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Slashdot is a popular technology-oriented weblog primarily consisting of short summaries of stories on other websites with links to them, and provisions for readers to comment on the story; each story generally receives between 50 and 700 such comments. The summaries for the stories are generally submitted by Slashdot's own readers with editors accepting or rejecting these contributions for general posting. Also sometimes featured are movie and book reviews, as well as "Ask Slashdot" queries from users requesting information from the readership. In general, the site attempts to adhere to its slogan, "news for nerds, stuff that matters."

Table of contents
1 The site
2 Trolling and moderation
3 Related articles
4 External links

The site

Created in September 1997 by Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda, Slashdot is now owned by the Open Source Development Network, part of VA Software. The site is run primarily by Malda, Jeff "Hemos" Bates (who handles articles and book reviews and sells advertising) and Robin "Roblimo" Miller (who helps handle some of the more managerial tasks of the site, as well as posting stories). The name "Slashdot" was chosen for the resulting unusual URL, "" (or when read aloud, "aitch tee tee pee colon slash slash slash dot dot org"). [1]

Slashdot's core audience consists of Linux enthusiasts and various other enthusiasts of the Open Source software movement. Curiously, a poll on Slashdot suggests that approximately half of all Slashdot visitors actually use a Microsoft Windows operating system with only a third using some form of Linux. [1] One explanation for this result posits a number of Linux users browsing Slashdot from their workplaces, where Windows is dominant.

Slashdot users, sometimes called Slashdotters, number in excess of 700,000. Famous or well-known Slashdotters include actor Wil Wheaton (username "CleverNickName"), id Software programmer John Carmack, and open source evangelist Bruce Perens.

The software that runs Slashdot is called Slash and is released under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License. Many other websites use various customized versions of this software for their own web forums.

Nupedia and Wikipedia were slashdotted on Thursday, July 26, 2001. Wikipedia was again slashdotted on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 () and Sunday, December 28, 2003.

Trolling and moderation

As one of the largest forums on the Internet, trolling and spamming on Slashdot is a highly evolved phenomenon (see Slashdot trolling phenomena). It is an offbeat and complex subculture involving sometimes repetitive and sometimes obscene comments featuring an admixture of Slashdot celebrities and other unusual juvenilia. Probably the most famous personalities to have come from Slashdot's "old school" trolling community are Craig McPherson, OSM, Trollaxor, SpiralX, Streetlawyer, Dumb Marketing Guy, 70%, and 80md. They are well-known for their creative writing.

Slashdot allows anonymous posting, and this is where a significant portion of lowbrow trolling comes from. All anonymous posts are automatically attributed to the username Anonymous Coward.

A newer breed of "blue collar" trolls set up Geekizoid — a site devoted to exploring and fostering "crapflooding," while at the more upmarket end of the scale experimented with other trolling techniques.

Since trolling is prevalent, a moderation system was implemented, whereby every comment posted (including those posted anonymously) can be "moderated" up or down by randomly chosen moderators, changing its score likewise. A given comment can have any integer score between -1 and 5 inclusive, and Slashdot users can set a personal threshold where no comments with a lesser score are displayed. (For example, a person with a score threshold of 1 will not see comments with a score of -1 or 0 but will see all others.) Moderators have been known to abuse the ability to increase or decrease the score of comments, and in some cases entire threads of comments have been marked down to -1. Subsequently, a meta-moderation system was implemented to moderate the moderators and help contain abuses.

Related articles

External links

Links to Slashdot sections