GameStop stock spikes: should we shut down the talk or the trading?

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GameStop is a troubled bricks-and-mortar retailer whose stock has skyrocketed based on chatter on Reddit. Is this a real problem, and does it demand a real solution? First, briefly, here’s what has happened. A bunch of wise guys, many in hedge funds, believed that because so many people now buy games online, GameStop is toast. … Continued

EA’s mistake on Reddit: Defending how it manipulates gamers

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Game company EA is about to release Star Wars Battlefront II, but you won’t get to play Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader right away. On Reddit, the company defended of its policy to require payment or many hours of gameplay to unlock those characters. Reddit users responded to the EA statement with a record number of … Continued

The challenge with how Reddit is shutting down violent speech

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Reddit clarified its policy to ban speech that “encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm.” Sounds great, but as always with free-speech issues, the lines between acceptable and awful are fuzzy. Reddit has a challenging history to deal with. Among mainstream public social platforms, it has been the most tolerant of extreme … Continued

A troll posts a delusional apology

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Reddit user “HanAssholeSolo” posted a meme video of Donald Trump beating up on a figure whose face is the CNN logo. Trump reposted it on Twitter. The original poster’s apology reveals how trolls think. Analysis of the troll’s self-serving apology Buzzfeed’s Brandon Wall took a screenshot of the Reddit poster’s apology and shared it on … Continued

To Jeffrey D. Sachs: sprinkling tech on politics makes it worse, not better

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In an op-ed in today’s Boston Globe, the influential economist Jeffrey D. Sachs laments the lack of trust in modern American politics. He then proposes that we solve it with (among other things) “e-parties” and “e-governance.” But proposals like this ignore the way that trolls and partisans now wreck every online social space. Sachs’ op-ed, … Continued

Clear communication in a crisis at Reddit

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The social network Reddit is in trouble. Lots of its popular “subreddit” forums went dark as volunteer moderators protested the firing of Victoria Taylor, a popular Reddit staffer. But rather than stonewall, the company’s management is now attempting to tell the truth, clearly and transparently. It’s working. Communication succeeds when it’s matched to the audience. The audience … Continued