Reddit bans harassment


#1

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#2

I don’t think it has ever been okay to harass people on reddit, but the scale of the site makes effective enforcement difficult, so I doubt anything will change now.


#3

We shall see. I’m skeptical of how this will work. Part of the problem is that doxxing is increasingly seen as a legitimate part of debate by too many people. You disagree with my views? I’m photoshopping your face into a porn scene. Call me out on a logical inconsistency? I’m spamming your employer with phone calls about how you’re a terrible person. Next thing you know Twitter, Reddit, and any open social forum becomes a series of cesspit circlejerk insular communities. Having an argument or discussion on the internet? What is that?


#4

Will they follow 4chan’s example and prevent raids on just about anyone and everyone?

And what about SubReddits, such as KIA and RedPill? Will they be dealt with, or they’ll be left alone to become /pol/?


#5

Yeah…hey, everyone, remember how Violentacrez got outed, and how /r/Jailbait got shut down?

Reddit just banned that.


#6

OMGWTF?!? Where am I suppose to go if I want to harass people now?


#7

Better than nothing, though I too wonder how they’re going to curate a community that sprawling.

Really though, I think the problem is that relative pseudonymity strips away the facade of civility a sizable fraction of the population wears in meatspace. In meatspace, an unknowable percentage of people merely pretend to be benign, as opposed to those with genuine conscience. The internet strips that away and people become themselves. Those who behave civilly because it’s who they choose to be or feel compelled by conscience to be, continue to be mostly civil online. The rest are revealed as varying degrees of sociopath.

Sociopaths come in many pathologies from the idle physical threats to the workplace harassment to the needle in the haystack who will act on those threats and/or go stalking their targets in meatspace. The idlers are the people who go around meatspace thinking malignant thoughts about physical harm or imagine harassing someone, but the world never hears those thoughts because for them to voice them would be to face consequences. Online they believe, correctly or not, that pseudonymity shields them from those consequences. That endless deluge of idle threats (especially for those the sociopaths perceive to be easy targets) become the hay of the haystack and their noise makes it impossible to identify the bigger sociopaths who will act on those threats.

As most people know, Google and Facebook have tried real-name policies. These have been abject failures because the people who obey them are the rule-abiding netizens who might be a little more courteous because of them, but are not the predators. The predators are the ones who will blithely game the ridiculously easy to game system (even idiots, which many predators are, can do it), and all the rule-abiding netizens are now that much easier for the sociopaths to target thanks to the real-name policies. It’s like trying to stop crime by outlawing ski masks, it simply affords the criminals easier views of the targets.

I foresee two possible endgames.

The less likely is a society utterly like any we have known, where everyone’s life is open to everyone else, a society transparent not only to the well-connected, the governments and the corporate powers-that-be, but to everyone within it from top to bottom. This is similar to the Transparent Society author David Brin has posited. A society where, outside of private spaces (in meatspace or online), our lives are open books. Setting aside the monumental sociological hurdles, I have my doubts that this is even feasible from a security standpoint. A would-be predator could simply become a shut-in in their private space and from there stalk and harass their targets digitally by doing things like they do now (calling their targets’ workplaces or family). Eliminating all privacy is one answer, but I’m as certain as I can be that at least some privacy is essential for human sanity, that a total inability to withdraw from scrutiny would not long be tolerated.

The more likely scenario is a world of gated online communities, where insular social networks restrict even casual access to only the most trusted members, and we all grow poorer for the isolation and epistemic closure this will inflict.

I have rarely wanted more to be wrong about anything so much as I do about where our ubiquitous digital world is headed.


#8

/r/jailbait was closed a year before Violentacrez got doxxed.

For that matter, he was doxxed on Gawker, not Reddit, and a lot of subreddits banned all links to Gawker because of it. Banning personal info is nothing new to Reddit.


#9

Encouraging

I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure Reddit is too broken to fix at this point and will remain toxic no matter what anyone says. The site as it is now is the end result of a nightmarish experiment that attached imaginary currency to everyone’s views. People lose their minds over the approval that karma represents and it fosters all kinds of bad behavior.

The best forums are always going to be carefully moderated and curated ones and putting too much control into the hands of an easily manipulated and demographically monolithic mob has more or less proved the site’s downfall, at least for me.


#10

I spend a lot of time on reddit and I just don’t see it that way, sorry. It probably depends on where you go. I am sure there are places on reddit which support each of our views.


#11

That mostly depends on the SubReddits; each have their own mods, admins, and rules.


#12

Correct; my bad, it was after Gawker did a piece on /r/creepshots (which still exists as /r/CandidFashionPolice.) Another thing that gets left out often is that violentacrez received death threats after that piece was published. I “get” that he was involved in some just downright disgusting stuff. But when you get to the point where you threaten to murder people over reposting disgusting pictures on the internet, you have, in my opinion, become worse than the subject of your ire.

And thank you for giving the real reason Gawker has been banned in many Subreddits.


#13

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