Reddit experienced a “security incident” in June, which they announced by email this month (August, 2018). While an email to Reddit users says that the hack affected “account credentials from 2007”, the full story paints a substantially broader picture.
If you regularly peruse Kickstarter, or are on Reddit (especially the /r/seduction section), or if you are a fan of the comedian Casey Malone, you may already be aware of the tempest (bigger than teapot-sized) that is swelling around one particular Kickstarter campaign: funding to publish the book “Above the Game” by Ken Hoinsky. Hoinsky, who goes by the username “Tofu Tofu” on Reddit, has published several pieces on how to relate to and pick up women. He includes sections that go all the way up to advice on, well, going all the way. And because he advocates what he calls “taking the lead” in some extremely forward ways, the proposed book has come under fire as being a how-to manual on rape. And because it is the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, Kickstarter has come under fire for allowing the campaign to move forward, and in fact is the target of a DoSomething.org petition authored by DoSomething.org’s Ben Kassoy.
Even as we applaud the use of crowdsourcing to find terrorists such as those who bombed the Boston Marathon, we must caution over the sharing of uncorroborated accusations and “news” via social media. CNN famously got a lot wrong both during and following the initial Boston Marathon bombing crisis, including sending out updates that erroneously stated that the police already had a suspect in custody. And if a major news outlet is fallible and can mislead the public, just imagine how badly untrained but eager-to-help social media users can can screw up. And screw up they did, when spreading the picture of Moroccan teenager Salah Barhoun around as a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Hacktivist collective Anonymous, citing Operation Last Resort (#OpLastResort and #WarHead1) took control of the website belonging to the United States Sentencing Commission Saturday with a clear message: the government must agree to reforming the legal process and allowing for freedom of information, or else the collective will begin releasing internal documents that they claim they collected from the systems of the Department of Justice (DOJ). They cited the recent suicide death of Internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz as motivation for this latest mission.
We’ve all had days where we didn’t want to work, but according to Andrew Valentine, a principal for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, a man he calls “Bob” took it to a new level by by outsourcing his own six-figure-salaried job to China for $50,000/year, while he surfed Reddit and looked at cat videos.
SOPA Activist and RSS author Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit, has been found dead in his Brooklyn, NY apartment, from a hanging suicide. The 26 year-old was facing Federal prosecution for allegedly stealing 4.8 million documents from MIT’s computer networks, as well as from JSTOR, or Journal Storage, a nonprofit organization that offers journals and scholarly books to subsidized institutions. The death came as a shock to Swartz’s parents and girlfriend, who never expected him to hang himself, and they contend that the suicide was as a result of a “criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.”
Three-month-old baby Joey Powling has captured the collective heart of the Internet, and has been dubbed ‘Ridiculously Good-looking Surgery Baby’. A few days after undergoing major heart surgery due to being diagnosed with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, the family snapped a picture of the little guy, all smiles, and then uploaded it to Reddit. From there, an Internet star was born.
We’ve heard of crowdsourcing medical diagnostics before, and it seems that the users of Reddit may be the new collective Web MD of the Internet. The friend of a Reddit user was surprised to see the pregnancy test he jokingly took come back positive. After finding an old pregnancy test in his medicine cabinet, left behind by an ex-girlfriend, he decided to pee on it.
The Obama administration is proposing to strengthen child privacy laws, and Internet giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are not happy. According to the three websites, the proposed law changes will interfere with their user’s ability to tweet, share information on the Web, and to “like” Facebook posts. They also say that these changes hamper free speech.