Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

One huge problem, though, is that shit (specifically racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fat shaming, ableism – oh, I guess that list really isn’t all that specific) tends to crop up everywhere. It’s a very reddity kind of shit.

Encountering blatant (and highly visible because upvoted) sexism (for example) in such harmless sounding subreddits as /r/soccer or /r/minecraft really kills all my fun. There are a few nicely moderated places, though, so not all hope is lost (and /r/soccer is at least usually devoid of shit).




I think politcorrectness is the ultimate kind of bigotry of them all. Just like kids growing up in sterile environments start to have all kinds of allergies PC is already starting to show similar effects. Sterility screws up the immune system of our body, PC screws up immune system of our minds. The worst part is it does not help to fight those issues, on the contrary — it just discourages even think about those issues. And there is huge difference between joking about some particular subset of humanity and actually disliking that subset. Then there are people who just get "offended" by everything — those should really get their heads examined. They most likely don't even know why something offends them. Just because it is "offensive". Why is it offensive? Who knows. Some picture of naked tits offends you? Really? What absolutely amazes me, that showing people being killed, heads exploding, limbs ripped off is ok and not harmful. But god forbid someones dick will be visible for a fraction of the second—that's a major scandal. Don't you think it is weird, that depiction of people killing people is wildly advertised and easily accessible, while depiction of people making love is almost (and in some places truly) outlawed?


Well, if you subscribe to a solipsist, intent-is-everything idea of morality, then it makes sense to believe that the mere act of saying that women are hysterical bitches who need to get back in the kitchen, doesn't make you a misogynist. But that isn't the point.

Entertain this notion; words mean things, whether you like it or not. Your conscious state of mind is completely irrelevant to anyone but yourself. When people roll their eyes at your unfunny racist jokes, it's not necessarily because they think you're racist; it's because you're saying racist things.

So, why is it offensive to say black people are criminals who love KFC and watermelons? Well, maybe you should ask a black person, because you certainly wouldn't know. But be sure to use "offensive" in scare-quotes to hammer home the point that you Just-Don't-Get-What-The-Fuss-Is-All-About. Remember also to point out that most people are too stupid/crazy to understand why AIDS jokes which may include a synonym of the word "faggot", can be offensive to homosexuals. Because hey, it's just a word after all. There couldn't possibly be any societal, cultural, or historical contexts behind words, right?

And then you blab on about sexual taboos like it has any real bearing on anything. But really what could anyone expect from someone who thinks that the attempt to use more inclusive language in public discourse amounts to "the ultimate kind of bigotry of them all".


See? That’s the kind of shit I’m talking about.

Crap like that runs rampant on Reddit.


Conflating the notion of people being offended by nakedness in certain images and people reacting to offensive statements is not helping your case. It's a pretty good strawman to get past people not paying much attention to your block of text, but it lets everyone else know that your post is intellectually dishonest. I suggest saving this stuff for Red... er, Digg?


So, just a brief insight into the way I think, which I believe will add to the discussion.

When someone complains about "political correctness", the first thing I do is figure out if "LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" would be a good substitution.

It's not a universal replacement, but it works a surprising amount of the time.


Do you feel the moderation over there is enough though, even on the "nicely moderated places" that you mention?

Compared to other communities where admins/mods delete users' comments to a much higher frequency relative to Reddit and freely edit or move unfitting submissions & comments, I've always felt the lack of moderation on Reddit for the most part has been the reason for attracting trolls and users making hateful comments.

And the thing is, Reddit looks to be a very hard place to moderate as large number of Redditors seem to become very mad when heavy moderation happens (seeing from the large # of "I thought this site was all about freedom of speech"-type comments when r/jailbait got banned few months back).

When the lack of moderation attracts all those characters who post "shit", filtering via voting just becomes useless as you mention in your other comment.


It's all about establishing ground rules. /r/askscience is the posterchild of this - they have 250k+ subscribers, and the discussion is still interesting, thought provoking, and on topic. Other subreddits, like /r/gaming, have devolved into nothing more than image macros and meme posts. The difference is 100% the ground rules that are set, and then the moderators sticking to those ground rules.

If I were in control of Reddit for a day, I'd create a "How to Build Community" packet for to give to new moderators. Often they're just promoted for being good members of the community - but that doesn't mean they know how to run or grow a good one.


The whole 'free speech/minimal moderation/no-censorship' is one of the core reason Reddit 'scales'. Unlike most sites, there's no sign out front saying you can't post there. No matter how terrible you are, someone will agree with you, and if you find the right sub-sub-sub-reddit, everyone will agree with you.

The other aspect is that voting systems are groupthink systems. Once the userbase gets large enough, the moderation system does not function in a way that encourages debate or questions common assumptions. It seems to be a terminal problem, which nobody knows how to fix except to escape to smaller fora.


> Do you feel the moderation over there is enough though, even on the "nicely moderated places" that you mention?

There's a huge range in how hands-on moderators are, and it varies dramatically by subreddit. Some subreddits are notoriously draconian; others permit pretty much anything. I don't think it's possible to make a statement about moderation on reddit overall, across subreddits.


I don't really recognize that picture. Besides the sexism, which is an issue (but by far not exclusive to Reddit), all the rest of that shit gets downvoted into oblivion by the community at large.


http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/o4q5l/policemen_o...

I don’t think I have to expand on that.


Well, it's obvious that it is a joke. Although racially based, still a joke. Or an attempt of one.


I'm generally of the opinion that racist jokes are not as far separated from actual racism as the joke teller would like themselves to believe.

Same goes for sexism, ageism, etc etc.

I used to crack jokes about black people back in college (of the same character that ugh linked to) - I didn't think it was racism, after all I didn't actually have anything against black people, right? Then I graduated, moved to another city, and made a lot of black friends that bucked the stereotypes so dramatically that now I find the same jokes at least mildly offensive.

Racism is a spectrum, it isn't as binary as "lynch 'em" vs. "I love them", there are many shades of gray, and many places where you're subtly contributing to it by believing in, and spreading extremely damaging stereotypes.


So, what do you think of Dave Chappelle?


Well, first of all it’s a bad joke. It’s not funny. Variants of it are repeated over and over and over.

Second, it’s indistinguishable from what a racist would say. There is no subversion.


That doesn't make it not racist though, and doesn't neccesarily make people any happier to read it than if it wasn't a joke.


Politically incorrect humor does not equal racism.


It seems "politically incorrect humor" has become the new code word for "racist jokes".


It’s a joke! Like on Top Gear!


Having been active on /r/minecraft since it started and reddit from when it was pretty small. I have seen this trend play out repetitively:

1. Niche communities form with lots of quality content

2. This valuable content spurs a spike in viewership, the forum becomes anonymous and no longer a community.

3. Then the quality of content drops dramatically, especially with lots of members just adding banal thoughts or outright karma-whoring. Most content is now in the form of counterpoints which aren't counterpoints, juvenile tit-for-tat fights, massive meme infection and 2-month nostalgia posts.

4. Members who were responsible for quality rapidly abandon the subreddit and the entire subreddit begins to resemble the reddit front page. (I really have no idea how the mods stick it out.)

Unfortunately I have begun to see the same sort of thing happen to HN. HN wised up quickly however and removed visible mod-points which I always felt was responsible for the worst behaviour on reddit. (Slashdot was a bit better because the karma was rationed and the stories curated.)


Your going find that anywhere where there is a general audience, HN has it's -isms too. How is it very reddity?

Not being exposed and thus made aware of such attitudes can leave you in a bubble and not realize how good you have it. I didn't really realize how many people in the world have attitudes that belong to a 150 years ago in the developed world until I traveled to such places and saw and interacted with it with my own eyes.


The problem is that it’s everywhere and at the top. I don’t mind racism that is filtered out (i.e. either heavily downvoted or deleted by mods) all that much. That’s exactly what makes Reddit attractive: It gets filtered in a good way.

It just seems that Reddit’s filtering mechanisms are not really adept at dealing with it anymore. And Reddit’s demography (white, cis male, hetero†) adds a very special and unique slant to all of this.

† Hey, I’m all those things, too. Hanging around with only those people isn’t very fun, though.


Comments I read from reddit have a lot more gays and transgendered people than I encounter in most places in my life.

In any english website, your going to mostly encounter english (which means probably white) cis hetero people. Gays and transgendered people are %10 of the population at most, and a lot of times, they're not talking about things related to their sexuality.


That’s not really the problem. The problem is much rather that there isn’t any awareness when those people actually do talk about those topics (or feel the need to for some stupid reason or other).


> shit tends to crop up everywhere. It’s a very reddity kind of shit.

I would say that is a very internet kind of thing... just avoid those places where it becomes too much.


Well, I could care less about "racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fat shaming, ableism" etc showing up on some comments.

It's funny that the societies that really seem hangup about those, are the very societies that perpetuated them in actual life. You know, Uncle Tom's cabin, Turing's treatment, etc.

It's like how you can't publish Main Kampf or sell nazi paraphernalia in Germany. (Wow, nice of you, hypocrites, but how about NOT invading other countries and killing millions of people, several of those in camps IN THE FIRST PLACE --and then we don't care what you publish or sell).

It's also a little idiotic how and where those terms are applied. "Transhophobia", really? Because it's a mans/womans right to change sex AND not be mocked about it, right?

Now, as a progressive, young, geek person, you are probably inclined to say "hell, yeah".

But, wait, rights are not given by "god" or "nature".

Rights are given to individuals by their society, and if the society finds a "trans" person funny or weird, so be it (or try to change it socially).

Why should a society follow a philosophy of "let anyone do whatever he likes as long as it doesn't hurt someone else" and not a philosophy of "we want people in our society to be so and so and hold such and such values"?

Just because some people thing the first is better?

Well, even if it was, it's not about a society living with the better rules, it's about living with rules that society WANTS.

Is there a deeper philosophical / scientific basis for the first?


It's funny that the societies that really seem hangup about those, are the very societies that perpetuated them in actual life. You know, Uncle Tom's cabin, Turing's treatment, etc.

Yes, territories that previously encouraged and allowed behaviour that they now find unacceptable are trying to stamp that attitudes and behaviour out.

Because it's a mans/womans right to change sex AND not be mocked about it, right?

Yes it is.


Yes it is.

So I take it you don't believe people have freedom of speech?

You can have freedom of speech or the freedom not to be mocked. You can't have both.


I believe in freedom of speech, of course. I do not think there is any country which recognises the right of freedom of speech which interprets it as "any and all speech is protected by this". So yes, you can believe in freedom of speech and have limitations on that speech.


Are you trolling? What do the words "freedom of speech" mean to you?


Do you know what lying under oath is? Do you know what libel is? Do you know what incitement is?

What kind of idiot are you.


"""Yes, territories that previously encouraged and allowed behaviour that they now find unacceptable are trying to stamp that attitudes and behaviour out."""

That only makes it a mix of overreacting and "too little, too late" response, that other territories see as hypocritical and/or hysterical (the latter not in the "funny" sense).

As for the hypocritical part, it's indicative that politically correctness arose somewhere where "only approximately 7% of the American population is African American, but they make up 46% of the total 2.1 million male inmates in jail or prison".

Because what really matters is not what chances a society offers to black people (that the same society dragged away from their lands and used as slaves), but how we talk, right?

"""Yes it is."""

Really? Given by who? Last time I checked, no such thing as god-given rights or natural rights exists objectively.


Because what really matters is not what chances a society offers to black people (that the same society dragged away from their lands and used as slaves), but how we talk, right?

Yes, how we/I/you/everyone talks affects what chances a black person has.

Given by who? Last time I checked, no such thing as god-given rights or natural rights exists objectively.

The people with guns and the power to lock you up and confiscate your property disagree (i.e. the police/courts/government). The vast majority of people around you recognise that these people with guns are allowed to do this (i.e. vast majority of people recognise that the government is allowed to imprison people or fine people). If you don't like it, go set up your own country.




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

Search: