Reddit & Collective Intelligence

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New media has extended the notion of the people formally known as the audience with the rise of the internet and the idea that anyone can produce anything. It encourages a participatory culture for content to aggregate and therefore become valuable. There is no cost of entry, no upfront risk and no quality control on what and who publishes data online, as well as being an efficient and fast tool to produce a many to many principle of information flow.

Reddit, is a primarily anonymous website that allows various contributors to post anything from videos to discussion forums to what’s known as subredditslike a group of individuals that created, the now deleted, thread called r/findbostonbombers. A group that organised the largely accurate information group about the 2013 Boston Bombings. They group posted images and information that quickly gained mass media attention throughout its longevity, as well as wrongly pinpointing Sunil Tripathi. Even though Reddit failed in its attempts to locate the suspect of the disaster, the ability to gain information about the event before the media did is  apart of a fail once, fail often ideology, this meaning that when individuals engage in repetition in their attempts to break a story. Online forums allow people that want to have information and be allowed to stay informed a place to gather anonymously, thus  a post regarding where Reddit stands in regard to another widely known event in the disappearance of MH370 aeroplane.



7 thoughts on “Reddit & Collective Intelligence

    catacious said:
    September 17, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Interesting information about Reddit’s investigation about the Boston Bombings, I never heard about that movement and it fits in really well with this week’s topic. Your meme also seems to have generated some discussion on imgur about what a journalist is! Just one thing, I didn’t really understand your reference to a ‘fail once, fail often’ ideology as the article you linked to talks about a ‘be right, not first’ ideology. Explanations on the internet weren’t plentiful and I only found the former in reference to learning a language ( ). Following the story up with a change of attitude about a new news story investigation was really interesting and showed a shift in attitude about collective online investigation. Really good job!

    Liked by 1 person

      samnoakes responded:
      September 17, 2015 at 11:34 am

      Awesome! the fail once fail often probably could have been clearer…oops! I’ll have a look and try and explain that one! Great feedback, cheers


    thetremendousunknown said:
    September 17, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Hi Sam, I like your meme, although I think if you minimised the white frame between the two photos it would look even better!

    Sometimes I wonder if I am in the wrong degree, not everyone can be a nurse but anyone can take a picture/ write some ‘largely accurate’ content and upload it and gauge instant feedback/ opinion.

    In an article titled ‘The Reddit Reckoning” Chris Wade explains how its not really fair to hold up a group of people having a speculative conversation among themselves to the same level of responsibility as a journalist.

    Article link:

    I almost think that a lecture topic on citizen journalism is a must in global networks, what do you think?


    Jacob said:
    September 19, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Really good blog! It was also super relevant to this weeks topics too in regards to citizen journalism. It was interesting to read about the Boston Bombing Reddit thread as I hadn’t heard of that before. My only criticism is to just read over what you have written before publishing it to check for flow. I understood most of the blog but there were parts I couldn’t quite get. Overall, great effort! Keep it up!


    thepinkprotagonist said:
    September 20, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Wonderful blog. These days I no longer even bother with legacy media to find out what is happening in the world. Not just because I do not really even have access to free to air TV but because I find that if I want something that is more up to date and (hopefully) more accurate searching various social media platforms, like Reddit, facebook, twitter and sometimes even just doing a google search is far more informative and I get a wider range of opinions. It is interesting how you bring up the fact that it was due to a Reddit thread a suspect was found, and while he was innocent, it’s funny how social media can now be used to search for the guilty party. Unfortunately it also means that many people are wrongly accused, and once their names are out there it is very hard to stop the spread of a lie. Take this guy for example he was wrongly accused of being a pedofile on facebook by a woman and all he was trying to do was take a selfie next to a cardboard cut out of darth vader. Poor guy is probably still trying to convince people he’d done nothing wrong! Again, great blog 😉 well done


    jamessgallacher said:
    September 24, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Great blog post! You really hit the topic on the head with the meme and the accompanied text which really showed how citizen journalism can not always be right on the money with the facts and can cause more harm than good. This was also the case in the shooting of the news crew that occurred a couple weeks ago on live tv, as once it happened it seemed that everyone on Reddit and other social media platforms jumped to conclusions and placed the blame on people without no proof whatsoever, which could have caused extreme harm to the wrongly accused, like what happened in the Boston Bombing. I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for your other posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    Linh Hoang said:
    October 22, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Great post! Your meme was very suitable to the topic! Good example of Reddit as a platform that embraces citizen journalism and your case scenario of the Boston Bombings and the subreddit made was very intriguing and definitely assisted your points. Your post slightly examined the unfortunate impact of citizen journalism with the reddit’s failed attempts which could have been further explored but overall, was a very good approach.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your post, great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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