Reddit's "misfits" dig in


#1

[Read the post]


Huffing Boing Boing
#2

I am completely unsurprised that people from these subreddits immediately flocked to a website known for child rape and murder attempts.

A shame we can’t just ban them from existing.


#3

With racist subreddits being shut down, these free speech heroes will have nowhere to go, except maybe local newspaper forums and Fox News.


#4

The level of discourse has been something along the lines of R: You’re been banned for acting like twelve year olds and harassing people. FPH: We’re not twelve year olds, we’ll show you (start acting like twelve year olds)


#5

In the end, unless its a government website, any website is private property. As such, the owners or authorized persons have every right to censor others for any reason they wish.


#6

I’m not so sure that it is a minority. If it is a minority of the reddit population, it’s certainly the active majority. Misogyny sits at the top of the most popular front page posts on a daily basis, and trickles down into the smaller subs. Eventually I found it difficult to participate in even seemingly benign subs like /woodworking as the undercurrent of too many comments was a worship of male-hood. I left the site about a month ago and cannot see myself returning for a long time.


#7

I think a lot of the people who are outraged don’t realize that the subs were banned because of doxxing.

There are plenty of terribly offensive subreddits out there still. You can talk about offensive things all day long, but don’t reveal personal information. It’s one of the 4 core rules of reddit.

I could make a subreddit dedicated to gardening and if I’m posting names and other information about gardeners in my neighborhood that I admire, the subreddit is going to be banned. It has nothing to do with the content.


#8

I’m tired of this property-based defense of censorship. Following this reasoning, the small group of people who own the vast majority of our media platforms have the right to manipulate and control the discussions that all the rest of us can have. If that “right” is available to them and not me, simply because they own something very expensive and I don’t, then it’s not the kind of right I’m interested in defending.

These kinds of toxic communities should be censored, but not because the property owner has the right to do whatever they want to their tenants. We should censor them because all of us have the right not to be subject to harassment, hatred, and threats.


#9

I’m tired of this property-based defense of censorship.

You have no right to express yourself on somebody else’s platform. If you come into my house and write on my walls, I’m going to paint over it and that isn’t censorship.

simply because they own something very expensive

The only thing of value that Reddit has is the attention of a lot of people. You can go get the source code for Reddit and have your own site online in a few hours.

Reddit has terms of service that are extremely liberal. You have to be a real asshole to do something bad enough to get banned.


#10

Britta, is that you?


#11

Don’t worry, I won’t come into your house :slight_smile: Not because it’s your property, though - because it’s your personal space, regardless of who owns it. Reddit is nobody’s personal space though, so your analogy isn’t very helpful.

This is kind of like saying “the only thing that Warren Buffet has is a lot of pieces of paper issued by the US Treasury”. In an attention economy, attention is capital.

I don’t think it’s fair or ethical that whoever owns that capital should get to make the rules for an entire community of people. In fact, one could even argue that this property-based free speech/censorship model is the reason it’s taking so long for terrible shit to be cleaned up on the internet - because there’s an expectation that the only one who has a right to do it is the property owner.


#12

That’s a misrepresentation of the point. A media platform is qualitatively different than an individual’s house. Painting over unwanted graffiti in your living room doesn’t have any impact on shaping public discourse like a large social media platform does when it decides who to censor. Reddit was fine with these toxic communities so long as they werem’t a liability to revenue, which allowed these kind of communities to grow and poison the well of internet discussion.

Now Reddit selectively bans these communities since they have become a liability. We can cheer that something is finally being done about a long festering problem, but that’s a side effect of Reddit trying to protect its profit margins. This is the heart of the problem with a property based defense of censorship, because it all revolves around money. If these toxic communities were a much larger part of the user base, I doubt Reddit would be doing much about them, and is the reason why it’s taken so long in the first place to crackdown.


#13

Now Reddit selectively bans these communities

Was it really all that selective? These were all subs that violated the rule against posting personal information and wouldn’t stop doing so. The Reddit bosses have made it pretty clear that they are banning actions, not ideas. The fact that there are so many disgusting subs still up supports that claim.


#14

Well, they don’t ACKNOWLEDGE the doxxing in their “protests”, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that the protestors know about it. They simply either don’t think it’s that bad, or they don’t want to bring it up because it hurts their case for “BUT OUR FROZEN PEACHES!”


#15

Well obviously Reddit cares nothing for ethics in games jourrnalism.


#16

Don’t worry, I won’t come into your house smile Not because it’s your property, though - because it’s your personal space, regardless of who owns it. Reddit is nobody’s personal space though, so your analogy isn’t very helpful.

Ok, if you come into my store and post something to the corkboard at the front of the store that is against the rules and I remove it, am I censoring you? Does it matter if the bulletin board is real or virtual?


#17

When I use the term censorship, I just mean hiding or suppressing speech based on its content. So yes, that would be censorship. The more interesting question is: would it be wrong?

In America, the traditional philosophy has been “if the government censors anything, that’s completely unacceptable. If a private institution censors anything, that’s unconditionally allowed.” I think that’s a lazy approach. The reasoning is flawed because of the assumption that it follows from: that it’s impossible for a private institution to exert undue influence over public thought because everything other than the government is subject to the inherently democratizing/equalizing forces of the free market.

Reddit has real power, and I’m not going to complain that they’re using it to get rid of hateful bullshit. But I will complain that they are given such power in the first place, when it should belong to all of us.


#18

Yes. Even where such subs don’t openly violate the no doxxing rule, they create a culture that excuses and legitimates actual harassment. So it’s selective in the sense that Reddit is banning the flagrant violators, but not actually tackling the root of the problem. Ideas here are the problem because ideas can’t be easily separated from actions, because ideas are the basis of and a guide for action. I’m not necessarily endorsing censorship here, but saying that leaving toxic subs in peace so long as they just talk is short sighted. Basically Reddit has a larger culture problem, and Reddit has financial reasons to not do anything about it.


#19

I think that’s a lazy approach. The reasoning is flawed because of the assumption that it follows from: that it’s impossible for a private institution to exert undue influence over public thought because everything other than the government is subject to the inherently democratizing/equalizing forces of the free market.

The reasoning has nothing to do with exerting undue influence over public thought. It has everything to do with the fact that the government has special power to put you in jail or even kill you. When Reddit gets that power, then I’ll be on your side.


#20

I’m tired of this property-based defense of censorship. Following
this reasoning, the small group of people who own the vast majority of
our media platforms have the right to manipulate and control the
discussions that all the rest of us can have. If that “right” is
available to them and not me, simply because they own something very
expensive and I don’t, then it’s not the kind of right I’m interested in
defending.

These kinds of toxic communities should be censored, but not because
the property owner has the right to do whatever they want to their
tenants. We should censor them because all of us have the right not to be subject to harassment, hatred, and threats.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t support censorship either. However, whether you or I like it or not, that is the law. Whether its in your house or in your forum, you have the right to kick people out for any reason you want. And there are many who do so for the most frivolous reasons,