Today I Learned the Awesome Traffic Power of Reddit's "Today I Learned" (TIL) Section


Over the course of the past 24 or 48 hours, an excellent ReasonTV video, "How Sex Offender Registries Fail Us," vaulted to the top of our "Most Popular Stories" tote board, which is generally automatically based on site traffic.

The video, which was released back on March 14, 2012, was mentioned at Reddit.com's "Today I Learned" page, where readers submit curious facts that they just stumbled across. Here's the entry, posted by user etihw2 and proud recipient of over 1,330 up votes by fellow Reddit users:

TIL There's someone on the sex offender registry for live having consensual sex during highschool with a girl who eventually became his wife.

Among other recent entries to TIL:

TIL that two trapped Australian miners asked for an iPod with music by the Foo Fighters to be sent down to them. Dave Grohl personally included a note saying "…I want you to know that when you come home, there's two tickets to any Foos show, anywhere, and two cold beers waiting for yous. Deal?" (stereoboard.com)

submitted 8 hours ago by tictacteaux

TIL that the world record for alcohol consumption is by Andre the Giant, who drank 156 beers in one sitting (over 73 litres/16 gallons) (en.wikipedia.org)

submitted 18 hours ago by ukMuslimconvert

TIL that Wilford Brimley (diabeetus commercials) is not only a notable actor, but was also a farmer, rodeo rider, blacksmith, and bodyguard to Howard Huges(imdb.com)

submitted 10 hours ago by pizzatarian

If you're not familiar with Reddit, you ought to be (especially, maybe, its Libertarian page). It's a great site where readers post links to content on every topic conceivable and then vote things up or down based on their reactions. It's long been a major traffic source for Reason.com and ReasonTV but far more important, it's one of the places that makes teh internet the glorious series of tubes that it is truly is—a haven of wide-ranging and user-generated delights, marvels, and treasures, all pulled together in a series of easy-to-use-and-sort pages. It's been around since 2005; read more about it another of the web's defining institutions, Wikipedia.

Here's the vid by the way, along with the original text:

Reason.tv: How Sex Offender Registries Fail Us

Tracy Oppenheimer | March 14, 2012

You can be put on the sex offender registry for urinating in public, having consensual sex as a teenager or even for "sexting." And in California, once you are on the list, you are on it for life.

The registry has become the medieval stocks of the 21st century and, as attorney Janice Bellucci says, once someone is on the registry, "he is treated like a leper". 

There are violent sexual predators who should be on the registry for life, but 95% of those on the registry never commit another sex offense, according to the California Department of Corrections.

Reason.tv spoke to a registrant ruined by the registry. His crime: having sex with his teenage girlfriend.

"It was actually illegal for me to be anywhere near her for three years," he says, "but she waited for me. And I waited, too."

They are still married today, 10 years after he was convicted.

Harsher laws for registrants continue to be passed while proposed reforms to the registry have struggled to gain ground.

California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano introduced a bill for a tiered registry in January, but it was defeated thanks to opponent's scare tactics. 

"There have always been stories, especially this summer, about child predators in the area," says Mission Viejo Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht, who introduced a bill banning sex offenders from public parks and beaches. 

Bellucci is going to keep fighting for reform. "We're not thinking from a logical and rational place," she says, "instead we are acting from fear."

Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Shot by Paul Detrick, Zach Weissmueller and Sharif Matar.

Approximately 7.30 minutes.

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