Reddit and Forget it
To be honest, it was really tough writing a post on reddit. Every time I got on the site to check things out I would catch myself checking out ten links before I even got anywhere. If you don’t really have much of a grasp on what exactly reddit is. It is basically a social news site where users can post links or text for other viewers to see. From there, other viewers can vote it up or down to move it up or down in the rankings. More people get to see it if it’s higher in the rankings. Reddit’s slogan is “the front page of the internet.” Their goal is to create a space for the public to share what’s popular on the internet these days.
When a user (or “redditor”) posts content, they put it into a “subreddit.” A subreddit is a category for posts to be put into to make it easier for readers to find content they’re interested in. Some subreddits include funny, pics, blog, AskReddit, worldnews, politics, gaming, and ask me anything (called AMA). There are over 100,000 subreddits that are run by volunteers, not by reddit staff.
Links are the most common type of post, but text can be included as well. This has created a learning culture on reddit. AskReddit is often full of text-based posts with redditors asking questions from “What is the best feeling in the world?” to “What is it like to be homeless?” Reddit shares a lot of characteristics with social networking sites with the ability to vote and leave comments.
Unfortunately, with ¾ of users being male, many misogynistic comments can appear. For instance, any time that a picture of a girl on a beach is shown, instead of the comments being about the sand castle she’s built, her breasts always come up. Also, if any post mentions rape, there’s nearly always insensitive men posting about how it’s deserved. There are, however, redditors who will call them out on it and the following comments often become somewhat of a “bullying the bully” which makes it obvious that this sort of behavior is NOT tolerated. Certainly the first amendment allows individuals the right to say these things, but that doesn’t make it acceptable in any public forum.
After SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) went into action in Congress, a group of New York Tech Execs got together to discuss what they were going to do about the proposed law. They were concerned mainly because of how it was going to be affecting free speech on the internet. They went around the room and each company would talk about what they were going to do to raise awareness. When it came to the reddit creators, they said that they were just going to make a SOPA subreddit and advertise it. The other companies were slightly taken aback that that was all they were going to do. They had a difficult time explaining to the other executives that reddit was made for the public’s action and that their job wasn’t to tell the public what to do.
Soon after the subreddit went live there was a big uproar by those who were keeping tabs on that subreddit and individuals started posing ideas for what to do about it. Somebody posed the idea of doing a black out and so the reddit executives provided a forum for that to happen. Once they had announced their blackout, other companies started following suit. This is an example of how reddit really is “the front page of the internet.” Not only do they show memes that go out to other sites, but they helped start a revolution that affected the rest of the internet as well.
Before I sign off, I do want to share a couple of my favorite posts that I ran into while I was perusing.
What are some socially unacceptable things you would like to do? I have so many things I would add to this list.
Check out this PBS Off Book for more info.