Tuesday, May 22, 2012

reddit Gets Some Outstanding New Recruits

We're almost halfway through 2012, and it's already been an amazing year for reddit. We're excited to announce some new members of team reddit that will help us make reddit even more outstanding. Please help us in welcoming these new folks. I'l let them introduce themselves:

Adriana Gadala-Maria (kirbyrules) - Digital Sales Planner 
Hey reddit! I’m a Miami native that fell into the advertising industry shortly after graduating from Notre Dame and moving to NYC. I was lucky to land a job freelancing with reddit's amazing ad sales team and throughout this time I've developed an even greater understanding and abiding love for the reddit community. I'm excited to be joining this talented team, and am looking forward to reddit's awesome future.

Alex Angel (cupcake1713) - Community Outreach Manager
I am so excited to finally be joining the reddit team full-time! I just graduated from college (where I studied physics and astronomy) but have been freelancing here for the past two years. You might already know me from /r/pimpmyreddit, /r/snackexchange, or /r/fifthworldproblems. I hope to help reddit grow in any way I can, and I look forward to seeing how the community evolves over the coming years!

Josh Wardle (powerlanguage) - Office Artist
Originally from the UK, I came to the US to do an MFA in Digital Art (with an emphasis on Ultimate Frisbee) at the University of Oregon before ending up in San Francisco.  You should send us a postcard (and get a free month of reddit gold).

Rebecca Eisenberg (rebecalyn) - General Counsel
Although raised in Milwaukee, I have spent most of my life here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  For the past 17 years, I have worked in various legal and business capacities at a number of Internet companies, including PayPal, Flip Video, AdBrite, Ecast and Trulia.  I also used to write about Internet culture and business as a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and Marketwatch and talk (mostly about my love for Apple) in the 90's on ZDTV.  I love reddit, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the SF Giants, my husband and my two children, not necessarily in that order.

Valerie Hajdik (shlurbee) - Programmer
Hi, all! I grew up in Texas but have lived all over and worked a variety of jobs, ranging from an internship at Google and a stint at Facebook to a position giving programming support to computational neuroscientists. I've been a fan of reddit since 2009 when a story about my sister rescuing an owl made it to the front page, and since then the site has been an unending source of fun and information. I'm stoked to be joining the team!

Also, we wanted to take this opportunity to update everyone on DAC, our Community Manager. He is recovering after finding a near-perfect bone marrow donor and having a successful transplant. Thanks to everyone who signed up for the bone marrow registry, donated to the DAC fund, or otherwise helped. Get well soon, DAC!
If you have not signed up for the registry yet, you still can. It's easy.

As with everything we do, none of this would be possible without the reddit community. Your passion, creativity, and financial support make all of this possible. We are extremely fortunate to be able to work for such an amazing community and fortunate to have these awesome folks join our team. Without you we'd just be sitting alone in an office with some code and boxes of t-shirts. 

Thank you for your support! 

Thursday, May 03, 2012

CISPA and Cybersecurity Bills Are Looming... We're Going to Need A Montage

Last week, CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, H.R. 3523) passed the House. Now, the process moves on to the Senate, where the primary equivalent bill is the Cybersecurity Bill of 2012 or S. 2105. These security bills intend to modernize laws that govern the sharing of "cyber threat information" between private companies and the government, which is a reasonable goal. Cybersecurity is a serious issue, but we do not need to sacrifice privacy and due process to protect our networks. We are against CISPA and any other cybersecurity bills that don't precisely define what information can be shared between private companies and the government, how that information can be used, and adequate safeguards to ensure these protections. 

The privacy concerns for internet users are clear and we all share those as individuals, but why should a company like reddit be against such a bill? Even though reddit is exactly the type of business that these bills are supposed to help, we believe that CISPA would actually harm us. Anything that undermines the ability of users to trust that their private information will remain private ultimately affects a company's bottom line.

It's similar to the concept of restaurant health codes. Even though they are limited by health codes, restaurants ought to support them because it helps their customers trust that the food is safe to eat. We want our users to trust that their private data is safe, so it is in our own self-interest to oppose these bills which would remove reasonable liabilities we would have for sharing private data without due process. At reddit, we collect relatively little user information, but we are still stewards of vast amounts of private data, and believe it is critical to our business that there are clear and precise laws protecting this data.

All that being said, these are complex issues and we have a tonne of questions: 

Just how bad are these bills? Can they be improved? Can they be stopped? Who is really supporting the bills and why? How do we as a community and how does reddit as a company make sure the Internet remains free and open? 

Like many of you, we are not legislative or policy experts, and have been focused on other things, so we all have some catching up to do, and there's only one way to catch up in a short amount of time... it's montage time [cue brass heavy inspirational music].
Next week we will be aggregating some of the best parts from the various expert IAMAs and other discussions on reddit into a media friendly primer, which will be suitable for sharing with your local news,  relatives, book club, coven, etc. Keep it up, reddit. You're the best. Around.