No, instead it drags down users who don't follow the hivemind and bolsters power hungry mods who set the narrative.
Reddit, and it's system, is in my opinion the very opposite of fixing anything, unless you think echo chambers are good thing.
> With Reddit, though, it's right there on the homepage. As I write this, the top item on the site - about a person conquering drug addiction - is there because 49,600 people felt it worth my attention.
And a number of posts you don't see because they're either removed or because the algorithm holds them back.
Also, the upvotes you see are not how many people have upvoted that post... That number is much different.
> Under Reddit's upvote/downvote system, clickbait headlines often sink quickly, while long, descriptive titles, leading to genuinely insightful information, thrive.
How much time has this author spend on reddit? Clickbait is upvoted just as easily, as long as it goes along with what the hivemind thinks on that moment. And long descriptive titles do indeed thrive - because almost no one reads the article and most discussions that follow are bases solely on the title of the article.
Sigh so much wrong with the article, so much wishful thinking towards reddit..
The Reddit algorithm now is incredibly opaque with constant tinkerings that make me think the "voting" is more of a placebo button on the front page. In recent memory, there were a few incidents of /r/The_Donald fully populating the front page, all with 0 upvote scores, which came off suspiciously as if they were deeply messing with the voting system.
Where it used to be a platform where you could be assured there would be minimal censorship, it is now commonplace to "shadowban" users who go against the narrative and the rules are arbitrarily enforced to ban subreddits. (Check out /r/shitredditsays for a subreddit that constantly breaks site rules but still stands unopposed)
Reddit is obviously striving for constantly more advertising friendly platform and it has been demonstrated multiple times upvotes are easily bought and advertisers are constantly sneaking in posts disguised as users to do their "viral marketing"
No, author, Reddit is moving right towards the direction of Facebook rapidly. It is only a matter of time before they begin to lock out content behind a login page, you can already see the transition today.
You know that reddit doesn't actually show you vote counts, right?
And yes, Reddit removed the ability to see the number of upvotes/downvotes on any item a few years back. Just another way for them to obfuscate the actual results of a post.
They're already doing that, it started a few months ago. It seems to be an A/B test, so if you're lucky it might not be applied to you yet, but it looks like this: https://i.redd.it/4lrxutwazc701.png
I deleted an account I had there a while back and started again, with a very different set of subreddits, switching from fun to serious sub-reddits. It's like a totally different website.
I shudder to think what a racist or misogynist's reddit looks like.
As you can see, they're all very targeted to specific interests. However, I'd also be interested in learning about other good subreddits regardless of their focus. Which ones did you or anyone else find?
The best one are well focused, well moderated, large enough to not stagnate but without tipping over into 'lowest-common-denominator' mode.
It's not perfect, but /r/NeutralPolitics/ is worth keeping an eye on. It's an attempt to provide a platform to share facts and debate civilly.
Reddit's based in interest (subreddits) YOU can choose, not in who you know, not on who knows you and uploaded their contact.
Reddit doesn't tailor adds and content based on your purchasing history from your and your wife's credit cards
Reddit doesn't limit your browsing to only the last 10 posts.
Reddit can reset your password via one email, it never asks you to upload you picture and doesn't block you every 24 hours for no clear reason.
They've been doing a bit of work on this. There were a couple of pro-anorexia subs which got banned. There was a pro-self harm sub that got banned.
Today, on HN and elsewhere, people label any headline “clickbait” if it isn’t a neat and complete summary of the article’s content. Any suspense, or pun, or metaphor gets the dreaded monicker.
Which is actually quite a change from just 5 years or so back. At the time where google was the main source for news publishers, and not social media, headlines went through a phase of being overly descriptive. They were trying to hit all the keywords people might search for. Back then, it was quite common to bemoan the death of the creative headline.
Look Reddit is transparently similar to many forums that came before it, and most of the old farts from slash dot will know this.
What major change Reddit enables is subreddit budding/splitting for forums.
Forums had a terrible problem with the noise to signal ratio- sometimes the topic (say pictures) was too broad to deal with. How the heck do moderators of a forum on pictures deal with memes? Or just cute baby pics? Or nature pics- and so on.
Well subreddits solves that - while giving you a single identity you can use to traverse all this stuff, with a relatively consistent set of functions over each subject domain.
This is a pretty major function and any large scale forum will have to enable this functionality.
Also subreddit creation is a snap.
As for everyone who is bemoaning the state of Reddit - that’s the state of any forum after it starts attract the full attention of the internet populace.
The truth is long since known. The net is generally an ugly place and assuming that the admins or mods are some how unusually responsible for this state of affairs is dismissive of reality.
I Once modded at Reddit - I’ve gone from pro free speech to defining a whole new set of rules and conditionals for working with speech online.
Free speech in the old net sense is long since gone, and it’s not implementable at scale. Trust me, we’ve tried.
At best there’s networks of ideas and forums working with or against each other.
This is the constant refrain from the pro-censorship crowd: "if we let people say distasteful things, they'll start thinking distasteful things!". Well, no - you have it backwards. They already think it, that's why they wrote it down. What you're trying to do instead is to make the people who believe X think that they're all alone in the world, being the only ones who believe X, which actually fails spectacularly - the people who believe X learn to speak and write in "dog whistles", and the fact that you're suppressing them in the first place helps convince them that they were actually right in the first place. Otherwise, why would you be so threatened by them?
With few exceptions the right to post in a forum has always been at the pleasure of the mods/sysop. In fact, the quality of discussion is usually proportional to how effectively the mods cull the off topic content and wield the ban hammer against the trolls. It has been this way since the days of the dial in BBS.
If the people who believe in X are unwelcome in a particular forum, then no one is stopping them from building their own. Maybe they don't benefit from the network effects of a Reddit, but a Reddit derives zero or even negative benefits from hosting them, so fair deal.
Reddit is very close to everything wrong with the internet. And on top of that, they're trying to turn into a facebook-like abomination, because the anonymous, free-for-all nature of the past Reddit has not been proven to be profitable or controllable enough.
the foremost being the abusive mods on each sub reddit who let their power delude themselves into forming a god complex, the second being the voting system where it costs nothing to down or up vote leading to extremely bigoted subreddits where those in opposition to the hivemind are quickly banned and their opinion suppressed. lets not even get started on the karama junkies who will repost anything of significance repeatedly if it means getting another 100 or 200 karma, reddit is a cesspool of spam and ignorance fueled by a failed system.
Also, Reddit is a high traffic site, so the MAU argument doesn’t really hold water. Generously, maybe facebook’s popularity in more diverse international markets adds additional challenges?
A lot of my favorite corners of the internet are places where people obsessively talk about some fairly narrow niche, and for me assembling a stream out of such forums ends up being pretty delightful! Plumbers post plumbing in-jokes in /r/plumbing, but explain them to anyone who asks and help out the non-plumbers who wander in with questions. I never bump into the darkest corners, and I'm glad that they've been sweeping them out. Periodically I'll see a pile of [deleted]s, but generally in some thread clearly vulnerable to inappropriate comments or dumb yucks jokes.
I'll assume all the "power hungry mods" people here aren't idiots having their "that's what she said" comments and race theories deleted. Is the mod dynamic significantly different in much larger subs than I frequent? Are people frustrated at having comments deleted, or are they running afoul of some subs' (sometimes very persnickety) posting requirements?
"Bikes hold the secret to fixing traffic jams". Ok, sure...
I like to play a game where I make up sort of believable 'true stories' about minor celebrities. I always make sure they are VERIFIABLE FALSE to someone who did the tiniest bit of fact checking.
Sometimes they only receive a few up votes... but a lot of times they get thousands. Eventually someone will call bullshit, but that person is just crushed by the avalanche of up votes. Lying about minor things isn't something most MODS will ban you for, or even delete your comment, so most of them still stand.
There has to be some mechanism where one person who can prove they know the truth, has more voting power than the general visitor who does not. It's just like something Sheryl Sandberg said to me at a women's leadership conference. "It takes a lot of people working together to build something great, but it only takes one asshole to fuck it up."
Sometimes the celebrity themselves may have selective recall of an event - so even a statement from the subject of the rumor could be false.
Two video cameras catching the same event from different angles can imply vastly different stories.
Basically the plot of rashomon unfolds everyday and at scale.
There's no way to disable downvoting on reddit. Some subs try to hide the button using custom CSS, but this doesn't affect those with custom CSS disabled sitewide, per-subreddit (with RES) or mobile users (presumably the majority of traffic).
Tangent rant: giving your sub some character with a custom banner is ok, but the ability to hide or change basic UI like the logout button or voting buttons is a huge flaw in the design of reddit.
Reddit has turned into a crazy echo chamber - a crazy echo chamber that is in line with BBC's goals.
Reddit just in the last few days banned /r/uncensorednews and /r/european for some of the most racist, xenophobic content you can find on the internet. And the admins allowed this behaviour to persist for months and years.
Or maybe they should spend some time in /r/incel or /r/kotakuinaction to find disturbing sexist and mysognistic communities that again is unparalleled amongst the rest of the internet (4chan included).
The depths of Reddit is truly an horrific and appalling place to be. And no self respecting website should ever follow what Reddit does to stop it (i.e. not very much).
Stormfront recruits on Reddit and works to infiltrate then control popular subreddits.
The Reddit admins only banned a couple of token websites recently because media attention was focused upon them. Once the spotlight moves elsewhere, the admins will once again go back to doing nothing.
There's also accusations that CEO Steve Huffman "/u/spez" is a white nationalist supporter. This leads some folks to say that Reddit is not cracking down on hateful content because their leadership approves of it. Spez was also caught directly modifying Reddit's production database to change comments mocking him. That's right, a C level exec had production database access and thought nothing of trolling people by directly modifying their comments.
This calls into question any legal case that has relied on Reddit comments as evidence. For instance: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/watch-mo...
Reddit's leadership has also been denying that they have done nothing to mitigate the Russian propaganda influence on Reddit. The admins have tried to pass off a few banned accounts as "constant vigilance". This has been shockingly inadequate since the Russian influence of US elections was uncovered.
The best one can say about Reddit's leadership is that they're very, very lazy.
Reddit streamlines the process and provides a one-stop shop reducing the barriers of entry.
Are you shielded from the "bad parts" of reddit if you don't subscribe to that type of sub-reddit? Well, maybe, unless you hit /r/all in your top navigation. It's all right there lurking under the surface. Reddit gets very dark very fast and it is factual that they don't control it nearly as well as they should.
So no, it is not like "complaining about the internet because it contains websites that you have no obligation to ever visit" because the internet has no mechanism to surface bad content on the whim of its users. All it takes on reddit to surface something terrible is coordination and hitting the upvote button.
It can never be factual that something should be, since what should be is subjective.
Don't think this is true, search engines and crawlers can surface anything that users want to find.
>All it takes on reddit to surface something terrible is coordination and hitting the upvote button.
You need never see content from subreddits you are not subscribed to
As someone very much on the other end of the spectrum, it might be interesting that everyone in my circles loathes reddit for the censorship and manipulative propaganda. I hate how well they "control" it, and I despise your euphemistic use of the term.
I am obviously not for censorship of ideas, but reddit goes deep into the worst mankind has to offer. There's a line that each individual will draw on what is acceptable to them or not. I think that reddit often crosses that line for many people (would say most, but I don't know and am trying to avoid bias). I do think they need to stop the proliferation of racism, pedophilia and other societal maladies. You may draw different lines.
But I would love examples (and you have what appears to be a throwaway account here, so I think you can be comfortable sharing) of what you think is reddit's censorship or their manipulative propaganda. I mean this in earnest. I don't see it, but we all have different views of the world.
You are though. What's the point of including this little disclaimer if you're going to render it meaningless in your next breath?:
>I do think they need to stop the proliferation of racism, pedophilia and other societal maladies
I think they have every right to do this, but I condemn them for it.
If the ideas are so terrible, beat them with rational arguments. If you have to ban an idea, it seems inherently evident to me that the idea contains some irrefutable truth that can only be silenced, not defeated. It disgusts me the same way that critical discussion of the holocaust is punishable by imprisonment in some places, in contrast to virtually every other historical incident which we encourage fact-checking and debate and almost invariably acknowledge that there are two sides to every story.
I wonder if I could appeal to you by taking this approach... When you drive people away from relatively mainstream places like reddit, where they are exposed to alternate viewpoints even if sticking predominantly to their politically incorrect echo-chamber subs, you don't magically change their opinion. You don't make the idea go away. All you achieve is creating a persecution complex within these people, reinforcing their belief that they know some inconvenient truth, you create solidarity within that community of exiles, and you drive them into a pure echo chamber of ever-increasing radicalisation without objection.
I personally grew disillusioned with reddit after being banned from all my favourite subs for reasonably tame (and relevant) comments condemning the mass 3rd world invasion of Europe and the West, and the increasing push by socialists and Marxists to manipulate and destroy our culture. My most frequented sub I now haven't visited in, I estimate, over 18 months, because it's infuriating seeing the leftist circlejerk and knowing I'll be rate-limited or banned even if I create a throwaway to offer a reasonable and polite comment in opposition.
Instead, I spend most of my time on voat and a little on 8chan, and in the space of a couple years I've gone from libertarian race realist to full 'gas the kikes' and 'niggers ruin everything'. It's a redpill I can't unswallow now. It's a redpill I maybe never would have known if I hadn't seen subs banned, subs manipulated, inconvenient news censored, algorithms altered, etc and said fuck it, I'm out.
If they were at least honest about it, I could accept it. Perhaps it's the perverse nature of it that frustrates me the most. /r/politics is an egregious example: the name implies neutrality, when in fact it's a cesspool of anti-White, pro-globalist, leftist hysteria and propaganda.
I find quite laughable that some jerks cry about censorship when a private company denies them access to a site, while they propose to use physical force and violence to deny access to other people to a physical place.
It's very offensive to say this is representitive of left wing ideas. It's actually right-wing unless you compare them with literal Nazis like Breitbart-affiliated politicians.
You know you’re talking about the place where GamerGate kept rolling, various neo-Nazi / white supremacist / misogynist groups remained for years, etc. At most I’d say that Reddit is libertarian leaning due to the general preference for a hands-off free for all.
Yes, I always hear this repeated breathlessly. Then I go look at that hive of scum and villainy that is the Gamer Gate sub and find:
"The Metropolitan Police's (Greater London) Orwellian definition of "hate incident" is actually terrifying"
"[Censorship] Lauren Southern talks with Sargon about her Detainment and UK Censorship"
"[Gaming] Violent video games not welcome for Olympic esports consideration"
"London Mayor warns big tech on hate speech."
"[Related Politics] The creator of the world wide web is disappointed that huge platforms "control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared"
Point me to the omnipresent hate please. They seem pretty on point about censorship and free expression.
See, you are free to believe that it's a misogynist and hateful movement all you want, but you should at least be honest with yourself about the kind of argument you are making. Namely:
"Black Lives Matters is about looting."
I assume you don't need me to tell you why that is dumb.
(And every time this gets brought up here, some dedicated flaggers come out of the woodwork)
So are the depths of our very society.
The problem of Reddit is the opposite, that they arbitrarily ban subreddits, like the ones you cited.
The third problem is that any competitor site is going to be unsuccessful due to network effects except at attracting the banned Reddit communities, so you get a site that is full of trolls and controversial communities without balance from the rest of society.
The article ends awkwardly with something that makes no sense at all:
> On the same day that Mr Huffman appeared at SXSW, the web's inventor - Sir Tim Berners-Lee - published a letter.
> "What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms," he wrote.
> Reddit has the power to help reverse this trend.
By centralizing discussions on a single website? Odd.
>Reddit has the power to help reverse this trend.
Odd that they completely missed the point of this, Reddit is a major part of the consolidation of the internet. Reddit pretty much killed independent forum and community websites.
Facebook wants you to react as long as you react within its walled garden.
To start with, they're solving a much simpler problem. A large percentage of their claimed 1.6B users per month are pure drive-bys - outsiders who followed one link one time and then left quickly. That's not the same as two billion users actively posting and interacting with content. Also, their data model is simpler. Even a hundred thousand subreddits are easy to model and manage compared to the "social graph" which is unique for each user.
Even with that smaller scale and simpler model, they're not even trying to address some of the interesting problems such as privacy. You post something to a subreddit and it's visible or not - even to those casual visitors - according to the subreddit's settings. You don't get individual control of each post's visibility, which is essential for many people to control which sides of themselves they show to which groups of friends.
Reddit is shouting in one of many town squares, and can be nothing else. Facebook can also be used that way, but for many it's more importantly a way to have more private interactions. Reddit doesn't even try to solve the interesting problems, so it could hardly be considered a model for solving them.