It’s noble, Reddit’s idea of an online community where practically no topic or content is off limits. Most of the best viral content headed for your Facebook newsfeed? You’ll find it on Reddit a day or few ahead of time. Unfortunately, a lot of horrible scum are attracted to Reddit’s neutral zone, and it ruins Reddit’s brand to the public.
I say that as someone who hates the word Brand. Yes, I understand the idea of not slamming an entire group for how one of their sects behaves. That doesn’t stop the worst Redditors from making news that scares the rest of the internet from ever going near their online zoo. It’s getting to the point where “Redditor” is on the verge of being synonymous with “4chan user.”
Take for example the below screencap of the Ferguson subReddit. I guess this is where I say “Trigger Warning for hate-speech and belligerent racism.”
Here, is Reddit.com/r/Ferguson
Within every word of that page, you’re likely asking yourself, how is this allowed to exist on what is supposedly one of the major pillars of the internet? Even if you’ve expected Reddit to be a farm for horrible, though, you might be wondering “How is THIS Reddit’s Ferguson? Why is Reddit letting these bigots own the word “Ferguson?”
That’s right, the main Reddit page for all things Ferguson, the city were our nation’s racial baggage continues to haunt. The city where just over one month ago, Officer Darren Wilson shot an unarmed Michael Brown, with his hands in the air, to death.
Reddit’s Ferguson’s side-rail is taken up by a frighteningly long list of comparisons of young black men to apes. r/Ferguson’s version of the Reddit Alien logo is riddled with bullet holes.
It’s not happening on the homepage of Reddit, but this is all happening under the big Reddit umbrella. While Reddit tries to brand itself as the place for celebrities to answer any question, the go-to place for cute animal photos, image macros, and all things intriguing. That same Reddit allows garbage fires of hate, child porn, and everything else that is wrong.
To those not paying close attention, Reddit might have been on the moral upswing. Didn’t they just take down a hub of those celebrity nudes?
Yes, but they only took that content down after kicking and screaming all the way home. Like the children that they are.
It took a week of being pushed: from the public, from cease and desist orders, and the reveal that those photos included child pornography. Reddit didn’t shut this down when it started, like any decent website would.
They fought tooth and nail for their users rights to operate without judgement. Their actions in the end argue that this decision was not based on public outcry, but in fact their own moral code.
Reddit has a view where they have little to no responsibility over what happens on their property. The following is taken from the blog post that explains their philosophies:
The philosophy behind this stems from the idea that each individual is responsible for his or her moral actions.
You choose what to post. You choose what to read. You choose what kind of subreddit to create and what kind of rules you will enforce. We will try not to interfere — not because we don’t care, but because we care that you make your choices between right and wrong.
Virtuous behavior is only virtuous if it is not arrived at by compulsion. This is a central idea of the community we are trying to create.
Reddit believes they are the digital Illuminati, a cabal above judgement. The Ferguson page is continued proof that their users shouldn’t allowed anywhere near such power. Horrible content has just a right to exist as anything else, their inactions state.
Reddit isn’t all as horrible as these bad eggs would have you think, but this content keeps them stuck in a pubescent stage of life.