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. But he’s paying attention. Last year, intern Eric Brown published a  short guide to Reddit on the paper’s blog.

Dan Petty, social media editor at the Denver Post, said in an email that referrals from Reddit have increased more than 300 percent in the first five months of 2013 over the same period the previous year, coming in at No. Read more


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”

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. But their overall attitude was negative. Read more


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

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


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


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

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


Reddit politics site bans Gawker links

New Statesman | Betabeat | The Awl
Moderators on Reddit’s highly trafficked politics site r/politics have banned links from Gawker Media properties. Gawker journalist Adrian Chen is reportedly planning to expose the identity of a Reddit moderator named violentacrez who organized Reddit pages “dedicated to, respectively, sexualised pictures of under-18s and sexualised pictures of women – frequently also under-age – taken in public without their knowledge or consent,” Alex Hern writes.

“Reddit’s attitude to free speech is a complex one,” Hern writes: Read more


Why Reddit is banning links from

Reddit links are not currently welcome at Reddit.

Reached by telephone, Reddit General Manager Erik Martin confirms the ban; he said “most of” the site’s previously reported bans, which snagged domains like and, had been lifted. “Those bans were for a week or two at most,” Martin said, noting that Reddit had been in touch with Reason and that “we still have more investigating to do.”

Reddit bans sites “after a long period of coordinated spam activity from that domain, and often after admins contact the domain in question,” Reddit user MrDubious, who seems to know a lot about the site’s anti-spam activities, writes. “For a while, spam reports were showing up daily.”

On the phone, Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie said Reddit is consistently one of Reason’s “top 3 or 4 traffic referrers.” Reddit, he said, “has been the site that puts stuff through the roof. Read more


A journalist’s quick guide to Reddit, the next thing you have to learn

Reddit had a moment this week.

Sure, Reddit was already the unofficial “front page of the Internet,” the soul of all things meme, the secret sauce behind BuzzFeed’s viral posts, a breaking news curator and a Q&A forum for journalists, celebrities, newsmakers.

The Reddit alien mascot.

But then President Obama did a surprise Q&A appearance Wednesday that nearly crashed servers and drew almost 23,000 comments and questions.

Obama didn’t bestow legitimacy upon Reddit — with nearly 40 million visitors and 3.2 billion pageviews a month, it already had that. But the visit from a sitting president certainly says something about its increasingly mainstream relevance.

The Verge’s Adrianne Jeffries likens it to another watershed moment in presidential pop culture from 1994:

Remember when Bill Clinton answered the “boxers or briefs” question during an MTV “Rock the Vote” forum and young voters thought it was the coolest thing ever? Well, Reddit is the new MTV.

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