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Reddit’s plan to “contain” hate is so backwards that Reddit bigots are begging to be “contained”

Oops
Oops. I’m not sure Reddit is winning this fight.

Earlier this week, Reddit announced a perplexing new plan to “contain” the worst bigots on the site. Instead of simply banning the bigots, their subreddits would simply be “reclassified.” Redditors would have to sign into them much as they now sign into the site’s NSFW subreddits, and, presumably to avoid angering advertisers, Reddit would remove all ads from them.

In other words, as I noted the other day, Reddit has decided to fight the bigots … by funding ad-free forums for them.

Well, the folks in the 4/chan subreddit (not 4chan itself; the Reddit incarnation of it) want to get into that sweet, sweet ad-free action. So one enterprising channer suggested that they spam a thread with the n-word to prove they’re as hateful as the hateful assholes of r/coontown:

NIGGER POSTAs many of you have heard, reddit admins are now providing ad-free bandwith to racist hate subs... (self.4chan) submitted 21 hours ago by reese_ridley/he does it for free/[M] - stickied post ...and apparently the admins think we aren't racist enough to receive these great benefits. What the fuck? ITT we spam "nigger" to remove ads from /r/4chan forever

And spam they did. Here’s a portion of the top comment in the thread:

4chanhitlerdindu

The comment continues on for a time in this fashion.

Other commenters had similar ideas; this one was so relentless I made a half-hearted attempt at censoring it.

TasselHat [score hidden] 14 hours ago  If you smell something funny when you walk down the street, you're in Coon Town. You look and see garbage all over the street, you're in Coon Town. Up and down the street there ain't nothing but trash, nigger girls trying to get a nigger boy's cash. Then you even see a spook with a big moustache, in Coon Town. On the corner there's a nigger with a drink in his hand, that's Coon Town. Trying to bum a nickel from whoever he can, in Coon Town. Don't be surprised, you can make a bet, if you go back tomorrow he'll be there yet. He's trying to get drunk and drunk he's gonna get, in Coon Town. Niggers never bother about going to work, in Coon Town. They seem to think that work is for jerks, outta Coon Town. They don't do nothing but sleep and doze, he don't wake until his eyes are tired of being closed. It's half a day's work for him to scratch his toes, in Coon Town. It amazes me to see the way they live, in Coon Town. They do all the taking while we have to give, to Coon Town. The White man worries, the nigger don't care, cause at the end of the month his check will be there. Every nigger earns his living off the old welfare, in Coon Town. Every nigger earns his living off the old welfare, in Coon Town. I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO I HATE NIGGERS YES I DO I HATE NIGGERS AND YOU SHOULD TOO

You get the idea.

Brilliant move, Reddit admins! You surrendered to the bigots and now they’re walking all over you.

H/T — r/GamerGhazi

 

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Orion
Orion
6 years ago

I’d believe the 4chan dude. 4chan’s not an ideology, I doubt they care if they lose some pageviews. They just want a free space to share stuff with their fringe community without repercussion. And honestly, if he didn’t want to be contained, why else would he make the hitler post.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

I am in awe of your profound fluency in reaction gifs.

Don’t be in awe of me, be in awe of the dozens of links I go to get my gifs from. I have an entire folder with sub folders dedicated to them.

Jake Hamby
Jake Hamby
6 years ago

@Had To Be Said

The concern I have with that approach is that, even with the penalty you mention, the regular users of the unpromoted hate sites will still accumulate karma and build their pseudonymous reputation while crossing over to the rest of Reddit at will.

Jake Hamby
Jake Hamby
6 years ago

I have more thoughts on this, and other topics, on Twitter. @jhamby. While Twitter has its problems (so does Facebook), it’s a much better signal/noise ratio for me on general topics due to the short max post length.

My theory on Reddit is that the community is toxic and it’s doomed, basically. Too many creepy guys. Shaenon’s observation on “makeupaddiction” is on point. YouTube has the same problem with its commen sections on videos produced for, or featuring, women, especially on “serious” (non-female-coded) topics like (everything except fashion, recipes, etc).

Cerberus
Cerberus
6 years ago

Had to be said-

Yeah, things that are unsearchable and that watchdogs can’t easily access are totally unwanted by the types who love trading in illegal activity such as terrorism, sexual assault tactics and child porn.

Fuck, given that Reddit has literally the same ineffective management chain and is made up of frozen peaches types who think rape threats aren’t really a big deal, I’m not seeing this as anything other than a means that horribly toxic people can use to organize and set up raids on the supposedly respectable parts of the site while enjoying zero oversight and zero watchdogs keeping an eye on them and calling out their behavior. Absolute shielding from counter-speech, access to a dark web like portal on a major site from which you can still easily access the sites that most of your targets are on.

Fuck, this is practically Christmas for the terrorist bigots out there, which is why they are all acting like its fucking Christmas.

And let’s note here that these are the same bigots who rant screaming death when a woman criticizes a piece of media they enjoy or who threaten to kill people over framerates in video games. If this was even remotely something they viewed as genuinely threatening to their bigot communities, they would not be silent about it.

The fact that they are means all the bigots know its a sweet deal and a transparent means by which the executives who tolerate and agree with them to hand-wave to the advertisers about the toxic cesspool they are running.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

It is becoming evident that someone at Reddit (or many someones) is strongly in favor of the site continuing to be a barrel of sewage. Who they are and why they want this are unclear to me.

The only thing I go to on Reddit is creepypms, which is not representative of the site. I hope it doesn’t get destroyed.

LeeshaJoy
LeeshaJoy
6 years ago

Y’know, usually when a site or part of a site goes ad-free it’s because it’s switched to a model where the user pays for the service directly. I wonder how these bigots would react if, the next time they went to their favorite subreddit, they were prompted to enter a credit card number?

anon
anon
6 years ago

This will turn into such a fusterclick that whoever came up with this will be sent adrift on an ice floe.

Although I hope that after a day or two of posting racist ****, everyone who posted there gets IP banned.

sn0rkmaiden
sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

@Leeshajoy,

btw, thanks for often ‘liking’ my comments. For some reason I never have the option to click like on anything except the main article.

I think making redditors pay for the privilege would kill reddit stone dead, though that would be no bad thing.

KL
KL
6 years ago

hmmm, maybe hate forums should be paid for by the bigots…? Orrr just relegated to 8chan….

KL
KL
6 years ago

At the risk of being called names for attempting to explain how someone else might think, maybe the redditors dont want to draw a line because they dont want their forum to be for ony certain types of speech, but open to any speech…?

KL
KL
6 years ago

…like, some people have always wanted it to be forbidden, impossible to say “Im transgender and proud” anywhere at any time. OBVIOUSLY we think “I hate trans people and Im proud to be a dumb bigot” should not be said, but maybe the reddit people want to take human judgement out of it or something along that line of logic. Not saying its my stance.

Had To Be Said
Had To Be Said
6 years ago

Um, perspective? You do know that Reddit does not equal the cherry-picked worst of Reddit, right?

What is most representative of the site as it is actually used by most is probably the front page. I don’t see any hate there.

You can go to redditlist to see the most popular subreddits. It’s not exactly a “toxic cesspool.” It’s a list of news, science, jokes and gifs. Of the hundreds of subreddits there, only r/4chan leaps out at me as something I’d want to avoid for sure. The only place CoonTown gets a mention is the currently 5th-fastest-growing subreddit called r/FuckCoonTown, a subreddit against hate.

Robert,

Why do you worry that your favorite subreddt, r/creepyPMs, will be “destroyed”? Ridiculing socially incompetent people is not against any rules that I am aware of, unless that ridicule crosses the line into doxing or harassment.

Cerberus,

Yeah, things that are unsearchable and that watchdogs can’t easily access are totally unwanted by the types who love trading in illegal activity such as terrorism, sexual assault tactics and child porn.

All of those are completely prohibited by Reddit’s rules. None qualify for the new classification. So I’m not sure what your point was.

I’m not seeing this as anything other than a means that horribly toxic people can use to organize and set up raids on the supposedly respectable parts of the site while enjoying zero oversight and zero watchdogs keeping an eye on them and calling out their behavior. Absolute shielding from counter-speech, access to a dark web like portal on a major site from which you can still easily access the sites that most of your targets are on.

Very little of this makes sense. Organized harassment campaigns are already forbidden. Anyone who wants to be a subreddit “watchdog” can easily make an alt account and subscribe to the subreddit to monitor it. No subreddit has “absolute shielding from counter-speech” because anyone can subscribe and post. There are no “dark web like portals” on Reddit, and it is already true that anyone can “easily access” every public website on the internet.

Um, perspective?

Sofia van der Linde
Sofia van der Linde
6 years ago

Perhaps it should be pointed out to companies who advertise on Reddit that they are subsidizing these subReddit hategroups.

Jon9
Jon9
6 years ago

Hey, I have a totally insane and logically ridiculous question for the Reddit owners who are happily hosting this garbage on their site:

Why is it that NONE of them seem to understand basic concepts of compassion and empathy. Why is it that NONE of them seem to have even the simple ability to put themselves in the shoes of blacks, Jews, females in media, and other targets of those scummy sub-reddits, and imagine how they would feel at being exposed to some of the most truly toxic content on the internet aimed at them?

There’s a famous poem that I half-remember, perhaps someone here could help me out with this, but basically it starts with something like:

“First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew”

And it goes on in a similar vein for a few more verses, before concluding with:

“And then they came for me, and there was no-one left to speak out for me”

Again, I cannot believe that this is the kind of stuff Reddit would willingly associate itself with. Why sacrifice compassion and empathy on the alter of allowing actually pretty dangerous hate and prejudice to fester on their site, especially considering that Reddit are now in fact essentially paying for them to remain on there?

Also, how do I blockquote, bold, and italic, among other useful site commenting features?

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

You do know that Reddit does not equal the cherry-picked worst of Reddit, right?

Does it really count as cherry-picking if we’re talking about a cherry orchard in the cherry capital of the world?

Had To Be Said
Had To Be Said
6 years ago

KL,

The Reddit CEO’s announcement that David recently linked to pretty much says what you are speculating:

We started Reddit to be—as we said back then with our tongues in our cheeks—“The front page of the Internet.” Reddit was to be a source of enough news, entertainment, and random distractions to fill an entire day of pretending to work, every day. Occasionally, someone would start spewing hate, and I would ban them. The community rarely questioned me. When they did, they accepted my reasoning: “because I don’t want that content on our site.”

As we grew, I became increasingly uncomfortable projecting my worldview on others. More practically, I didn’t have time to pass judgement on everything, so I decided to judge nothing.

So we entered a phase that can best be described as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This worked temporarily, but once people started paying attention, few liked what they found. A handful of painful controversies usually resulted in the removal of a few communities, but with inconsistent reasoning and no real change in policy.

One thing that isn’t up for debate is why Reddit exists. Reddit is a place to have open and authentic discussions. The reason we’re careful to restrict speech is because people have more open and authentic discussions when they aren’t worried about the speech police knocking down their door. When our purpose comes into conflict with a policy, we make sure our purpose wins.

As Reddit has grown, we’ve seen additional examples of how unfettered free speech can make Reddit a less enjoyable place to visit, and can even cause people harm outside of Reddit. Earlier this year, Reddit took a stand and banned non-consensual pornography. This was largely accepted by the community, and the world is a better place as a result (Google and Twitter have followed suit). Part of the reason this went over so well was because there was a very clear line of what was unacceptable.

Therefore, today we’re announcing that we’re considering a set of additional restrictions on what people can say on Reddit—or at least say on our public pages—in the spirit of our mission.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@jon9

That was a poem by Martin Niemoller.

The irony is that he was a terrible anti semite. He had problems with Hitler because he didn’t think the Nazis were tough enough on the Jews.

Criticising Hitler did end up putting him in Dachau.

Although now the poem is seen as some big testament to tolerance, and Niemoller encouraged that viewpoint when his past came up, it’s more of a Larry Flint style “even scumbags should get justice so as to protect decent people” argument.

katz
katz
6 years ago

You do know that Reddit does not equal the cherry-picked worst of Reddit, right?

Even if the worst of the worst was actively difficult to find, Reddit would still be responsible for its existence and everyone would have the right to judge them by it. There are many websites that don’t contain material that violates a sense of human decency or, if it appears, immediately delete it and ban the perpetrators.

Reddit’s failure to do so is a completely reasonable criterion to use when evaluating whether the site has merit.

Had To Be Said
Had To Be Said
6 years ago

Does it really count as cherry-picking if we’re talking about a cherry orchard in the cherry capital of the world?

Pretty funny. But it doesn’t apply. If the cherries are so easy to pick, why are they nowhere to be found on this page?

If the cherry is hate, that page is not an orchard. It’s a desert.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

Didn’t we chew out How to Be Said for being a stupid git in a different thread about something? Why are we even entertaining them on this thread?

Cerberus
Cerberus
6 years ago

KL-

Hate speech and harassment equals less speech for non-normative individuals. Giving absolute “free speech” and treating “kill all *****” as equivalent to “I’m trans”, means those stating marginalized identities is putting a giant target on your back saying harass me.

And we can see this directly in the community breakdown of sites with and without moderation. Those with a more frozen peaches glibertarian ideal become dominated with a monoculture of middle-class white guys whereas sites with more extensive moderation allows marginalized groups to come out more safely as black, women, trans, queer, ace, etc… without fearing harassment and constant unrelenting bullshit.

And I have seen my fair share of communities see a precipitous dropoff of people standing up for themselves and diversity owing to the price to be paid on less moderated sites. If you’re going to hang out and talk about X, why would you ever want to spend day in and day out constantly having to withstand the worst barrage of hate for being Y and being asked constantly to defend your existence as Y.

As such, even those addicted to SIWOTI end up giving up and moving on if the culture is perceived as toxic and it doesn’t take many toxic people not being moderated and banned for the culture to be perceived as toxic.

FREEZE PEACH as the haters practice it means an open forum where terrorists have the freedom they want to silence everyone else’s right to speech through threats and violence.

This is what we’ve seen directly. This is not an abstract theory.

In practice, your ideas on how free speech work are transparently and painfully untrue.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Not all reddit. Blah, blah, blah.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

Didn’t we chew out How to Be Said for being a stupid git in a different thread about something? Why are we even entertaining them on this thread?

Eh, mostly because I wanted to play with the cherry metaphor. =P

Cerberus
Cerberus
6 years ago

Had to be Said-

All of those are completely prohibited by Reddit’s rules. None qualify for the new classification. So I’m not sure what your point was.

Who will be looking to ensure those things will be banned on the shadow redditt. No one currently keeping the worst of the subreddits semi-honest (let’s be frank on how those sites have still coordinated illegal activity such as the trading of illegally gained pictures, trading tips on how to get away with rape and how to harass women online through swatting and the likes) will be able to access and read the worst of the subs when they are discussing in what they view as safe locations.

And that’s never ever lead to anything bad ever in the history of America, right?

Very little of this makes sense.

Then you are intentionally ignorant about the site you are defending.

Organized harassment campaigns are already forbidden.

cough cough, Kotaku in Action, cough cough.

Anyone who wants to be a subreddit “watchdog” can easily make an alt account and subscribe to the subreddit to monitor it. No subreddit has “absolute shielding from counter-speech” because anyone can subscribe and post.

Yes, to keep an eye on the speech, all anyone has to do is make alt accounts that moderate it and those aren’t scrubbed ever. Hmm, isn’t that the same thing that is technically true of the dark web. I mean, anyone can technically join the site and keep an eye on them. So, really what’s the big deal. Nothing bad ever happens there in a space that is really hard for law enforcement and watchdog organizations to access it.

There are no “dark web like portals” on Reddit, and it is already true that anyone can “easily access” every public website on the internet.

Oh hey, you just own goaled your point on the dark web. Good job. Go team.

Now go the fuck home. You don’t know what you are talking about and your attempt to bloviate like you do is tiring, boring, and frankly embarrassing for yourself. Have a nice life, don’t call again, bye bye.

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