WHAT CAN WE LEARN ABOUT THE INTERNET FROM THE DISASTROUS DASHCON CONVENTION LAST WEEKEND?
Fandom works precisely because it has no leaders. People feed off one another’s creativity and energy, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to squirrel your own stories away on your Tumblr. They are yours and they are everyone’s. No one’s asking permission, no one’s organizing them beyond a few hashtags, and no one is “responsible” with keeping the fandom running smoothly. 
But to create an event, one that exists in the world, and requires transactions (both socially and monetarily), well, fandom doesn’t necessarily equip one to be able to pull that off. It feels like the DashCon organizers were faced with an event that they willed into being, and then required maintenance, follow-through, and organization. And it fell apart.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN ABOUT THE INTERNET FROM THE DISASTROUS DASHCON CONVENTION LAST WEEKEND?

Fandom works precisely because it has no leaders. People feed off one another’s creativity and energy, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to squirrel your own stories away on your Tumblr. They are yours and they are everyone’s. No one’s asking permission, no one’s organizing them beyond a few hashtags, and no one is “responsible” with keeping the fandom running smoothly. 

But to create an event, one that exists in the world, and requires transactions (both socially and monetarily), well, fandom doesn’t necessarily equip one to be able to pull that off. It feels like the DashCon organizers were faced with an event that they willed into being, and then required maintenance, follow-through, and organization. And it fell apart.

PJ Says: Two young girls in Wisconsin stabbed their friend 19 times, and told police that it was to honor the mythological internet creature The Slender Man.  
The full story is here. We spoke to Slendar Man’s creator, Eric Knudsen, a few months ago, if you want context on the story and mythology behind it all.

Honestly, it feels weird to post this. I’m worried that the implicit message is “In light of this recent tragedy, here’s an old episode of ours to listen to.” But it feels worthwhile insofar as it provides context for anyone coming freshly to this story. We’re also trying to get ahold of Knudsen for comment. Obviously it’s not his fault that disturbed people are alleging that his piece of art influenced them, but we’d just like to hear how he’s grappling with this awful thing. 

PJ Says: Two young girls in Wisconsin stabbed their friend 19 times, and told police that it was to honor the mythological internet creature The Slender Man. 

The full story is here. We spoke to Slendar Man’s creator, Eric Knudsen, a few months ago, if you want context on the story and mythology behind it all.

Honestly, it feels weird to post this. I’m worried that the implicit message is “In light of this recent tragedy, here’s an old episode of ours to listen to.” But it feels worthwhile insofar as it provides context for anyone coming freshly to this story. We’re also trying to get ahold of Knudsen for comment. Obviously it’s not his fault that disturbed people are alleging that his piece of art influenced them, but we’d just like to hear how he’s grappling with this awful thing. 

Most people use social networks to present themselves as happier than they really are - it’s hard to get an honest read on anyone. But writer Charlie Warzel believes there’s a secret method to find out how someone is actually feeling online. On TLDR this week, we try it out on the rapper Drake. 

Most people use social networks to present themselves as happier than they really are - it’s hard to get an honest read on anyone. But writer Charlie Warzel believes there’s a secret method to find out how someone is actually feeling online. On TLDR this week, we try it out on the rapper Drake. 

A few years ago, there was a strong initiative to create a “do not track” option on the internet, which would keep advertisers from following you from website to website, watching your every browsing and spending move. The hope was that with a single browser option, consumers could block advertisers from following them around the web. On the Media even did a relatively lengthy look at the initiative as proposed by the FTC in 2010.

three and a half years later, the Do Not Track initiative looks like an ambitious, but spectacular failure.

A few years ago, there was a strong initiative to create a “do not track” option on the internet, which would keep advertisers from following you from website to website, watching your every browsing and spending move. The hope was that with a single browser option, consumers could block advertisers from following them around the web. On the Media even did a relatively lengthy look at the initiative as proposed by the FTC in 2010.

three and a half years later, the Do Not Track initiative looks like an ambitious, but spectacular failure.