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I want to talk about that community, because it genuinely boggles my mind. Their culture is as if they were crafted by /r/circlejerk as some sort of cosmic joke. They repeat the same memes ad nauseam, in every post, seemingly completely unaware. They lack any measure of what I consider healthy internet cynicism - if you post a picture of your face and say "I beat cancer!", you're getting upvotes, and there won't be a single comment in the thread along the lines of "this is a picture of a face." I mean, it's easy to bot upvotes on reddit, but it's trivial on imgur, because of the total lack of self-awareness of the community.

I get that I come off as a total asshole - "why don't they hate the world, as I do?!" But honestly, they seem like the most gullible bunch of back-patters on the internet.




I guess I’m an Imgurian, since I’ve been on Imgur for a few years, and hell, I even met my partner at Camp Imgur in 2015—basically a 3-day summer camp for (mainly) young adults.

The culture is…hard to understand if you’re not a part of it, which I think is probably true of any sizable social site. And different users probably have different attitudes about it.

Yeah, there’s a lot of memetic trash, because the culture definitely rewards repetition, and I guess the only unifying factor of everyone on Imgur is that we like to look at pictures. But that’s also an advantage in that the community seems to be more diverse than on any given subreddit, or even HN. (Although it definitely skews young, male, white, and progressive.)

It’s kind of nice to be part of a community that’s unabashedly earnest, even if it means getting taken for a ride sometimes. I don’t think there’s no self-awareness, it just doesn’t seem like it from the outside.

For example, take Lassannn. He’s a user who makes up stories for points, and is completely honest about that fact. Some people hate him for that, believing that if you’re posting a story in the first person, it ought to be true. So they started saying “Fuck you, Lassannn” on all of his posts. But now there’s also a sizable cohort of people who love him because he’s a good guy and produces good content, so they post “Fuck you, Lassannn” ironically to make fun of the people who actually hate him. And crucially, you can’t tell the difference if you aren’t aware of the whole story, which has taken place over years. And there are countless stories like this.

For me, Imgur has all those aspects that I loved while growing up on forums in the early 2000s. It also rewards clever puns, remixing, ironic shitposting, even intelligent discussion if you look for it. I’ve learned countless things from people with completely different backgrounds, been exposed to world news I would never have seen otherwise, and been able to reach loads of people with my bad jokes, shitposts, and encyclopedic knowledge of linguistics and trivia. It’s fun, and that’s all that matters.


If you listen to most conversations in the street between persons hanging around, you'll notice the same patterns. People conversations are quite dumb, and it's ok, it's human.

Imgur and the like are just recreating the "hanging around" concept, online, within a certain community. It's not rocket science.


Its no more dumb than arguing about editors, or tabs vs spaces, or metal versus opengl. You can introduce dressing to make them seem deep, or re-cast the conversations as being super critical, but all those conversations are about typing shit that goes into a file.


When was the last time you heard someone actually debate about text editors?


I'm assuming you mean the last time today.


Neckbeard here raged hard yesterday about adding netcat to systems for troubleshooting. Keep it lean. Hates Docker and this container "fad" though. Guess that's "too lean"?

Usually rants once a week about not needing more than vi

Not even vim, but vi

Perl is the only language the world needs

He is very serious about these things. Shuts PR's that challenge his world view in anyway

He's barely 40

Little sympathy for him and his back problems lately. It means he's working at home and not around the rest of us.


At least once a week if not more. Of course I'm biased coming out of a CS degree program...


almost never, but i've seen a lot of debates about the relative merits of vim (a text editor, for the uninitiated) and whatever it is people use to painstakingly insert glyphs into a file.


I poked fun at someone's choice of an editor about a week back. :P


> if you post a picture of your face and say "I beat cancer!", you're getting upvotes, and there won't be a single comment in the thread along the lines of "this is a picture of a face.

objectively, and putting aside the kneejerk reaction against being fooled, i cannot see a single thing wrong with this. no one is asking for money or trying to con the audience out of anything tangible; either they're telling the truth about the cancer (in which case they'll be happy for the upvotes) or they're trying to game the imgur community for upvotes (in which case they'll be happy for the upvotes). you might argue that that's cheapening the upvote, but the sole value of an upvote is what you, personally assign to it. you want upvotes that are worth something to you, post in a community where they are rare enough for you to feel they are worth something.

as for the rest of it, if the backpatting keeps them happy, what's wrong with it? it seems infinitely better than e.g. the cringe-oriented communities who get their social bonding and dopamine hits from making fun of the more earnest sections of the internet.


The meme problem I see on Reddit and Twitter too - so many sites developing their own meme dialect that's completely incoherent if you're not up to your elbows in it.


I have to use http://knowyourmeme.com/ more than I care to admit.


I tend to see this as personally beneficial. Once the patois diverges enough, I stop wasting time attempting to decode it, unless I'm bored enough to treat it as anthropology.


A big part of what makes the comments so poor on imgur is that they have an arbitrary character limit of 140. When you limit people to a single sentence, memes and jokes are all they can post. This comment, for example, can't be posted there.


Eh, people regularly get around this by splitting their comments in much the same way as on Twitter, dividing them into multiple 1/2


comments as a nested chain of replies, which is also often abused for humorous effect. 2/2


Which I find obnoxious enough to avoid reading entirely :P


Is your quote ("why don't they hate the world, as I do?!") just off the cuff or a mockery of something or a repeating of something already out there to be sourced? If there's a source please share.


Off the cuff comment to indicate that my observation isn't a serious proposition, but just me sharing my general feelings, and acknowledging that my feelings should be considered fairly cynical.


Sounded like it may have been drawn from a good piece of satire critical of something like PC/free speech or climate change or some controversial thing. I was imagining a funny characterization of a crowd berating some perceived antisocial individual who doesn't truly hate the world but just won't conform to ideas he does not agree with or is not convinced by whatever they may be. Either way works as great quote for a dissenting opiner to play.


it's the original poster displaying some self-awareness about his rationalization of pointless contempt and constant misery as "healthy cynicism"


That does seem like there are more bots in the community compared to organic posters.


i think it's just what happens when the unifying identity of the people in your 'community' is "i need to upload pictures somewhere." well, that and "i have no prior attachments to more specific internet communities," or "reddit is too niche for me."

i hate to use the term 'normies', but...


I feel like you just described reddit.


FWIW /r/no_sob_story/ is dedicated to highlighting content that is only interesting due to post context


Yeesh, the users on that subreddit all seem really unhappy.




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