You can open up an unregulated forum to aggressively obnoxious people, give them some small fences, and hope they don’t bleed over, but they do. I’ve seen some mind-bogglingly adolescent trolling spilling into bird-watching subreddits somehow.
Not a bad idea at all. Still not clear why this offensive stuff has to be on their servers, given that Reddit is an open source project.
The “prize” is to cause pain to marginalized groups, silence their voices through harassment, and even drive them off the internet, and sometimes even out of their homes. By that standard, they are winning, because right now they have no “lose” function.
No “lose” function? Alienating everybody as they descend into an echo-chamber of belligerence sounds as much like losing to me as it apparently does winning to them. They appear to have no formal goals nor methods beyond their own immediate and poorly-considered personal problems.
There are LOTS of formal methods. The hate-machines have developed really organized, dedicated responses and methods to attack, discredit, and harass. This isn’t a case of “some people say mean things”, they can call down days worth of harassment, threaten people’s livelihoods, fill social networks with false reports to get people banned, or just flood people with so much bile that websites - websites they need for community, to talk with friends, or even just for their work - become unusable.
This isn’t just tossing random insults, this is absolutely organized harassment, with extremely well developed methods, and their “goal” is often making like hell for specific people.
None of this worked when people were more likely to make their own website, rather than rely upon websites they have no control over to be the social hubs for their personal lives. Which is among the many reasons why I don’t use them, nor recommend them.
Ok, so, elaborate undertakings with insubstantial goals? It’s hard to think of personal like or dislike as anything but frivolous. It doesn’t sound like there is any well-thought out reasoning underlying this. It is hard to relate to.
What I find interesting is that reddit has/had a really effective tool against spammers and trolls; shadow banning.
For the uninitiated, a shadow ban would hide a user’s content from everyone else except themselves. It was originally implemented for getting rid of spam accounts. Typically, a spammer will go on a forum and carpet bomb their ‘g3t m0n3y f@st’ or ‘B_I_G_G_E_R E_R_E_C_T_I_O_N’ posts until banned on that user account. Then they will open a new account and strafe the forums again, rinse and repeat. A shadow ban effectively hides the output of an obvious spam content user to everyone else without immediately alerting the spammer that they need to go register a new account.
Against Trolls the effect is shorter lived. Trolls want attention - up-votes, down-votes - they don’t care - they want the eyeballs. Reply comments, even better. But a shadow ban removes their oxygen and they suffocate. Once the shadow ban mechanic became known, trolls quickly caught on and created new accounts.
Unfortunately, mods started using the shadow ban hammer to silence critiques or just instead of a plain ol’ ban - like anything, it can be abused until it becomes in-effective. Now if they had a way of shadow-banning an entire forum, like /r/fatpeoplehate, so that users that post there could be shadow-banned to everyone but others of the sub-reddit - well, that might work.
[quote=“popobawa4u, post:20, topic:61918”]
But what exactly are they supposedly winning?
[/quote]A destruction of discourse, in my opinion. Reddit could be so much more impactful in positive ways than it currently is, but it’s often held back by right wing brigading. This includes vile racists and those who despise the fact that most of the Internet, Reddit and Americans lean progressive.
Similar happened to Digg.
The right wing brigading from various conservative stripes made many of the most popular areas of Digg vile and non-engaging. People got sick of it and started leaving for Reddit in droves. Digg responded with stupid format changes instead of addressing the core of the problem… and the rest was history.
This is all just a little bit of history repeating…
Well, except this time there’s a lot of undercurrent struggles for power going on under the radar at Reddit. And, that’s all I have to say about that.
YouTube comments, maybe?
given that Reddit is an open source project.
It’s my understanding that Reddit is like a lot of larger Open-Source projects. The code is published out there, and anyoneone is free to use and/or modify it. But!
That doesn’t mean that 1) Reddit is under any obligation to merge or accept any changes from outside the internal development team; and 2) that anyone can simply take the code and, voilà, set up an alternate Reddit for others to start using, without knowing the “secret sauce” that supposedly lives in the infrastructure architecture that keeps the whole page from disintegrating under load.
Alienating people is juuuuuuust fine to some folk, it helps them feel better about how alienated they are.
Its not hard these days to configure content distribution and load balancing on AWS but it does cost money and it doesn’t give you the audience which comes from being on reddit.com
I call bullshit. After cutting through all the blah blah blah, what she is really saying is: “if we moderate this site, the assholes will go to another site, and we will lose money. Therefore, we will not moderate this site because, money.” They are basically giving up, but not because it really is hard to do. Just implement a set of rules, and delete the damn sub-reddits when they surface. But because, again, they’d rather take the money, they are rationalizing their own craven greed with lots of eloquent libertarian tech speak blah blah blah, and hand wringing “teh tr0lls are winning” nonsense.
OMG. It’s USENET all over again. >.<
I hate that graphic. It’s a bit of cynicism that is actually dangerously misleading, particularly in this context. (My impression is that the artists behind Penny Arcade have a history of opposing efforts to curb harassment, on the grounds that it will achieve nothing.)
No, normal people do not turn into trolls when they’ve got relative anonymity online. Everyone I’ve known offline pretty much expresses themselves the same general sorts of thoughts and feelings online. And I’ve encountered enough racist and sexist assholes offline to be completely unsurprised to encounter them online.
The novel problem online is that the trolls who existed offline congregate together online and plan actions together. Secondarily, many online forums are poorly organized, so trolls can quickly overrun them and dominate them; but some care in nurturing an online community, and some actual leadership in confronting trolls, can counter this.
The average YouTube commenter couldn’t spell “villainy”. Or “scum” for that matter.
Again, this is not an issue even remotely restricted to reddit.
Some communities manage it far better than others.
Pretty much ALL communities have managed it better than Reddit.
It’s not an issue restricted to reddit, reddit’s just done an incredibly poor job at managing it.
And facebook does it better? and 4chan? and the whole fucking internet?