Last Friday, we posted a story about the user accounts behind The Redditor, a 40-page, downloadable magazine featuring content taken from social news site Reddit.
We said in the story that both accounts had a history of Reddit trolling -- provoking the site’s userbase -- usually to prove a point.
We made no conclusions about the intent of the people behind the accounts. But when a donation page was launched and real money came into the picture, we asked questions about identities and motives of the people behind the magazine.
We asked for comment through a Reddit private message, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.
KILL365 and ohblair, the redditors behind the magazine, took issue with our story on Reddit. They say it unfairly implied ill intent. (See below.)
After we published the story Friday afternoon, KILL365 and ohblair reached out to us on Reddit. Below is their response, edited for brevity. The full, unedited response is available here.
We’ll keep you posted on the magazine’s progress.
A troll account and negative downvotes is hardly a direct link to ill intention. The question is, how do we see reddit. I'm going to link you to another thread I made months back.
The point is, I'm tired of what reddit has become. I'm tired of seeing terrible jokes, overused memes, easy novelty accounts. … If you go to AskReddit, you'll see a thread with 500 upvotes and 8000 comments. People care more about their voice than reading others. The way the average user thinks has become so obvious, I realized I can have more fun by tricking them, than trying to argue. With KILL365, I will leave relatively innocent comments or opinions, and either watch people jump on it like a pack of wolves, or in many cases, it will actually start a real discussion.
The motives behind creating a magazine are absolutely genuine. We're digging up legitimately good original, unique, user generated content. This is in my opinion what Reddit should be more about. The first issue's mock cover was simply to show the gossipy headline nature of Reddit. To call out the ridiculousness. When everyone said they would actually read a Reddit magazine, it became obvious to me that a this could succeed, and I took the initiative to launch it how I would like to see it.
The people behind the first issue were myself and OhBlair, and a handful of friends who helped review and edit and proofread along the way. At the moment we have taken on a graphic designer to help.
If you were reading this for the first time and discovered that we were the brains behind it, I don't think you should be skeptical. I would let the magazine speak for itself.
My last comments are about the donation aspect to this. This was a main point in your article questioning our motives. In my honest opinion, what we are making has value to it, creating something far beyond 'stealing content' and 'scamming' reddit [note: the Daily Dot never used the words “stealing content” or “scamming”].
This thing takes up so much more time and effort than we had imagined when we started. We saw the donation link as a way for users to show appreciation and support for what we made. The people who's posts we used had already posted it on a free website, and had also given us permission to feature. This was a very small project to begin with, and I thought it was perfectly reasonable to accept donations from those who were offering. The Reddit team has been supportive and even featuring us in their front page ads.
That said, I chose to take down the donation link because I'm not sure how long I'm going to be willing to do this. If I'm out, the project is either dead in the water or will have to be started from scratch by someone else. If that happens, I don't want people to think their money went nowhere.