Hashtag Trending: Reddit makes the world worse; robot parkour; people choose privacy-search engine

A former product manager for Reddit says his time there made the world a worse place, Boston Dynamics taught its robot parkour and privacy search engine DuckDuckGo grows.

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First, trending on Reddit: A former employee of Reddit has said that he believes the work he did at the social news site made the world a worse place. Former product manager Dan McComas told New York Magazine that the company’s pursuit of growth at all cost has led to user safety and wellbeing being sacrificed. McComas worked at Reddit from 2009 to 2015 and said the attitude from executives and investors led to abusive cultures forming on the platform. And he doesn’t have a good outlook for the site’s future, saying that he believes the site is beyond saving. Reddit is home to a number of subreddits on all sorts of topics including tech, science and even dog pictures but it’s also home to some nastier subreddits like ‘FatPeopleHate’, a group of animal cruelty subreddits that McComas says continue to pose consistent problems. He said Reddit execs often decided not to deal with these types of users out of fear of retaliation and wouldn’t make changes unless there was pressure from the press. McComas isn’t the first employee to speak out about how pursuit of growth can have a negative impact on social media sites, Facebook exec Andrew Bosworth’s leaked memo expressed similar sentiments about the social media giant earlier this year.

Next from Twitter: Boston Dynamics has taught its human-like robot Atlas to do parkour. Now this may sound simple, funny and kinda cool but Twitter users took the milestone to have a mini freakout, validating our worries about a future where iRobot and Terminator might come to fruition. One tweet states, “sometimes I get worried about the future of humanity then I remember a Boston Dynamics robot is going to kill all of us anyway.” Boston Dynamics has slowly been releasing videos of its human-like robot learning more and more tricks, earlier this year it released a video of Atlas quickly traversing outdoor terrain. This latest video shows it easily jumping over boxes, obstacles and we already know that it can do backflips. To check out the latest video and some recent tweets about Atlas check out our site ITWorldCanada.com.

Finally from Reddit: Pro-privacy search engine DuckDuckGo is gaining traction, hitting 30 million daily searches, which is up 50 per cent from last year. The search engine promises a more secure search experience, that protects user privacy and avoids personalized search results.
DuckDuckGo was founded in 2008 and it took the site seven years to reach 10 million daily searches, another two to reach 20 million and this past year seems to be its most successful yet. The interest in the privacy conscious site doesn’t seem to odd in a year that seems to have data breaches being announced every month, with Google even in the news this week over a Google+ data leak.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson is a Jr. Staff Writer for IT World Canada. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, she loves sports, travelling, reading and photography, and when not covering tech news she can be found cuddled up on the couch with her cat and a good book.

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