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In this April 3, 2013 photo, Mike Caldwell, a 35-year-old software engineer, holds a 25 Bitcoin token at his shop in Sandy, Utah. Caldwell mints physical versions of bitcoins, cranking out homemade tokens with codes protected by tamper-proof holographic seals, a retro-futuristic kind of prepaid cash. With up to 70,000 transactions each day over the past month, bitcoins have been propelled from the world of Internet oddities to the cusp of mainstream use, a remarkable breakthrough for a currency which made its online debut only four years ago. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Redditors furious Newsweek ‘doxxed’ Bitcoin founder

For its return to print this week, Newsweek has a splashy story: Senior Writer Leah McGrath Goodman found the mysterious Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto. She did it with public records:

It was only while scouring a database that contained the registration cards of naturalized U.S. citizens that a Satoshi Nakamoto turned up whose profile and background offered a potential match. But it was not until after ordering his records from the National Archives and conducting many more interviews that a cohesive picture began to take shape.

Two weeks before our meeting in Temple City, I struck up an email correspondence with Satoshi Nakamoto, mostly discussing his interest in upgrading and modifying model steam trains with computer-aided design technologies. I obtained Nakamoto’s email through a company he buys model trains from.

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Guardian editor’s Reddit AMA: comedy gold

Guardian Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger’s AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) interview on Reddit Wednesday yielded plenty of chewy journo shop talk.

His favorite newspapers outside Britain? The New York Times, The Washington Post, El Pais, Der Spiegel among others. His advice for young journalists? “Blog, tweet, write, photograph, tweet, video, code, play around with data … if you’re any good, you’ll get noticed.” Will the news organization publish more revelations about government surveillance? Yes.

But as the following screen shots show, Rusbridger may be wasted on straight news coverage.

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Pew finds just 6 percent of adults are Reddit users

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
A new Pew study has found that 6 percent of online adults use the social networking site Reddit. Among the male Internet users surveyed, 15 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 say they use Reddit. By contrast, 5 percent of women the same age use it, and 8 percent of men between the ages of 30 and 49 use it.

Pew reports:

Overall, men are twice as likely as women to be reddit users, those under 50 are significantly more likely to use reddit than those 50 or older, and the site is much more common among urban and suburban residents than among those living in rural areas. Indeed, just 2% of internet users ages 50 and older—and 2% of rural residents—say they use the site.

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Newsrooms say referrals from Reddit are increasing

Throughout 2013, Reddit has been referring more and more users to news sites, according to several online editors.

Gary Nielson, digital news specialist at McClatchy Interactive, noticed this recently. First, an online producer in Charlotte spotted huge traffic for a particular story that had been posted on Reddit. Then, a monthly report came out, Nielson said in a phone interview. Reddit had moved up to No. 10 as a referral site. Previously it sat down at No. 22.

Tom Moore, online editor at the Santa Cruz Sentinel, noted the same trend. Throughout 2013, he told me in an email, referrals from Reddit have doubled, over the previous year. It now ranks around No. 15, which is still a small number of referrals, compared to Google or Facebook. Read more

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Online communities can be ‘especially good’ at helping law enforcement solve crimes

Mother Jones | Poynter

Aside from Reddit users’ attempts to help solve the Boston bombings case, online communities have had some success in cracking cases, Tim Murphy writes. Redditors have helped with some previous investigations, Murphy writes, and “the best example of what Reddit could be — if it became a bit less like Reddit, that is — is a site called websleuths.com.”

The most high-profile example of Websleuth’s utility was the 2009 murder of Abraham Shakespeare, a Florida laborer who won $32 million in the lottery. Police speculated that Shakespeare’s financial advisor, Dee Dee Moore, might have had information about her disappearance. Websleuths began digging, prompting Moore to register for the site under an anonymous name to defend her actions. “She came back to me in an email and said I don’t know who is posting it, that wasn’t me, and I said ‘That’s funny the IP address in this email matches the number of your computer,’” recalls Tricia Griffith, who has co-owned the site since 2004.

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SXSW session on Reddit misses opportunity for thoughtful discussion

The South by Southwest panel, “It’s Reddit’s World; We Just Live in It,” set out to answer a tough question: “How is Reddit’s power altering Web culture — and should we celebrate it, or fear it?”

The either/or setup of the question was reflective of the divide between audience members and the panelists — Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, Skepchick’s Rebecca Watson, and Gawker’s Adrain Chen, who wrote the controversial piece about Reddit troll Michael Brutsch. The panelists seemed more fearful of Reddit than audience members were, and at times they classified Reddit users as bigoted, racist and “hyperskeptical.”

There is an “overwhelming amount of sexism and racism and any other -ism you can name” on the site, Watson told the crowd.

The panelists did highlight some positive aspects of the Reddit community, such as Redditors’ efforts to raise money for a bullied bus monitor. Read more

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Nate Silver on Reddit: Pundits are ‘very delusional people’

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Superstar blogger Nate Silver took questions on Reddit Tuesday. One user asked him whether he found sports or politics “more frustrating to analyze.” Politics, Silver replied: “Between the pundits and the partisans, you’re dealing with a lot of very delusional people.”

Another Redditor asked him how much he enjoyed “getting the ire of pundits.”

“At some point in the last few weeks of the election, I guess I decided to lean into the upside outcome a little bit in terms of pushing back at the pundits in my public appearances — as opposed to emphasizing the uncertainty in the model, as I had for most of the year,” Silver replied. Read more

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Bailey: It’s the Reddit community’s job to deal with plagiarism on the site

The Reddit community has a history of reacting strongly when it feels it has been lied to or deceived. When that happens, Reddit responds quickly, sometimes in a very knee-jerk way. This from a community that, for the most part, is generally seen as very tolerant and open. …

The downside to this is that community pressure often goes too far and can cross the line into harassment, threats and other illegal behavior. To make matters worse, the community is not always right and is prone to snap judgments, leading to cases where a community accuses the wrong person of plagiarism. …

In the end, if a community considers plagiarism to be against their standards and they have the means to speak out against it, they most likely will. The challenge for community administrators is to try and find a way to channel that energy for good and to prevent it from going too far or being misguided.

Jonathan Bailey, Plagiarism Today

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NYT DC bureau chief: ‘The Web has created a more responsible press, with higher standards’

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David Leonhardt explains in a Reddit AMA response why the Web has been good for journalism:

Think how much easier it is for readers to point out flaws (or perceived flaws!) in a story today than in the past. You don’t have to rely on our Letters to the Editor page or our Corrections process. You can write your own blog post or get the attention of a media critic (including our public editor, a job that didn’t exist until a decade ago). Such criticism isn’t always enjoyable — and we don’t always agree with it — but there is little question that it makes us better at our jobs.

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What you need to know about the Gawker-Reddit war

• Gawker’s Adrian Chen revealed one of Reddit’s biggest “trolls” is Michael Brutsch, a 49-year-old computer programmer who lives in Texas. Brutsch posted under the name “Violentacrez” and cultivated a bizarre symbiotic relationship with Reddit’s management, Chen wrote. At the same time he moderated subsections of the giant Internet community with names like “Jewmerica” and “Misogyny,” he “came to an uneasy truce” with site administrators:

For all his unpleasantness, they realized that Violentacrez was an excellent community moderator and could be counted on to keep the administrators abreast of any illegal content he came across.

• Moderators of various “subreddits,” including the site’s popular politics page, banned all Gawker media links before Chen’s article was published to protest Brutsch’s imminent unmasking. Some pointed out the irony of Redditors objecting to the personal information of a man who moderated subsections dedicated to surreptitiously taken photos of women; Reddit GM Erik Martin told Betabeat: “Moderators are free to moderate their subreddits as they see fit … They can ban all usernames that start with the letter g if they want.” Read more

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