Ellen Pao: “The trolls are winning.“

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Reddit is not “the internet”. Reddit’s problems are specific to reddit.

Starting out as “anything goes!” and then clamping down later is a bad strategy. Also, the complete lack of evolution in their toolset (particularly moderator toolset) and UI over the last 10 years is just plain embarrassing.


Reddit - you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.


Trolls aren’t winning on the internet that I typically visit. But then, I don’t Reddit, so maybe I’m doing it wrong.


Disagree. In addition to the problems Reddit has that are specific to Reddit, there are many problems which Reddit has that reflect problems of the internet at large.

Otherwise, there would be no need for your software.


And it helps that @falcor requires a regular diet of trolls as well.


They leave such an aftertaste.


Aaaaand, cue the jackasses in the WaPo comments (but we knew that would happen already):

"Damn those "trolls" for saying things that I disagree with" she said as she stamped her little impotent foot! "This controlling what other people think is harder than it sounds!"

A sad combination of willful ignorance, privilege, hubris, and shit-headedness, all wrapped up in one. Has it become so difficult, even when using online forums, to recognize when you’re being a jackass? Have (the royal) we lost the ability for self-awareness?


Have they surpassed 4chan already…?


That was the basic gist of what I gathered observing the kurfuffle as it had unfolded. And it precipitated with the firing of the woman on ask reddit. Followed by the expected pitchforks and torches overreaction.

Overall I find it an interesting place with generally reasonable people.

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Yes, but these are Lord of the Flies problems that are easy to avoid if you try even a little. Don’t dump a bunch of 8 year old boys on an island with zero adult supervision.

I’m much more sympathetic to companies who actually tried to have rules. Reddit is bolting them on way after the fact, and only after they were effectively forced to after being pummeled in the news so many times:

Bad, bad leadership.

“Suggestive or sexual content featuring minors” was not explicitly banned until February 2012

And if that isn’t obvious to them – 2012 is long after the 2005 launch of Reddit – what the hell could be?


Trolls aren’t winning on the bits of reddit I typically visit. But then again I don’t /r/fatpeoplehate, so maybe I’m doing THAT wrong…


It’s hard to say if those type of people had any to begin with. They may not say it aloud IRL, but on the Net, they scream and rant and not face any type of repercussions from it. This just means they can keep doing it.

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Racists don’t think they’re racists, and trolls…


Not to toot one’s own horn, of course… :wink:

Nope; that’s a “get out of ethical responsibility” recipe for the trolls.

Arsehole + anonymity = loud, overt arsehole. 8Chan/GG/etc aren’t just “normal folks corrupted by anonymity”. They were arseholes to begin with.


aaaaand, surprising nobody, the new management is bringing back /coontown.

Sure. /r/rapingwomen will be banned. They are encouraging people to rape.
/r/coontown will be reclassified. The content there is offensive to many, but does not violate our current rules for banning.

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I think part of the problem is that anyone can create a subreddit. So if they ban subreddit /r/offensive for a content violation, then someone will create /r/offensive2 and so on. Mods end up playing a game of whack-a-mole with man-children throwing a tantrum who have a lot of free time.

Maybe they could limit subreddit creation to those with the paid gold status or those who have paid a separate one time fee of something like $5 or $10. If you create a subreddit that gets banned you get a one time pass (maybe it was a mistake or you didn’t know it was offensive) but the second time you lose the account. It could be enough to stop the endless spamming of new subreddits, or at least fund the hiring of mods/admins to handle it.


The trolls are winning.

But what exactly are they supposedly winning? There is no contest for them to win, no prize to get.

What internet life has taught me is that most people appear to not like free speech as much as they think they do.

Why not devise a web site around a structure such as “Roberts Rules of Order” or some such thing? It sounds like one of those ideas which is easy, but nobody wants to try. The internet needs more debate, but many people seem to lack the self-discipline to debate well if there is no formal structure imposed.

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