Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe people will keep using it forever. But I doubt it. They've turned Reddit from something that had potential to exist for a long time into something closer to TikTok (which, even without the current drama, was never going to be more than a fad IMO). There are more efficient ways to get low-effort shitposts and memes than Reddit. Those who want that will move on, and the people who were interested in more than that are leaving now.
The first is a tiktok-esque waste of time, instant gratification meme machine. Everyone on this app uses the reddit native app and doesn't care about dark patterns. They would never know that reddit's app is shit, because they literally don't care enough.
The 2nd is a Hackernews-esque collection of hobbyist sub-forums. These people are invested in their hobbies and sub-reddits. They use reddit to interact and discuss, but also a source of niche-news for their hobby. Every one here has a 3rd party reddit app or uses RES. (if you don't, please do). Unlike twitter, reddit lets 3rd parties offer feature complete wrappers for reddit. This group has ad-block, but will occasionally give someone gold. This group hates reddit, but also has no where to go.
If a person tries to make reddit both, then it is an annoying experience. I use reddit entirely as the latter. The front-page and r/all are garbage to me. Every super popular (barring sports) subreddit is trash. But, my niche subreddits are literally the best places on the internet to gain niche information.
Examples where the subreddit is the best source of open discussion on the internet for that niche: dota2, manga, soccer, metal, prog, civilized discourse, history, male fashion (kinda), calisthenics, small cities, fantasy fiction, niche YT channels, super authentic cooking....and that's just for me.
PSA : Use a 3rd party reddit app (SYNC is my preferred. Pay up the 2$ dollars. It is worth it). Use RES, and enforce filters strongly. Use RedditProTools to detect trolls, bias and top contributors. Use Imagus (hoverzoom has malware) for pop-image/video viewer. These will greatly enhance your reddit experience.
Reddit knows it's going to be impossible to design a single app to cater to all types of users. They know there is always going to be a group of people that complain about one feature or another so they in-turn expose the API that we can build out own. Now if a group of users has a specific workflow they like, they can build an app that will specifically cater to them.
I'm somewhat in the boat the parent is. I see the incredible value in something like Reddit - or maybe the Reddit of old. Where niche communities can self police and create a space for information and content that isn't found anywhere else.
Unfortunately everything has to be monetized. The people who own Reddit want to make money and therefore they try to toe the line of using just enough dark patterns to force the tiktok group to use the Reddit app and not to terminally piss off the nice groups.
What irks me is they're selling out their business to a userbase that is just as quick to ditch them when someone makes something that gives them a faster/strong hit of dopamine.
Funding is needed, monetization at all costs is not.
Not everyone is going to share this altruistic approach to running a business. The majority of monetization probably does, plain and simply, come down to greed. But outside of that, you have ambitious people who envision so much more than what they currently offer—which may require large scale growth.
Regardless, I'm sure the majority of people's morality will be skewed when the service you offer grows to 430+ million active monthly users .
Each user goes from being an individual to just a single part of this mass-collective, where the difference between making $1 and $2 off each user is so mind-boggling high that it's hard to keep morals in check.
I guess there's a reason sociopaths do so well in business.
The defense against sociopaths is eternal vigilence.
I never use the tiktok meme machine part of reddit anymore. As you mentioned I do have a bunch of smaller hobby subreddits that I only visit on my locked down oldreddit RES configured personal devices.
My problem comes when I'm not on my own machine/device and I'm trying to troubleshoot with "xyz question site:reddit.com" through google and get bogged down in new reddit or app reddit. It's really infuriating the way new reddit compresses threads to only a handful of magically prepicked comments out of possibly hundreds. You have to remember everytime to click to load the entire comment section just to browse the UX abomination they created.
With the risk of sounding elitist, for some of those topics the main subreddit is overran with pointless and repetitive memes. You'd have to go to the r/true* subreddit to get the serious, in depth discussions.
The subs I often frequent are exhausting in their claims of being overrun by alt-right types. While I'm in no way saying that there aren't politically obnoxious people (even specific users whose damn job seems to be shitposting political content), in subs like /r/seattle, just being not 100% aligned with the popular hot takes gets you labeled as alt-right. Hell even disagreeing with part of something gets you in trouble. Are you for police reform but against the rioting? You probably didn't know this about you, but you're an alt-right troll.
But that experience and the constant name-calling against people not expressing a far-left opinion kind of soured the whole reddit experience for me. I barely look at country subs or any of the major subs now, and focus instead on niche subs, only because reddit is also a good way to get some questions answered. Especially when stackoverflow comes up short and I get downvoted to oblivion for asking supposedly noob questions, I get much more help from the respective reddit sub.
If you don't like those subreddits, don't visit. I'm not interested in alt right (or left;) but your 'unfortunately' seems misplaced to me.
Reddit is the de facto site for making a community on, but there's something to be said for the focused insular forums of just a few years ago.
Voting, for all its problems of bias and agenda driven voting, eliminates 99% of the chaff that makes chrono-forums unreadable.
More often than not an informative comment, while maybe not being downvoted, won't be the top comment. Instead, you'll see really low effort "zingers" which make it to the top. Those are further piled on with a flood of comments trying to one up each other.
So, you end up often needing really strict moderation to curtail this problem.
Chrono ordering suffers the same issue, somewhat, though it doesn't have the pile on problem (not to the same extent).
Take my upvote!
Here's gold for you good sir, hearty lols!
The Reddit/HN format makes everything time sensitive. If the post falls off the front-page, nobody will even see your comment, the discussion immediately dies. It's completely unfit for longer form discussion over time.
Sometimes you want a forum for discussion, not just a comments section of highlight reel one-liners.
One of the games I like to play has its own forums and they are still the best source of info compared to reddit. Discussions are surprisingly readable, though that may have something to do with the older target audience.
I really think it's the same as it ever was. If you want to find quality you need to start with your interests and then find a community from there. Discovering a huge community and being frustrated or upset that it's not catered to your preferences is a mistake. The lower the barrier to entry, the lower the quality of the forum will be.
And it's important to remember barrier to entry isn't just technical knowledge. Barrier to entry could be something as obvious but unspoken as writing style. Even as I'm typing this comment I'm aware that using my "hacker news voice" with all of the attendant style rules that make it fit with the community.
*edit: also I'm sorry to see that you are being downvoted because I get your sentiment
It makes me wonder if Reddit will try to push down or altogether ban NSFW content a la Tumblr because of the site's popularity.
And if you have a kid with unmonitored access to the internet, they're going to access nsfw content regardless of what a site operator does.
I sometimes go long stretches without using Reddit, but I'm 100% in the second column when I use it. I've never used a 3rd party reddit app and I don't use RES. The reason is that I only ever browse Reddit on the computer (logged in, in "old" Reddit mode). If you don't browse Reddit on your phone, these aren't really necessary. (This isn't just a Reddit thing, I also don't browse Twitter, Facebook, or any other social platform on my phone. Mainly, this is because I want to avoid the dark patterns and unblockable ads of mobile apps.)
For me, Reddit is a single place to go for all of my niche hobbies.
Indeed, subs and groups in social media have decimated web forums, web2.0 has consolidated most communities within a handful of sites.
A big reason Etsy has lost a lot of trust with consumers is their inconsistently applied policies and their allowance of cheap knock off crap. When I was there a few years ago, there were all sorts of forum posts, reddit posts and tweets about the problem all the time. The leadership (and more importantly) the people in the company, absolutely refused to believe it was a problem. We came up with any excuse and rationalization we could for not addressing it. The most common one was, "they (the people complaining) don't have access to our data, they don't know what we know, therefore their points are irrelevant." Another was, "they're just mad, let them vent, it's no big deal." Pure denial, the simplest reaction to bad news.
By continuously shoving their heads in the sand and not addressing the perception (whether it was real or not) the company allowed the perception to become reality. I'd be pretty surprised if reddit leadership doesn't do the same thing when they see messages on HN talking about how shit reddit is. They'll rationalize how we're a bunch of pedantic, angry nerds who don't represent the average user. They'll ignore the growing negative trends in favor of looking at the positive ones. They'll do anything they can to not change the strategy they've committed to. It smacks of a company that doesn't plan, doesn't think about the consequences of their decisions, and goes with the first idea that pops into their head.
I imagine the new design is a huge success in terms of revenue. Users now endlessly scroll through countless promotions and advertisements that seamlessly blend with the content and most likely have much higher engagement rates.
They can kill all the serious subreddits and focus on meme, porn, drama, influencer content and still be far more financially successful than the old Reddit. They'll have no shortage of users.
We might hate it and leave the site, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's sustainable in the long term for them and the right financial move.
Apollo app makes reddit a really nice experience for me on iOS, but I'm not sure what Android has on that front. Problem is that 3rd party apps that provide a front-end to Reddit need to be in active development. Once the dev steps back for a couple months, everything is going to go to shit.
Perhaps. But the shear size of r/pic or r/jokes makes me doubt that most people are there for "serious business". Yes, I understand that you can subscribe to many subreddits and that you can sub to r/jokes AND r/serious-topic-with-serious-people. I'm just skeptical. Reddit is trying to be for the masses. Most of the time people spend on their phone is to look at cat pictures. I'm not passing judgement necessarily. It's just what everyone I know does. They read news, check Facebook, and then pull up TikTok/Snapchat/Instagram and look at funny pictures.
I still visit particular subreddits. I never visit the front page- not even "my" front page. I go to exactly whichever subreddit I want to read from at the moment. Maybe lots of people are using that way, but it's not what I see in my bubble. Again, I could be totally wrong.
I don't generally "join" any subreddits anymore. I create a multireddit and add subs to the multireddit. My joined subs is really small and are the subs I monitor regularly so I see them from the main page. Multireddits let me "subscribe" to less frequently visited subs without actually joining or being forced to see them.
For instance, I have one for books, one for music, one for finance related subs, one for programming subs, one for humor, etc. Almost none of those contain subs that I'm subscribed to.
I like funny pictures, too. My point is that there are better sites than Reddit for it. So if that's who they're trying to retain, they're screwing it up.
Only the most salient news/tweet/insta screenshots make it to the top of usersub. It’s great
Reddit is really big, there are really different people there and and there are many different ways you can use it.
"Reddit is fun" has a very decent interface.
Reddit is #17 on Alexa topsites, surrounding by search engines like google and yahoo and video content providers like Netflix and Youtube. I can't imagine reddit being the bastion for intellectual discussions on specific topic as much as any of those other sites are.
Reddit on its barely makes any profit and had made losses for a number of years. Right now they are too big to pull Digg and not suffer any major consequences.
The problem is that not enough people are so disgusted that they stop using Reddit. As long as the managers can navigate that line between annoying people and turning people away, they will continue to make money.
I was never a Reddit person, and the few times I've gone there through HN links convinced me not to make visiting a habit.
If there’s a post with an image hosted on Reddit itself, old Reddit often doesn’t show it.
I have to open in incognito to see it.
It could be NextDNS blocking someone Reddit url I need to whitelist (though I’m skeptical since it works in incognito).
I'm chalking it up to my preferences; I have "Show Thumbnails" disabled, and I suspect that's it, but I haven't experimented to verify.
But you're right, reddit is being poisoned. Maybe they will remove the front page and /r/all one day. They should. All of this might be caused by elections.
I wish somebody would write a repertoire of subreddit by tags or categories. I still love to read comments on science and other constructive debates. Curated posts should also be more visible, not like digg did though. Subreddit of the day is nice too.
The shit posts are annoying, but it's part of how reddit want to attract as many types of users as possible, like tumblr.
If you don't explore reddit your using it wrong. I should search for a repertoire though.
People rage at airlines all the time. Any given us legroom back? No, as people still boarded the plane.
It's like buying a car with a 150 hp engine and then complain it's slower than the more expensive 250 hp model.
I've never seen this before on a flight booking site. How widespread and discoverable is this feature across the major booking sites, outside of Google Flights?
For example, I preferred some of the more tech-related subreddits. Then I discovered HackerNews and Lobste.rs. That can't be the only demographic of content that has forums out there. And I imagine more will pop up.
Again, it's just my prediction/guess. I've certainly been wrong before. Perhaps I have it totally backwards. Maybe those people will stay because they're more tolerant of Reddit's bullshit to get to the good content. I don't think that's a smart bet for Reddit to make, though.
EDIT: Also, a lot of people are apparently moving to Discord chats.
Where is a good feed finder?
To look forwards, you must look backwards, at new forum software such as NodeBB or Flarum. Specialist niche communities are already shifting in that direction, or have never left their old BBSes behind, but are due to welcome a resurgence of new members.
When a friend referred me to hackernews, I found that it has the type of content and users that I miss from reddit. I also visit Tildes on occasion, but the user base is so small that the content is much more limited than it is here.
I dont like the way they are going and have sought alternatives 2 years ago. Thats where i found hackernews and tildes.net which are pretty good. However not a good alternative to the niche subreddits we all love.
What reddit replacements exist out there that have the niche communities that Reddit supports?
That's what I said about SNAP. It seems platform stickiness is stronger than some of us might have judged. Especially considering today's tech illiterate youth. They have no idea what the implications of installing an 'app' are.
I've not met anyone who thinks that's okay.
And I will never use their app because of that. I'm actually quite upset that their campaign appears to be "working", as seen by the OP.
I don't know how much time I've wasted trying to get "Read more" to take me to the right spot just to find out I'd read the entire thing or there was one asinine comment in the entire thread it was hiding from me.
The new reddit ux is so bad but I don't use the site enough anymore to dedicate myself to a full app, and those have all of their own frustrations. It'd be nice if the default browser experience was the native and "clean" one, not the worst one.
Reddit’s current UIs get a lot of hate, but I’ve been using the site at least weekly for the last 11 years and I really don’t get the complaints. The old site was ugly (albeit familiar), and the new skin doesn’t subtract from the functionality in any way besides a few obscure subreddits with wild styling. If that has helped bring people to my niche interest subs, that’s a huge win in my book.
I don't use reddit on mobile specifically because I don't download apps on my phone (outside of a few small games such as bejeweled), and I think surfing the internet on the phone is miserable regardless. The only thing I ever crack my browser open for is to look something up while at the grocery store, etc.
(yes, there is twitter outside of tech, and it's content quality is extremely poor and juvenile)
Reddit, at one point, was just science, memes, an occasional atheist post, and and A list Celebrity AMA every other day - a platform that provided niche content mostly for age 18-30 year old Americans.
Now with the flood of all sorts of ideas from all fronts, It has become way too overwhelming to really digest what everyone has to offer - Diving deep into reddit will eventually and inevitably get anyone upset and bothered.
As Reddit builds its foundation upon favoring ad populum, it is starting to become evident that not every voice should be heard, especially when the average american individual is as uneducated as he or she is.
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
― Isaac Asimov
I'd like to one up Asimov - that it is not a false notion, but literally the core tenet of what democracy is.
That all opinions are of equal value.
And in all honesty... this is dangerous.
It's all "This person/people/group did something bad and now are getting their comeuppance." and the site has become like a nerdy version of World Star Hip Hop.
You really can't browse the regular Reddit front page without encountering a lot of content that is designed to upset you. I've started to actually hate using Reddit. Niche subreddits are still useful in limited ways, but it's a shame to see things go this way. Reddit had a good run.
To the main point of the article- Reddit must really get a lot of dough monetizing user data because its as bad or worse than ad/malware...
99.9% of people looking at Reddit will never see how good and useful it can be. My front page is just the stuff I'm into - a couple dozen niche subreddits with good cultures. It is nice. It is my favorite place on the internet.
Most people will never take the time to make an account and curate their subreddit subscriptions.
Could that process be improved and streamlined? Absolutely yes. When you make an account -- or perhaps even before -- it should probably hold your hand and walk you through a preferences discovery process.
As it stands now, customizing Reddit is effectively a collection of "power user" features and we all know how that goes: only a tiny fraction of users will ever bother.
Some of the best stuff has actually been long form comedy writing from the sports subreddits during the lockdown. It's good banter, unlike the twitter screenshot repost subs like murderedbywords, kamikazebywords, etc.bywords.
Wow, this is an excellent comparison. You're absolutely right.
This 2 minutes of hate thing is prevalent on HN as well. "Content that is designed to upset you" is right.
I don't even understand why people would live their life with that much anger and hatred. I would literally see what was obviously just a miscommunication or bad actions with good intentions that could be resolved by communication and people would just vilify the person.
The reason for that is that older people are less likely to be using mobile, and they are more likely to create long-form text content. You can actually have substantial discussions with them and share detailed tips and reports. Compare this to the relevant Reddit subreddits, where each day’s new posts have largely devolved to vacuous uploaded photos or memes, and the discussion thread is often a lot of vacuous one-sentence replies.
Agree. More mature users means less bullshit. A corrected statement would probably be something like: if a platform is used mostly by younger demographics, then an influx of older people degrades that platform for the younger people.
Which seems pretty obvious.
I wouldn't call those forums as having less bullshit than say the Reddit, which has the younger parts of the community.
Interesting that you feel older demographics
degrade a platform. For me, it’s the opposite:
I am really starting to appreciate hobby forums
that are dominated by people a couple of decades
older than myself.
This is all 100% subjective, but I think many people would agree that older demographics are.... not always much fun on "general purpose" social networking platforms like Facebook.
Leaving Facebook's substantial ethical concerns aside for a moment, Facebook and Instagram stopped being fun real fast once everybody's parents and aunts and uncles showed up. It's simply too easy for Uncle Bob to repost anti-vax stuff or whatever he's into, and most people would prefer to keep some of the fun/exciting parts of their lives private from their families.
But, like you, I've gotten into some hobbies where the older folks have just a freaking amazing online presence - just super generous and talented people; absolute superstars of the community.
There are a lot of older people who are intelligent and uneducated but have a really tough time distinguishing "fake news" from "real news."
My sister is in her 50s, is intelligent and kind-hearted, and winds up linking to fake news sites alllllll the time.
A lot of those sites are absolutely insidious. They look like reputable news sites: your same basic layout as any mainstream news site. Frequently updated with multiple news articles per day. Many even sprinkle in a lot of innocuous syndicated stories from the Associated Press or some other press service.
But... look a little closer and all of their original content pushes some particular agenda.
For example, my sister linked to one that looked pretty legit. Had a bunch of soft news stories. But, look a little closer.... and there were thousands of disturbing articles about how it was harmful to have abortions or be LGBT.
If a publisher has an agenda, okay. That's fine. We all have viewpoints and agendas. But masquerading as a neutral mainstream news site, so that you grasp for some unearned credibility from folks who aren't tech-savvy enough to know the difference? Yiiiiiikes.
Some folks will point out that this criticism could be applied to Fox News or MSNBC as well. I wouldn't totally disagree, but what I'm saying is that there are fake news sites out that that are waaaaay more extreme and insidious.
I'm not arguing that we shouldn't be inclusive, but lets also make sure we're not pretending that there aren't problems there. You can't try to fix a problem you won't acknowledge.
Now, perhaps you meant something else when you said harmful, I just interpreted it that way because I would have expected you to say 'bad' if it was the case that the articles were judging the people themselves (much like a religious person might).
In most of the world, LGBT folk face a number of additional stressors compared to non-LGBT folk. These stressors include some or all of the following:
- Inability to marry partners of their choosing
- Inability to openly date partners of their choosing
- Imprisonment or death
- Dismissal from their jobs
- Abandonment by family
- Loss of children
- and so on
Whether or not you feel those stressors are just or not, certainly they contribute to poorer mental health outcomes, to put it mildly.
A higher suicide rate among the LGBT population can mean two things:
1. Being LGBT causes a higher suicide rate
2. Being LGBT is correlated with a higher suicide rate
The first conclusion postulates that the mere state of being LGBT, independent of environmental, social, circumstantial, or other factors, increases suicide risk; in other words, no matter how accepted or ostracized LGBT people are, no matter their upbringing, no matter any other factor, they will always have a higher suicide rate.
The second conclusion, on the other hand, allows for the possibility that some external factor can come into the picture to produce the observed result, and that being LGBT does not innately mean a higher risk for suicide. For example, perhaps LGBT people are relegated to a second-class place in society, with reduced opportunity to find love and having to constantly act in an “unnatural” way in order to be treated fairly. These additional stresses can add up to an increased suicide risk, without which an LGBT person would have a “normal” suicide risk.
By saying “ I think it's clear that it is harmful to be LGBT”, then bringing up suicide rates without mentioning possible confounding factors, it seems you’re drawing conclusion number 1 from above, which, strictly speaking, is too strong of a conclusion to draw given the stated data.
The only platform in which this phenomenon can be applied to is probably Facebook.
In practice though we’ve seen FB become basically the conspiracy theory fever swamps during a demographic change. Maybe there is some other factor beyond the age of the user at play here, but I certainly have no idea what that might be.
Every single sub-reddit will, at some point after its first few users, need to decide if it will be a meme/image macro sub, or not. Every sub that implicitly allows memes, will eventually become a meme sub if the mods choose to do nothing. It seems there are large numbers of users on Reddit that feel entitled to let "upvotes and downvotes" be the ultimate and only modding that should happen on a sub-reddit. These users will balk at any notion of getting rid of memes because "what else is there to discuss"? For them, the worst thing to happen to their feed is for there not to be a huge dearth of mindless content to consume which is heavily remixed and re-used all over the site every single time they login.
They will also deny that any sub that allows memes will somehow then "become a meme sub". They seem willfully ignorant of what happens to meme subs, and seem to think "if people upvote it, then that means they want it", ignoring how the people who upvote most frequently and the lowest quality content are those that rapidly consume meme content.
Reddit is ruined by these super passive consumers of memes. Not anti-intellectualism, but just those that want to go to reddit, see funny shit, upvote it all, and then get on with their day. And they demand to see that EVERYWHERE.
FYI, "dearth" means "scarcity or lack", which I think is the opposite of the intended meaning here?
I left /r/patientgamers after the mods came out and declared they were going to be LGTBQ friendly, which meant any discussion about those issues, even if they were related to a game (for example the remake of Baldurs Gate) would result in a ban. The argument made by a lot of people is that the community should get to decide if that's something they want to discuss, not the moderators (and I agree).
I also left /r/fitness when they decided what they needed was a female moderator. They specifically decided they wanted a new moderator and that moderator had to be female. As if male moderators are unable to identify sexual harassment.
I don't want to be moderated by people who have a political agenda. Fullstop.
I didn't go to /r/fitness because it had a 'diverse' moderation team, I wanted to go there to discuss with fellow fitness enthusiasts. I didn't want to go to /r/patientgamers because it was a "safe space", I went there to discuss with others who also mostly refused to buy games for $60+ USD.
Too often moderators forget why they're there, and think that just because they have the power to means they should. There is absolutely a time and place to let upvotes make the decision of what stays and what goes. Not always, but very often it's true.
But this can happen without moderators banning anyone who brings up LGBTQ. The idea that you must ban those discussions in order to have LGBTQ participate is doing that demographic a disservice.
To contrast that, I'm Native American. Imagine if dang felt the need to ban any discussion involving Native Americans because he felt it was necessary to allow me, and those like me, to participate in discussions.
That's not how that works. It's how misguided people work.
edit: Also, to answer your question. It turns out the world doesn't revolve around reddit and I'm able to find communities without reddit (or simply leave it behind).
You are correct that reddit confuses truth with popularity though. That meme needs to die
Default subreddits today basically feel like being in elementary school all over again, the average age is like 14.
This seems to mostly outright ignore some of the more controversial subreddits that existed/flourished in the past. There was a significant amount of content, including entire subreddits, dedicated to sexualizing minors.
It feels revisionist to think reddit has only recently become flooded with controversial content.
IIRC there were accusations of CP being put up and not taken down in a timely manner. For that reason I'm ok with the subreddit not being there, but the whole "sexualization of a minor" thing is a red herring.
just imagine if someone got up in arms about a magazine putting a picture of a 16 y/o with big tits on their cover. No one does unless she's explicitly in a sexual position.
Reddit's issue for me is that many supposedly good subs are so completely toxic to any opposing view they may as well not exist.
I don't think it's really an age issue per se. The problem that a group/demographic/tribe/whatever makes a place hot, then a bunch of people that don't fit their description show up wanting to get in on the fun. The result is the original group packing up and moving on. You see this everywhere from Facebook to gentrifying neighborhoods.
I always rolled my eyes at people denouncing the quality of default subs. They weren't good but also not that terrible. Now it isn't necessarily terrible, but just extremely stupid. Nearly every comment.
Things get popular : someone decides to use it to increase their wealth.
I disagree that it is dangerous. Of course not every opinion is worthwhile, but since opinions got labeled as too dangerous, they got much more appeal for others. Otherwise it would just be another stupid opinion.
I think this had a large negative effect on many subs since people somehow lost the ability to just ignore something or write their own opinion as a response. Everyone was screaming for mommy moderator.
Today people get a heart attack if someone writes that the earth is flat.
So 'the earth is flat' has value in indicating a person's ignorance (or trollishness), possibly associating them with a group (good for them; useful for others).
When I joined reddit, I had the sense that most users were 25-45. If you revealed you were 20, you were a baby by reddit standards. There was a sort of unspoken (and sometimes, outright) filter preventing younger users from enjoying the experience. The community of users wouldn't tolerate poor grammar and misspellings. Users were torn apart if they posted a news article about a study without posting a link to the actual study. Users ignored onions from other users if they were unable to cite sources.
The site was ugly. Before the redesign, it looked like it was built in '98 and never updated. I remember a friend of mine being completely turned off by the site because of the visual design, without paying any attention to the quality of the content. There was much more of a learning curve to using the site than there is now. That served as a deterrent, whether intentionally or not. People who genuinely were interested in the content and the conversation stayed, and users who were more interested in a spoon-fed lazy entertainment website stayed away.
Now, it's not uncommon to see posts from 13 and 14 year-olds. I've even seen content from people as young as 7. I think this has had a significant impact on the decrease in quality of content. The redesign has certainly made the site more inviting to the average user. I think this is a chicken-or-the-egg situation, in that I can't say whether the influx of new users was a result of the redesign, or the cause, but it doesn't really matter. The point is that the content has shifted from more slow-burn, idea-challenging content, to entertainment designed for instant gratification. There's nothing wrong with that kind of entertainment in itself, I just prefer the former.
The reason why I did so was because I was recently browsing an AskReddit post asking "What Movie Will you always Recommend". (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ij0ha8/what_movi...)
And as I viewed the top answers I remember thinking to myself that reddit is older than I perceived it to be, although it may just be appreciation for classics as I, too, have many 80-90s movies that i would highly recommend.
That being said, I do believe that the older demographic ruined Facebook.
Since writing the comment, I don't think it's correct to label an age demographic as the culprit but rather the rise in popularity in general, and the overwhelming effect it can have.
On the other side what kind of existing system is better than democracy?
In the UK we combat that by strict regulations on money spent influencing voters. Sadly, despite proving Brexit campaigns were backed by an excessive amount of money routed through a Russian oligarch the result remains (unintended ironic use of 'remain'!).
Democracy can only work with probity. If the people don't know the truth they can't vote for their choice.
Benevolent dictatorship seems likely the better option, just choose your dictator carefully!
"Where have all the good philosopher kings gone?" :)
As long as a given platform is also a vehicle for building an off-platform audience, marketers will inevitably show up and shit all over everything.
(yes, there is twitter outside of tech, and it's
content quality is extremely poor and juvenile)
The extremely casual / shitposting crowd is more drawn to Instagram, Tiktok, etc.
Like any medium, 99.9% of stuff on Twitter is garbage, but it's still primarily a text - based medium and I think that requires juuuuuuust enough effort to drive away the most casual of casual posters.
The character limit of Twitter also imposes a certain clarity of thought and composition. It's like being forced to fit your thoughts into a haiku: it's restrictive and frustrating, but you can sometimes wind up with concise little gems you wouldn't have come up with otherwise.
I find this generalisation tired, offensive and without merit. If they're so uneducated why are they still sending craft into space, producing wonderful poetry and creating innovative ways to leverage the Internet?
Neverthess, I agree that the statement is without merit. I think this stereotype comes from Europeans, who tend to be more worldly than Americans (for example, nearly everyone in Europe speaks both their native language and English).
What Europeans tend to forget is that in Europe, you can hop on a train, airplane, hell, even a car, and within an hour be in another country, for less than the price of a fancy dinner.
America, by contrast, is huge. As a result, travel is more expensive, more time-consuming, and much harder when it comes to finding diversity.
Or just the fact that older people are the decision makers deciding on these (deteriorating) things and they are more likely to target platforms they're aware of and that they recognize.
I’m not one to speak either about the changing dynamics on the site since it’s launch, but my experience there as a whole has shifted hard into the direction of carefully curated subreddits. Avoiding anything I don’t want to see is just as easy as never visiting All or Popular.
Unfortunately, it's not turned into HN.
1. Communities for around disparate forums
2. Those communities migrate to centralized service because of more eyeballs in one place, less work to maintain infrastructure, etc.
3. Centralized service captures increasing amount of value by running more ads, closing off more open channels, etc.
This is clearly the lifecycle for Facebook, Reddit, and arguably Google. My question is: what's step 4? Are communities going to start unbundling, or does this trend just continue?
Well over half of all web traffic is from cell phones, and the mobile-first web is hostile to long text content. It is also incredibly hostile to user-created long text content.
With the exception of people who need keyboards for work (tech workers, academics, journalists, writers, etc) there's no one left online to make community content anymore. Hence, HN (a community for tech workers and similarly minded people) and Twitter (where most organic, non-public-relations major players are journalists, academics, or writers).
What passes for web communities have almost entirely become playgrounds for intellectual lightweights to spew memes at each other combined with a platform for entities posting inorganic content that pretends to be genuine.
I was about to agree with you, then I thought about Instagram. It is truly a passive consumption platform. Getting 10 comments on a post by a user with 500K followers is pretty normal.
I am still getting more followers.
You have 500k followers and only 10 of them comment on your posts. That's terrible engagement.
and that's what instagram is all about
You can curate your following list to make it feel like that’s true, but it’s really not at all.
How it seems to you just depends on whether you go to Twitter for the latest tech news or fashion trends. And there's probably bigger interest in the latter. It's just like the internet in general.
I've only recently started seeing people refer to others or themselves as "influencers" (I'm not on Snapchat/Tiktok/Instagram/Twitter).
The distopian cynic in me only understands it as "person with a bunch of followers on social media who occasionally peddles products" a.k.a a human ad. Is this about right?
Somehow it feels more gross than a radio commercial. On the radio I can tell the difference between a song and an advertisement for the local law firm. When these people build a rapport with viewers and then peddle a product, it feels more manipulative to me.
Total speculation though as I'm also not really active on that kind of social media.
As an example, I was once shadowbanned on the entire Reddit site by an admin for posting two links in gaming subreddits to show off a game I had spent almost six months developing full-time as part of a small team. I didn’t submit too many other links because Reddit was my main source of discovering content, but I commented a ton on the site, easily had hundreds of comments.
I was proud of what I had accomplished and I wanted to share with what I thought was my community at the time. I didn’t even realize I was shadowbanned and was commenting for months after until a moderator informed me and said they were manually approving my comments on a particular subreddit.
I tried their appeals “process” and never got a response, which is apparently is how 99% of appeals works on that site.
Harsh lesson I learned there. I never submitted any link for anything there ever again and didn’t read or comment again for a couple of years afterwards, in which I created a new account to do so.
Apparently my shadowbanned account was unblocked eventually and I can post normally from it again, but I know it was banned for at least 4 years, because I checked periodically (If you're not logged in, the user page looks blank. I thought it was some weird glitch but no, it's because I was shadowbanned).
I've been mostly posting in /r/coronavirus lately since I don't want to get into fights with friends on Facebook about my thoughts on it.
Unfortunately, for many such communication channels, we are still only in the middle of this step 5, and we have no idea how it ends. E.g. Matrix for chat, ForgeFed for source hosting services, PeerTube for videos, or various other (mostly ActivityPub-based) efforts.
For a protocol to matter to a normal person, it has to enable killer features that aren't currently possible.
I wonder if in a century we'll understand the economy of the Internet as constantly oscillating between concentration and decentralization.
All other content gets drowned out by memes eventually, which is a real shame.
(That's been submitted to HN but with no traction to date: https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...)
As other have said, their end goal is cashing out in an IPO
- UX is paramount on any device.
- Your data is your own. This is especially important for community administrators who have literally no control over how the content is organized (true for Reddit, Facebook, etc) or where the content goes
- Communities define their own rules
- There is an easy way to organize meetups as well
It works with a simple subscription model where we host the service. No ads, tracking or other shady shit involved. If you're interested I'm gonna post it here once the MVP is complete.
We're seeing the same pattern with ad-loaded sites, "Your ad choices" popups with those terrible "Manage My Preferences" dialogs — I'm sure all those result in quarterly bonuses for a bunch of managers. But they are not the Right Thing to Do, and will come to bite back in the long term.
Allowing executives to walk away with short-term gains but stick shareholders (and/or the public) with long-term losses broke many, many things in corporate governance and society in general. It's no coincidence that quality of life measures began to stagnate when this became the normal way to do business.
It's only the long term shareholders that get burned on this, whether they own actual shares or just share the consequences
The only thing that could incentivize more long term performance would be even longer vesting periods, but that comes with downsides too.
But I don’t think you can properly incentivize people to avoid this class of mistake (short-term thinking) unless top leadership are themselves long-term owners.
Long-term owners would be very interested in avoiding this mistake, though. But it does present a bit of a tax on e.g. public companies with fragmented ownership.
It seems obvious to me that Reddit is trying very hard to transition from link aggregator to full blown social network. It's pretty wild when you remember that the original reddit didn't even have comments!
But now they self-host photos, videos, galleries, chatrooms, custom user pages etc... They're not a link aggregator anymore, they're trying to be Instagram for people who think they're too cool for Instagram.
But if you want to become Instagram you need to be an app first and a website 2nd, so they're working very hard to kill the web.
I sorta sort of look forward for the day they kill old.reddit.com and i.reddit.com, this way I won't have any excuse to browse the website anymore which will free some time for more interesting things.
You cannot view comment replies on the web. You cannot view any sub on the web. You cannot even read full comments.
Seriously. Thanks. I even started studying for my exams!
Edit: 50-60% on the web UI. I forgot about AMP pages.
Also, most "general" subs celebrate mediocrity.
Its interesting to contemplate if entirely new mental illnesses will eventually be discovered via toxic social media sites. I mean entirely new modes of dysfunction not merely "it used to be rare".
I moved to using inoreader recently from an OSS one. I really like it. I have my own instance of rsshub for hostile sites.
Consistent UI/UX, no toxic comments (train a filter), automatically archived, easier to share, can send to kindle, full text search of everything I read, no more ads/tracking/email subscription spam, keyboard navigation, works good on my terminal, etc.
In addition, their yearly April Fools' events (a bad idea in my view) as well the generally poor quality of posts during the first few years makes searching for past answers a pain. You get a ton of information that's flat out wrong, and in the case of April Fools' events the wrong information was actually encouraged (or written) by mods.
I used to browse and post a lot on reddit. Mostly in the subreddits relevant to my interests and hobbies, but sometimes I'd open /r/all and drown in the algorithm-generated feed. It was so easy to waste time on reddit.
I'm thankful for the user-hostile experience they've implemented. Made it so much easier to stop using it altogether.
Can't wait until some manager decides old needs to go. They'll end up losing a bunch of long time users and some other site will finally gain traction.
But yeah, old.reddit.com probably won't be around forever.
After all, .compact links  still work, and those are super old.
From the new features they have been adding lately, I'd call this a benefit... And that is the big disconnect between admins and the old community.
I was practically shouting at my screen the first couple times I got thrown into the new design (before I figured out how to avoid it). If reddit really does shut down the old interface, I will absolutely be gone.
Sure, but there's something positive about this. Usenet's external September happend with maybe a million users, Reddit's with hundreds of millions. Which means that bigger communities are possible without the problems happening :)
On the other hand, Reddit surely changed during its growth, so there were probably multiple similar events. After all, HN was created as PG felt that was not a good place to discuss startup ideas.
Edit: As a number of others have mentioned below. I too have reduced reddit intake due to the poor UI amongst a realisation of its not a good use of my time.
If the company decided to make the UI not friendly, they will likely continue to make user hostile decisions in the name of maximising growth and profits.
In this case using addons seems like playing catch up with low chance of a long term win.
NOW there's a sub that needs more love imho.
It's the best on android, but I haven't used it for more than a week or two. Don't want to get addicted again.
Sorting by hot gives you posts from smaller subs you like and removes all the political shenanigans
I meant 'best'. Not 'hot'.
Sorting by 'best' gives you content from smaller subs.
I have asked the dev to implement it. I have not gotten any reply.
To be fair they aren't the only company that does this, Twitter and YouTube both have horrible web apps that have horrendous bugs and needlessly missing features vs the native app.
Hacker news is basically the opposite site which is why I like it so much.
There are other issues, and it’s not great to use, but it is generally fully functional.
I'm really confused what OP is talking about...
The only annoying thing is having to press continue all the time to use safari.
If I am on a US or UK VPN, there are no login walls.
Try with an Indian IP.
I probably spend like 50-40% less time on it.
I'm weary of download apps for content I should be able to view on a browser.
The app "mysteriously" takes up more space than the Chrome app to serve, arguably, less content.
I learned my lesson with the Facebook app, namely, that these companies are shady and their apps always require more privileges than necessary.
But now? I do not want the app and Reddit seems to not want me then. Definitely helps my productivity a whole lot!
Does anyone have a screenshot of this issue?
Any subreddit is like this on the web - https://i.postimg.cc/x1XcGBbr/photo-2020-09-04-15-23-09.jpg
Comments - https://i.postimg.cc/YC6TPCFQ/photo-2020-09-04-15-25-45.jpg
This is what I see!
The most ridiculous thing is that if you click the "read more" link, it doesn't even work properly, the behaviour is incredibly stupid.