Digital Ecologies Research Partnership

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The Digital Ecologies Research Partnership, also known as the Derp Institute, is a data mining company describing itself as "an alliance of platforms supporting the academic exploration of communities online for the betterment of the internet at large" and "a single point of contact for researchers to get in touch with relevant team members across a range of different community sites." Derp's partner sites are Reddit, Imgur, Fark, Stack Exchange, and Twitch.[1]

The project was announced by Tim Hwang on August 18, 2014 and covered that day in the Guardian,[2] Russia Today,[3] Venture Beat,[4] and inTheCapital Streetwise.[5]


  • Tim Althoff
  • Augustin Chaintreau
  • Alice Daer
  • Devin Gaffney
  • R. Stuart Geiger
  • Eric Gilbert
  • Erhardt Graeff
  • Alex Leavitt
  • Jason Li
  • Jon Manning
  • Nate Mathias
  • Ryan M. Milner
  • Kate Miltner
  • An Xiao Mina
  • Chris Peterson
  • Whitney Philipps
  • Molly Sauter
  • Sara Watson

In addition:

  • Tim Hwang announced the launch of the organization.
  • Max Goodman of San Francisco is the registered owner of the domain. His name is similar to that of Reddit General Manager Max Goodman, aka Chromakode.


From Reddit user endomorphosis:

Were any of you aware that there is a research institute founded by reddit called "the derp institute", which provides members of this group tools to analyze reddit users. Not only to push out voices that they don't want to hear, but also push narratives for both government and corporations.

You will notice that Whitney Phillips is part of the Fembot collective, the same group that publishes the ADA Journal, which was the same publication that started the "gamers are dead" narrative. There are already 4 members of the group who are feminists sjw's, so whose to say it wont become another DIGRA + snooping powers.

Whitney Phillips

If i can write simple twitter scripts and scrape the contents of peoples network connections, and be able to find this buried in the internet with little to no publication, think about what this power has with potentially private or sensitive information in reddit.

Miltner and Phillips have denounced the notion of free speech and called for Reddit to ban what they personally consider to be offensive.


  1. Derp Institute home page,, accessed October 2014

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last modified on 2 December 2014, at 22:32.</li>