Where Trolls Reigned Free: A New History of Reddit


David Streitfeld reviews We Are the Nerds, Christine Lagorio-Chafkin's new history of Reddig:

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin, a writer for Inc. magazine, tells the Reddit story in “We Are the Nerds.” The two co-founders, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, cooperated extensively. I admire them for doing so because despite Lagorio-Chafkin’s best efforts — Ohanian is called “charismatic” or celebrated for his “charisma” on Pages 47, 158, 214, 223 and 330 — they come off as whiny and callow schemers, and not the sharpest of sticks. On the very first page, the two University of Virginia seniors cannot figure out what a “kiosk” is.
The title “We Are the Nerds” doesn’t really fit the tale. “We Are the Trolls” would have made much more sense. “I was always kind of an [expletive],” Huffman explains early on. Lagorio-Chafkin bluntly calls him “a total troll.” He was also a genius programmer. The great achievement of the social internet was to unleash jerkdom for many while monetizing it for a few.


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