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Reddit Is Tearing Itself Apart

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Bryan Menegus, writing for Gizmodo:

    For the past 11 years, an eternity in internet time, Reddit has touted itself—repeatedly, and loudly—as the place to have “authentic conversations” online. For a variety of reasons, that sentiment has always rang hollow. Now, Reddit, in its goal to be a laissez-faire haven of (relatively) free expression, has been overrun by nationalist trolls. Its staff of volunteer moderators is losing hope in the site’s future.

  2. emeryk3

    Wharf Mice

    Some disgusting examples there but usually still a great site nonetheless. Seldom do I witness anything as problematic on the front page or any decent subreddits. That said, sometimes Reddit operates as an echo-chamber of thoughts and The_Donald has often been the forefront to bare the diversity of news - ie when /r/news/ did a massive f'-up regarding censorship of the Orlando Shooting and The_Donald covered the story (my first encounter of the subreddit).
    coleslawed likes this.
  3. chhholly123

    i’ve been meaning to tell you

    I enjoy reddit for the niche communities—local food & beer, music, etc.—but stay away from the default subreddits. This is a real bummer.
  4. theagentcoma

    yeah good okay Prestigious

    Agreed ^^. Why do people even go to the bigger subs? You avoid 98% of this stuff by doing so.
  5. I just look at funny pictures
    theagentcoma likes this.
  6. Dean

    Trusted Prestigious

    *Ian Curtis voice*
  7. Davjs


    People don't just use Imgur instead to look at the funny memes and pics? The comments on that site seem pretty good for the most part.
    theagentcoma likes this.
  8. Borat 2: Vengeance

    The Pitbull of Prestigious

    "If Reddit is a city, the default subs are a flawlessly-manicured public park"

    lmfao. Yeah, idk what the move should be. Fallout from banning the_donald will be gigantic
  9. ArsonHoliday

    No sir, I don't like it

    This is distressing. Reddit has always had such potential for engaging discourse. It's both terrible and terrifying what a hivemind can do.
  10. Ferrari333SP

    Prestigious Supporter

    I absolutely hate the UI of Reddit
  11. Shrek

    human skin truck baby Prestigious

    Reddit is all about how you use it. As a discussion board for my more niche interests, it's amazing. As a place to watch some talented people do their thing, and to go and get inspiration/project ideas, it's a godsend. As an aggregate feed for major news stories, it's adequate. For a laugh, it's hit or miss.

    For everything else, mostly garbage.
    emeryk3 and Ivan like this.
  12. jorbjorb

    7 rings

    I've found some interesting communities on there.
  13. Jared Luttrell


    If you make an account on Reddit and just subscribe to the sub reddits you are interested in you can have your own personal "front page" that just uses the subs you are subscribed to instead of r/all. Really makes it a lot more enjoyable, especially for special interests (gaming sub reddits, sports sub reddits, tv / movies). A lot of the subs that make the default front page are garbage.
    Trent Gill likes this.
  14. Trent Gill Prestigious

    Title is misleading, but the article is good. It's The_Donald's prominence on the front page of r/all that's the problem, and its users behave exactly as you'd expect them to.

    r/all is far more useful than people think because that's how you discover new and interesting subs. It's a default feature now to filter out the subs you don't want to see. Reddit's core users, like the Internet, have a short-term memory and everyone will move on ...

    ... until the next election or a Trump presidency ends the world, whichever comes first.
  15. Trent Gill Prestigious

    Yeah, but you discover a lot of fun and informative subs that way too. Without the front page, I wouldn't have found r/trebuchetmemes, the greatest thing to happen to Reddit (and possibly the internet).
  16. Shrek

    human skin truck baby Prestigious

    Oh my god. Thank you for this. I didn't get the hook while looking at the front page of the sub, but I sorted it by top all time and now I am dying.
    Trent Gill likes this.
  17. Malatesta

    i may get better but we won't ever get well Prestigious

    the issue with reddit (i have so many thoughts about it lol) is a) it's porous and b) it's far too hands-off regarding unacceptable content.

    a) fact is, even with niche communities - unless they are specifically, arguably even radically, dedicated to or conscious of social justice issues - you see dips into reddit's worst aspects frequently enough to leave bad taste (particularly visible in gaming and sports). this is because your niche reddit community is only as niche as the folks in it are - and there's no reason why they can't be subbed to the defaults, absorbing that rhetoric and toxicity and then bringing it elsewhere. this not even to mention brigades (targeted or natural), which can still be an issue. hive minds are cultivated very naturally, and given reddit's demos (high% white, male, middle-upper class, 20-30 years old) they almost always take a privileged stance. which trickles down.

    b) reddit was built on a sort of libertarian mindset - very pro-market, but more than that, a rabid protection of free speech with no shame as well as a personal sense of being owed things that one is not. while this may at one point been admirable, it's just not tenable and ethical at reddit's size imo. subs dedicated to outright white nationalism, rape, pedophilia, and body shaming have been permitted to proliferate (or even outright break rules as in the case of r/the_donald) out of a fear of losing users. the only times they DO act, it's cause they were put in the spotlight by a news outlet which said, "wow, isn't this pretty fucking ridiculous in this day and age to be ok with hosting and even promoting this content?" and they then do the bare minimum to combat the problem which has been bred. and when they DO do something, they'll even deflect and obscure their actions to minimize blowback against the folks making the call - most notable with their pathetic mistreatment of Pao, who endured months of sexist and racist smears for a decision she didn't even make because the man who DID make the call hid conveniently behind her..

    the end result is an entitled and fairly reactionary userbase which promotes lazy and unevolving ideas in a positive feedback loop of karma and confirmation bias. this is most glaring in r/all, particularly when it's gamed by the_donald; it's visible in the defaults, where an r/videos thread of an adorable black toddler looking for goggles has to be locked because of a deluge of racist comments; it's visible in "progressive" defaults such as r/twoxchromosomes, a sub ostensibly dedicated to feminism, where you can go to the comments and find a man justifying why he calls his wife gendered slurs; and it's visible in niche communities which buy into this broader mindset either because they're full of members who visit those larger communities, or simply see it trickle down through a hivemind dilution of discussion.

    yes, there's only so much one could control internet discourse; yes, perhaps there will always be bigots. but own up to that shit, acknowledge that it's not acceptable (especially for a community which, laughably, thinks of itself as liberal), and institute changes to mitigate that - and not just when push comes to shove, but actively, because passivity is protection and enabling.
  18. Trent Gill Prestigious

    I liked your post, but I will say that it would be pointless to ban a subreddit dedicated to America's new President. No matter how immoral and backwards-thinking it gets, the man was just elected President.

    T_D is awful, and I can't stand it, but a community like that is just going to persist on one of the world's most popular websites. It's a jingoistic circle jerk that represents and exhibits the worst of Reddit's tendencies, whether it's shitposting, flippancy, or "world-is-our-playground, who-gives-a-fuck?" posturing ... I think the new features will go a long way if other people on Reddit use them to keep T_D's stuff out of their feeds. But then again, some of us can't help ourselves and go in there anyway, like a trainwreck that needs more spectators.

    Now that I think of it, Reddit and Twitter have a lot of the same problems. And yet both websites consume a huge chunk of the internet's attention span. Size is a mixed blessing!
  19. Malatesta

    i may get better but we won't ever get well Prestigious

    it is - i admit there are not easy answers. but, it is the responsibility of the hosts managing reddit to see it as a force for good imo. it's not strictly strategic to ban r/the_donald at this point, but there were 8000 points prior to this where it would have made perfect sense and they chose not to act, allowing it to grow to what it is today with its actions unpunished and thus normalized. what t_d has learned is that you CAN break reddit's TOS, you CAN conspiratorially smear specific people you dont know as pedophiles repeatedly and without evidence - and nothing will happen. at best, you are routed around such that you don't break the site with spam like you were doing! this is how such behaviors are internalized and implemented in a larger community - by normalization through inaction.
    Trent Gill likes this.
  20. Keleven


    Reddit has slowly lost it's "shine" for me. It's becoming a contest of who can get the most upvotes, which have no real world meaning. The content is slowly becoming stale and boring.