Reddit Hack Unearthed Identities, E-Mails of Commenters

The correspondence of Redditors from 2005-2007, including private messages and identities, has been obtained by hackers.

Reddit is known for one of two things, depending on who you specifically are. It’s either a grand space of discussion where vast ideas are brought up and the greatest of culture is decided, or it’s the place where because you can’t use your real name you can say whatever dumb awful thing you want. It’s that last group that is doubtlessly the most worried, as Reddit reports that it has been hacked, and the identities, e-mails and private messages of those who posted on Reddit between 2005-2007 has been accessed.

Reddit’s Chief Technology Officer, Christopher Slowe, talked about the technical fallout of the hack — what it encompasses and what it doesn’t, on a Reddit post in r/announcements here. The hack was done by intercepting the texts of programmers’ as they sent each other passwords and two code authentications. The hack was unable to give the hackers control of the website completely, but they were able to grab messages, passwords and e-mail from 2005-2007.

The fallout of a hack such as this is unknown. Reddit has long been the sort of platform that has prided itself on allowing people to say whatever they wanted. Connecting real life people back to their Reddit messages has proven to be disastorous in the past. When a Gawker journalist outed noted troll ViolentAcrez for a series of posts encouraging amongst other things, people to sexualize children, ViolentAcrez’s was fired from his job. In a more innocent story, living meme character and deeply weird figure in the 2016 election, Ken Bone’s sexualization of pregnant women got him pretty much cast out of the love of the nation’s public eye. Although vastly varying in degrees of how bad the posts were, both show that on a website that’s famous for people sharing information under the shroud of anonymity (for example, r/relatiosnhips has people asking he community private questions about their partners. The outing of their personal problems and connecting it to them and their loved ones could be disastrous).

And though these are old, the recent alt right infused campaign against James Gunn proves that old things said could have a very real effect on people’s lives when wielded against them.

tl;dr: Why didn’t you read my entry. I worked so hard on it. Go up and read my entry, I beg of you.

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