Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s popular intellectual host, just concluded an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit in the lead-up to her talk Sunday at South by Southwest.
The Harlem Shake—the ridiculous meme in which people go crazy, dancing awkwardly to the first thirty seconds the song by the same title, is still going strong. Yesterday the song’s producer, Harry Rodrigues AKA Baauer, chimed in on the trend in a Reddit AMA, in which he answered questions about what the viral spread of the Harlem Shake has been like and revealed which parodies he likes best.
Reddit’s AMA, or “Ask Me Anything,” series brings comedians, politicians, and other interesting people to the link-sharing site for a live interview with the community members. Today, the team has posted a list of the top 500 AMA threads that’s anything but predictable.
Damien Eckhardt-Jacobi and Vincent Bova, the dudes behind the lovable array of Glove and Boots characters Mario, Fafa and friends, are doing a Reddit AMA! And that’s not all—they’re doing things a little bit differently. Instead of the written format of the “usual” AMA, questions will be answered with videos, featuring the Glove and Boots characters of your choice!
How much time do you spend on Reddit? If you’re anything like the average Redditor, it’s quite a bit! Yesterday Reddit reported, via Twitter, that in August the average time spent per visit was 17:29 minutes. The month also closed with a shipping 3.4 billion page views and 42.9 million uniques. Impressive, eh?
At 4:30 p.m. on August 29, anonymous Reddit users crowded around the “front page of the Internet” to ask our nation’s President about the economy, space exploration, the Internet, and the White House recipe for beer. Throughout President Obama’s half-hour AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, the site strained against the flood of visitors and their comments. We were lucky to get the following highlights.
Right now President Obama is bracing himself for a half-hour live chat with the Reddit community. Minutes before showtime, users have already submitted 650 comments. “Good luck, Obama,” wrote one Reddit user. “You’re going to need it.”
Woody Harrelson recently got on Reddit to engage in one of those famous “AMA” ask me anything threads. Well, that’s what it seemed like. In the past, people like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Louis CK have had lots of success with their AMAs, focusing on being completely honest and engaging the community’s tough questions. However, success on Reddit depends on that honesty.
When Woody Harrelson got on Reddit this past Friday, honesty was the last thing on his mind, apparently. Every answer he gave to the community was about his upcoming movie, Rampart, and it quickly became obvious that it wasn’t Woody, it was a PR person. This is a cautionary tale for the marketing department and social media managers out there — don’t lie to Reddit.
He started the drawing party on Reddit with, “IAmA Nickelodeon Storyboard Artist. AMA and I’ll draw it”.
An officer of the NYPD (“JustACop”) from the Occupy Wall Street detail took it upon himself to hold an AMA on Reddit. He openly answered questions about OWS and NYPD’s response. Unfortunately, the AMA thread is no longer available for users to read or add comments.
The two-year veteran answered questions such as “Which side is responsible for the tension between the protesters and the police?” The officer responded, “Both. We stepped in to prevent anything unlawful by setting up a perimeter, but protesters saw that as us moving in to shut them down, which is not what we came in to do.”
Another question was “If cops are part of the 99%, why don’t they join the protest?” The officer replied, “I wouldn’t join because if I happen to do something dumb in the crowd and get arrested for it I can lose my job…I know a few that have attended off duty.”
One Reddit user asked how the protests will end; the officer replied two possibilities: “1. They will convince the national government to change. 2. A spark will ignite and it will turn into a riot, forcing us to maintain order in the area with poor results on both ends.”
The officer also commented “I love interacting with the community,” and is aware of the fact that most of the demonstrators are not violent: “We know that for the most part that the protesters are being quite peaceful, however there are a few out of the bunch that get nasty and break the law.”
The NYPD officer (his identity was verified in confidence by Reddit’s staff) also commented about pressure from the Internal Affairs Bureau, raising a family on $50K a year, and the one of the best details an officer can have: “Damn I would LOVE to work a Yankee game. Make friends in high places for that kind of job.”
The Reddit thread was an insightful read. But unfortunately, the officer’s comments, answers and prompt for discussion were deleted.
“JustACop” explained why in the thread was deleted:
“Hello, reddit. Thanks for having me for that AMA – however it seems that someone found out who I was and thought it was a good idea to contact the department. I don’t want to risk any trouble, so I thank metaranha for clearing out that thread. Thanks for your questions and comments. For the most part you all had very interesting and intelligent questions, with the occasional ‘fuck da police’ thrown in. I had an awesome time answering everyone. You’re more than welcome to message me privately if you have anything you want to talk about, but I’m deleting the rest of my comments from that thread.”
Reddit Editor responded as well:
“I don’t have all of the details on this, but there’s some concern that a party-spoiling AMA subscriber or even the mods (moderators) were responsible for a breach in trust here. From what I understand, someone in OP’s (original poster) department saw the AMA, put the details together and reported it.
I’ve said elsewhere here that it’s not my business to go into who or why OP’s identity was disclosed, but I do think it’s important for everyone to understand that this wasn’t a rogue redditer out to prove a point and it was absolutely not a mod.”