Reddit is launching the first-ever AMA Olympic Conversation Series!
Starting July 19, Reddit will host weekly AMAs with numerous Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls training to represent the U.S. at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in February.
Scheduled every Wednesday from 1-2 pm EST, the Olympic Conversation Series will run nearly five months (July 19 through December 13), with a lineup of AMA guests that will include an unprecedented range of Olympic and Paralympic athletes in figure skating, snowboarding, ice hockey, bobsled, speedskating, skiing, curling, luge, and every other major winter sport.
The series will kick off with two-time Olympic silver medalist (and six-time World Champion hockey player) Hilary Knight on July 19. As a member of the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team and one of the top female hockey players in the world, Hilary is working to change the landscape for women in sports.
The series will continue with athletes including figure skaters Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold and Adam Rippon; bobsledder Aja Evans; Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy, snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis; luge athlete Chris Mazdzer; freeskiiers Nick Goepper and McRae Williams; as well as surprise AMAs from some of the greatest Olympians of all time.
Check out the current roster below, and stay tuned for updates as we announce new AMAs!
Jul. 19: Hilary Knight (Women’s Hockey) Jul. 26: Aja Evans (Bobsled) Aug. 2: Nick Goepper (Free Skier) Aug. 3: Jamie Greubel Poser (Bobsled) Aug. 9: Ashley Wagner (Figure Skating) Aug. 16: Lindsey Jacobellis (Snowboard) Aug. 23: McRae Williams (Free Skier) Aug. 30: Gracie Gold (Figure Skating) Sep. 6: Maddie Bowman (Free Skier) Sep. 13: Chris Mazdzer (Luge) Sep. 20: Josh Pauls (Sled Hockey) Sep. 27: Laurenne Ross (Alpine Skiing) Oct. 4: Jamie Sinclair (Curling) Oct. 11: Mike Schultz (Para Snowboard) Oct. 18: Adam Rippon (Figure Skating) Oct. 25: Maddie Mastro (Snowboard) Nov. 1: Travis Ganong (Alpine Skiing) Nov. 8: Madison Chock and Evan Bates (Ice Dancing) Nov. 15: Ashley Caldwell (Free Skier) Nov. 22: Erin Hamlin (Luge) Nov 29: Jessie Diggins (Cross Country Skiing) Dec. 6: Amy Purdy (Para Snowboard) Dec. 13: Meryl Davis and Charlie White (Sochi Gold Medalists, Ice Dancing)
Check out Hilary’s AMA on Wednesday, July 19 on r/hockey.
Each AMA will give redditors the opportunity to learn all about what it takes to go for the gold. Athletes will share how they train during the summer months, how they’re preparing for PyeongChang, and what it’s like to reach the ultimate world stage in athletic competition.
(We also anticipate at least one question about duck-sized bobsledders and more than a few “Reddit Gold” puns.)
Over the years, redditors have shown their passion for the Olympics across the site, with AMAs from Paralympians in r/IAmA, lifting gold medalists stopping by r/weightlifting, and a constant stream of original content during every Olympic Games—like this classic gif from r/funny:
On Wednesday, Reddit employees and users joined forces in the internet-wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality.
While many of our official efforts were coordinated in advance, the organic response from the Reddit community was overwhelming—with over 100 subreddits, large and small, independently lending their voices to the effort.
So overwhelming, in fact, we thought it merited a quick recap—featuring highlights with some of our favorite posts, discussions, CSS changes, and comments—to show the scale and creativity of redditors’ engagement on the Day of Action.
At the stroke of midnight, visitors to our front page were greeted with something that (almost) never appears on our site: a pop-up. The message, from Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman, looked like this:
Meanwhile, the logo in the top-left corner of the site displayed our alien mascot Snoo with a bit of interference from internet service providers.
On the morning of the Day of Action, co-founder Alexis Ohanian published a letter explaining why net neutrality is essential for entrepreneurs, consumers, and the internet as a whole, and urging redditors to join the effort to preserve the open internet.
The comments represented the wide range of groups that care about net neutrality, with IT workers, entrepreneurs, casual internet users, and even employees of internet service providers chiming in with their stories.
In addition to the net neutrality-themed AMAs from Senator Brian Schatz and the Washington Post’s tech journalist leading up to the Day of Action, a number of open internet advocates took to Reddit to discuss the details of net neutrality rules, from both policy and tech perspectives.
ICYMI, check out the AMAs from an analyst, a strategy director, a technologist, and an attorney on the ACLU’s tech team:
Some communities like r/MemeEconomy and r/videos included error messages in their CSS to bring awareness to the Day of Action, while others altered their CSS to black out their subreddits entirely, like r/HighQualityGifs.
A few particularly enterprising communities like r/woahdude, r/gifs, and r/nottheonion even configured their respective subreddits’ AutoMod to automatically post a comment on each post driving users to battleforthenet.com.
Even more communities across Reddit stickied posts about net neutrality to the top of their front pages.
Even Reddit communities that didn’t formally sign on to participate found themselves abuzz with discussions of the open internet from users who were out of the loop, looking for a neutral take on the issue, or just in need of a good internet cat.
Thank you to all the communities, moderators, and millions of redditors who participated in the Day of Action. (And if you haven’t done so already, please visit battleforthenet.com to share your support for the open internet with the FCC.)
On July 12th, Reddit is participatingin Fight for the Future’s Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality, joining a broad coalition of companies, advocacy organizations, and communities across our site to voice our support for the open internet. We’re also hosting an ongoing Net Neutrality AMA series in the lead-up to our site-wide engagements on the Day of Action.
Why We Care
But first, here’s some background on why this fight is important to us.
Net neutrality rules, set by the FCC, ensure that internet service providers treat all internet traffic the same. They may not block, throttle, or otherwise restrict content. Without net neutrality, these providers could privilege their own content or slow down other traffic for their own profit. This would jeopardize one of the defining features of the internet: openness and consumer choice.
In fact, Reddit itself would likely not exist without the open internet. When Reddit launched a little over twelve years ago, the team behind it was tiny, attracting users solely through word of mouth. Since then, the site has grown year after year and currently has around 300 million monthly users, but we would not have been able to reach this point if people had to pay extra to access our site.
Reddit is built on the premise of letting individuals decide what content they find interesting. We believe the same basic principle should apply to the internet as a whole.
Ask Reddit Historians
Fortunately, the FCC’s commenting period is open until August 16, and redditors have a long history of making their voices heard in the fight for net neutrality. We’ve seen a single post inspire thousands of comments on the FCC’s website:
Last month, we kicked off a net neutrality-themed AMA series leading up to the Day of Action, bringing politicians, journalists, and open internet advocates to Reddit to discuss why protecting the open internet is important.
Here are a couple of our favorite AMAs, from Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz and Washington Post technology reporter Brian Fung:
On July 12, we’re planning a site-wide engagement to encourage redditors to voice their support for the open internet, along with a special message from our co-founder Alexis, who has led the charge for the open internet at Reddit for years.
Unsurprisingly, this fight has already been top of mind for communities across Reddit, with discussions of the FCC’s impending repeal lighting up subreddits like r/technology, r/Futurology, r/news, and r/politics, as well as dedicated pro-net neutrality communities like r/KeepOurNetFree. Even subreddits that have no overt connection to politics have joined the conversation.
We’re proud that over a hundred communities have already signed on to participate alongside us in Fight for the Future’s Day of Action—from huge subreddits with millions of subscribers (r/videos, r/movies, r/music), gaming communities (r/PCMasterRace, r/hearthstone, r/DnD), fan subreddits (r/adventuretime, r/DunderMifflin, r/adultswim), animal lovers (r/Thisismylifemeow, r/Blop), meme lovers (r/MemeEconomy, r/traaaaaaannnnnnnnnns), and more.
Want to join us? Visit Reddit’s front page next Wednesday, check out battleforthenet.com, and stay tuned for more net neutrality-themed AMAs in the meantime.