If you spend a lot of time on the interwebitudes, you will probably have across the name ‘reddit’ – even if you are not a frequent user of the site.
Personally, I love the place!
And, I freely admit that my blogging time has decreased when my reddit time increases.
If you spend even a little bit of time reading the news, you will probably have heard that reddit has had a little bit of a blow up. In the figurative sense. Being the sharing kind of person that I am, I thought I’d get some of the background and links here, in one place, for your convenience, my dear readers.
First thing to remember is that reddit is user-generated content and most of the moderators are volunteers, with a life outside of reddit (if such a thing is possible) and that only a fraction of the people responsible for making reddit the awesome community it has been are actually employees of the company.
Anyone (who registers) can create a post, a comment to a post, or even create a whole channel (called a subreddit). If you have thought of it, chances are, there is a subreddit for it!
Here are just a few examples from my favourites:
- r/MacroPorn (don’t worry, it is SFW (safe for work))!
And politics, world news, and so much, much more!
One of the most popular subreddits ever is AMA = Ask Me Anything. When President Obama went on it, even the robust servers of reddit were overloaded.
This particular subreddit, AMA, had an employee named Victoria Taylor. A very popular employee, whose job it was to verify that the people answering the AMA were the actual people named, not their assistants or PR flunkies.
And this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back!
Everyone (the moderators and the redditors, that is) went into full rebel mode, either blacking out subreddits or freezing submissions for a specified symbolic time period or apologizing and stating reasons for why they remained open (this is mostly true for the support groups or the fluffier pages – even such ‘apolitical’ subreddits as WTF (what the fuck – on of my favourites) went dark (marked as ‘private’).
And the petition calling for the interim CEO, aka Chairman Pao, to resign got over 160,000 signatures in just a few hours.
Of course there is a lot that lead up to this.
Drip, drip, drip…
Chairman Pao fired a popular dude – just because he got leukemia. (OK, I lost the link to that twitter feed, but it’s true. I’m sure if you do a little digging, you can find it. Sorry – there is now such a glut of info…that Twitter thingy was one of the first things I saw, but now it is drowned out….apologies.) First, reddit accommodated him, letting him work from his current home, then threatened to fire if he did not relocate to California. Then, when he agreed to get them a letter from his MD saying it’s OK to relocate, one day later, Chairman Pao called him up and fired him anyways, citing his poor health as a reason. Even though he had managed to do his job despite the illness just fine…
Drip, drip, drip…
Chairman Pao had made changes, attempting to turn reddit from free speech user generated content into a ‘safe space’.
In case you are not familiar with speech codes, ‘safe spaces’ is the ultra Political Correct speak for non-controvesrial and PC self censored to the point of irrelevance. Yeah…
Drip, drip, drip…
And this policy started coming into place by trying to completely delete whole subreddits that were deemed ‘not safe spaces’.
Like a subreddit that made fun of fat people.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I have the figure of a goddess! A palelolithic fertility goddess, to be exact!
Yet I was deeply offended and seriously angered when I learned that reddit deleted the subreddit that made fun of fat people! I’m a big girl (really, I am) and I don’t need someone – anyone – to protect me from people making fun of an aspect of what makes me me! GRRRRRR!!!
So, it is in this atmosphere of people being very unhappy that censorship, politically correct censorship, was ruining reddit that the firing of Victoria Taylor came.
Perhaps even more importantly, in came on the heels of an AMA session with the notorious race hustler, Jesse Jackson, which (rather predictably) turned out to be not very pleasant for the ‘good reverend’.
One of the thing about the reddit community (redditors) is that they are difficult to easily place into any of the current political group. OK, I am oversimplifying here, obviously, but if I were to describe the generic generalization caricature thingie of most redditors, I would say they are free speechers, socially progressive, strongly individualistic techies. Live and let live – and say it like it is, without pretentious sillyness.
As in, we tend to live our social live on the internet, where a person’s gender and race are not visible and certainly not a factor in evaluation. Only one’s opinions and online behaviour (history) are used by others to form opinions about one.
Because all other context is missing.
And, most of us find ‘speech codes’ to be beyond silly.
Yes, we can be hurtful – but we poke fun at our selves as much as at others. And because our online presence is crafted to be whatever we choose it to be, we are not afraid to say what we actually think, regardless of our gender, colour, orientation, fat content or anything else!
Which is why the timing of Victoria Taylor’s termination at reddit is so important: it came on the heels of an AMA session with Jesse Jackson.
Jesse Jackson seems to have complained that his nephew was ‘shut out’ from the opportunities in Silicon Valley because he is black….except that his nephew is a professor at MIT…..because ‘racism’.
It gets betted from there: from people asking about his illegitimate son (whom he fathered while married) to, well, calling him a racist twat – to recommending he fire his publicist for ever letting him do a reddit AMA!
I highly recommend reading the whole thread – it is hilarious! I was in pain from laughing!!!
Which, again, highlights the problem: Jesse Jackson was hoisted on his own petard and raked over the coals for his prejudice, racism and divisiveness. For profiting by stoking the racial flames rather than being a healer and making our society better.
Very predictable reaction from the reddit core audience.
But, the result was that Victoria, the employee responsible not for the mocking, but for lining up and verifying the guest, was fired by the PS-correct-driving CEO. Who is trying to impose the hated, nay, reviled, ‘safe spaces’ agenda onto a free speecher, deeply individualistic community.
Drip, drip, drip!!!
The proverbial bucket overfloweth!!!
Welcome to AMAgeddon!!!