Yakkin' About The Internet
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William Shatner, Reddit, And The Complications Of "Free Speech" On The Internet

Yakkin' About The Internet is an ongoing series by Whitney Phillips and Kate Miltner. Whitney recently completed her PhD dissertation on trolls; Kate wrote her Masters thesis on LOLCats—yep! Up for discussion today: William Shatner's visit to Reddit, community moderation, and the complexities of "free speech" on the internet.

Whitney: Two weeks ago, William Shatner tweeted with Chris Hadfield, an astronaut stationed at the International Space Station. This resulted in the ENTIRE INTERNET BEING WON by Shatner, at least according to this Reddit thread. Apparently the 81-year-old Shatner got wind of the thread, and promptly created an account. He then proceeded to spend the next [...]

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The Internet's Vigilante Shame Army

In 2012, more than ever, the internet became the way we shame people now. Here to talk about online justice and public shaming are academic internet experts Whitney Phillips and Kate Miltner. (Whitney recently completed her PhD dissertation on trolls; Kate wrote her Masters thesis on LOLCats—yep!) Up for discussion today: Violentacrez, hate blogs, racist teens on Twitter, poor Lindsey Stone, Hunter Moore, and last Friday's misidentification of the Sandy Hook shooter.

Whitney: Contrary to Nathan Heller's Onion-worthy New York Magazine article lamenting the loss of the "hostile, predatory, somewhat haunted" feel of early web, the internet of 2012 is not always a warm and fuzzy place. In fact [...]

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The Meme Election: Clicktivism, The Buzzfeed Effect And Corporate Meme-Jacking

One of the main memes from the 2012 Presidential election has been… memes about the 2012 presidential election. Here to talk about it are academic internet experts Whitney Phillips and Kate Miltner. (Whitney recently completed her PhD dissertation on trolls; Kate wrote her Masters thesis on LOLCats—yep!) Up for discussion today: GIFs, meme river, and what it all means now that political memes have gone pop.

Whitney Phillips: So memes, right!? Memes are so hot right now. MEMES. Whatever that term even means anymore! We are wading through puddles of memes, whether we're talking about unimpressed gymnasts, television premieres, or NASA scientists. Memes have even [...]