Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
[dupe] Reddit Set to Land $150M Investment from a Chinese Censorship Powerhouse (gizmodo.com)
65 points by crunchiebones 40 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments



Discussed yesterday:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19087558 (754 points/841 comments)


i'm sure Reddit will be completely transparent with how this will potentially influence their running of the site, and will not interfere with their users. i mean, they're such supporters of free speech, afterall.

/s


This will coincide with a spontaneous / grassroots effort on regular reddit users who will push for "ending the stupid tariffs against china". Also don't post Winnie-the-pooh images, its not cute...


tbh, I don't understand two things.

1. What stops china from flooding reddit with "ending the stupid tariffs against china" users now, without 150M investment?

2. How effective this will be anyway? I mean, it's not like White House looks into /r/politics for a foreign policy tips? This is rather weird way to influence policy, when you have such tools as, say, lobbying.


1. Nothing. Which is what makes this seem soooo shady, and both parties refusing to give even a surface exuse.

2. They're not trying to influence policy, but young impressionable Redditors. Even a 1% change in opinion can be huge at key moments, narrative framing is still effective, even things like the semblance of disagreement can be massively persuading.

I've witnessed my own national subreddit turn from a great little corner of the internet to a shill-ridden shithole. It probably only took the coordination of two or three real full-time people, some coordination on mod replacement, and clever software. But it has been remarkably effective.

The same tactics that worked for my little country would probably work as well or better in other subreddits, and there's no real creativity required to pull it off.


>1. Nothing. Which is what makes this seem soooo shady, and both parties refusing to give even a surface exuse.

i think the fact that Reddit is losing money and needs cash infusion counts as surface exuse.


Reddit always seemed to me like an english training corpus for ML political sorting into "neuro linguistic" tribal affiliations.

I imagine a near future HR department feeding sent-mail writing samples into a service that categorizes people based on their relative fit and a risk assessment that uses subreddit cultures as a base set.

Reddit has some amazing communities for tech and hobbies, it also had some dark places.



Wouldnt/shouldnt there be concerns about political influence and meddling? Russia and china are both always finding ways to do so.

Reddit influences the urban population hugely.


Calling Tencent a Chinese censorship powerhouse is a bit of a stretch. Might as well call every Chinese IT company a censorship powerhouse because they are all censored by the Chinese government.


Is this the Chinese government directly targeting a source of "inharmonious speech" instead of just trying to block it?


Western countries have rules against government censorship.

It's unsustainable to upheld this rule only for the one government and allow foreigin governments and companies that must obey them to have different rules.

Reddit has been blocked in china 90-days, I don't think Chinese company should be allowed to invest in a media company that is not allowed into China.


Will it go down the Google path? Can it prevent itself from the greed of user growth? Will it fuck over the user base?

Watch the next episode of DragonBall to find out!


The only users that matter are the shareholders.


They already fucked over the user base multiple times... At this point it sadly looks like going the Digg route won't be avoidable.

tiuPapa 40 days ago [flagged]

KAAA MEEE HAAAA MEEEE MONEEEEEEEEEY is all that matters.


Could you please not do this here?


It is hard to resist that call of Goku but I will honor the sanctity of HN and not do that here anymore.


Why do they even need money? How long have they been in business, and why aren’t they turning a profit?



> The apparently impending Reddit-Tencent marriage is complicated by the fact that Reddit, one of the most popular websites on the internet, is regularly—and is currently—blocked in China

That should be disqualifying right there. How do you take money from an entity created in a culture that bans the very speech you built your platform on and keep a straight face about it?


What's your basis for claiming that Chinese "culture" supports suppressing information? Last I checked it was the Chinese government (a minority) in order to consolidate power.

Claiming an entire people's culture is based on the actions of their government is flawed. What if we applied the same standard to the US and other Western Nations?

PS - Does anyone else find the undercurrent of subtle anti-Chinese racism on this site disturbing? I'm not even from East Asia and I find it deeply distasteful. If you posted some of this stuff about any other nation (or race), it would be [Flag] dead in minutes.


That's fair, I was referring to the business culture specifically, which directly reflects the values of the Chinese government.


A government is a reflection of the people it is comprised of.

Whataboutism is not a valid means of argument.

Questioning the actions of a group of people is not racism.


> A government is a reflection of the people it is comprised of.

In a direct democracy that may be true, but no country I am aware of has one. Most countries vary from representative Democracy up through full Dictatorship, with the wider society having ever less input as you move up the scale.

In the Chinese system the government isn't meant to be a reflection of the people's views, the people are meant to be a reflection of the government's system.

> Questioning the actions of a group of people is not racism.

The whole crux of this isn't that they're criticizing the Chinese government, it is that they're saying a Chinese owned company cannot be trusted because their culture is subpar. If that isn't racism I don't know what it is.


You're telling me that the members of the Chinese government are not Chinese? Is the government run by foreigners? If they are in fact part of their culture, how they act is influenced by their culture. It doesn't matter whether it is a democracy or a dictatorship.

If the demonstrated values of a culture that isn't yours do not match up with your values, it is perfectly valid to not want to support those ill-values. That is not racism.


A _democratic_ government is a reflection of the people it is comprised of. Hierarchies and law can be imposed on people, whether or not they support or comply with them.

Or was slavery a reflection on the enslaved?


> A government is a reflection of the people it is comprised of.

I can think of many cases where that isn't the case.


Yeh, I terribly unfortunate the beacon of liberty has chosen to embrace censorship..

Obviously reddit mods "got it" that some political opinions just shouldn't be allowed.. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/01/12/project_v...

https://www.dailydot.com/news/reddit-technology-banned-words...

https://slate.com/technology/2013/11/reddit-politics-r-polit...

Thankfully, the science is complete, and as these guys noted, open debate just can't be done with people who disagree or cherry pick the datas..

https://grist.org/climate-energy/reddits-science-forum-banne...

https://www.businessinsider.com/reddit-unbanned-russia-magic...

These are just a few of the posts you can find outside of the goog..

I'm not saying I agree with any of the above opinions. However, I think it's pretty well documented that depending on your political persuasion, ideological bend, or ability to put aside reason in the name of "completed science", some opinions definitely hold more value than others. I for one am glad reddit has always appreciated that fact.

There's a strong case to be made that the censoring in certain countries like China, is actually helping the masses make sense of their world better.


they'll hire a new CEO to take the flak, then quit in disgrace with a huge parachute payout. remarkably effective.


entity created in a 'culture'? its not the culture that bans free speech, its the government's policy. does that mean every american company agreed with USA's war on drugs or democracy in oily deserts policies?


Completely agree, unless it's under the pretext of launching in China?

I don't see how that happens though unless reddit abandons some of its principles


It wouldn't be the first time companies abandon or reinterpret their principles.


I'm not sure that China is significantly more prone to censorship than Reddit, if at all.


I’m not sure if you’re operating under a shocking lack of perspective of what “censorship” means or a shocking amount of ignorance of what the PRC gets up to.




Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: