Upvote: This week on Reddit, targeting the Senate and N-Control

Redditors set their sights on unseating members of Congress, worried about holiday binges, and wet their toothbrushes.


Kevin Morris

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 30, 2011   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 11:15 pm CDT

Popular outrage ruled this week on Reddit.

Cocky after their successful GoDaddy boycott, redditors turned their attention to U.S. senators.

“Let’s pick ONE Senator [who] voted for National Defense Authorization Act/Stop Online Piracy Act and destroy him like we’re doing for GoDaddy.” redditor digitalboy titled a post at the site’s r/politics section.

On the surface, this is a smart move. Forcing GoDaddy, a website-hosting company, to retreat from its pro-SOPA stance looks impressive, but doesn’t actually do much. Lawmakers have the real power when it comes to, you know, legislation, and as such make a much better target.

Senators aren’t likely to be quaking in their shoes over some noise on the Internet, however. This is U.S. politics—Reddit mobs and Internet trolls have nothing on the pros who organize political campaigns.

Still, there’s been some success. Rob Zerban, a competitor to Paul Ryan—an early target of Reddit’s rage—raised more than $5,000 in 36 hours after doing an AMA (”ask me anything”) interview on the site.

“Because of the AMA’s success we have received lots of great press and significantly expanded the campaign’s online presence,” Zerban wrote on Reddit.

$5,000. That’s enough to buy a seat in Congress, right?

Sure, politicians are old pros at wading through public-relations shitstorms. But when you’re just a comically inept social media marketer, things aren’t so easy. That’s what Paul Christoforo learned after a juvenile and rude email he sent PennyArcade was made public. Reddit latched onto the controversy and propelled it into the viral stratosphere.

Unfortunately for all involved, Christoforo was dragging his client through the mud with him. N-Control, a maker of video-game controllers, had contracted its PR and customer-service work out to him.

No worries, though. N-Control quickly dumped Christoforo and replaced him with a suave PR pro, Moisés Chiullan.

N-Control, meanwhile, got a whole hell of a lot of free publicity.

In other news, Reddit’s atheist community spawned an important debate about sexism, there’s a limit to how much weight you can gain from a holiday binge, and a slow news week caused the most pointless question ever to hit r/askreddit’s front page.

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*First Published: Dec 30, 2011, 6:21 pm CST