not a cat person. In which case: blop. And yes, there is a place for all other animals - meet blup. (Previously.)
Reddit, the other front page of the internet, turned 10 today (best comment on the anniversary "We made it 10 years without drama!") and celebrated with a look back. It addition to the most liked posts, it also revealed some other interesting posts and replies. Some of the most gilded ever are well-written responses to Reddit's/the Internet's own problems (links go to responses, not topics): attacks on PUAs/MRAs, racism, and jokes about Asians. Of course, more true to popular form, the most gilded ever are about League of Legends and a NSFW thread that combines pranks with too much homophobic subtext. The most saved threads on Reddit tell you how to get free things on the internet, how to study, and where to go before you die. And, of course, there are good old standbys like "what is the best picture on the internet" and "what gif reduces you to laughter every time." Reddit now faces many challenges for its next 10 years.
After last month's vow to curb targeted harassment and make the site a safer platform for all users, the admins of Reddit began making good on that promise yesterday by banning five offensive subreddits deemed guilty of doxxing, brigading, and otherwise tormenting others, including /r/fatpeoplehate -- a militantly anti-HAES forum whose attacks had recently extended to the admins of popular image host Imgur. In reaction, the 150K subscribers of FPH and their sympathizers in other fringe subreddits went on a rampage, creating countless clones (all banned), filling the front page with hate posts, and disregarding the veneer of free-speech activism to viciously slander Reddit CEO Ellen Pao personally. The dissenters advocate a mass exodus of the hate subs to Voat.co [obligatory_wonka.gif], a moderation-free clone of Reddit that has already crashed under the traffic. Ongoing coverage by the enlightened popcorn-munchers of SubredditDrama. [more inside]
Based on such continuous disappointment you'd think that trust in these grandiose, empty promises would wane - yet articles like this are more popular then ever. How click bait articles work (this will amaze you!)
Can you resist? Step right up and sample the latest Internet inanity. Someone over on Reddit has created a button that you can either click or not click, according to your own personal inclinations. As I was, before learning of the button, not clicking it, I chose to click it, so that I could experience the full breadth of the system.
How did the Spacing Guild develop such a stranglehold on the Padishah Emperor? What led to the split between the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front in the first century? If Franz Ferdinand's assassination was the inciting cause for WWI, how are they still able to go on tour? How could Scrooge McDuck have maintained his extraordinary wealth from the 1940s onward without destabilzing the entire world's economy? Did the 'genocide' against the Air Nomads REALLY happen? And, finally, how did the Eagles manage to rescue Frodo and Sam at Mt. Doom and still have time to record "Hotel California"? [more inside]
"The plaintiff, Ellen Pao, had accused the firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, of discriminating against her in the course of her employment and eventual dismissal. The decision handed Kleiner a sweeping victory in a case that had mesmerized Silicon Valley with its salacious details while simultaneously amplifying concerns about the lack of diversity in the technology industry." Pao is now the CEO Reddit - Relevant Reddit thread.
The world of online hate, long dominated by website forums like Stormfront and its smaller neo-Nazi rival Vanguard News Network (VNN), has found a new — and wildly popular — home on the Internet. [NSFW racist language]
Keegan Hanks of the Southern Poverty Law Center discusses racism on the "front page of the internet".
Keegan Hanks of the Southern Poverty Law Center discusses racism on the "front page of the internet".
Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald recently did an AMA on Citizenfour, their Oscar winning documentary about Snowden and the NSA scandal. Among the highlights is Snowden discussing the relationship between people and their governments and how enforcing the law too well actually can have severe drawbacks.
Almost five years ago Metafilter was introduced to Black People Twitter, but Metafilter has no chill. Since then Black People Twitter has become hot af. Compilations of black people being hilarious on twitter that were posted to reddit and a Black People Twitter subreddit was created, and has since grown to over 165,000 subscribers. [more inside]
What do poor people buy that no one else does? [askreddit post]
3 female computer scientists held a Reddit AMA. You can totally guess what happened next.
The first communication I ever received from Dante Orpilla landed in my mailbox one morning in the summer of 2011. The handwritten letter, filling up six pages of legal-sized paper, arrived in an envelope stamped with a return address to the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Ore.
I kick people out of my Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters without a refund for texting and talking. AMA. From tales of snake handlers spraying blood all over the theater, to angry patrons yelling at security guards, the Alamo Drafthouse still remains raucous after all these years. [more inside]
"Revenge is never pretty, but when done meticulously, intelligently, and psychotically, it sure is a thing of beauty." Al Jazeera tells the story of James McGibney, founder of BullyVille and CheaterVille.
In response to criticism over the banning of infamous subreddit TheFappening, where private photographs of women (both celebrities and not) were being circulated, Reddit chief Yishan Wong released a controversial op-ed stating that Reddit considers itself "not just a company running a website where one can post links and discuss them, but the government of a new type of community." T.C. Sottek, writing for The Verge, asserts that if this is the case, then Reddit is assuredly a failed state. [more inside]
"Tulpas are sentient beings imagined into existence using meditation-style exercises. Their creators, known as 'tulpamancers', form the internet’s newest subculture, meeting online at tulpa.info and the subreddit r/tulpas." [more inside]
this is an album of men and women wearing very similar outfits placed side by side for comparison. I tried to find fits that not only had the same colour palette, but the same clothing cut/style as well. Most images were taken from Pinterest - I just pinned outfits that I thought would transfer well to the opposite gender and started matching. Some resemblances are better than others, but I think the individual touches are what make some fits more characteristically masculine or feminine.via /r/femalefashionadvice
You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of
A subreddit full of cats being ( amusingly) startled. ( hat tip feckless fecal fear mongering)
The life and times of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
After seeing the light of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, it's hard to not notice it everywhere. Han Solo makes the gesture in Star Wars, as Reddit noticed in 2012. Daily Dot writer Miles Klee caught the Spider-Man super villain Mysterio doing it. In 2013, it appeared in a Reddit post that commanded users "lol idk just upvote." "Lol idk" seems like a fairly apt description of the shruggie's meaning, but it also doesn't begin to describe the nihilism that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ embodies today.
AskReddit asks What's a strange thing your body does that you assume happens to everyone but you've never bothered to ask? In response, Slate's Medical Examiner column invites doctors to explain 13 of them.
"I discovered Cookie Monster and the Cheat interface bookmarklets. What harm could it do? They're just local bits of java. No harm, no foul. So I got greedy... I couldn't have enough cookies. Let the cookies run, I thought. Nobody uses my desk when I'm not here..." From Reddit user LivingDeadSquirrel.
Brian Knappenberger's The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz is available to watch for free in its entirety thanks to the Internet Archive. [more inside]
Okay, so you've watched a lot of funny or strange animated gifs. But do you know what's behind the gifs?
"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
Star Trek scenes of crews reacting to collisions and/or explosions + video stabilization software + soundtrack from Lil Jon = Turn Down for Trek. [more inside]
Anonymous Redditor ’Your Post As A Movie“ takes photo comments that members post, and Photoshops them into spot-on fake movie posters. Here's his/her prolific output from the last 6 months. (the first link is the original photo, the second one, is the poster, which is often created right after the post goes up) [more inside]
The uncommonly well-moderated and researched Ask Historians subreddit answers the question: What common medieval fantasy tropes have little-to-no basis in real medieval European history?
Crank up the Henry Mancini. At Baby Elephant GIFs, one of reddit's fastest growing new communities, over 20,000 Elephanthusiasts come together to share the joy of puerile pachyderms figuring out how to charge and how to eat, among other important life lessons. [more inside]
Alex Leavitt at Medium.com looks at reddit's breaking news threads from the Aurora shooting to the Boston bombings. Leavitt will present "Upvoting Hurricane Sandy: Event-Based News Production Processes on a Social News Site"at the SIGCHI (society for professionals, academics and students who are interested in human-technology & human-computer interaction) conference next month.
Are you a fan of inventive, black-humored sci-fi/fantasy animation? Desperate to fill the Futurama-shaped hole in your heart? Look no further than Rick and Morty, the superb new Adult Swim series from animator Justin "Lemongrab" Roiland and Community darling Dan Harmon. Inspired by a (terrible and very NSFW) Back To The Future knock-off, the show pairs a naïve young teen (Morty) with his cynical, alcoholic, mad scientist grandfather (Rick), each episode exploring a trope -- dreams, aliens, innerspace, parallel universes, virtual reality -- and turning it inside-out with intricate plotting, eye-catching art, and dark, whipsmart humor (with plenty of improvisation along the way). A ratings hit already secured for a second season, the show returns from an Olympics-induced hiatus tomorrow -- in the meantime, why not sample the six episodes aired so far: Pilot - Lawnmower Dog - Anatomy Park - M. Night Shaym-Aliens! - Meeseeks and Destroy - Rick Potion #9. Want more? Promo/highlight reel - AV Club reviews - TVTropes - Reddit - Rick & Morty ComicCon panel - Storyboard Test - Soundtrack samples - Play the "Rushed Licensed Adventure" point-and-click game
Eva Mozes Kor and her twin sister were the victims of medical and genetic experiments at the hands of Josef Mengele in Auschwitz. She recently did an AMA on Reddit.
For the past three days, the world of streaming gaming has been riveted by an unlikely phenomenon: Twitch Plays Pokemon. Consisting of a live Twitch.TV chatroom hooked up to a classic Game Boy emulation of Pokémon Red, the program is set to recognize a limited number of commands and execute them in real time, allowing an audience of tens of thousands to collectively control the action as they watch. An astonishing amount of progress has been made, including the dramatic last-second defeat of a third gym leader (GIF) and the solution of a notoriously tricky puzzle on the very first attempt. But all for naught, it seems, as Team Twitch finds itself hilariously stranded on the ledges of Route 19 where, as one viewer explained, "they basically have to walk a small path for about ten spaces without anyone pushing down and jumping Red off the ledge," a grim democratic reality the dedicated subreddit /r/twitchplayspokemon has had all kinds of fun with over the last dozen ludicrous hours.
"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
From a small town in Romania, Guccifer skewered and glorified the power elite.
If Snowden perfectly fit the profile of geek crusader, Lehel, a stone-faced, disheveled man in a tight leather jacket, seemed an odd candidate for one of the world’s most notorious hackers. But Guccifer is to hacking what the Beatles are to rock and roll. He had predecessors, 4Chan cowboys like Anonymous and Sabu of LulzSec, but he’s changed the nature of hacking fame. Guccifer rose by exploiting the connections people make online to infiltrate the private lives of some of the most powerful people on Earth. He served up the results to the media, irresistible high-low raw material for an online news cycle driven by leaks and voyeurism and racked by anxiety over privacy.What Is A Guccifer? [more inside]
"One night in August 2004, I awoke to a man and a woman in my room whom I had never seen before telling me that they were "escorts" and we were going to a place called "wilderness."...There is a legal process where parents can sign over custody of kids who need residential care, which makes sense, because if a kid has to be housed in a mental health facility, the staff needs to be able to make all of the day-to-day decisions for her care. But that same process works for "unruly" teens like me, which meant the company that ran my camp had total legal control over where I went and what I did." --Cracked.com takes on the Tough Love for Troubled Teen camps that, mostly unregulated, are "treating" more and more children every year. [more inside]
The developers of Outerra (a "3D planetary engine for seamless planet rendering from space down to the surface") have posted some samples of their product to Imgur: stunning renderings of Tolkien's Middle-earth as seen from the ground, in the air - and from space! [more inside]
Pentagon papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg held a Reddit AMA this week, and found out something new about the whole affair - 43 years later.
Reddit's Slow TV channel offers long videos of continuous coverage by fixed cameras on a subject or event from start to finish. Take train rides, go the beach, watch fireworks, ride the Autobahn, visit the aquarium, check out a hot spring at Yellowstone, fry up some bacon or, tour the islands of Cat Ba near Ha Long Bay in North Vietnam [more inside]
The Atlantic attempts to explain how Reddit's Ask Me Anything became a "mainstream delight." [Previously]. [Even more previously]. [Even more previously than that]. [more inside]
In the wake of a questionable article about feminist programming languages, a group of trolls leapt on the idea to create a parodic implementation. GitHub promptly removed the code repository, as did BitBucket, but the latter restored it amid the controversy. More commentary from Slashdot and Twitter.
"We began the present study by asking, as some linguists have asked before us, why the ordering of certain conjoined elements is fixed." -Cooper and Ross, 1975 (pdf) Siamese twins in linguistics: examples are "here and there (and everywhere)" and "peas and carrots." Siamese twins are also known as "binomial freezes," "irreversible binomials," or "freezes," and they can change over time, too. And that can lead to fossil words! Speaking of fossil words, did you know about cranberry morphemes? [more inside]