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Should there really be a Scav cooldown timer if you aren't even doing a "Run Through"??? That's a super easy fix which would make the life of anyone new, casual, or with a bad PC 100 times better. Plus more constructive thoughts and criticisms from a very passionate life long gamer.

Quick background, I've been a hardcore FPS player most of my life (I'm pretty old now for competitive gamers but...). I've also been a hardcore RTS player, MMO player, played a lot of DOTA 2, I even played some dang card games (Not Hearthstone)... basically I just love good games. But at the end of the day FPS was always my favorite, although I might be better statistically with RTS?
I'm brand new to Tarkov, this is my first legit wipe (I played a few hours during the last wipe but I was lagging so much I quit, literally every gun fight I was getting spikes and was just dead with a frame lock stutter... but then I realized I need to try to overclock my CPU from 4.0 to 4.3 GHZ and suddenly the game became "playable"). I think it's note worthy that Tarkov is one of only 2 games in my experience where I just feel my computer isn't good enough to play correctly (the other one is PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds which I just didn't like that game too much honestly even compared to the old H1Z1).
ANYWAYS... I love this game. I've programmed games in Unity by myself, one of them was really complex but my artist quit and has now worked for big companies like ArenaNet... so when I heard that Tarkov was made in Unity, honestly I was impressed. Personally working solo or damned near it, I didn't think it was possible to make a game like this in Unity...
And in some ways I'm right... the game doesn't run very smoothly on my PC even with the lowest graphics settings. Youtube videos of Tarkov look WAYYYYYY better and smoother than my actual game... normally you lose quite a bit of quality with recording but I can tell my PC isn't handling the game correctly... You also need an SSD drive to play with friends which is reasonable but just another example why this game is difficult to excel in not just because of your skill and knowledge/intelligence of the game... but also the computer requirements are VERY steep.

I have a few points I want to make that I think could greatly improve the game:

1) Why is there a timer for playing Scav even if you play it like a normal raid and you don't receive the "Run Through" status?
I understand they made a timer so you can't just infinitely spawn Scavs and run to extract every time you get something good... but if you are playing legit??? If you are playing Scav as if it was your PMC (especially applies to newer players)? If you are going out of your way to make sure you don't have a run through???
I just think they may want to reconsider this design point for people that aren't abusing Scav, there is currently no way to play the game and financially progress without feeling like you aren't good enough if you aren't a god gamer (dozens of reasons players might think they are trash right now).
I've been progressing pretty well for my first wipe, just hit level 30 (haven't played a lot of days including missing around 7-10 days for start of wipe...). I have a bitcoin farm with 10/10 slots filled, I have millions of Roubles...
I can make money pretty steadily, I even have a friend who's REALLY good at the game, he got rid of literally 50 Graphics Cards about a week into the wipe because he was bored playing alone and was about to quit... then I'm like "hey lets play? I overclocked my CPU i think it's sorta playable now"... I do play a lot of solo though, but I have a very experienced friend who can help me with all my questions, specific tasks, and just teaching me the game quickly in general.
My point is that I think I'm doing pretty good for my first wipe but I still feel the game is too stressful at the moment. It's a little too much stress compared to fun, but it's close.

2) I was gonna log on today because I need to do the 8 kills near the Factory Office Area. I realized that this task unlocks SO MUCH STUFF... and I should of done it long ago.
I was about to log on but, I was planning all day on it but... then I was like... hmm I don't want to go through what happened in my last PMC factory quest. I was a brand new player and my PC doesn't run the game that well... killing a bunch of super kitted guys with a pistol like 10 days into wipe??? It's humiliating...
No joke my Survival Rate might be about +20% higher if it was not for that ONE Factory PMC quest. I'm not even exaggerating... I blew millions on total trash loadouts like PACA, derpy helm, and a Grach. I must of died at least 20 times just to complete that 1 quest (keep in mind I was a Global Elite in CSGO, and over 200 H1Z1 battle Royale wins which means I was the sole survivor of about 110 people over 200 times. I had really talented friends help me at times but you get the point, I was surprised when I wasn't solo winning Battle Royales...).
I'm not trying to brag about my previous FPS experiences. My point is that even if someone like me can have such a bad experience on a Factory PMC quest... a lot of players will just quit the game at that point.
I haven't quit the game, I still love it overall... but tonight I guess you could say I have "Ranked Anxiety". It's not even Ranked but I am actually scared to take the humiliation of lets say even 10 deaths for the 8 PMC Kills in the Office Area... For me 10 deaths would be humiliating... I already have 1 death and no kills yet...
.8 k/d isn't even that bad for a small sample size, but imagine how casual FPS players must feel trying to go in vs all these fully kitted Chads when their kit is like 1/4th the price for tasks like this? Imagine if their PC is sorta old too... so not only are they maybe new to the game, they have a trash kit compared to enemies, but their PC also doesn't run the game as well as their opponents which in a game like this even missing 1 shot can be the difference between life or death.

3) I know everyone is complaining about Mosin lately... for new players especially but...
IMO, the Stash Size is the biggest problem for a new player.
I can 100% understand it from a business perspective to make the stash extremely expensive, it truly is a pay to win feature imo.
The reason I can say I understand the business perspective is because I bought EoD! It seemed like the only option if you like the game, it was otherwise impossible for someone like me who values efficiency and to be able to speedily do things...
I got to the point where I had to make a decision. Do I spend 3.5 million Roubles on a Stash Upgrade knowing that if I EVER buy real life game upgrades... I just wasted 3.5 milllion??? Or do I spend a LOT of REAL MONEY to make the game reasonable...
I probably wouldn't even bring up the stash if the game didn't have all these other problems I'm mentioning.
The reason I bring it up is to prove to you how much I like the game, I don't even have a good PC atm and I still bought EoD!
But if they want the game to be fair and balanced the starting stash size is completely unacceptable. Especially for new players... they are going to value their gear so much because they are so weak financially, they don't even have access to the Flea Market... but still they have to waste so much time trying to Tetris stuff, they can't fully get the gear from Scav runs ETC...
I think the starting stash size is 100% the biggest problem in the game for new or casual players, I don't expect it to be fixed because of the real world money but... if they really waned to make the game as good as it can be they'd improve that for sure.

Conclusion:
I just feel that currently even if you really love the game, if you are a new or casual player it's simply too scary to play comfortably. The anxiety of failure is so extreme that even I (who used to be a top FPS player) might not log on any given day because I just don't wanna feel bad.
I think this is especially true if you don't have a top of the line PC. Even just 1 death where you feel maybe if you had a good pc you might of won that fight... that hurts a lot for the fun factor... I sort of want to buy a new graphics card for starters but knowing Unity in a game like this... I might need a new CPU too it's just rough.
For all the reasons I described above, and for many more I didn't mention specifically and I'm sure others have... I think they should at least reconsider the Scav cooldown design so that players can at least log on and just play Scav continually without feeling like they aren't good enough to play this game (this is assuming they don't do "Run Throughs" to prevent Scav abuse).
If players could at least run Scav 24/7 and just get comfortable with the game, I think this game would be a lot more accessible and enjoyable for the vast majority.
submitted by Tokadub to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

Hourly News Update

SPX 3104.25| NASDAQ 9991.5| DOW 26001.0| OIL 41.35
submitted by TradeFlags to tradeflags [link] [comments]

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submitted by Climbing_a_Mountain to winboyshop [link] [comments]

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submitted by Champion01 to u/Champion01 [link] [comments]

I have not had "Your rendering device has been lost." for the entirety of Season 18. This is how:

I first started noticing this issue when I purchased a new graphics card. I upgraded from a GT 1030 to an RTX 2070. The reason for this was that I was doing fairly well in competitive mode, and I felt if I was going to put a significant amount of time in trying to rank up, it would be a good idea to start streaming again.
I previously owned 2 GTX 1080s, of which I have had similar issues with, just not as frequently. I sold those during the Bitcoin spike, downgraded, and tried to kick my video game habit.
WRONG! Torbjorn got a beautiful buff and long story short, I was more hooked than ever, didn't have an encoding processor on the GT 1030, and my SR was 2913 (up from low gold that season). The RTX 2070 had a new encoder for streaming that was superior to the 10XX series and I felt the Master Race calling me.
With my new RTX card, it was FOR SURE a guarantee that I would be able to play on max settings with no issues, just like my GTX 1080. WRONG AGAIN F**KFACE. "Your rendering device has been lost" here, "Your rendering device has been lost" there, "Your rendering device has been lost" everywhere.
I tried renaming Overwatch.exe, undeclocking, overclocking, NVIDIA Profile Inspector, etc. You name it, I tried it. With all this as well as the infamous "Beta" season that actually counted toward our SR, by the time Role Queue came along, I now had 3 ratings that were hovering around 2000.
I kind of just accepted my fate, as Overwatch was the only game that I had issues with, and after numerous support tickets and support forum posts, it was clear that Blizzard really just didn't even give a shit, and told me to go F myself when I asked for SR, pointing out it was an issue with code, not hardware. It was at least worth a shot.
After a few months of just dealing with it, I noticed most of the high level-players I watched on Twitch were all playing on "Low" and "Off" settings for max FPS and lowest latency. I remembered that I never had issues with my GT 1030, and the only way to get 60FPS with that card was to put all settings to their lowest at "Low" and "Off". Then it dawned on me, why don't I try turning off ultra settings and play with no frills. About a month into the season I got Diamond on Brigitte and purchased a 240hz 0.5ms MPTG monitor.
Last night, I had my first disconnect during a game this season. My internet went out. Luckily for my team, I was the only one penalized.
TLDR; Turn ALL settings to OFF or LOW. Enjoy the max FPS, my brosefs.
submitted by unclemusclezTTV to Overwatch [link] [comments]

[SPOILERS S03E09] Theory for the Dark Army network map and Whiterose's plan/stage 3

Bonsoir everyone,
I don't know if this theory have been explored before, so bear with me if it had. It's about the server screenshot sawn during the last episode, when Elliot hacks into the Dark Army network.
link
I know the admitted explanation for the map these days is that it is some sort of botnet network, used in ddos-type attacks by the dark army, but what annoyed me with this idea from the start is the weird distribitution of those sites.
I couldn't understand why would the dark army have almost no server in India or Europe, but so many in Australia, or over the African continent. In terms of things like internet bandwith, structural accessibility and cost, wich I'd say matter in cyberwarfare, it made no sense to me. I mean who in his right mind would decide to deploy that many servers accross the Sahara.
But considering the events of this season, and the technological reality behind actual cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, I came up with a possible explanation concerning this disposition, and Whiterose's plans concerning Ecorp and Ecoin.
Here are two bitcoin related videos that allowed me to formule a new theory, for those of you who are interested in that type of stuff:
For those who aren't, here are the essential points for my theory :
  1. Bitcoin, or any other type of cryptocurrency, can be procuded by resolving complexe mathematical equations with computers. The complexity of those equations rises exponentially through time, and so does the time and electricity needed to do so. That's the reason why today bitcoin production, called mining, has a power consumption ranked 61st in the world.
  2. What it means is that it is today already cost-prohibiting for you to start mining bitcoin at home, no matter how many graphic cards you add in your pc. In fact, the only serious way to mine bitcoin efficiently and at an relevant scale is to dispose of free, or at least unused, electricity. That's the reason why so many bitcoin mining sites are believed to be located throughout China, in proximity to it's many hydro-electric infrastructures. (Damn girl, that's big).
  3. But hydro-electric plants aren't the only type of infrastructures that produce electricity at almost zero costs, once constructed. The same thing is true with solar power plants. And if you check this global map of optimal exposition for solar panels, you'll see that Australia, the Shahara and the entire west coast of the American continent are some of the best locations for solar energy efficency.
If you combine those two geographic notions, and decide to deploy a global crypto-mining network in order to produce and own a massive amount of bitcoin, or Ecoin for that matter, I'd say you'd end up with a very similar type of map to the one seen on the dark army server.
This idea also happens imo to justify the behavior of Whiterose this season, concerning Ecorp recovery after the hacks, and the establishment of Ecoin as the new everyday life money in the US.
My theory is that she has planned since the beginning to mine and control a massive amount of Ecoin. Now that the world economy has been wounded and pushed into cryptocurrencies by the attacks, with no possibility to turn back, stage 3 of WR's plan can begin : fliping the global balance, by giving China economic domination over the US, and thus the rest of the world.
Anyway, as always I can't appreciate enough how the show masters the ability to be both technologically and socially relevant, warning us about the dangers our society is potentially already facing. Please tell me what you think, I'd love some discussion about all this. #tellmeyoureseeingthistoo
submitted by redshift47 to MrRobot [link] [comments]

How to Get The Most Profitable Cryptocurrencies to Mine and More in Google Sheets

Original Medium post found here: https://medium.com/spreadstreet/how-to-get-the-most-profitable-cryptocurrencies-to-mine-and-more-in-google-sheets-7b2ad2ebbdcd
One of the most challenging aspects of cryptocurrency mining is finding the most profitable coins to mine.
A few services exist, but nothing beats what the creators of WhatToMine.com have done in a few short months.
The big benefit of the data offered by WhatToMine is a ranking of cryptocurrencies by mining profitability.
The =SS() function, available in Google Sheets as part of the Spreadstreet Google Sheets Add-in, allows the user to pull in two seperate endpoints from the WhatToMine API:
  1. Stats — Used to compare the profitability of all GPU based cryptocurrencies
  2. ASIC — Used to compare the profitability of all ASIC coins

How to install

1. Go to the “Add-ons” menu, and click on “Get add-ons”.

Get Add-ons Menu

2. On the Add-ons panel, search for “Spreadstreet”, click on “+ FREE” to install it.

Click on +Free to install

3. Choose under which account you want to install the Add-on.

Choose Gmail Account

4. Spreadstreet needs to connect to an external API, click on “Allow”.

Click "Allow" when prompted
Note on security: All add-ins within the store go through a review. This is a wonderful security measure, especially in the Crypto industry, which is rife with scams and hacks.

5. Make sure the add-on is activated in your sheet:

  1. Go to Add-on > Spreadstreet > Help
  2. Click on View in store , then click on Manage and check Use in this document:
Click "Use in this document"
Tadaa You are now able to use the =SS() function to pull in all sorts of amazing data within the cryptocurrency space.
Example =SS() usage

How to use for GPU-Mineable Coins

How does WhatToMine calculate profitability for GPU-mineable cryptocurrencies?
What is the calculation missing?
Get most profitable GPU coins
Call the function =SS(“get-stats-whattomine”, true) to return various stats from GPU-minable cryptocurrencies.
Example usage using the GUI:
Open the Add-in

Click “Add” to view the list of available APIs

Click on the “WhatToMine” icon

Click “Stats”

Click “Insert”

Click “Run”. This will paste values into the currently selected Cell, and save that in the main GUI for future retrieval

Example usage using the =SS() Formula:

=QUERY(A:W,”select A, T where T is not null order by T desc”) returns the most profitable GPU-minable cryptocurrencies.

How to use for ASIC-Mineable Coins

How does WhatToMine calculate profitability for ASIC-mineable cryptocurrencies?
What is the calculation missing?
Get most profitable ASIC coins
Call the function =SS(“get-asic-whattomine”, true) to return various stats from ASIC-minable cryptocurrencies.
Example usage:

=QUERY(A:W,”select A, T where T is not null order by T desc”) returns the most profitable GPU-minable cryptocurrencies.

Common issues and how to fix:

  1. Do not keep your sheet open at all time. This will prevent the rates from refreshing. The rates will auto-refresh each time you re-open your sheet.
  2. The add-on may not work right away on other old spreadsheets. You need to do this to activate Spreadstreet: Open the old sheet, click the menu Add-ons / Spreadstreet / Help / View in store, and then click Manage and in the dropdown menu click Use in this document .

RESOURCES

Download the add-in: https://spreadstreet.io/tools/google-sheets-add-in
Help: https://spreadstreet.io/docs
First time install and login: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLjtPR4T2bg
WhatToMine Stats endpoint help: https://spreadstreet.io/knowledge-base/whattomine-api-get-stats-endpoint/

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submitted by 1kexperimentdotcom to gpumining [link] [comments]

Cryptassist, the all in one crypto solution

Cryptassist was founded on the idea that cryptocurrency should be accessible to everyone, not just crypto experts. With many years of collective experience the Cryptassist team finally presents a real solution.
Cryptassist will bring cryptocurrency to people from all walks of life. At Cryptassist they believe that Cryptocurrency and blockchain is the future. They believe that mass adoption is inevitable, it will happen, and they want to help make it happen.
They understand that the cryptocurrency ecosystem is becoming incredibly complex and intimidating. There is so much information available, so many exchanges and platforms and block explorers, that it’s incredibly difficult now for novices or people with no previous crypto knowledge to get involved.
Cryptassist envision a world where crypto is easy, it’s useable in everyday life and it’s fun. They aim to be the perfect platform for new crypto users to enter the crypto world comfortably and with confidence as well as providing established traders and enthusiasts with all of the tools, features and information needed to succeed in the crypto world on one easy to use platform.
The Cryptassist platform will consist of 25 features and apps, including its own fully licensed spot exchange, a debit card that can be uploaded with the top 50 cryptocurrencies, a multi-coin block explorer and even a game that allows you to win crypto.
Features of the Cryptassist Platform will include:
  1. Debit Card - allows the user to refill their card with any of the top 50 cryptocurrencies and use anywhere that accepts Visa or MasterCard.
  2. CryptoGo - a free augmented reality app where users can search, locate and receive tangible rewards – crypto.
  3. Cryptstarter - an innovative cryptocurrency crowdfunding feature which will allow users to raise funds for creative projects.
  4. Exchange - a fully licensed spot exchange offering full cryptocurrency trading with reduced fees for CTA trades.
  5. Multi-Coin Block Explorer - allowing users to eliminate the use of multiple blockchain explorers to search the transaction histories of multiple coins.
  6. ChatPay - a social messaging and online payment system operating on a decentralized network.
  7. Philanthropy Innovation - allowing users to donate to nonprofit organizations in either fiat or the top 50 cryptocurrencies. Donations can be tracked in real-time and post the impact of their donations to their linked social media accounts.
  8. Arbitrage Opportunities Alerts – users can receive alerts when selected coins display certain prices on certain exchanges and arbitrage opportunities present themselves.
  9. ICO Assistant - to assist project founders plan their project and launch an ICO to raise capital.
  10. Where To Spend Crypto – a database and map displaying where crypto can be spent. Users can submit suggestions for inclusion of crypto-friendly businesses.
  11. Cryptassist Webshop – Find thousands of products at very reasonable prices. You can make purchases with your top 50 cryptocurrencies and have them shipped to your doorstep.
  12. Cryptassist Freelancer - linking businesses to freelance talent for collaboration on crypto related projects.
  13. News Updates – personalized real-time crypto related news alerts from leading sources.
  14. OTC Trading Platform - users can list and search for low volume cryptocurrencies which can then be sold Over-The-Counter (OTC). Cryptassist will function as an escrow service.
  15. One Trading Tool – a single platform that will allow users to connect to and trade on over 50 exchanges in one place.
  16. Social Media Scanner – view trending cryptocurrencies and analyze social volume with graphs as related to price of selected cryptocurrencies using customized preferences.
  17. Community Forum – users can participate by providing and collecting information and discussing topics related to cryptocurrencies. Geographical or language searches are available.
  18. Trading Alerts - personalized profile creation and optional trading alerts to suit the traders particular needs.
  19. Cryptopedia – a database of available websites, blogs and forums covering cryptocurrencies. Geographical or language searches are available.
  20. ICOs and Airdrops – information on upcoming ICOs, Bounty Programs and Airdrops.
  21. Customizable Graphs - individual coin and overall market prices and volumes.
  22. Portfolio Visualization and Manager – Users can view their portfolio in easy to understand and customizable graphics.
  23. Integration - a comprehensive view from external sites showing cryptocurrency mining comparisons to Bitcoin, the most popular crypto currency exchanges and crypto currency market cap rankings.
  24. Real-Time Statistics - view up-to-date statistics on a user’s preferred coin selection and major exchange markets.
  25. Crypto Compare – Users can view and compare crypto trading pairs and see which coins can be swapped for which.
To learn more about the Cryptassist platform, visit its website or download its Whitepaper at www.cryptassist.io
submitted by Agujerillo to icoreviews [link] [comments]

Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet - by Andrew Marantz (The New Yorker) 18 March 2018 (1 of 2)

https://archive.is/Z9O4E
(Part One of Two)
Which Web sites get the most traffic? According to the ranking service Alexa, the top three sites in the United States, as of this writing, are Google, YouTube, and Facebook. (Porn, somewhat hearteningly, doesn’t crack the top ten.) The rankings don’t reflect everything—the dark Web, the nouveau-riche recluses harvesting bitcoin—but, for the most part, people online go where you’d expect them to go. The only truly surprising entry, in fourth place, is Reddit, whose astronomical popularity seems at odds with the fact that many Americans have only vaguely heard of the site and have no real understanding of what it is. A link aggregator? A microblogging platform? A social network?
To its devotees, Reddit feels proudly untamed, one of the last Internet giants to resist homogeneity. Most Reddit pages have a throwback aesthetic, with a few crudely designed graphics and a tangle of text: an original post, comments on the post, responses to the comments, responses to the responses. That’s pretty much it. Reddit is made up of more than a million individual communities, or subreddits, some of which have three subscribers, some twenty million. Every subreddit is devoted to a specific kind of content, ranging from vital to trivial: News, Politics, Trees (for marijuana enthusiasts), MarijuanaEnthusiasts (for tree enthusiasts), MildlyInteresting (“for photos that are, you know, mildly interesting”). Some people end up on Reddit by accident, find it baffling, and never visit again. But people who do use it—redditors, as they’re called—often use it all day long, to the near-exclusion of anything else. “For a while, we called ourselves the front page of the Internet,” Steve Huffman, Reddit’s C.E.O., said recently. “These days, I tend to say that we’re a place for open and honest conversations—‘open and honest’ meaning authentic, meaning messy, meaning the best and worst and realest and weirdest parts of humanity.”
On November 23, 2016, shortly after President Trump’s election, Huffman was at his desk, in San Francisco, perusing the site. It was the day before Thanksgiving. Reddit’s administrators had just deleted a subreddit called Pizzagate, a forum for people who believed that high-ranking staffers of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and possibly Clinton herself, were trafficking child sex slaves. The evidence, as extensive as it was unpersuasive, included satanic rituals, a map printed on a handkerchief, and an elaborate code involving the words “cheese” and “pizza.” In only fifteen days of existence, the Pizzagate subreddit had attracted twenty thousand subscribers. Now, in its place, was a scrubbed white page with the message “This community has been banned.”
The reason for the ban, according to Reddit’s administrators, was not the beliefs of people on the subreddit, but the way they’d behaved—specifically, their insistence on publishing their enemies’ private phone numbers and addresses, a clear violation of Reddit’s rules. The conspiracy theorists, in turn, claimed that they’d been banned because Reddit administrators were part of the conspiracy. (Less than two weeks after Pizzagate was banned, a man fired a semiautomatic rifle inside a D.C. pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong, in an attempt to “self-investigate” claims that the restaurant’s basement was a dungeon full of kidnapped children. Comet Ping Pong does not have a basement.)
Some of the conspiracy theorists left Reddit and reunited on Voat, a site made by and for the users that Reddit sloughs off. (Many social networks have such Bizarro networks, which brand themselves as strongholds of free speech and in practice are often used for hate speech. People banned from Twitter end up on Gab; people banned from Patreon end up on Hatreon.) Other Pizzagaters stayed and regrouped on The_Donald, a popular pro-Trump subreddit. Throughout the Presidential campaign, The_Donald was a hive of Trump boosterism. By this time, it had become a hermetic subculture, full of inside jokes and ugly rhetoric. The community’s most frequent commenters, like the man they’d helped propel to the Presidency, were experts at testing boundaries. Within minutes, they started to express their outrage that Pizzagate had been deleted.
Redditors are pseudonymous, and their pseudonyms are sometimes prefaced by “u,” for “username.” Huffman’s is Spez. As he scanned The_Donald, he noticed that hundreds of the most popular comments were about him:
“fuck u/spez
“u/spez is complicit in the coverup”
“u/spez supports child rape”
One commenter simply wrote “u/SPEZ IS A CUCK,” in bold type, a hundred and ten times in a row.
Huffman, alone at his computer, wondered whether to respond. “I consider myself a troll at heart,” he said later. “Making people bristle, being a little outrageous in order to add some spice to life—I get that. I’ve done that.” Privately, Huffman imagined The_Donald as a misguided teen-ager who wouldn’t stop misbehaving. “If your little brother flicks your ear, maybe you ignore it,” he said. “If he flicks your ear a hundred times, or punches you, then maybe you give him a little smack to show you’re paying attention.”
Although redditors didn’t yet know it, Huffman could edit any part of the site. He wrote a script that would automatically replace his username with those of The_Donald’s most prominent members, directing the insults back at the insulters in real time: in one comment, “Fuck u/Spez” became “Fuck u/Trumpshaker”; in another, “Fuck u/Spez” became “Fuck u/MAGAdocious.”
The_Donald’s users saw what was happening, and they reacted by spinning a conspiracy theory that, in this case, turned out to be true.
“Manipulating the words of your users is fucked,” a commenter wrote.
“Even Facebook and Twitter haven’t stooped this low.”
“Trust nothing.”
The incident became known as Spezgiving, and it’s still invoked, internally and externally, as a paradigmatic example of tech-executive overreach. Social-media platforms must do something to rein in their users, the consensus goes, but not that.
Huffman can no longer edit the site indiscriminately, but his actions laid bare a fact that most social-media companies go to great lengths to conceal—that, no matter how neutral a platform may seem, there’s always a person behind the curtain. “I fucked up,” Huffman wrote in an apology the following week. “More than anything, I want Reddit to heal, and I want our country to heal.” Implicit in his apology was a set of questions, perhaps the central questions facing anyone who worries about the current state of civic discourse. Is it possible to facilitate a space for open dialogue without also facilitating hoaxes, harassment, and threats of violence? Where is the line between authenticity and toxicity? What if, after technology allows us to reveal our inner voices, what we learn is that many of us are authentically toxic?
The only way to understand the Internet, at least at first, was by metaphor. “Web” and “page” and “superhighway” are metaphors. So are “link,” “viral,” “post,” and “stream.” Last year, the Supreme Court heard a case about whether it was constitutional to bar registered sex offenders from using social media. In order to answer that question, the Justices had to ask another question: What is social media? In sixty minutes of oral argument, Facebook was compared to a park, a playground, an airport terminal, a polling place, and a town square.
It might be most helpful to compare a social network to a party. The party starts out small, with the hosts and a few of their friends. Then word gets out and strangers show up. People take cues from the environment. Mimosas in a sun-dappled atrium suggest one kind of mood; grain alcohol in a moldy basement suggests another. Sometimes, a pattern emerges on its own. Pinterest, a simple photo-sharing site founded by three men, happened to catch on among women aspiring to an urbane life style, and today the front page is often a collage of merino scarves and expensive glassware. In other cases, the gatekeeping seems more premeditated. If you’re fourteen, Snapchat’s user interface is intuitive; if you’re twenty-two, it’s intriguing; if you’re over thirty-five, it’s impenetrable. This encourages old people to self-deport.
Huffman and his college roommate, Alexis Ohanian, founded Reddit a few weeks after graduating from the University of Virginia, in 2005. The first people to show up were, like the co-founders, the kind of strong-headed young men who got excited about computer programming, video games, and edgy, self-referential humor. Reddit’s system was purely democratic, which is to say anarchic. Anyone could post any link, and the ones that got the most “upvotes” would rise to the top of a page. At the time, Facebook was available only to college students, and before joining it you had to provide your real name, your birthday, and a valid school e-mail address—the equivalent of being carded at the door. To join Reddit, all you needed was a username that hadn’t been claimed yet. You could start as many anonymous accounts as you wanted, which gave rise to creativity, and also to mischief.
Back then, Ohanian was ungainly and clean-shaven, and he was often photographed in a hoodie and with a goofy smile. At his wedding, last year, wearing a beard and an Armani tuxedo, he was nearly unrecognizable. (The paparazzi weren’t too interested in him, though, given that his bride was Serena Williams.) Huffman, on the other hand, has always looked more or less the same: bright-blue eyes, chipmunk teeth, and a thatch of blond hair.
A few months after Reddit launched, Huffman created the first constraints. People were posting links to vulgar and violent content—which was fine, except that Huffman wanted users to have some idea of what they were about to click on, so that they could avoid, say, inadvertently opening porn in front of their bosses. Huffman labelled some content N.S.F.W.—not safe for work—and separated it from everything else. That was the end of pure democracy.
In 2006, Ohanian and Huffman sold Reddit to Condé Nast, a media conglomerate that owns more than twenty magazines, including this one. (Reddit now operates independently.) The sale made them twenty-two-year-old millionaires, but they didn’t fit in at a large corporation, and three years later they left. In their absence, the party got bigger and weirder, and ominous cliques started to gather in the corners. One popular subreddit, Jailbait, was devoted to sexually suggestive photos of young-looking women. This was profoundly creepy, but probably not illegal—the subreddit’s users swore that all the women in the photos were eighteen or older—and Reddit allowed the community to grow. In September of 2011, Anderson Cooper discussed the subreddit on CNN. “It’s pretty amazing that a big corporation would have something like this, which reflects badly on it,” he said. Traffic to Jailbait quadrupled overnight. Twelve days later, after someone in the group apparently shared a nude photo of a fourteen-year-old girl, the community was banned. And yet the founder of Jailbait, an infamous troll who went by u/Violentacrez, was allowed to stay on Reddit, as were some four hundred other communities he’d created—Jewmerica, ChokeABitch, and worse. (Yes, it gets worse.)
Yishan Wong, an engineer who had worked at Facebook, was then Reddit’s C.E.O. He implied that he’d banned Jailbait only because the subreddit had violated U.S. law. “We stand for free speech,” he wrote in an internal post, in 2012. Reddit’s goal, he continued, was to “become a universal platform for human discourse.” Therefore, “it would not do if, in our youth, we decided to censor things simply because they were distasteful.”
At the time, Wong’s free-speech absolutism was ubiquitous in Silicon Valley. Twitter’s executives referred to their company as “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party.” Facebook’s original self-description, “an online directory that connects people through social networks at colleges,” had evolved into a grandiose mission statement: “Facebook gives people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” With the Arab Spring fresh in everyone’s mind, few questioned the assumption that “giving people the power” would inevitably lead to social progress. Barack Obama, who had been carried into office by a social-media groundswell, often expressed a similar optimism about the salubrious effects of the Internet. “In the twenty-first century, information is power,” Obama said in a 2011 speech on Middle East policy. “The truth cannot be hidden. . . . Such open discourse is important even if what is said does not square with our worldview.”
Wong left the company in 2014, after two and a half years. His successor was Ellen Pao, a former venture capitalist. She lasted eight months. Early in her tenure, Reddit announced a crackdown on involuntary pornography. If you found a compromising photo of yourself circulating on Reddit without your consent, you could report it and the company would remove it. In retrospect, this seems like a straightforward business decision, but some redditors treated it as the first in an inevitable parade of horrors. “This rule is stupid and suppresses our rights,” u/penisfuckermcgee commented.
A few months later, Reddit banned five of its most egregious communities, including FatPeopleHate and ShitNiggersSay. Again redditors were apoplectic (“We may as well take a one way ticket to North Korea”). Almost every day, strident misogynists called Pao a tyrant, an “Asian slut,” or worse. (Yes, it gets worse.) She resigned in July, 2015. “The Internet started as a bastion for free expression,” she wrote in the Washington Post. “But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.”
Over time, social networks have turned into institutions. More than two billion people now use Facebook. In other words, the company has achieved its mission of making the world more connected. In 2016, that meant, among other things, making the American electorate more connected to white supremacists, armed militias, Macedonian fake-news merchants, and micro-targeted campaign ads purchased in rubles. “I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be President,” Obama said that year, despite the mounting aggression in some online forums. “And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people.” (In response to Obama’s remarks, a commenter on The_Donald wrote, “FUCK THAT LOW ENERGY CUCK!”)
Shortly after the election, Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign’s top digital strategist, told Wired, “Facebook and Twitter were the reason we won this thing.” Reddit was also an important part of Trump’s strategy. Parscale wrote—on Reddit, naturally—that “members here provided considerable growth and reach to our campaign.” The_Donald, in particular, proved a fecund host cell for viral memes. On July 2, 2016, Trump tweeted a photo collage of Hillary Clinton, piles of cash, and the phrase “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” written inside a six-pointed star. When Trump’s critics called attention to the image’s anti-Semitic implications, The_Donald’s users rushed to Trump’s defense, posting photos of other six-pointed stars in innocuous contexts. “Where is the outrage from the liberal left on this one?” a user wrote, beneath a photo of a “Frozen”-themed sticker book with a star on its cover. A few hours later, Trump tweeted the same photo, with a version of the same question, followed by “Dishonest media! #Frozen.”
During the campaign, Trump, or someone typing on his behalf, participated in Reddit’s signature interview format—an A.M.A., for “ask me anything.” In response to a question about the “protected class of media elites,” Trump wrote, “I have been very concerned about media bias and the total dishonesty of the press. I think new media is a great way to get out the truth.” This drew hundreds of jubilant comments (u/RAINBOW_DILDO: “daddy YES”; u/CantContheDon: “WE’RE THE MEDIA NOW”).
The_Donald, with more than half a million subscribers, is by far the biggest pro-Trump subreddit, but it ranks just below No. 150 on the list of all subreddits; it’s roughly the same size as CryptoCurrency and ComicBooks. “Some people on The_Donald are expressing their genuine political beliefs, and obviously that’s something we want to encourage,” Huffman said. “Others are maybe not expressing sincere beliefs, but are treating it more like a game—If I post this ridiculous or offensive thing, can I get people to upvote it? And then some people, to quote ‘The Dark Knight,’ just want to watch the world burn.” On some smaller far-right subreddits, the discourse is more unhinged. One, created in July of 2016, was called Physical_Removal. According to its “About Us” section, it was a subreddit for people who believe that liberals “qualify to get a helicopter ride.” “Helicopter ride,” an allusion to Augusto Pinochet’s reputed habit of throwing Communists out of helicopters, is alt-right slang for murder.
The_Donald accounts for less than one per cent of Reddit’s traffic, but it occupies far more than one per cent of the Reddit-wide conversation. Trolls set a cunning trap. By ignoring their provocations, you risk seeming complicit. By responding, you amplify their message. Trump, perhaps the world’s most skilled troll, can get attention whenever he wants, simply by being outrageous. Traditional journalists and editors can decide to resist the bait, and sometimes they do, but that option isn’t available on user-generated platforms. Social-media executives claim to transcend subjectivity, and they have designed their platforms to be feedback machines, giving us not what we claim to want, nor what might be good for us, but what we actually pay attention to.
There are no good solutions to this problem, and so tech executives tend to discuss it as seldom as possible, and only in the airiest of platitudes. Twitter has rebuffed repeated calls to ban President Trump’s account, despite his many apparent violations of company policy. (If tweeting that North Korea “won’t be around much longer” doesn’t break Twitter’s rule against “specific threats of violence,” it’s not clear what would.) Last fall, on his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg addressed—sort of, obliquely—the widespread critique that his company was exacerbating political polarization. “We’ll keep working to ensure the integrity of free and fair elections around the world, and to ensure our community is a platform for all ideas and force for good in democracy,” he wrote, then stepped away as a global howl of frustration grew in the comments.
I asked a few social-media executives to talk to me about all this. I didn’t expect definitive answers, I told them; I just wanted to hear them think through the questions. Unsurprisingly, no one jumped at the chance. Twitter mostly ignored my e-mails. Snapchat’s P.R. representatives had breakfast with me once, then ignored my e-mails. Facebook’s representatives talked to me for weeks, asking precise, intelligent questions, before they started to ignore my e-mails.
Reddit has more reason to be transparent. It’s big, but doesn’t feel indispensable to most Internet users or, for that matter, to most advertisers. Moreover, Anderson Cooper’s CNN segment was hardly the only bit of vividly terrible press that Reddit has received over the years. All social networks contain vitriol and bigotry, but not all social networks are equally associated with these things in the public imagination. Recently, I typed “Reddit is” into Google. Three of the top suggested auto-completions were “toxic,” “cancer,” and “hot garbage.”
Huffman, after leaving Condé Nast, spent a few months backpacking in Costa Rica, then founded a travel company called Hipmunk. In July, 2015, he returned to Reddit as C.E.O. In a post about his “top priority” in the job, he wrote, “The overwhelming majority of content on reddit comes from wonderful, creative, funny, smart, and silly communities. There is also a dark side, communities whose purpose is reprehensible, and we don’t have any obligation to support them. . . . Neither Alexis nor I created reddit to be a bastion of free speech.” This was shocking, and about half true. When free-speech absolutism was in vogue, Reddit’s co-founders were as susceptible to its appeal as anyone. In 2012, a Forbes reporter asked Ohanian how the Founding Fathers might have reacted to Reddit. “A bastion of free speech on the World Wide Web? I bet they would like it,” Ohanian responded. “I would love to imagine that ‘Common Sense’ would have been a self-post on Reddit, by Thomas Paine, or actually a redditor named T_Paine.”
Still, Ohanian and Huffman never took their own rhetoric too literally. The site’s rules were brief and vague, and their unwritten policy was even simpler. “We always banned people,” Huffman told me. “We just didn’t talk about it very much.” Because Reddit was so small, and misbehavior relatively rare, Huffman could do most of the banning himself, on an ad-hoc basis. “It wasn’t well thought out or even articulated, really. It was ‘That guy has the N-word in his username? Fuck that.’ Delete account.”
As C.E.O., Huffman continued the trend Pao had started, banning a few viciously racist subreddits such as Coontown. “There was pushback,” Huffman told me. “But I had the moral authority, as the founder, to take it in stride.” If Pao was like a forbearing parent, then Huffman’s style was closer to “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.” “Yes, I know that it’s really hard to define hate speech, and I know that any way we define it has the potential to set a dangerous precedent,” he told me. “I also know that a community called Coontown is not good for Reddit.” In most cases, Reddit didn’t suspend individual users’ accounts, Huffman said: “We just took away the spaces where they liked to hang out, and went, ‘Let’s see if this helps.’ ”
Reddit’s headquarters, in a former radio tower in downtown San Francisco, look like a stereotypical startup office: high concrete ceilings, a large common area with beer and kombucha on tap. Each desk is decorated aggressively with personal flair—a “Make Reddit Great Again” hat, a glossy print magazine called Meme Insider. Working at Reddit requires paying close anthropological attention to the motley tastes of redditors, and it’s not uncommon to see groups of fit, well-dressed employees cheerfully discussing the most recent post on CatDimension or PeopleFuckingDying.
The first morning I visited the office, I ran into Huffman, who was wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and Adidas indoor-soccer shoes, as he tried to persuade an employee to buy a ticket to Burning Man. Huffman is far more unfiltered than other social-media executives, and every time he and I talked in the presence of Reddit’s head of P.R., he said at least one thing that made her wince. “There’s only one Steve,” Ohanian told me. “No matter when you catch him, for better or worse, that’s the Steve you’re gonna get.” I had a list of delicate topics that I planned to ask Huffman about eventually, including allegations of vote manipulation on Reddit’s front page and his personal feelings about Trump. Huffman raised all of them himself on the first day. “My political views might not be exactly what you’d predict,” he said. “I’m a gun owner, for example. And I don’t care all that much about politics, compared to other things.” He speaks in quick bursts, with an alpha-nerd combination of introversion and confidence. His opinion about Trump is that he is incompetent and that his Presidency has mostly been a failure. But, he told me, “I’m open to counterarguments.”
That afternoon, I watched Huffman make a sales pitch to a group of executives from a New York advertising agency. Like many platforms, Reddit has struggled to convert its huge audience into a stable revenue stream, and its representatives spend a lot of time trying to convince potential advertisers that Reddit is not hot garbage. Huffman sat at the head of a long table, facing a dozen men and women in suits. The “snarky, libertarian” ethos of early Reddit, he said, “mostly came from me as a twenty-one-year-old. I’ve since grown out of that, to the relief of everyone.” The executives nodded and chuckled. “We had a lot of baggage,” he continued. “We let the story get away from us. And now we’re trying to get our shit together.”
Later, Huffman told me that getting Reddit’s shit together would require continual intervention. “I don’t think I’m going to leave the office one Friday and go, ‘Mission accomplished—we fixed the Internet,’ ” he said. “Every day, you keep visiting different parts of the site, opening this random door or that random door—‘What’s it like in here? Does this feel like a shitty place to be? No, people are generally having a good time, nobody’s hatching any evil plots, nobody’s crying. O.K., great.’ And you move on to the next room.”
In January, Facebook announced that it would make news less visible in its users’ feeds. “Facebook was originally designed to connect friends and family—and it has excelled at that,” a product manager named Samidh Chakrabarti wrote on a company blog. “But as unprecedented numbers of people channel their political energy through this medium, it’s being used in unforeseen ways with societal repercussions that were never anticipated.” It wasn’t the most effusive mea culpa in history, but by Facebook’s standards it amounted to wailing and gnashing of teeth. “We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people,” Mark Zuckerberg told the Times. Direct pronouncements from him are so rare that even this pabulum was treated as push-alert-worthy news.
(Continued Part Two of Two - https://www.reddit.com/CapitalistParadise/comments/842ouv/reddit_and_the_struggle_to_detoxify_the_internet/?st=jepf79wf&sh=eaa395fc )
https://archive.is/Z9O4E
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to uncensored [link] [comments]

Of Wolves and Weasels - Day 145 - DOGE4DOGE - Rebuilding the Hype Machine

Hey all! GoodShibe here!
One of the failures of DOGE4NASCAR -- one that, sadly, wasn't even our fault -- was that we had done all this amazing work to get attention onto us and our coin...
But there was no easy, simple way for the people who found us to 'impulse buy' some Dogecoins for themselves.
When we talk about Services that we need, having a fast, safe, easy, reliable way to get your hands on Dogecoins is absolutely crucial as we move forward.
I know there are some options in the works, and I know that there are a few sellers on Dogemarket who are legit. But we need something fast, clean, professional - something non-threatening, something that inspires confidence for first-timers and yet, can handle volume.
If that sounds like a tall order, well, it is - but that's our next step toward the moon. And the first one to figure that out, get that up and running and stable? Enjoy your profits, because you've earned them.
For the entire month of June, we're going to be working hard to get our Bootstrap Economy up and running, getting Shibes to step up and help other Shibes for Dogecoins, get coins transferring amongst ourselves rather than sold on exchanges for other currencies.
In order to make that work, we need to re-tool our DOGE4NASCAR hype machine.
Did someone you hired do amazing work for you? Let us know in the sub!
Share their creations with us! Share their info with us! Did you have an amazing experience thanks to another Shibe? Share it with us - photos, videos, you name it!
Make us jealous for you! Make us want to live vicariously through you! ;D)
One of the most important things we can do to help make Dogecoin truly soar is to offer items and experiences that you can ONLY buy with Dogecoin.
I asked in one of my last posts if you'd pay Dogecoin to learn how to surf?
That one question got me a ton of PMs!
People are willing to pay Dogecoins for all sorts of experiences!
Imagine getting to be on track, shaking Josh Wise's hand, wishing him luck in person, just before the race. Sitting, track-side, just a few feet away from the pit-crew - in the heart of the race itself.
Would you pay for that kind of experience?
Imagine getting to hang out with some talented musician Shibes and cut your first record! Or go to an exclusive, Shibe-only concert? Maybe we can get FoxFaction and some other Shibes to band together and put something together?
Would you pay Dogecoins for that?
Would you invest in coins to have on hand, just in case an opportunity like that popped up?
We need to get fellow Shibes not just 'excited' about building our economy, but actively thinking about and searching for ways to help!
The good news is that a lot of speculators and people who 'thought they were investing in something like Bitcoin' have now left the building. Which means that those cheap coins that are sitting on the market are there waiting to be bought up by Shibes. By people who will hold them and use them and tip them.
I've been buying up what I can when I can (not a rich Shibe, sadly) but there's still lots left out there for the rest of you.
The heart of the matter, of DOGE4DOGE, really, is this: If we can't inspire ourselves - the people most personally vested in Dogecoin's success - to make Dogecoin work as a currency, then how can we go to others and expect them to join in with us?
We're a fun place and all -- and no one could ever deny it -- but we're also a currency. In order to be an actual currency, we need to be able to use our tips for more than just tipping. All those people we've sent coins to? They need to be able to see Dogecoin as something useful as well as fun.
Something that, when spent, they want more of.
And that's what we're working toward this month!
DOGE4DOGE is about spending our time and brilliance and creativity focused entirely on us. It's about Shibes taking the power back for ourselves, putting our coins in our hands and using them.
And THAT's how we're going to build the foundation for a much, much larger economy, together.
But it starts here, with you, with us.
Today!
It's 7:34AM EST and we're at 80.57% of DOGEs found. Our Global Hashrate is seeing a huge spike right now, from ~41 to ~48 Gigahashes per second and our Difficulty is also spiking from ~634 to ~827.
If you can mine, now's a great time to get out there and get some DOGEs!
As always, I appreciate your support!
GoodShibe
DOGE4DOGE - Bootstrap Service Economy - Shibes helping Shibes for Dogecoins - Add yourself to this list in the comments!
Huge ups to calyxa for taking the time put this crazy list in order and add categories. Thank you!!
Cryptocurrency-related:
Engineering and Industry:
Game Tutorial - On-line and Board Games:
Graphics, Video and Art - Tutorial and Service:
Hardware Repair - Tutorial and Service:
Health:
Human Languages:
Music:
Programming and Web Development:
Writing / Editing:
Projects in need of your attention!
submitted by GoodShibe to dogecoin [link] [comments]

Of Wolves and Weasels - Day 148 - DOGE4DOGE - Building a Worldwide Brand

Hey all, GoodShibe here!
With our Bootstrap Service Economy starting to take shape, I think now is an excellent time for us to talk about Marketing and Advertising and how we're actually more than just a coin - why we're building a Worldwide Brand.
And why that's a great thing.
You see, I read a post today from slipstream-
Reading comments on hacker news and found this interesting comment related to dogecoin...
Which got me thinking. See, traditionally, I've never been a 'sales' person or an 'Advertising' person. In fact, I have, especially when I was younger, espoused a very... uh... Bill Hicks-ish (warning: NSFW language) approach to the topic.
So what changed?
Mostly, my perspective.
Marketing and Advertising are tools, no more or less bad than hammers or power saws. Heck, I spent all last weekend Advertising for the Lego Movie without even realizing it. (Seriously, I'm not being paid for this, but check it out, it's awesome).
But we do it all the time.
We want people to know about and appreciate the same things that we do. We tell people where to try good food, where the best grocery deals are, where the cheapest gas is, what Radio stations we like, what TV shows and movies we're watching.
If you've ever used a Foursquare-ish app to announce your location, you're Advertising for someone - doing their work for them. If you've ever raved about how awesome Game of Thrones is... you're Advertising.
Most of us don't realize it, but there's actually quite a difference between Marketing and Advertising. Advertising is only about getting the word out there - it is only a small part of the Marketing process.
But Marketing itself covers quite a large number of other factors:
"Market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement." (From above, linked article)
And, whether we realize it or not, we're actively taking part in this process, daily.
Here's a brief set of examples, just off the top of my head:
Market Research - What are the other coins doing? What's Bitcoin/Litecoin/etc doing?
Media Planning - Hey, let's help get the Jamaican Bobsled Team to Sochi.
Public Relations - See our What is Dogecoin Video
Product Pricing - How many threads exist about us watching the price and waxing poetic about where it should and shouldn't be?
Distribution - Tipping
Customer Support - /Dogeducation, for one. HowToDoge.com, DogecoinTutorial.com, all sorts of options there.
Sales Strategy - DOGE4DOGE is all about helping our coin gain acceptance locally and worldwide
Community Involvement - I'm pretty sure this one goes without saying
Where Marketing and Advertising go to the Dark Side is when it becomes about Lies. When you can't actually sell the product on its merits.
The International Brand that we're building with Dogecoin is something that WE'VE had a say in every step of the way. Our symbol, our coin, has come to represent our values of Fun and Kindness, Compassion and Camaraderie - worldwide, no matter what language you speak.
We fight for the the Underdoge - and we believe that the future of money is in showing appreciation for people, instantly, no matter where they are in the world. Financially empowering the people who are working to make their world a more fun, more interesting, better place to live.
No one person did this. You did, all of us did.
Because we wanted it bad enough.
We took a joke and made the world laugh along with us - and there is more joy and laughter and fun and kindness in the world... thanks to you.
Thanks to Dogecoin.
So while some people might scoff and roll their eyes, I feel that we should continue to pick up and use the tools that we've been given.
Because 'Money' is the least revolutionary thing about us.
We're not 'going' to change the world.
We ARE changing the world.
And we're only just getting started.
It's 9:05AM EST and we're at 81.05% of DOGEs found. Our Global Hashrate is holding strong at ~46 Gigahashes per second and our Difficulty is down from ~866 to ~713.
As always, I appreciate your support!
GoodShibe
DOGE4DOGE - Bootstrap Service Economy - Shibes helping Shibes for Dogecoins - Add yourself to this list in the comments!
Huge ups to calyxa for taking the time put this crazy list in order and add categories. Thank you!!
Cryptocurrency-related:
Engineering and Industry:
Game Tutorial - On-line and Board Games:
Graphics, Video and Art - Tutorial and Service:
Hardware Repair - Tutorial and Service:
Health and Agriculture:
Human Languages:
Music:
Programming and Web Development:
School Tutoring
Writing / Editing:
Projects in need of your attention!
submitted by GoodShibe to dogecoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Tower Defense is nearing Launch (www.bitstrat.com)

A few weeks back, I posted a public beta link (www.bitstrat.com) to a project I've been working on. I wanted to allow Bitcoin gamers to stop gambling with their money on chance games like dice, high card, blackjack, wheel, etc. I wanted to let players to play strategy games to win Bitcoins fairly, using strategy and skill instead of random chance.
It seems the Bitcoin gaming environment is plagued with chance games, where everyone knows they will lose in the long term. It is the player's choice to participate of course, and although it's certainly fun for a little while, it normally ends in disappointment. Saying this I know many gamblers will claim they usually win, that they love those games, etc.
The quest to develop a skill game that uses no chance is not an easy one. There are a few hurdles involved in strategy games. Turn based games with limited moves are usually easy to bot, allowing programmers to quickly make ideal moves and beat any human by making less mistakes. An example of this is Chess. Chess games would quickly become matches of who has the best CPU to calculate moves faster and more deeply. There are also skill games that have been completely solved like connect-four. It is known that a player can follow an ideal strategy to always win or tie in connect four just like in tic-tac-toe. There are games like Poker that are mixed skill and chance. But these still have an element of chance, and legally they are casino games, which are not only illegal to host, but also means that players can end up with crappy hands too often and lose money due to chance.
For these reasons, Tower Defense was chosen - it's easy to pick up, but hard to master. It is real-time, so it's hard to bot. Your strategy depends on what the other does or might do. It's a constant battle to make the other player waste their money while making better decisions yourself. There are trade offs between early game and late-game strategies, and I've seen great players get beaten when someone uses a new strategy on them.
The beauty is that there are no internal sources of chance. Everything is under the control of the players, everything behaves 100% consistently like Newtonian physics in sports. Your game will perform the same every time, under the same conditions.
A month ago it was launched for beta test, with many bugs and frequent crashes. I have since posted it on numerous forums and play-tested with with friends. Got a ton of great feedback, polished it up enough for me to finally be proud of its current state.
It now features: - Game auto-save in case of server crashes - Balanced game play (more or less) - Added security features - In-game and lobby chat - Spectator mode with chat - Player rankings - Sound effects - Better graphics - Updated user interface, with shortcuts
With just a little more testing, I want to finalize the game engine and switch on real BTC wagers. I hope this isn't considered a double-post of my last post ~3 weeks ago.
-rs
submitted by romsa9 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet - by Andrew Marantz (The New Yorker) 18 March 2018 (1 of 2)

https://archive.is/Z9O4E
(Part One of Two)
Which Web sites get the most traffic? According to the ranking service Alexa, the top three sites in the United States, as of this writing, are Google, YouTube, and Facebook. (Porn, somewhat hearteningly, doesn’t crack the top ten.) The rankings don’t reflect everything—the dark Web, the nouveau-riche recluses harvesting bitcoin—but, for the most part, people online go where you’d expect them to go. The only truly surprising entry, in fourth place, is Reddit, whose astronomical popularity seems at odds with the fact that many Americans have only vaguely heard of the site and have no real understanding of what it is. A link aggregator? A microblogging platform? A social network?
To its devotees, Reddit feels proudly untamed, one of the last Internet giants to resist homogeneity. Most Reddit pages have a throwback aesthetic, with a few crudely designed graphics and a tangle of text: an original post, comments on the post, responses to the comments, responses to the responses. That’s pretty much it. Reddit is made up of more than a million individual communities, or subreddits, some of which have three subscribers, some twenty million. Every subreddit is devoted to a specific kind of content, ranging from vital to trivial: News, Politics, Trees (for marijuana enthusiasts), MarijuanaEnthusiasts (for tree enthusiasts), MildlyInteresting (“for photos that are, you know, mildly interesting”). Some people end up on Reddit by accident, find it baffling, and never visit again. But people who do use it—redditors, as they’re called—often use it all day long, to the near-exclusion of anything else. “For a while, we called ourselves the front page of the Internet,” Steve Huffman, Reddit’s C.E.O., said recently. “These days, I tend to say that we’re a place for open and honest conversations—‘open and honest’ meaning authentic, meaning messy, meaning the best and worst and realest and weirdest parts of humanity.”
On November 23, 2016, shortly after President Trump’s election, Huffman was at his desk, in San Francisco, perusing the site. It was the day before Thanksgiving. Reddit’s administrators had just deleted a subreddit called Pizzagate, a forum for people who believed that high-ranking staffers of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and possibly Clinton herself, were trafficking child sex slaves. The evidence, as extensive as it was unpersuasive, included satanic rituals, a map printed on a handkerchief, and an elaborate code involving the words “cheese” and “pizza.” In only fifteen days of existence, the Pizzagate subreddit had attracted twenty thousand subscribers. Now, in its place, was a scrubbed white page with the message “This community has been banned.”
The reason for the ban, according to Reddit’s administrators, was not the beliefs of people on the subreddit, but the way they’d behaved—specifically, their insistence on publishing their enemies’ private phone numbers and addresses, a clear violation of Reddit’s rules. The conspiracy theorists, in turn, claimed that they’d been banned because Reddit administrators were part of the conspiracy. (Less than two weeks after Pizzagate was banned, a man fired a semiautomatic rifle inside a D.C. pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong, in an attempt to “self-investigate” claims that the restaurant’s basement was a dungeon full of kidnapped children. Comet Ping Pong does not have a basement.)
Some of the conspiracy theorists left Reddit and reunited on Voat, a site made by and for the users that Reddit sloughs off. (Many social networks have such Bizarro networks, which brand themselves as strongholds of free speech and in practice are often used for hate speech. People banned from Twitter end up on Gab; people banned from Patreon end up on Hatreon.) Other Pizzagaters stayed and regrouped on The_Donald, a popular pro-Trump subreddit. Throughout the Presidential campaign, The_Donald was a hive of Trump boosterism. By this time, it had become a hermetic subculture, full of inside jokes and ugly rhetoric. The community’s most frequent commenters, like the man they’d helped propel to the Presidency, were experts at testing boundaries. Within minutes, they started to express their outrage that Pizzagate had been deleted.
Redditors are pseudonymous, and their pseudonyms are sometimes prefaced by “u,” for “username.” Huffman’s is Spez. As he scanned The_Donald, he noticed that hundreds of the most popular comments were about him:
“fuck u/spez
“u/spez is complicit in the coverup”
“u/spez supports child rape”
One commenter simply wrote “u/SPEZ IS A CUCK,” in bold type, a hundred and ten times in a row.
Huffman, alone at his computer, wondered whether to respond. “I consider myself a troll at heart,” he said later. “Making people bristle, being a little outrageous in order to add some spice to life—I get that. I’ve done that.” Privately, Huffman imagined The_Donald as a misguided teen-ager who wouldn’t stop misbehaving. “If your little brother flicks your ear, maybe you ignore it,” he said. “If he flicks your ear a hundred times, or punches you, then maybe you give him a little smack to show you’re paying attention.”
Although redditors didn’t yet know it, Huffman could edit any part of the site. He wrote a script that would automatically replace his username with those of The_Donald’s most prominent members, directing the insults back at the insulters in real time: in one comment, “Fuck u/Spez” became “Fuck u/Trumpshaker”; in another, “Fuck u/Spez” became “Fuck u/MAGAdocious.”
The_Donald’s users saw what was happening, and they reacted by spinning a conspiracy theory that, in this case, turned out to be true.
“Manipulating the words of your users is fucked,” a commenter wrote.
“Even Facebook and Twitter haven’t stooped this low.”
“Trust nothing.”
The incident became known as Spezgiving, and it’s still invoked, internally and externally, as a paradigmatic example of tech-executive overreach. Social-media platforms must do something to rein in their users, the consensus goes, but not that.
Huffman can no longer edit the site indiscriminately, but his actions laid bare a fact that most social-media companies go to great lengths to conceal—that, no matter how neutral a platform may seem, there’s always a person behind the curtain. “I fucked up,” Huffman wrote in an apology the following week. “More than anything, I want Reddit to heal, and I want our country to heal.” Implicit in his apology was a set of questions, perhaps the central questions facing anyone who worries about the current state of civic discourse. Is it possible to facilitate a space for open dialogue without also facilitating hoaxes, harassment, and threats of violence? Where is the line between authenticity and toxicity? What if, after technology allows us to reveal our inner voices, what we learn is that many of us are authentically toxic?
The only way to understand the Internet, at least at first, was by metaphor. “Web” and “page” and “superhighway” are metaphors. So are “link,” “viral,” “post,” and “stream.” Last year, the Supreme Court heard a case about whether it was constitutional to bar registered sex offenders from using social media. In order to answer that question, the Justices had to ask another question: What is social media? In sixty minutes of oral argument, Facebook was compared to a park, a playground, an airport terminal, a polling place, and a town square.
It might be most helpful to compare a social network to a party. The party starts out small, with the hosts and a few of their friends. Then word gets out and strangers show up. People take cues from the environment. Mimosas in a sun-dappled atrium suggest one kind of mood; grain alcohol in a moldy basement suggests another. Sometimes, a pattern emerges on its own. Pinterest, a simple photo-sharing site founded by three men, happened to catch on among women aspiring to an urbane life style, and today the front page is often a collage of merino scarves and expensive glassware. In other cases, the gatekeeping seems more premeditated. If you’re fourteen, Snapchat’s user interface is intuitive; if you’re twenty-two, it’s intriguing; if you’re over thirty-five, it’s impenetrable. This encourages old people to self-deport.
Huffman and his college roommate, Alexis Ohanian, founded Reddit a few weeks after graduating from the University of Virginia, in 2005. The first people to show up were, like the co-founders, the kind of strong-headed young men who got excited about computer programming, video games, and edgy, self-referential humor. Reddit’s system was purely democratic, which is to say anarchic. Anyone could post any link, and the ones that got the most “upvotes” would rise to the top of a page. At the time, Facebook was available only to college students, and before joining it you had to provide your real name, your birthday, and a valid school e-mail address—the equivalent of being carded at the door. To join Reddit, all you needed was a username that hadn’t been claimed yet. You could start as many anonymous accounts as you wanted, which gave rise to creativity, and also to mischief.
Back then, Ohanian was ungainly and clean-shaven, and he was often photographed in a hoodie and with a goofy smile. At his wedding, last year, wearing a beard and an Armani tuxedo, he was nearly unrecognizable. (The paparazzi weren’t too interested in him, though, given that his bride was Serena Williams.) Huffman, on the other hand, has always looked more or less the same: bright-blue eyes, chipmunk teeth, and a thatch of blond hair.
A few months after Reddit launched, Huffman created the first constraints. People were posting links to vulgar and violent content—which was fine, except that Huffman wanted users to have some idea of what they were about to click on, so that they could avoid, say, inadvertently opening porn in front of their bosses. Huffman labelled some content N.S.F.W.—not safe for work—and separated it from everything else. That was the end of pure democracy.
In 2006, Ohanian and Huffman sold Reddit to Condé Nast, a media conglomerate that owns more than twenty magazines, including this one. (Reddit now operates independently.) The sale made them twenty-two-year-old millionaires, but they didn’t fit in at a large corporation, and three years later they left. In their absence, the party got bigger and weirder, and ominous cliques started to gather in the corners. One popular subreddit, Jailbait, was devoted to sexually suggestive photos of young-looking women. This was profoundly creepy, but probably not illegal—the subreddit’s users swore that all the women in the photos were eighteen or older—and Reddit allowed the community to grow. In September of 2011, Anderson Cooper discussed the subreddit on CNN. “It’s pretty amazing that a big corporation would have something like this, which reflects badly on it,” he said. Traffic to Jailbait quadrupled overnight. Twelve days later, after someone in the group apparently shared a nude photo of a fourteen-year-old girl, the community was banned. And yet the founder of Jailbait, an infamous troll who went by u/Violentacrez, was allowed to stay on Reddit, as were some four hundred other communities he’d created—Jewmerica, ChokeABitch, and worse. (Yes, it gets worse.)
Yishan Wong, an engineer who had worked at Facebook, was then Reddit’s C.E.O. He implied that he’d banned Jailbait only because the subreddit had violated U.S. law. “We stand for free speech,” he wrote in an internal post, in 2012. Reddit’s goal, he continued, was to “become a universal platform for human discourse.” Therefore, “it would not do if, in our youth, we decided to censor things simply because they were distasteful.”
At the time, Wong’s free-speech absolutism was ubiquitous in Silicon Valley. Twitter’s executives referred to their company as “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party.” Facebook’s original self-description, “an online directory that connects people through social networks at colleges,” had evolved into a grandiose mission statement: “Facebook gives people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” With the Arab Spring fresh in everyone’s mind, few questioned the assumption that “giving people the power” would inevitably lead to social progress. Barack Obama, who had been carried into office by a social-media groundswell, often expressed a similar optimism about the salubrious effects of the Internet. “In the twenty-first century, information is power,” Obama said in a 2011 speech on Middle East policy. “The truth cannot be hidden. . . . Such open discourse is important even if what is said does not square with our worldview.”
Wong left the company in 2014, after two and a half years. His successor was Ellen Pao, a former venture capitalist. She lasted eight months. Early in her tenure, Reddit announced a crackdown on involuntary pornography. If you found a compromising photo of yourself circulating on Reddit without your consent, you could report it and the company would remove it. In retrospect, this seems like a straightforward business decision, but some redditors treated it as the first in an inevitable parade of horrors. “This rule is stupid and suppresses our rights,” u/penisfuckermcgee commented.
A few months later, Reddit banned five of its most egregious communities, including FatPeopleHate and ShitNiggersSay. Again redditors were apoplectic (“We may as well take a one way ticket to North Korea”). Almost every day, strident misogynists called Pao a tyrant, an “Asian slut,” or worse. (Yes, it gets worse.) She resigned in July, 2015. “The Internet started as a bastion for free expression,” she wrote in the Washington Post. “But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.”
Over time, social networks have turned into institutions. More than two billion people now use Facebook. In other words, the company has achieved its mission of making the world more connected. In 2016, that meant, among other things, making the American electorate more connected to white supremacists, armed militias, Macedonian fake-news merchants, and micro-targeted campaign ads purchased in rubles. “I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be President,” Obama said that year, despite the mounting aggression in some online forums. “And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people.” (In response to Obama’s remarks, a commenter on The_Donald wrote, “FUCK THAT LOW ENERGY CUCK!”)
Shortly after the election, Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign’s top digital strategist, told Wired, “Facebook and Twitter were the reason we won this thing.” Reddit was also an important part of Trump’s strategy. Parscale wrote—on Reddit, naturally—that “members here provided considerable growth and reach to our campaign.” The_Donald, in particular, proved a fecund host cell for viral memes. On July 2, 2016, Trump tweeted a photo collage of Hillary Clinton, piles of cash, and the phrase “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” written inside a six-pointed star. When Trump’s critics called attention to the image’s anti-Semitic implications, The_Donald’s users rushed to Trump’s defense, posting photos of other six-pointed stars in innocuous contexts. “Where is the outrage from the liberal left on this one?” a user wrote, beneath a photo of a “Frozen”-themed sticker book with a star on its cover. A few hours later, Trump tweeted the same photo, with a version of the same question, followed by “Dishonest media! #Frozen.”
During the campaign, Trump, or someone typing on his behalf, participated in Reddit’s signature interview format—an A.M.A., for “ask me anything.” In response to a question about the “protected class of media elites,” Trump wrote, “I have been very concerned about media bias and the total dishonesty of the press. I think new media is a great way to get out the truth.” This drew hundreds of jubilant comments (u/RAINBOW_DILDO: “daddy YES”; u/CantContheDon: “WE’RE THE MEDIA NOW”).
The_Donald, with more than half a million subscribers, is by far the biggest pro-Trump subreddit, but it ranks just below No. 150 on the list of all subreddits; it’s roughly the same size as CryptoCurrency and ComicBooks. “Some people on The_Donald are expressing their genuine political beliefs, and obviously that’s something we want to encourage,” Huffman said. “Others are maybe not expressing sincere beliefs, but are treating it more like a game—If I post this ridiculous or offensive thing, can I get people to upvote it? And then some people, to quote ‘The Dark Knight,’ just want to watch the world burn.” On some smaller far-right subreddits, the discourse is more unhinged. One, created in July of 2016, was called Physical_Removal. According to its “About Us” section, it was a subreddit for people who believe that liberals “qualify to get a helicopter ride.” “Helicopter ride,” an allusion to Augusto Pinochet’s reputed habit of throwing Communists out of helicopters, is alt-right slang for murder.
The_Donald accounts for less than one per cent of Reddit’s traffic, but it occupies far more than one per cent of the Reddit-wide conversation. Trolls set a cunning trap. By ignoring their provocations, you risk seeming complicit. By responding, you amplify their message. Trump, perhaps the world’s most skilled troll, can get attention whenever he wants, simply by being outrageous. Traditional journalists and editors can decide to resist the bait, and sometimes they do, but that option isn’t available on user-generated platforms. Social-media executives claim to transcend subjectivity, and they have designed their platforms to be feedback machines, giving us not what we claim to want, nor what might be good for us, but what we actually pay attention to.
There are no good solutions to this problem, and so tech executives tend to discuss it as seldom as possible, and only in the airiest of platitudes. Twitter has rebuffed repeated calls to ban President Trump’s account, despite his many apparent violations of company policy. (If tweeting that North Korea “won’t be around much longer” doesn’t break Twitter’s rule against “specific threats of violence,” it’s not clear what would.) Last fall, on his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg addressed—sort of, obliquely—the widespread critique that his company was exacerbating political polarization. “We’ll keep working to ensure the integrity of free and fair elections around the world, and to ensure our community is a platform for all ideas and force for good in democracy,” he wrote, then stepped away as a global howl of frustration grew in the comments.
I asked a few social-media executives to talk to me about all this. I didn’t expect definitive answers, I told them; I just wanted to hear them think through the questions. Unsurprisingly, no one jumped at the chance. Twitter mostly ignored my e-mails. Snapchat’s P.R. representatives had breakfast with me once, then ignored my e-mails. Facebook’s representatives talked to me for weeks, asking precise, intelligent questions, before they started to ignore my e-mails.
Reddit has more reason to be transparent. It’s big, but doesn’t feel indispensable to most Internet users or, for that matter, to most advertisers. Moreover, Anderson Cooper’s CNN segment was hardly the only bit of vividly terrible press that Reddit has received over the years. All social networks contain vitriol and bigotry, but not all social networks are equally associated with these things in the public imagination. Recently, I typed “Reddit is” into Google. Three of the top suggested auto-completions were “toxic,” “cancer,” and “hot garbage.”
Huffman, after leaving Condé Nast, spent a few months backpacking in Costa Rica, then founded a travel company called Hipmunk. In July, 2015, he returned to Reddit as C.E.O. In a post about his “top priority” in the job, he wrote, “The overwhelming majority of content on reddit comes from wonderful, creative, funny, smart, and silly communities. There is also a dark side, communities whose purpose is reprehensible, and we don’t have any obligation to support them. . . . Neither Alexis nor I created reddit to be a bastion of free speech.” This was shocking, and about half true. When free-speech absolutism was in vogue, Reddit’s co-founders were as susceptible to its appeal as anyone. In 2012, a Forbes reporter asked Ohanian how the Founding Fathers might have reacted to Reddit. “A bastion of free speech on the World Wide Web? I bet they would like it,” Ohanian responded. “I would love to imagine that ‘Common Sense’ would have been a self-post on Reddit, by Thomas Paine, or actually a redditor named T_Paine.”
Still, Ohanian and Huffman never took their own rhetoric too literally. The site’s rules were brief and vague, and their unwritten policy was even simpler. “We always banned people,” Huffman told me. “We just didn’t talk about it very much.” Because Reddit was so small, and misbehavior relatively rare, Huffman could do most of the banning himself, on an ad-hoc basis. “It wasn’t well thought out or even articulated, really. It was ‘That guy has the N-word in his username? Fuck that.’ Delete account.”
As C.E.O., Huffman continued the trend Pao had started, banning a few viciously racist subreddits such as Coontown. “There was pushback,” Huffman told me. “But I had the moral authority, as the founder, to take it in stride.” If Pao was like a forbearing parent, then Huffman’s style was closer to “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.” “Yes, I know that it’s really hard to define hate speech, and I know that any way we define it has the potential to set a dangerous precedent,” he told me. “I also know that a community called Coontown is not good for Reddit.” In most cases, Reddit didn’t suspend individual users’ accounts, Huffman said: “We just took away the spaces where they liked to hang out, and went, ‘Let’s see if this helps.’ ”
Reddit’s headquarters, in a former radio tower in downtown San Francisco, look like a stereotypical startup office: high concrete ceilings, a large common area with beer and kombucha on tap. Each desk is decorated aggressively with personal flair—a “Make Reddit Great Again” hat, a glossy print magazine called Meme Insider. Working at Reddit requires paying close anthropological attention to the motley tastes of redditors, and it’s not uncommon to see groups of fit, well-dressed employees cheerfully discussing the most recent post on CatDimension or PeopleFuckingDying.
The first morning I visited the office, I ran into Huffman, who was wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and Adidas indoor-soccer shoes, as he tried to persuade an employee to buy a ticket to Burning Man. Huffman is far more unfiltered than other social-media executives, and every time he and I talked in the presence of Reddit’s head of P.R., he said at least one thing that made her wince. “There’s only one Steve,” Ohanian told me. “No matter when you catch him, for better or worse, that’s the Steve you’re gonna get.” I had a list of delicate topics that I planned to ask Huffman about eventually, including allegations of vote manipulation on Reddit’s front page and his personal feelings about Trump. Huffman raised all of them himself on the first day. “My political views might not be exactly what you’d predict,” he said. “I’m a gun owner, for example. And I don’t care all that much about politics, compared to other things.” He speaks in quick bursts, with an alpha-nerd combination of introversion and confidence. His opinion about Trump is that he is incompetent and that his Presidency has mostly been a failure. But, he told me, “I’m open to counterarguments.”
That afternoon, I watched Huffman make a sales pitch to a group of executives from a New York advertising agency. Like many platforms, Reddit has struggled to convert its huge audience into a stable revenue stream, and its representatives spend a lot of time trying to convince potential advertisers that Reddit is not hot garbage. Huffman sat at the head of a long table, facing a dozen men and women in suits. The “snarky, libertarian” ethos of early Reddit, he said, “mostly came from me as a twenty-one-year-old. I’ve since grown out of that, to the relief of everyone.” The executives nodded and chuckled. “We had a lot of baggage,” he continued. “We let the story get away from us. And now we’re trying to get our shit together.”
Later, Huffman told me that getting Reddit’s shit together would require continual intervention. “I don’t think I’m going to leave the office one Friday and go, ‘Mission accomplished—we fixed the Internet,’ ” he said. “Every day, you keep visiting different parts of the site, opening this random door or that random door—‘What’s it like in here? Does this feel like a shitty place to be? No, people are generally having a good time, nobody’s hatching any evil plots, nobody’s crying. O.K., great.’ And you move on to the next room.”
In January, Facebook announced that it would make news less visible in its users’ feeds. “Facebook was originally designed to connect friends and family—and it has excelled at that,” a product manager named Samidh Chakrabarti wrote on a company blog. “But as unprecedented numbers of people channel their political energy through this medium, it’s being used in unforeseen ways with societal repercussions that were never anticipated.” It wasn’t the most effusive mea culpa in history, but by Facebook’s standards it amounted to wailing and gnashing of teeth. “We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people,” Mark Zuckerberg told the Times. Direct pronouncements from him are so rare that even this pabulum was treated as push-alert-worthy news.
(Continued Part Two of Two - https://www.reddit.com/CapitalistParadise/comments/842ouv/reddit_and_the_struggle_to_detoxify_the_internet/?st=jepf79wf&sh=eaa395fc )
https://archive.is/Z9O4E
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Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet - by Andrew Marantz (The New Yorker) 18 March 2018 (1 of 2)

https://archive.is/Z9O4E
(Part One of Two)
Which Web sites get the most traffic? According to the ranking service Alexa, the top three sites in the United States, as of this writing, are Google, YouTube, and Facebook. (Porn, somewhat hearteningly, doesn’t crack the top ten.) The rankings don’t reflect everything—the dark Web, the nouveau-riche recluses harvesting bitcoin—but, for the most part, people online go where you’d expect them to go. The only truly surprising entry, in fourth place, is Reddit, whose astronomical popularity seems at odds with the fact that many Americans have only vaguely heard of the site and have no real understanding of what it is. A link aggregator? A microblogging platform? A social network?
To its devotees, Reddit feels proudly untamed, one of the last Internet giants to resist homogeneity. Most Reddit pages have a throwback aesthetic, with a few crudely designed graphics and a tangle of text: an original post, comments on the post, responses to the comments, responses to the responses. That’s pretty much it. Reddit is made up of more than a million individual communities, or subreddits, some of which have three subscribers, some twenty million. Every subreddit is devoted to a specific kind of content, ranging from vital to trivial: News, Politics, Trees (for marijuana enthusiasts), MarijuanaEnthusiasts (for tree enthusiasts), MildlyInteresting (“for photos that are, you know, mildly interesting”). Some people end up on Reddit by accident, find it baffling, and never visit again. But people who do use it—redditors, as they’re called—often use it all day long, to the near-exclusion of anything else. “For a while, we called ourselves the front page of the Internet,” Steve Huffman, Reddit’s C.E.O., said recently. “These days, I tend to say that we’re a place for open and honest conversations—‘open and honest’ meaning authentic, meaning messy, meaning the best and worst and realest and weirdest parts of humanity.”
On November 23, 2016, shortly after President Trump’s election, Huffman was at his desk, in San Francisco, perusing the site. It was the day before Thanksgiving. Reddit’s administrators had just deleted a subreddit called Pizzagate, a forum for people who believed that high-ranking staffers of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and possibly Clinton herself, were trafficking child sex slaves. The evidence, as extensive as it was unpersuasive, included satanic rituals, a map printed on a handkerchief, and an elaborate code involving the words “cheese” and “pizza.” In only fifteen days of existence, the Pizzagate subreddit had attracted twenty thousand subscribers. Now, in its place, was a scrubbed white page with the message “This community has been banned.”
The reason for the ban, according to Reddit’s administrators, was not the beliefs of people on the subreddit, but the way they’d behaved—specifically, their insistence on publishing their enemies’ private phone numbers and addresses, a clear violation of Reddit’s rules. The conspiracy theorists, in turn, claimed that they’d been banned because Reddit administrators were part of the conspiracy. (Less than two weeks after Pizzagate was banned, a man fired a semiautomatic rifle inside a D.C. pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong, in an attempt to “self-investigate” claims that the restaurant’s basement was a dungeon full of kidnapped children. Comet Ping Pong does not have a basement.)
Some of the conspiracy theorists left Reddit and reunited on Voat, a site made by and for the users that Reddit sloughs off. (Many social networks have such Bizarro networks, which brand themselves as strongholds of free speech and in practice are often used for hate speech. People banned from Twitter end up on Gab; people banned from Patreon end up on Hatreon.) Other Pizzagaters stayed and regrouped on The_Donald, a popular pro-Trump subreddit. Throughout the Presidential campaign, The_Donald was a hive of Trump boosterism. By this time, it had become a hermetic subculture, full of inside jokes and ugly rhetoric. The community’s most frequent commenters, like the man they’d helped propel to the Presidency, were experts at testing boundaries. Within minutes, they started to express their outrage that Pizzagate had been deleted.
Redditors are pseudonymous, and their pseudonyms are sometimes prefaced by “u,” for “username.” Huffman’s is Spez. As he scanned The_Donald, he noticed that hundreds of the most popular comments were about him:
“fuck u/spez
“u/spez is complicit in the coverup”
“u/spez supports child rape”
One commenter simply wrote “u/SPEZ IS A CUCK,” in bold type, a hundred and ten times in a row.
Huffman, alone at his computer, wondered whether to respond. “I consider myself a troll at heart,” he said later. “Making people bristle, being a little outrageous in order to add some spice to life—I get that. I’ve done that.” Privately, Huffman imagined The_Donald as a misguided teen-ager who wouldn’t stop misbehaving. “If your little brother flicks your ear, maybe you ignore it,” he said. “If he flicks your ear a hundred times, or punches you, then maybe you give him a little smack to show you’re paying attention.”
Although redditors didn’t yet know it, Huffman could edit any part of the site. He wrote a script that would automatically replace his username with those of The_Donald’s most prominent members, directing the insults back at the insulters in real time: in one comment, “Fuck u/Spez” became “Fuck u/Trumpshaker”; in another, “Fuck u/Spez” became “Fuck u/MAGAdocious.”
The_Donald’s users saw what was happening, and they reacted by spinning a conspiracy theory that, in this case, turned out to be true.
“Manipulating the words of your users is fucked,” a commenter wrote.
“Even Facebook and Twitter haven’t stooped this low.”
“Trust nothing.”
The incident became known as Spezgiving, and it’s still invoked, internally and externally, as a paradigmatic example of tech-executive overreach. Social-media platforms must do something to rein in their users, the consensus goes, but not that.
Huffman can no longer edit the site indiscriminately, but his actions laid bare a fact that most social-media companies go to great lengths to conceal—that, no matter how neutral a platform may seem, there’s always a person behind the curtain. “I fucked up,” Huffman wrote in an apology the following week. “More than anything, I want Reddit to heal, and I want our country to heal.” Implicit in his apology was a set of questions, perhaps the central questions facing anyone who worries about the current state of civic discourse. Is it possible to facilitate a space for open dialogue without also facilitating hoaxes, harassment, and threats of violence? Where is the line between authenticity and toxicity? What if, after technology allows us to reveal our inner voices, what we learn is that many of us are authentically toxic?
The only way to understand the Internet, at least at first, was by metaphor. “Web” and “page” and “superhighway” are metaphors. So are “link,” “viral,” “post,” and “stream.” Last year, the Supreme Court heard a case about whether it was constitutional to bar registered sex offenders from using social media. In order to answer that question, the Justices had to ask another question: What is social media? In sixty minutes of oral argument, Facebook was compared to a park, a playground, an airport terminal, a polling place, and a town square.
It might be most helpful to compare a social network to a party. The party starts out small, with the hosts and a few of their friends. Then word gets out and strangers show up. People take cues from the environment. Mimosas in a sun-dappled atrium suggest one kind of mood; grain alcohol in a moldy basement suggests another. Sometimes, a pattern emerges on its own. Pinterest, a simple photo-sharing site founded by three men, happened to catch on among women aspiring to an urbane life style, and today the front page is often a collage of merino scarves and expensive glassware. In other cases, the gatekeeping seems more premeditated. If you’re fourteen, Snapchat’s user interface is intuitive; if you’re twenty-two, it’s intriguing; if you’re over thirty-five, it’s impenetrable. This encourages old people to self-deport.
Huffman and his college roommate, Alexis Ohanian, founded Reddit a few weeks after graduating from the University of Virginia, in 2005. The first people to show up were, like the co-founders, the kind of strong-headed young men who got excited about computer programming, video games, and edgy, self-referential humor. Reddit’s system was purely democratic, which is to say anarchic. Anyone could post any link, and the ones that got the most “upvotes” would rise to the top of a page. At the time, Facebook was available only to college students, and before joining it you had to provide your real name, your birthday, and a valid school e-mail address—the equivalent of being carded at the door. To join Reddit, all you needed was a username that hadn’t been claimed yet. You could start as many anonymous accounts as you wanted, which gave rise to creativity, and also to mischief.
Back then, Ohanian was ungainly and clean-shaven, and he was often photographed in a hoodie and with a goofy smile. At his wedding, last year, wearing a beard and an Armani tuxedo, he was nearly unrecognizable. (The paparazzi weren’t too interested in him, though, given that his bride was Serena Williams.) Huffman, on the other hand, has always looked more or less the same: bright-blue eyes, chipmunk teeth, and a thatch of blond hair.
A few months after Reddit launched, Huffman created the first constraints. People were posting links to vulgar and violent content—which was fine, except that Huffman wanted users to have some idea of what they were about to click on, so that they could avoid, say, inadvertently opening porn in front of their bosses. Huffman labelled some content N.S.F.W.—not safe for work—and separated it from everything else. That was the end of pure democracy.
In 2006, Ohanian and Huffman sold Reddit to Condé Nast, a media conglomerate that owns more than twenty magazines, including this one. (Reddit now operates independently.) The sale made them twenty-two-year-old millionaires, but they didn’t fit in at a large corporation, and three years later they left. In their absence, the party got bigger and weirder, and ominous cliques started to gather in the corners. One popular subreddit, Jailbait, was devoted to sexually suggestive photos of young-looking women. This was profoundly creepy, but probably not illegal—the subreddit’s users swore that all the women in the photos were eighteen or older—and Reddit allowed the community to grow. In September of 2011, Anderson Cooper discussed the subreddit on CNN. “It’s pretty amazing that a big corporation would have something like this, which reflects badly on it,” he said. Traffic to Jailbait quadrupled overnight. Twelve days later, after someone in the group apparently shared a nude photo of a fourteen-year-old girl, the community was banned. And yet the founder of Jailbait, an infamous troll who went by u/Violentacrez, was allowed to stay on Reddit, as were some four hundred other communities he’d created—Jewmerica, ChokeABitch, and worse. (Yes, it gets worse.)
Yishan Wong, an engineer who had worked at Facebook, was then Reddit’s C.E.O. He implied that he’d banned Jailbait only because the subreddit had violated U.S. law. “We stand for free speech,” he wrote in an internal post, in 2012. Reddit’s goal, he continued, was to “become a universal platform for human discourse.” Therefore, “it would not do if, in our youth, we decided to censor things simply because they were distasteful.”
At the time, Wong’s free-speech absolutism was ubiquitous in Silicon Valley. Twitter’s executives referred to their company as “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party.” Facebook’s original self-description, “an online directory that connects people through social networks at colleges,” had evolved into a grandiose mission statement: “Facebook gives people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” With the Arab Spring fresh in everyone’s mind, few questioned the assumption that “giving people the power” would inevitably lead to social progress. Barack Obama, who had been carried into office by a social-media groundswell, often expressed a similar optimism about the salubrious effects of the Internet. “In the twenty-first century, information is power,” Obama said in a 2011 speech on Middle East policy. “The truth cannot be hidden. . . . Such open discourse is important even if what is said does not square with our worldview.”
Wong left the company in 2014, after two and a half years. His successor was Ellen Pao, a former venture capitalist. She lasted eight months. Early in her tenure, Reddit announced a crackdown on involuntary pornography. If you found a compromising photo of yourself circulating on Reddit without your consent, you could report it and the company would remove it. In retrospect, this seems like a straightforward business decision, but some redditors treated it as the first in an inevitable parade of horrors. “This rule is stupid and suppresses our rights,” u/penisfuckermcgee commented.
A few months later, Reddit banned five of its most egregious communities, including FatPeopleHate and ShitNiggersSay. Again redditors were apoplectic (“We may as well take a one way ticket to North Korea”). Almost every day, strident misogynists called Pao a tyrant, an “Asian slut,” or worse. (Yes, it gets worse.) She resigned in July, 2015. “The Internet started as a bastion for free expression,” she wrote in the Washington Post. “But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.”
Over time, social networks have turned into institutions. More than two billion people now use Facebook. In other words, the company has achieved its mission of making the world more connected. In 2016, that meant, among other things, making the American electorate more connected to white supremacists, armed militias, Macedonian fake-news merchants, and micro-targeted campaign ads purchased in rubles. “I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be President,” Obama said that year, despite the mounting aggression in some online forums. “And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people.” (In response to Obama’s remarks, a commenter on The_Donald wrote, “FUCK THAT LOW ENERGY CUCK!”)
Shortly after the election, Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign’s top digital strategist, told Wired, “Facebook and Twitter were the reason we won this thing.” Reddit was also an important part of Trump’s strategy. Parscale wrote—on Reddit, naturally—that “members here provided considerable growth and reach to our campaign.” The_Donald, in particular, proved a fecund host cell for viral memes. On July 2, 2016, Trump tweeted a photo collage of Hillary Clinton, piles of cash, and the phrase “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” written inside a six-pointed star. When Trump’s critics called attention to the image’s anti-Semitic implications, The_Donald’s users rushed to Trump’s defense, posting photos of other six-pointed stars in innocuous contexts. “Where is the outrage from the liberal left on this one?” a user wrote, beneath a photo of a “Frozen”-themed sticker book with a star on its cover. A few hours later, Trump tweeted the same photo, with a version of the same question, followed by “Dishonest media! #Frozen.”
During the campaign, Trump, or someone typing on his behalf, participated in Reddit’s signature interview format—an A.M.A., for “ask me anything.” In response to a question about the “protected class of media elites,” Trump wrote, “I have been very concerned about media bias and the total dishonesty of the press. I think new media is a great way to get out the truth.” This drew hundreds of jubilant comments (u/RAINBOW_DILDO: “daddy YES”; u/CantContheDon: “WE’RE THE MEDIA NOW”).
The_Donald, with more than half a million subscribers, is by far the biggest pro-Trump subreddit, but it ranks just below No. 150 on the list of all subreddits; it’s roughly the same size as CryptoCurrency and ComicBooks. “Some people on The_Donald are expressing their genuine political beliefs, and obviously that’s something we want to encourage,” Huffman said. “Others are maybe not expressing sincere beliefs, but are treating it more like a game—If I post this ridiculous or offensive thing, can I get people to upvote it? And then some people, to quote ‘The Dark Knight,’ just want to watch the world burn.” On some smaller far-right subreddits, the discourse is more unhinged. One, created in July of 2016, was called Physical_Removal. According to its “About Us” section, it was a subreddit for people who believe that liberals “qualify to get a helicopter ride.” “Helicopter ride,” an allusion to Augusto Pinochet’s reputed habit of throwing Communists out of helicopters, is alt-right slang for murder.
The_Donald accounts for less than one per cent of Reddit’s traffic, but it occupies far more than one per cent of the Reddit-wide conversation. Trolls set a cunning trap. By ignoring their provocations, you risk seeming complicit. By responding, you amplify their message. Trump, perhaps the world’s most skilled troll, can get attention whenever he wants, simply by being outrageous. Traditional journalists and editors can decide to resist the bait, and sometimes they do, but that option isn’t available on user-generated platforms. Social-media executives claim to transcend subjectivity, and they have designed their platforms to be feedback machines, giving us not what we claim to want, nor what might be good for us, but what we actually pay attention to.
There are no good solutions to this problem, and so tech executives tend to discuss it as seldom as possible, and only in the airiest of platitudes. Twitter has rebuffed repeated calls to ban President Trump’s account, despite his many apparent violations of company policy. (If tweeting that North Korea “won’t be around much longer” doesn’t break Twitter’s rule against “specific threats of violence,” it’s not clear what would.) Last fall, on his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg addressed—sort of, obliquely—the widespread critique that his company was exacerbating political polarization. “We’ll keep working to ensure the integrity of free and fair elections around the world, and to ensure our community is a platform for all ideas and force for good in democracy,” he wrote, then stepped away as a global howl of frustration grew in the comments.
I asked a few social-media executives to talk to me about all this. I didn’t expect definitive answers, I told them; I just wanted to hear them think through the questions. Unsurprisingly, no one jumped at the chance. Twitter mostly ignored my e-mails. Snapchat’s P.R. representatives had breakfast with me once, then ignored my e-mails. Facebook’s representatives talked to me for weeks, asking precise, intelligent questions, before they started to ignore my e-mails.
Reddit has more reason to be transparent. It’s big, but doesn’t feel indispensable to most Internet users or, for that matter, to most advertisers. Moreover, Anderson Cooper’s CNN segment was hardly the only bit of vividly terrible press that Reddit has received over the years. All social networks contain vitriol and bigotry, but not all social networks are equally associated with these things in the public imagination. Recently, I typed “Reddit is” into Google. Three of the top suggested auto-completions were “toxic,” “cancer,” and “hot garbage.”
Huffman, after leaving Condé Nast, spent a few months backpacking in Costa Rica, then founded a travel company called Hipmunk. In July, 2015, he returned to Reddit as C.E.O. In a post about his “top priority” in the job, he wrote, “The overwhelming majority of content on reddit comes from wonderful, creative, funny, smart, and silly communities. There is also a dark side, communities whose purpose is reprehensible, and we don’t have any obligation to support them. . . . Neither Alexis nor I created reddit to be a bastion of free speech.” This was shocking, and about half true. When free-speech absolutism was in vogue, Reddit’s co-founders were as susceptible to its appeal as anyone. In 2012, a Forbes reporter asked Ohanian how the Founding Fathers might have reacted to Reddit. “A bastion of free speech on the World Wide Web? I bet they would like it,” Ohanian responded. “I would love to imagine that ‘Common Sense’ would have been a self-post on Reddit, by Thomas Paine, or actually a redditor named T_Paine.”
Still, Ohanian and Huffman never took their own rhetoric too literally. The site’s rules were brief and vague, and their unwritten policy was even simpler. “We always banned people,” Huffman told me. “We just didn’t talk about it very much.” Because Reddit was so small, and misbehavior relatively rare, Huffman could do most of the banning himself, on an ad-hoc basis. “It wasn’t well thought out or even articulated, really. It was ‘That guy has the N-word in his username? Fuck that.’ Delete account.”
As C.E.O., Huffman continued the trend Pao had started, banning a few viciously racist subreddits such as Coontown. “There was pushback,” Huffman told me. “But I had the moral authority, as the founder, to take it in stride.” If Pao was like a forbearing parent, then Huffman’s style was closer to “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.” “Yes, I know that it’s really hard to define hate speech, and I know that any way we define it has the potential to set a dangerous precedent,” he told me. “I also know that a community called Coontown is not good for Reddit.” In most cases, Reddit didn’t suspend individual users’ accounts, Huffman said: “We just took away the spaces where they liked to hang out, and went, ‘Let’s see if this helps.’ ”
Reddit’s headquarters, in a former radio tower in downtown San Francisco, look like a stereotypical startup office: high concrete ceilings, a large common area with beer and kombucha on tap. Each desk is decorated aggressively with personal flair—a “Make Reddit Great Again” hat, a glossy print magazine called Meme Insider. Working at Reddit requires paying close anthropological attention to the motley tastes of redditors, and it’s not uncommon to see groups of fit, well-dressed employees cheerfully discussing the most recent post on CatDimension or PeopleFuckingDying.
The first morning I visited the office, I ran into Huffman, who was wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and Adidas indoor-soccer shoes, as he tried to persuade an employee to buy a ticket to Burning Man. Huffman is far more unfiltered than other social-media executives, and every time he and I talked in the presence of Reddit’s head of P.R., he said at least one thing that made her wince. “There’s only one Steve,” Ohanian told me. “No matter when you catch him, for better or worse, that’s the Steve you’re gonna get.” I had a list of delicate topics that I planned to ask Huffman about eventually, including allegations of vote manipulation on Reddit’s front page and his personal feelings about Trump. Huffman raised all of them himself on the first day. “My political views might not be exactly what you’d predict,” he said. “I’m a gun owner, for example. And I don’t care all that much about politics, compared to other things.” He speaks in quick bursts, with an alpha-nerd combination of introversion and confidence. His opinion about Trump is that he is incompetent and that his Presidency has mostly been a failure. But, he told me, “I’m open to counterarguments.”
That afternoon, I watched Huffman make a sales pitch to a group of executives from a New York advertising agency. Like many platforms, Reddit has struggled to convert its huge audience into a stable revenue stream, and its representatives spend a lot of time trying to convince potential advertisers that Reddit is not hot garbage. Huffman sat at the head of a long table, facing a dozen men and women in suits. The “snarky, libertarian” ethos of early Reddit, he said, “mostly came from me as a twenty-one-year-old. I’ve since grown out of that, to the relief of everyone.” The executives nodded and chuckled. “We had a lot of baggage,” he continued. “We let the story get away from us. And now we’re trying to get our shit together.”
Later, Huffman told me that getting Reddit’s shit together would require continual intervention. “I don’t think I’m going to leave the office one Friday and go, ‘Mission accomplished—we fixed the Internet,’ ” he said. “Every day, you keep visiting different parts of the site, opening this random door or that random door—‘What’s it like in here? Does this feel like a shitty place to be? No, people are generally having a good time, nobody’s hatching any evil plots, nobody’s crying. O.K., great.’ And you move on to the next room.”
In January, Facebook announced that it would make news less visible in its users’ feeds. “Facebook was originally designed to connect friends and family—and it has excelled at that,” a product manager named Samidh Chakrabarti wrote on a company blog. “But as unprecedented numbers of people channel their political energy through this medium, it’s being used in unforeseen ways with societal repercussions that were never anticipated.” It wasn’t the most effusive mea culpa in history, but by Facebook’s standards it amounted to wailing and gnashing of teeth. “We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people,” Mark Zuckerberg told the Times. Direct pronouncements from him are so rare that even this pabulum was treated as push-alert-worthy news.
(Continued Part Two of Two - https://www.reddit.com/CapitalistParadise/comments/842ouv/reddit_and_the_struggle_to_detoxify_the_internet/?st=jepf79wf&sh=eaa395fc )
https://archive.is/Z9O4E
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