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RIP Kuro5hin (kuro5hin.org)
298 points by Jerry2 on May 2, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 270 comments

Hey so this is Rusty -- What happened was basically that Internap shut down the data center we were in and had to move the servers, and I conspicuously failed to Deal With Things around that. The content is probably not gone forever, but it may be a little while before it reappears. There's a very good chance that it will reappear in the form of an archive of static html pages though, not a live community. So if you'd like to, this is probably a good time to mourn what it was, although in that sense K5 has clearly been over for years.

That's great! If you need any help in this effort, please don;t hesitate to contact me. My email i sin my profile.

Thanks for creating K5 and letting it become what it had become.

I also really enjoyed your guest post to the The Awl mailing list last year. I did a double-take when I saw your name in the header. Is there anywhere we can see your writing on a regular basis nowadays?

I hold out hope that Today in Tabs will be back from its hiatus one day. Got in on it very late but my wife and I loved it.

Ah yeah, I had totally forgot about that since it disappeared!

It was better the last few years because my otherwise-marginalized point of view won out, on a level, relatively-ban-free playing field. Your weak-ass memes couldn't compete.

Consider donating it to the Internet Archive. This is precisely the kind of thing they really do a good job with, and it's worth saving.

Yeah I don't really mind continuing to host it -- in archived form it wouldn't be any burden. But I'll talk to people.

I'd vote for "both" - since I'd love you to be hosting the archive on the original domain for the moment, but I have more faith in them not Failing to Deal with Stuff than you (and were I in your shoes I'd be thinking the exact same thing about myself) - and, also, I'm kinda hoping the internet archive will outlast us both unless we get immortality soon enough.

Also, [insert gushing praise here], I loved k5 back in the day.


Del Griffin seems to be working on Scoop improving it on his Scoop site. He can run your Kuro5hin and maybe even fix the cancel button and other things. He's currently adding HTML tags and trying to fix the https links without the a href tag in autoformat.

I'll run it better. Turn it over to me. There's gold in the database that got censored on the site. I'll assume all legal liability.

Yeah Lulzara can't sue any more because he had a Vespa accident and died. So Crawford's diary on him could come back an be undeleted.

It tells the truth on technology companies and how they cheat software consulants out of money.

Hey Rusty! If you bring the site back online, we can archive it and push it into archive.org for permanent storage.

Just drop into #archiveteam on EFnet IRC and let someone know its ready for ArchiveBot to ingest when its back online.

> and it's worth saving.

That's kind of an interesting question. There's certainly some stuff there worth saving forever, but there's also stuff that's just plain bad or that's the intellectual equivalent of embarrassing childhood photos, which may not be worth saving at all.

I never was part of Usenet, but I understand a lot of people were angry at Dejanews and Google when what was once (perhaps naively) viewed as ephemeral communication was turned into a public searchable archive. At least most people on Kuro5hin used pseudonyms.

I was a user of K5 and I don't think anyone there viewed it as "ephemeral communication". If they thought so, it seems as though the joke's sort of on them, given that the site stayed operational for almost 17 years.

I can forgive that sort of attitude among the early users of Usenet, because there was a long period during which it was just technically infeasible to have a permanent archive of everything (and it's still kinda true, if you count binaries groups; most Usenet providers don't keep everything forever). But that was definitely not the case by the time K5 came around.

The site's culture, at least IMO, was that if you really embarrassed yourself your way out was by ditching your pseudonym and starting over (or by saying the dumb thing under a throwaway account to begin with, which was perhaps too easy on K5).

There's perhaps some argument to be made that forums that require real-name registration ought to allow comments to either be deleted (bad) or anonymized (probably better) on request, to allow people to move away from past statements. But I don't know if that's ever really been a reasonable expectation on a pseudonymous forum, at least of the non-toy/non-amateur variety.

> That's kind of an interesting question. There's certainly some stuff there worth saving forever, but there's also stuff that's just plain bad or that's the intellectual equivalent of embarrassing childhood photos, which may not be worth saving at all.

That isn't your call, and is nobody's call, really. Better to preserve it all and let people decide for themselves when they look at it.

K5 is blocked by robots.txt on Archive.org

First there was Slashdot, but CmdrTaco insisted on picking the stories for us. He called it an "omelet".

Kuro5hin came along to fix this, but discouraged posts that were just links to pages elsewhere on the web. IIRC, this was called "link farming". How many users had the talent and time to create original content, and then survive the ridiculous Kuro5shin editing process? Not many.

Digg then encouraged links, but shot itself in the foot with a stupid redesign.

Nowadays, reddit is king because it avoided the obvious mistakes of its predecessors.

Except that Reddit is gradually turning into 4chan. Every time I see /r/all, it's a little more mean-spirited, a little younger, a little more toxic.

Outsourcing moderation and libertarian ideals all sound nice, but when the rubber hits the road it gradually chases normal people away. Reddit just did it it slower because the strengths of their platform and content overwhelmed it... but it's getting there eventually.

The default sub-reddit's turn into what happens when you have a site populated mostly by the lowest common denominator and posts that appeal to the same. Once it became mainstream the defaults just fell into an Eternal September cycle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September) that most sites never recover from. However, reddit had a defense mechanism against this in that there are many, many subsections and almost hidden communities or "True*" sub-reddit's for the core/original users who prefer some semblance of thought provoking content or discussion, or at least pretend to.

I generally unsubscribe from all of those defaults (except maybe /r/WorldNews) and almost never look at them, have some lists of subject related sub-reddits I like (ex: tech). There are sub-reddits that have communities in them I haven't found a replacement for elsewhere aside from maybe some private FB groups. There is something to be said for exclusivity or staying obscure. For every /r/The_Donald there is a /r/Sweden, or for /r/SRS and /r/RedPill there is /r/TwoXChromosomes and /r/AskMen. You aren't going to read about the good communities in the news, as polite people having interesting level headed discussions rarely makes headlines.

To me Hacker News is just another sub-reddit like site. I usually see the same links posted in my sub-reddit's as I do HN, and I'd wager the discussion is sometimes better in the sub-reddit's than it is here, it's at least on par.

> I generally unsubscribe from all of those defaults (except maybe /r/WorldNews)

Maybe I don't understand how bad the rest of the default subs are, but the last time I went to the comments in r/worldnews, I saw nothing but awful, racist garbage. Maybe the links and headlines are worth reading, but those comments have completely killed any interest in discussion there.

The comments are probably as terrible as you describe. Keep in mind that the comments on the website of every major newspaper are as bad or worse.

Sure, which is why I always go back to the Reddit comments, instead of reading them there. It's just disappointing.

They also think the US isn't part of the world.

I get it, you want a news place that's not all US, all the time. I'm right there with you, but if I am going to "world news", then I expect news from everywhere in the world.

"World news" is commonly used to mean "news from countries outside of our main remit".


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world http://www.theguardian.com/world http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world http://edition.cnn.com/world

The US is the focal point of basically every other subreddit (e.g. politics), so they specifically go out of their way to be the rest of the world. That's not unfair by any means. If they open it up to US news then that's all it becomes. Call it "WorldNewsExceptTheUS" and you still put US at the focal point.

r/news does that, I don't actually go on r/worldnews and instead just use r/news which has actually a decent variety of news from around the world sometimes, also there are people who work hard to balance off the racist and hateful comments for the sub

/r/AskMen is a very skewed community too, just not as skewed as RedPill. It's like this all over the site. The whole site disproportionally attracts people who are unsatisfied with their social circles and looking for an alternative. It's like 4chan except people have recognizable usernames, so it feels like people are having genuine interactions with other people.

To see it all you have to do is go to a mainstream subreddit click on a few usernames and read the comment histories.

Yes, but we can't pretend that the low quality of the defaults doesn't affect the quality of the good sub-reddits.

Does it? A subreddit is as good as its moderators; a good team can keep a sub from being flooded with trolls, or even regulars who are unfamiliar with a sub's rules or culture.

It does.

When a really nice niche subreddit is thrust into the lime-light by becoming a default, it usually dies from an influx of low-quality default users. If it doesn't die from that, the moderation team has to really step up their job - a job they're not getting paid to do which means moderation teams get overworked and burned out, and the quit and the sub dies from lack of moderation. If the subreddit is survives that, the more successful approach seems to be for moderation to become very heavy-handed, which does quite well in a number of places, but also forces a change to the subreddit's culture that was doing well before it became a default.

If the answer is to not become a default sub, well, then the low-quality of the default has affected a good quality sub from becoming a default and prevented quality content from reaching more users.

Unfortunately, a good moderation team doesn't just appear, and one way of acquiring talent is to gasp pay for it. Reddit's avoidance of paying moderators results in relying on unpaid volunteers to do the bulk of the work, so good teams are few and far between, and horrible racist troll-y shit is de jure.

Reddit wants to be "the front page of the internet", but when the default not-logged-in front page features shit like "What's the difference between a feminist and a gun? (self.Jokes)" (pulled just now), it's never going to rise above being dismissed as the front page for horrible trolls, racists, and misogynists.

If I'm supposed to make an account then wade through a pile of shit subreddits just to find an AskHistorians diamond or two, how about I just don't wade through the pile of shit at all?

> When a really nice niche subreddit is thrust into the lime-light by becoming a default

Ah, I didn't realize you were talking about subreddits getting "promoted". That definitely sounds like a nightmare.

I think that quality subs can bubble up slowly, with manageable growth, by virtue of being featured on r/bestof and the like.

I think some would be able to survive even the danger of being a default sub, for example either AskHistorians or AskAnthropologists just straight up deletes any top level comments without a source and are very ban happy leading to questions with only 5 answers, albeit all of decent quality.

This made me just imagine an aristocracy of commentators where once a community grows to a certain size/popularity it locks up and others must be vetted into the group through some process I can't imagine yet.

That's pretty much how every private tracker site has worked. Just s/seed/karma/ ratio and use the same process. Might as well take the whole system where power users/VIP users with higher ratio or who paid can get extra privileges.

Comment karma makes your upvotes/downvotes worth more? Let admins endorse power-users with the power to "bless" people with high vote-power, including a buff to the implicit self-upvote?

Reddit is overwhelmingly "normal people". Mean spirited and "toxic" is normal people. Go look at twitter, and tumblr and facebook. They all have the same thing. These sites didn't chase normal people away, they attracted them.

> Go look at twitter, and tumblr and facebook.

As much as I despise how close-minded and backwards society is on average, this particular argument doesn't hold. What you see on a social networks is not a likely to be valid data-point for what the average person is like; at the very least it will be heavily biased. SMBC has a very concise explanation:


Of course that's just nice a hypothesis/observational humour mix, but it fits with the well-known effect of people thinking the world is a lot worse because the news reports only the negative, or that everyone else in their (virtual) social circle is more happy and successful than them because Facebook shows the most liked posts first.

More rather, people arguing on the internet are moreso what the average person is "like".

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    - Oscar Wilde

No, that is purely humor, and isn't related to what I am talking about. There are no sides here. This isn't "people on side X of issue are bad, not like us wonderful side Y people". It is the simple fact that those sites demonstrate that reddit is not driving away normal people. Facebook is the definition of normal people, and they act the same way. And note, I am not saying ALL normal people are mean and "toxic". I am saying having a small vocal subset of the population be mean and "toxic" is normal. What was abnormal was having a higher standard than that, caused by having a small, fairly homogeneous community. Reddit went from abnormal to normal, not the other way around.


Missunderstood parent poster

> If/If not a negative vocal minority exists is irrelevant, nor its interactions.

The amplification of the loudest and most brash is the social interaction equivalent of selection bias, or cherry picking, except without it being by choice on the recipients end. How is that not relevant?

Furthermore, a social network is nothing but interactions. That's all communication is: interaction between people.

> All you do is provide a rationalization that the world isn't as bad of a place as the comment section suggestions.

Given that I am responding to a comment that EDIT:appears to argue that the comment section represents "normal people" I think that is a pretty relevant argument. Although GP has since explained that he meant something else.

And no, it is not like hidden variable theory at all, since that argues that there is an unseen explanation of observed effect, without arguing that the observed effect is not representative. I am arguing the observed effect isn't representative to begin with.

>How is that not relevant?

Because nobody is suggesting that minority is anything other than a minority. Simply that having that minority is normal.

Ok, I must be missing something: first you say "this is what normal people are like", I respond "no, it's a vocal minority appearing like they take up a bigger share of society than they are." How can you claim "nobody is suggesting that minority is anything other than a minority" when I am literally arguing that they are, in the sense that they are over-represented on the internet?

And if you are saying "this is what normal social websites look like", just say that instead of claiming that this representation maps to what normal people are like. Because that is what this message reads as:

> Reddit is overwhelmingly "normal people". Mean spirited and "toxic" is normal people. Go look at twitter, and tumblr and facebook. They all have the same thing. These sites didn't chase normal people away, they attracted them.

I don't understand the confusion. Normal people includes a diverse group of people, including those you would consider "toxic". This is true in real life, and on every mainstream website. Real name policies did not change this. Because this is reality. Reddit has become more like facebook, twitter, etc. Because it has grown, and is no longer mainly a homogeneous little group of tech guys. Saying reddit has driven away normal people because it has become more representative of normal people is absurd.

IMHO, niche sub-reddits are really where Reddit shines. I can't even remember the last time I intentionally visited /r/all. Topic-specific sub-reddits are my go-to source for unbiased information, advice, and birds of a feather.

> unbiased information

I agree with you, but just to be pedantic: kinda by definition they are biased; in a way that's what makes them great!

I can't even go on Reddit anymore, in fact I just avoid it all together at this point. I'm sick of the memes, I'm sick of the left wing, hive mind, down vote brigades, and I'm especially sick of everyone just being an asshole to everyone else.

It's funny you mention this, but Reddit was always this way. Nobody remembers this now, but two election cycles ago, Reddit was the Internet epicenter of the Ron Paul reLOVEution that was about to take over the world. That's when I got tired of Reddit.

Left wing? I don't bother with Reddit because they strike me as a herd of authoritarian neo-liberal drones. Left-wing definitely not.

Liberals think Left is too right-wing because of its strong libertarian and racist/sexist contingent, and Conservatives think Reddit is too left-wing because of its hatred of religion and wall-street economics.

The truth is that Reddit is just full of assholes.

Reddit is absolutely a liberal dominated forum.

> they strike me as a herd of authoritarian neo-liberal drones.

> Reddit is absolutely a liberal dominated forum.

Sounds like you two agree.

I don't really go for reddit either for similar reasons. It's not so much the left/right thing, just the general lack of maturity.

You can just go to some other subreddit with a right-wing hive mind instead. Problem solved.

You actually can't. Lefty types show up in pretty much all the otherwise good topical sub-reddits and signal and get their upvotes. There will be some utterly irrelevant aside with Trump bashing, or whatever, on thread about single cylinder engines. There are some guys upthread here arguably doing it, for example.

Ask the lefty signaler to shut up and stay on topic and you get downvoted or even deleted.

Reddit is dominated by entry-ist lefties to the point it's too annoying to read.

> You actually can't.

I had to download Reddit Enhancement Suite today (where I previously didn't bother at work) only to be able to hide r/The_Donald from r/all. It's just fucking everywhere, I can't take it. 50% of the posts are doomsday prophecies and just pure and utter shit. During every US election this happens, and your/their election process is so long you're basically wading in bullshit for 2 years.

I'm not talking about /all. I'm talking about how, for example, on the C++ subreddit some lefties lost their shit and ruined a bunch of discussions because some guy innocently mentioned as an aside using the King James Bible as a text corpus for algorithm testing and interview questions. Only a crazy person would care that this guy mentioned using the KJB, but apparently a fifth of the people there are crazy. Which is weird because a lot of the specific crazies are otherwise very smart and interesting people. But they just couldn't let it slide. This is the totalitarian nature of the left.

While I can appreciate the annoyance when people take a discussion off-topic, in a threaded forum like Reddit, you always have the option of just clicking the little 'close' button and collapsing a comment and all of its children. This is really the beauty of threaded comments; it lets people have their sidebar conversations in detail, without permanently dragging the discussion there. Everyone else can just continue to respond to the comment upstream of the derail while interested parties hash it out. (Without this, you end up with something like Metafilter, where there's a huge amount of active moderation and fairly severe community-norms-enforcement, much of it aimed towards keeping discussions on track and dissuade trolling / derails.)

And depending on the context of the conversation, I can totally see why placing "the Bible" and "interview question" in the same sentence would attract attention. My internal HR-department DEFCON meter just went up about two points just thinking about it, and I'm certainly less attuned to Bad Ideas than most. I'm not sure that's a reasonable thing to expect people to just leave alone, particularly again when you have threaded discussions so there's not a ton of social pressure against nitpicking.

Reddit does have its share of problems, but given their apparent goal of being sort of the heir to Usenet in terms of an everything-to-everybody discussion platform, rather than simply a subject-specific discussion site, they seem to do rather well. I sometimes think they're insane and hubristic for the whole "platform" ambition, but they're one of the more successful attempts around right now.

> I can totally see why placing "the Bible" and "interview question" in the same sentence would attract attention. My internal HR-department DEFCON meter just went up about two points just thinking about it

You are the problem and you don't even realize it. You don't realize how crazy you are.

Actually, I'm pretty sure most people reading this thread will have the same reaction, though not about him.

Your need to pipe in further solidifies my point. It's the totalitarian nature of the left. No dissent from the party line can be brooked.

I am not a christian. I'd be fine with the koran or the bhagavad gita as a corpus. But internet lefties like you two lose your shit and ruin any discussion over mention of the bible.

I don't mind anyone using the bible in any technical capacity during a job interview. It's clearly not about religion. The reason I said what I said is because you keep saying things like "It's the totalitarian nature of the left.". You sound like a character from K-pax, and it's not one of the doctors/nurses.

That's some cute back tracking.

No, I can't, because if I want information on a particular game/field/whatever, it's been overrun with trash by now. Sure, you can find your little niche subreddits that are civil, but how is that helping me? I don't want to use it, just to use it.

I didn't mean that comment to be entirely serious; sorry.

First "the fappening" attracting juvenile sexist dudebros and alienating the rest, now /r/the_donald (and I'm skipping a lot of drama).

It's not a coincidence that the best subs are the ones where the goals of the sub are clearly defined and the mods enforce the rules with an iron fist (/r/AskHistorians is the best example of this).

/r/AskHistorians is the reason I started using Reddit. Found some threads by accident, was then amazed with the quality answers and good community. I am but a lurker there but I extract an immense value from it in terms of "having fun online", it is one of my favorite places on the internet.

Can anybody explain how /r/The_Donald even happened? I can't tell if it's serious about Trump or if it's the new containment sub for dudebros. I'm very surprised at how often posts from there show up in /r/all.

Reddit, as a text forum, has a common problem with Poe's law: dry satire is sustained for too long and starts to be taken seriously.

Subs that start as sarcastic mockery become havens (and recruiting posts) for true believers.

See... I dunno. I don't think that's the problem, though, at least, that's not my problem with reddit.

My counterexample is Kuro5hin, back when it was still a thing. In the good old days; sure, you could never really be sure who was trolling and who wasn't, but it was usually well-written, erudite trolling. It wasn't particularly repetitive, and it was entertaining.

In my opinion, the problem is not trolling, it's people expressing opinions in repetitive, uncreative and not very entertaining ways. Fundamentally, I believe that the problem is bad writing.

As someone who follows /r/ShitRedditSays and /r/SubredditDrama on and off I find it completely unsurprising. For years reddit has been fertile recruiting ground for racists, sexists, anti-semites, homophobes, transmisogynists, and ableists. This is largely the fault of Reddit's administrators who had a strict laissez-faire approach to content on their site and refused to remove content that was overtly any or all of the above. Hell, getting them to remove /r/jailbait (which, even if the public posts were strictly legal (a few posts were proved not), provided a convenient meeting place for actual pedophiles who would trade illegal content over private messages) required the attention of the mainstream media! In 2015 they created a Terms of Service that bans "involuntary pornography" and content which "encourages or incites violence" or which "threatens, harasses, or bullies" but before then they did not.

The admin's attitude towards speech on their site fostered a strong contingent of posters who posted edgy "ironic" non-politically correct content in what was a relatively safe space to do so. Having a place where this type of speech was normalized attracted people who actually believed those non-PC stances and they posted "ironically" as well until the lines between irony and un-irony completely broke down. A very good example of this is /r/fatpeoplehate. Before it was banned it was one of the fastest-growing subs and their horrible bullying "memes" permeated the site ("found the fattie!"). After it was banned there was a brief shitstorm in which FPH subscribers flooded the site with FPH content but after a few weeks they largely disappeared from the site. Fortunately FPH was nipped in the bud; other hate/bullying groups are established enough on the site that even the removal of their dedicated subs (like the Chimpire network) did/will not drive them off.

You may have also been under the impression that Reddit in general (as much as that can be a thing) was somehow "progressive." This has some truth to it but the events of the past few years have mostly exposed this for what it mostly really was: "brogressiveism." Basically, on any issue that would impact young white middle-class men Reddit will generally hold progressive views. This includes gay marriage, drug legalization, college tuition/student debt, etc. But when it comes to issues that do not affect that demographic Reddit becomes far more conservative. The blistering responses to Black Lives Matter (about racial inequality) and Tropes vs. Women/GamerGate (about feminism and representation in video games) demonstrate this nicely. (That's not to say there are not people who are genuine progressives on Reddit; there most definitely are but they are far outnumbered by "brogressives" and outright conservatives on the most popular subs.)

/r/The_Donald combines both of these traits. It may have started ironically as a way for people to make jokes about a joke candidate, but just as his campaign became serious so too did the "jokes" on /r/The_Donald. Additionally, Donald Trump has enough brogressive views that he can appeal to that crowd without the inconvenience of challenging them to consider people who have different life experiences than their own like true progressive candidates would. Basically, /r/The_Donald is a perfect confluence of issues that have been underlying Reddit for years.

> strict laissez-faire approach

You mean they allowed speech that didn't tread on the rights of others? I think racism is shitty too, but I'm not going to ban it. And that makes me sound like a bad person, but people's definitions of racism vary extremely widely.

It's not possible to say something without offending someone out there. If you think taking down posts that simply offend you is a good idea (rather than ignoring posts that you don't like and refusing to take those people seriously), then there are other platforms out there.

Better yet, you can make your own subreddit and stop complaining about the others on the site.

Everyone else has as much a right to reddit as you do.

> brogressive


There's nothing wrong with having a differing opinion.

> blistering responses to BLM [...] demonstrate [conservatism] nicely

So you're saying that people who disagree with BLM in some way are conservative?

I disagree with their methods. Am I a conservative now?

> BLM, GamerGate, Trump supporters

Do you think these groups should not be allowed to use reddit?

You are right that at some point what is and is not acceptable speech becomes a judgement call but at the same time some speech is so incredibly corrosive to the health of a community that you must draw that line. All social media sites should be taking that lesson from Reddit.

"If you don't like the moderation just start your own sub" is a nice idea but breaks down in practice. The very reason you visit Reddit is to discover and discuss links. If you don't like how a sub is moderated you can start your own but that doesn't mean anyone else will use it over the other one. If there is a general sub for topic X just starting a sub that is "X with stricter moderation" isn't very likely to attract a lot of users. However, if you frame it as "X for people [pro/anti]-hate" you are going to draw in the passionate minorities of users on either side which will cause extremification rather than moderation. Having an extreme sub may also attract users who are only marginally interested in X but have a deep interest in the hate (for or against) which will cause further extremification.

This extremification can in turn poison the general subs. On Reddit if a link is posted in multiple subs there will be an "other discussions" link which will show you where else that link has been posted. If a news story is posted in both a general sub and a [pro/anti]-hate sub the users from the latter can easily find and post/vote on the general sub's discussion. (Not to mention posting Google-able quotes and outright direct links to other subs.) This was overtly a major problem with /r/fatpeoplehate. If a link (or quote or screenshot) was cross-posted to FPH you could count on FPH trolls to show up in short order and flood the general discussion with their hate. Even when it's not that overt the extreme users can subtly shift the tone of a general sub towards their point of view over time, such as with rampant racism on /r/worldnews.

The most straightforward solution to this that I can see is to 1) moderate general subs so that their tone remains, well, moderate, and 2) ban extremely offensive subs (using the standards of society at large as an indicator of what is too extreme). That's not to say this is an easy task or even clear-cut in many cases and it will prevent some people from expressing their legitimate opinions, but if the thin extremes at the end of the bell curve need to be cut for the benefit of the fat middle on a privately-controlled website I do not see a problem with that. (I do believe that governments should not restrict speech but social media sites are not governments and should not be held to the same standards.)

EDIT: Also, to clarify, the third paragraph of my original post was regarding people's perceptions of Reddit in aggregate, not how it actually is. Reddit (for a time) had a reputation as "progressive" but the reality does not and did not not match this reputation. I did not intend it as an attack on people who have non-progressive views (I obviously consider myself a progressive), I was merely providing examples of how the reality of Reddit's aggregate political views (to the extent that millions of people can be classified as having aggregate political views) are (or can be perceived as) "progressive" on some prominent issues but non-progressive/conservative on others.

It boggles me that there's no way to filter out specific subreddits on /r/all without using some custom viewer or plugin. Or am I missing something?

Perhaps the FilteReddit[0] feature (under Filters) of RES is what you're looking for?


Like I said, is it possible without a browser extension?

It is a paid feature that is part of reddit gold.

Oops, missed the "without". Innocent mistake. That, I don't know.

Log in and unsubscribe, visit reddit.com/ instead of /r/all

Or even just offer /r/default as an alternative to /r/all that only shows the default subs instead of all the subs.

I find it interesting that with social media sites as big as reddit giant events can happen without users being at all aware this is the first time I have heard about r/the_donald

the only recent dram I have heard about is stuff related to league of legends which is humorously enough the largest sub I am on outside of /r/news

It's really unfortunate that this post about the (final?) end of Kuro5hin.org ended up getting completely derailed and dominated by an unoriginal discussion about reddit.

ha! I didn't even realize I got dragged into the reddit tangent. Thanks for setting us straight

More than moderation, I think it's just an artifact of their ranking system. It basically guarantees that the only stuff on the front page or top of large reddits is going to be stuff that's shallow and easy (not to mention quick) to consume.

Or is it the same age and your a little older?

Reddit when they started to ban subreddits for hate speech and other things, that is when 4Channers came over to cause some trouble.

I never had any problems on Reddit until after they changed their policies, I don't go for hate speech and other things, but /r/Ferguson was about the Ferguson riots and Black Lives Matter and other stuff related to Ferguson, but the racists came in and took it over and then it became one of those subreddits that was in lock down and it warned you about it when you tried to access it. I got downvoted by racists and had to leave that subreddit.

I live near Ferguson and shop there, the people of Ferguson are good people no matter what race they are. The rioters and looters came from outside Ferguson. Maybe people don't always wave back or smile, but they got their own problems they are dealing with.

This. I just deleted my 10 year old reddit account. I might miss a big AMA from a famous person I'm interested in, but I'd rather that they choose another platform besides reddit for taking questions, so I'm voting with my clicks.

unsub to all the political nonsense, and reddit's still a valuable resource.

He said /r/all and not the default subs.

/r/all is generally a cesspool nowadays, especially with all the #TREMENDOUS /r/the_donald shitposts.

I have seen Trump-tier shitposting leak into /r/China and other completely unrelated subs as well.

It's getting out of hand.

you must have missed all the bernie sanders stuff.

Well it was OK then because it agreed with his worldview, you see.

Oh come on now, despite being a Trump supporter I find it 9/10 crude and tasteless.

I use it almost exclusively for Elixir stories. I think for very narrow topics it still has some value. Then again, I've never been a serious redditor, so take that with a grain of salt. I miss the old days of slashdot...

The politics leaks everywhere, except in the most heavily moderated subreddits like AskHistorians.

Not to mention that reddit doesn't police offensive usernames.

Fortunately usernames are short, limited, and easy to filter out visually; there's no space to put something actually offensive in them. It takes one going out of their way to get offended for one to have a problem with Reddit usernames.

r/all looks nothing like my front page.

While it's arguably true that the level of discourse is not what it was 5 years ago (or maybe my interests/world view has changed - probably a combination of both), a (personally) curated list of sub-reddits is still 100x better than the default reddit.

depends on the subreddits - r/nba, r/hiphopheads, r/comicbooks are all great quality communities

It feels so incredibly good to watch them slowly getting corrupted. After the cancer they introduced to 4chan, they deserve it.

Regression to the mean...

Digg died not just because it was a redesign, but because it sold out as part of that redesign. Built into it was highlighting the content of media companies, and elevating it above the submissions by regular users.

Reddit has avoided getting bitten by this by selling out quietly behind the scenes. It has partnered with those same media companies and advertisers but it simply allows them to present themselves as regular users, or present their content in AMAs or other officially sanctioned channels.

Reddit has so far avoided Digg's big misstep; making it obvious to the users that they value the money from media companies more than the memes and other junk regular users make. But make no mistake, Reddit is currently in the same position Digg was in when everybody jumped ship. It's just too subtle for most Reddit users to notice.

I think you're all missing the biggest flaw in Digg- lack of true conversation threading. When your comments have a max depth of 2, any sort of meaningful back-and-forth becomes impossible. For that reason, the comment sections on Digg were as worthless as comments on YouTube or Facebook. People fled to Digg because Slashdot's moderation kept the flow of new links to a trickle, but the conversations on Slashdot were much better. Then came Reddit with a nice comment system and open submission and everyone went there. Reddit was really nice when it was mostly just former slashdot people and other like-minded nerds, but then the hoi polloi who had caught on to Digg jumped ship to Reddit and the conversation has gone downhill ever since.

Perhaps if Reddit's comment moderation system were a little more sophisticated- Slashdot's Funny/Informative/Interesting/Etc and meta-moderation may seem a little cumbersome, but it definitely seems to have helped keep the conversation above a junior high level.

Hacker news ain't bad, either, mostly because the people who know about this place seem to be fairly intelligent and educated. The interface could maybe be a little better, but I can put up with it to read better, more informed comments.

Maybe 2 as max depth is restrictive, but rarely a thread with more than 4 back and forth doesn't degenerate in trolling, except on tightly knit or heavily moderated communities.

> How many users had the talent and time to create original content, and then survive the ridiculous Kuro5shin editing process? Not many.

k5 had a diary section where you could publish anything you wanted.

I think the biggest problem with k5 were the annoying "trolls" that were allowed to to shitpost without any restraint whatsoever and eventually overran the whole site.

There were (at least) two distinct subfactions of trolls. One were the purely destructive, who'd started out on slashdot posting goatse and gnaa vileness. This faction has basically continued, in spirit if not in personnel, to be the pro-abuse faction wherever things are discussed on the internet.

The other faction were people fed up of what they percieved as groupthink, who ran a much more subtle and 'traditional' trolling campaign culminating in the foundation of Adequacy.org . I still refer people to their great general-purpose essay "Why the Bombings Mean That We Must Support My Politics".


For people who are fans of adequacy, the author of that essay is Daniel Davies, who blogs at Crooked Timber and on Medium, and has an entertaining Twitter feed.

> IIRC, this was called "link farming".

"Mindless Link Propagation" was the term of art at the time. Still true.

Ah, that was the name. Thank you.

> Nowadays, reddit is king because it avoided the obvious mistakes of its predecessors.

reddit even seem to have found a way to deal with obnoxius moderators - allowing multiple subreddits

The solution to all problems is let your users do it.

That's actually pretty spot on. I've ran popular communities that ultimately failed because we hadn't scaled moderation. As long as your content is good, scaling moderation will be the hardest thing for any UGC site, and if you don't build it fast enough the site will either get destroyed or you won't be able to work on the product due to fire fighting.

Or giving each community its own space, rather than forcing everyone into the same room.

Not if you want to make money though or have any real control of the direction of your company though, apparently.

> or have any real control of the direction of your company though, apparently.

Here's the secret: you never have

If you push your company in a direction that gets you no customers you're done

It's like a boat in the wind, if you're good you can maneuver using the sail and in a way go against the wind with some limitations, but you're still dependent on it

You mean the Usenet model, which worked for decades and is still working, does, in fact, work? Amazing.

Edited to add: OK, that comes off as a bit mean. I'm leaving it in case someone likes it, which really just goes to show my point: Beyond a certain size, it's impossible to please everyone. You can please a good standard deviation or so worth of people, but you do that by offering content which almost aggressively cuts off the long tails. Think prime time TV circa 1990. The smaller voices just get drowned out.

The solution is so rock-simple obvious to me that I'm surprised it isn't standard practice: Allow the users to create newsgroups (or subreddits, or fora...) and let them manage them mostly-autonomously. Allow the small voices a place to dominate. If they want echo chambers, fine: The mainstream is even more of an echo chamber for people who live almost exclusively in the mainstream.

I'd argue the reason we thrived was because we knew we had to be a platform for communities (subreddits) from the beginning. No single frontpage can be home for everyone, but tens of thousands of communities on a common platform, can scale forever.

Slashdot was definitely the OG, though. Got to meet CmdrTaco at a talk I gave a little while ago and tell him thanks for everything he did to inspire us at Reddit.

Subreddits are certainly a powerful idea, but I think reddit would still have triumphed as a single humongous community for all.

> How many users had the talent and time to create original content, and then survive the ridiculous Kuro5shin editing process? Not many.

There were plenty, and the ones that did were great. If you browsed the Diary section, there were running short story collections like "Fast Times at Phillips 66" that were just amazing.

I stopped paying attention around the time that they required payment for new registrations, and then shut down registrations completely. The dupe-account roleplaying was among the best aspects of the site.

Digg had a lot of issues before the redesign.

The community had grown huge and become terrible (without small high quality subreddits to retreat into).

By the time the redesign happened there wasn't much to lose.

Digg pretty much died when it was co-opted by political players. Even /. took a hit when they allowed politics free reign

when it comes to tech sites and geeks the last thing you want in intelligent stories and conversation is politics

That what was wrong with Digg went wrong well before the infamous redesign.

The Wikipedia page mentions that it was running on Scoop, but doesn't include that Scoop was written by Rusty as the framework for k5. Scoop went on to be used in a few other places, among them HuSi (where a bunch of core k5 folks moved to, though it's now pretty defunct as well).

The most well-known site I'm aware of that used Scoop was DailyKos, which I believe started on WordPress, then moved to Scoop (highly customized and eventually almost entirely rewritten I think), then finally onto its own custom-build CMS. There may have also been one more stage in there.

Source: 3-digit UID on DK, and was a regular way way back when on both k5 and HuSi.

I found a citeable reference[1] to back up your statement about Rusty being the original author of Scoop, and have updated the Wikipedia article accordingly.

[1] Wikipedia is quite strict with how cites are referenced, and unfortunately, I couldn't take your word for it!

> "Kuro5hin — pronounced corrosion"

Ah, all these years I thought it was a Japanese name..

It was a joke on multiple levels. The founder was Rusty. Rusty -> rust -> corrosion -> kuro5shin. The second level was that it was a reference to Neal Stephenson's Sno Crash character Da5id character. The pseudo-Japanese and l33t-speak spelling was did give it a a cyberpunk flair.


To be honest, there was something very awesome about the site layout. When the story submission queue was full and the trolling was only very much in the background, then it was a really good and amazing site.

The trolls turned incredibly mean though. They didn't ever come out of the woodwork, and they were completely anonymous. They were the harbinger of what was to come about half a decade later.

Amusingly enough, if you read it as "kuro-shin" that could correspond to the Japanese characters 黒心, which literally translates to "black heart". That's what I thought the name was supposed to be too.

FWIW, くろ (kuro) is the "kunyomi" of 黒 and しん(shin) is the "onyomi" of 心. Japanese 2-character compound words don't mix onyomi and kunyomi. I don't think there is a character with a "kuro" onyomi or one with a "shin" kunyomi (well, there's 信じる (shinjiru), but that's a reading that doesn't go without the hiragana).

Actually there's a lot of words that mix onyomi and kunyomi. For example, 親身 "shinmi" (relative): both of the characters have onyomi "shin", but 身 uses kunyomi reading "mi" in this word. Other examples are 見本, 強気, 親分, it's more common than you'd think.

Heh, this is where this gets embarrassing... of course, they are common. They are so common that you end up losing track of them, hidden in plain sight. Looking them up, I now discover they even have names: 湯桶読み(yutouyomi) and 重箱読み (juubakoyomi).

Wow, same here. Thought it was pronounced: KEER-oh-shin or keer-OH-shin

Kuro5hin ran a block-all in their robots.txt[0] so this is more historic internet content that will dissapear into the abyss.

Anyone know of a mirror or an effort to mirror and host the site?

[0] http://www.kuro5hin.org/robots.txt

I wrote a k5 screen scraper, and have 95% of k5 diaries, unfortunately I don't have any stories. Date range for my archive is: 2001-1-4 to 2015-7-22 For a total of 161,942 diaries: http://k5.semantic-db.org/diary-slurp/161942--archive-diarie...

Here is a summary of what I have in my archive: http://kr5ddit.com/post/759

Here are some tables showing which kuron had the highest number of posts over the lifetime of k5: http://kr5ddit.com/post/759

BTW, rusty was certainly aware of my screen scraping project, and did not tell me to stop. And it would have been very obvious in the log files.


Some of my very first publicly useful code was a script to download and backup my diaries, so I have that extremely embarrassing reminder of my college years.

Thank you!! Downloading to get my old stuff.

The robots.txt you see now is probably the one on the server "parking" the domain, and not that of the original site.

A "site:kuro5hin.org" query shows results, so I'm guessing the original one isn't a block-all.

Nothing via the wayback machine... :-(


All that lost content...

IIRC, a (current) robots.txt retroactively will remove public access to the Archive. RIP.

This annoys me to no end. It basically means that you can retroactively censor content by buying a domain that was parked for 10 years and then remove the old content with one little robots.txt. All of this regardless of the wishes of the original creators.

Will it also delete the content?

I remember reading that they don't actually delete anything, even if served DMCA notices --- they just remove access to it, with the justification being that laws may change and one day allow access again. Makes sense for an archive, I guess.

Ah good, so there still is hope :)

>The robots.txt you see now is probably the one on the server "parking" the domain, and not that of the original site.

Still enough for TWBM to kill all its archives. It's ridiculous :(

k5 was the first place where I realised that trolling was a hobby for some people, that I encountered the knuckle-dragging form of misogynism that has now come to the fore on Twitter and social media generally, and where I realised that long-form writing in a forum-structure could have a home.

I loved k5 when it was good. But when it was bad… man, it was really bad.

I will remember it with a sense of fondness, but given I only checked in on it twice in the last 4-5 years shows how little I'll miss it.

You can still read legendary Kuro5hin contributor localroger's writing here: http://localroger.com/

My story, 'Electronic Taxi Dispatch, v1.0' was the last to post. I saved my diaries and stories about my adventures in the taxi, I guess I should buy a domain of my own.

Please do that. I enjoyed your stories, particularly 'Who Are Your Lifelines?'

Glad you liked that, thanks for commenting here. One of the pieces I've drafted but not yet posted is on the subject of "ordinary rendition", and is thematically related to the Lifelines piece.

Rusty appeared above and told what happened (datacenter moved), and said k5 might come back some day. I rarely use twitter, but I'll put a link to my site here: https://twitter.com/taxicabjesus

Thanks for the link! For a while, the K5 fiction section was my main reason for going to the site.

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