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Outed Reddit Moderator Tells CNN He Only Partially Apologizes for His Actions (VentureBeat)
Michael Brutsch, 49, the recently outed Reddit moderator known online as ViolentAcrez, attempted to explain his heinous behavior on the community-powered link-sharing site in an interview on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on Thursday night. “Well, I am to some degree apologizing for what I did,” he said. The Huffington Post Brutsch also blamed the culture on Reddit for fostering his penchant for posting offensive material. “Reddit encouraged and enabled this sort of behavior, and I shouldn’t have been a part of it,” he said. CNN.com He created hundreds of subforums on the user-generated website, such as “Rapebait,” “Incest,” “Pics of Dead Kids,” “Choke a Bitch,” and “Rape Jokes.” Violentacrez has been banned from the site several times, although Brutsch still maintains a separate account. Salon.com This week, Gawker, which outed ViolentAcrez received a leaked memo from Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, originally posted in a private subreddit. In the memo, Wong finally weighed in on the issue, saying, “We will not ban legal content even if we find it odious or if we personally condemn it,” meaning that free speech — even for creepy trolls like Violentacrez — continues to have a place on the site. Bloomberg Businessweek Where should freedom of speech begin and end when you are a Web-based entity with a global audience? That’s the question raised by a couple of recent events, including the furor over a Reddit moderator’s creepy behavior and now the news that Twitter has blocked an account for the first time at the request of a state government — in this case, Germany, which asked the service to take action against a Twitter user posting neo-Nazi sentiments, something forbidden by the laws of that country.
Facebook Invites Press to Gifts Event in NYC Nov. 1 (Mashable)
Facebook sent an invitation to members of the press late Thursday for an event scheduled in New York City to “come see what’s new with Facebook Gifts.” The invitation — which also includes the words “You = Invited” in front of a grey-scale packaged gift — will be held at FAO Schwarz toy store on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. CNET The Facebook Gifts service, which went live late last month, allows Facebook users to give each other physical gifts by sending them through the social network. It’s the social network’s foray into e-commerce, and if users take to it, it could be a solid revenue stream for a company that is struggling to prove it’s profitable. The Wall Street Journal India is becoming a critical testing ground for Facebook as it strives to cash in on growth in emerging markets and better target mobile-phone users — two increasingly pressing goals for the social-networking firm. In interviews, executives at the company described the firm’s strategy: Building for users who don’t have smartphones and forging relationships to mobile-phone operators, advertisers and partners that provide popular content like streaming Bollywood music. AllFacebook Facebook continues to do its part to help stamp out bullying with Thursday’s launch of the Prevent Bullying page as part of National Bullying Awareness Month. The social network also announced that it teamed up with the Ad Council on a new public service announcement aimed at raising awareness of bullying and spurring bystanders to act.
Skype Swells to 280M Users (VentureBeat)
Even under new management, Skype has continued to pick up millions of fresh users. Thursday, Microsoft revealed that its voice-over-IP tool for video calls and chats, purchased for $8.5 billion last year, now has well over 280 million users.
Order Restored: YouTube Back Up After Sporadic Downtime (NBCNews.com)
YouTube, the video streaming service which can handle mountains of parody videos, 8 million simultaneous viewers during Felix Baumgartner’s 24-mile skydive from the stratosphere on Sunday, and even Rick Astley, was sporadically down for some users on Thursday. Google provided this statement: “Some users encountered errors, or a slower than normal experience on YouTube … Our engineers worked quickly to address the issue and fixed the problem within minutes. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this caused our users.” SocialTimes YouTube creators will have a new way to profit from their existing cache of online videos. Starting Nov. 9, the video-sharing site will automatically apply default monetization settings for new uploads on older, already-monetized content, according to an announcement on the YouTube Creator blog.
Twitter is Hosting a Fiction Festival (AllTwitter)
Twitter is inviting “authors and creative storytellers around the world to push the bounds of what’s possible with Twitter content” and participate in its upcoming fiction festival. The social network will announce the selected authors and festival agenda on Nov. 19.
Pandora Founder is a Ben Folds Fan (USA Today)
What is Pandora founder Tim Westergren’s go-to channel on the music streaming service? Piano-infused indie composer Ben Folds.
Man Hires Woman to Slap Him Every Time He’s on Facebook (CNET)
Maneesh Sethi, a San Francisco, Calif., blogger who believes that he needs to be less socially networked and more capitalistically productive, went on Craigslist and hired someone who would slap him every time he veered toward Facebook. Sethi is interested in being more productive, and hiring the slapper seemed to him entirely rational.
Google CEO Larry Page Puts Focus on Multiscreen Experiences With Chrome, Google+ and Advertising (TechCrunch)
Google CEO Larry Page spent a good portion of his time on Thursday’s Google company earnings call to talk about multiscreen opportunities and how Google is addressing them. To emphasize the importance of screen independence to Google’s business, which he said is “at the core of [Google's] strategy, Page discussed three key product areas: Chrome, Google+ and online advertising.
Moving the GIF: Turning a Medium into a Movement (The Daily Dot)
As editorial manager at Paddle8, an online auction house, Collin Munn and his team have launched “Moving the Still,” an art exhibition featuring animations from the world’s best GIF artists. The exhibition will be shown in December at Art Basel Miami Beach, a sister exhibition of Art Basel, a 42-year-old art fair started in Switzerland.