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Goodbye and good riddance
February 12, 2012 8:50 PM   Subscribe

At reddit we care deeply about not imposing ours or anyone elses’ opinions on how people use the reddit platform. We are adamant about not limiting the ability to use the reddit platform even when we do not ourselves agree with or condone a specific use. We have very few rules here on reddit; no spamming, no cheating, no personal info, nothing illegal, and no interfering the site's functions. Today we are adding another rule: No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors. - After much complaint, Reddit gets rid of /r/jailbait and selected subreddits with similar content.
posted by Artw (413 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
And there was much rejoicing.
posted by dumbland at 8:52 PM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Can't do this story without mentioning Something Awful is the reason this happened. They may have the forums set to block unregistered users though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:55 PM on February 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


The title of the Something Awful campaign is genius: To Catch A Redditor
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:56 PM on February 12, 2012 [30 favorites]


That NY Observer headline is yellow journalism levels of misleading. Reddit never allowed "child porn", and like any legitimate site would remove/ban/report to the authorities any actual child pornography. Non-nude models under the age of 18 is of questionable taste- and what they're expressly disallowing- but was never illegal or "child pornography".

But hey, why let the facts stand in the way of the breathless reporting on Paedogeddon?
posted by hincandenza at 8:56 PM on February 12, 2012 [51 favorites]


Can't do this story without mentioning Something Awful is the reason this happened. They may have the forums set to block unregistered users though.

It's mentioned in the second link - I probably should have mentioned them more explicitly, but their forum links won't work so I ended up not linking them and the mention went with the link.
posted by Artw at 8:57 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


inb4 rule 34 with Reddit alien and Pedobear
posted by chemoboy at 8:58 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, they really had a section called "/r/jailbait"? Really? In 2012?
posted by octothorpe at 9:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Reddit alien and Pedobear
posted by Artw at 9:01 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


For those wondering what's been taken down:

/r/teen_girls
/r/TeenGirls
/r/pro_teen_models
/r/preteen_girls
/r/TeenGirls
/r/JailbaitArchives
/r/JailbaitVideos
/r/TrueJailbait
/r/niggerjailbait
/r/ChestyBait
/r/bustybait
/r/cutegirls
/r/asianjailbait
/r/JustTeens
/r/JailbaitJunkies
/r/jailbait_nospam
/r/jailbaitgw
/r/nudistbeach
/r/Purenudism
/r/teens
/r/Thenewjailbait
/r/trapbait
/r/malejailbait
/r/malejailbaitarchives
/r/lolicon
/r/assbait

posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:02 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm dumbfounded by two things - That Reddit allowed these subreddits to exist and that there are people complaining and defending them.

That said - shitredditsays has got to be one of the most annoying, self righteous subreddits on Reddit. Its like its populated by militant, hyper sensitive myspace 14 year olds.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 9:04 PM on February 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


Wow, they really had a section called "/r/jailbait"? Really? In 2012?

Technically that was shut down in 2011. On preview, I see furiousxgeorge has supplied a list of the new offenders, to which all I can say is:

Yup.
posted by dumbland at 9:04 PM on February 12, 2012


Reddit: populated by militant, hyper sensitive myspace 14 year olds.
posted by dumbland at 9:05 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


Reddit alien and Pedobear

I was just in time.
posted by chemoboy at 9:05 PM on February 12, 2012


ಠ_ಠ
posted by maqsarian at 9:07 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Condé Nast Publications: your legal department's due diligence sucks.
posted by jaduncan at 9:07 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


screw those subreddits...but are they really banning Pedobear?
posted by stifford at 9:12 PM on February 12, 2012


If you're curious what kind of pictures they were talking about, you can go to imgur.com/r/subreddit to see the photogalleries, if they're still up.

For example.

http://www.imgur/r/funny (this is a non-porn example: all the pics that have been posted to reddit.com/r/funny)
posted by empath at 9:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


That said - shitredditsays has got to be one of the most annoying, self righteous subreddits on Reddit. Its like its populated by militant, hyper sensitive myspace 14 year olds.

You think? Reddit comment sections are often funny, but there's a population of misogynistic jackasses on there that makes me want to vomit sometimes.
posted by empath at 9:15 PM on February 12, 2012 [18 favorites]


They had to make this a rule? Isn't that a LAW already?
posted by XhaustedProphet at 9:15 PM on February 12, 2012


Mods: if there was ever a time to shut down sign-ups for a 24 hour period, this is it.

Can we put up a "Site under construction" sign or something?
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:16 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


You think? Reddit comment sections are often funny, but there's a population of misogynistic jackasses on there that makes me want to vomit sometimes.


I happen to think SRS is magic. The poop must be laughed at (but not touched - do not touch the poop). Long live the fempire.

I would agree however, that MeFi mods benning people indiscriminately would perhaps not be for the best.
posted by dumbland at 9:18 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


Wow, they really had a section called "/r/jailbait"? Really? In 2012?
It's a very different site than most message boards. The whole idea is that users can create their own subreddits, and it doesn't matter if the content of the subreddit is interesting for people who don't use it.
posted by planet at 9:18 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The whole idea is that users can create their own subreddits, and it doesn't matter if the content of the subreddit is interesting for people who don't use it.

Jailbait was voted the best subreddit by the users in 2008, and was the #1 search term that brought people to the site. They kept it around because it made them lots of money, plain and simple.
posted by empath at 9:20 PM on February 12, 2012 [26 favorites]


Note that reddit still has a "beating women" section:

www.reddit.com/r/beatingwomen

As long as we're organizing web vigilante groups, someone should stage a massive boycott of Conde Nast and cause a media storm to get this sort of garbage taken down.
posted by deathpanels at 9:20 PM on February 12, 2012 [18 favorites]


They had to make this a rule? Isn't that a LAW already?

I don't doubt that there are lots of people who would love to make it illegal to post non-nude pictures of teenagers on the internet but no, it is not a law already. Or else facebook would be pretty illegal.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:20 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


The Slashdot thread is an odd mix of "about time" and nerdfighting over the definition of pedophilia.

And this is long overdue for people who might want to share a /r/lolcats or /r/minecraft thread, but refrained because their girlfriend always asks "what are you doing on that jailbait site again?"
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:20 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


ShitRedditSays is specifically to point out comments or posts from other threads that promote rape, sexual assault, comments that threaten rape and taunts of rape victims, that recieved a lot of upvotes. I fail to see how pointing this out slime like that is being annoyingly self-righteous. I for one find ShitRedditSays to be, to quote a MeFi user, A buoy of humanity in this gulf of digital shit.
posted by JLovebomb at 9:21 PM on February 12, 2012 [60 favorites]


You think? Reddit comment sections are often funny, but there's a population of misogynistic jackasses on there that makes me want to vomit sometimes.

Reddit is full of awful dickwads - but that doesn't make me like the people in SRS any more.

Its just a subreddit full of disgust and hate. One member posted that she hates reddit. I honestly don't know why they go there if they hate it so much.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 9:21 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


it doesn't matter if the content of the subreddit is interesting for people who don't use it.

This is not a matter of people complaining because they don't find something "interesting": I think finding something disgusting (and racist) might just be the issue.
posted by maudlin at 9:21 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Beating Women, White Rights, Men's Rights, Nazi subreddits, shock and gore sites, pictures of dead kids, etc..
posted by empath at 9:22 PM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Jailbait was voted the best subreddit by the users in 2008, and was the #1 search term that brought people to the site. They kept it around because it made them lots of money, plain and simple.

That is just shameful and gross. And it took them 4 years....unnngh
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 9:22 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Its just a subreddit full of disgust and hate.

I think there's something wrong with you if you look at the comments they post on the front page and think the problem is theirs.
posted by empath at 9:23 PM on February 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


I fail to see how pointing this out slime like that is being annoyingly self-righteous. I for one find ShitRedditSays to be, to quote a MeFi user, A buoy of humanity in this gulf of digital shit.

Because it doesn't seem to be a genuine discussion about these issues. All it is is URRRGHHH!!! They suck! Aren't they awful. MASSIVE IMAGE.

It's not a decent discussion at all. The discussions there make me want to scratch my eyes out.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 9:24 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Illegal or not (doubt they were) those subreddits should have gone away with long ago, for reasons of good taste and simple decency.

Too bad though that sa was the instigator, that is one of the more screwed up sites on the web...the idea of an sa-based moral panic is just absurd.
posted by aerotive at 9:25 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's a business decision. Also, the only way to view 'shitredditsays' is with the CSS turned off, but you have to create an account to do that.

'professional white background' for life.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:25 PM on February 12, 2012


/r/rapingwomen still up.
posted by JLovebomb at 9:26 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is not a matter of people complaining because they don't find something "interesting": I think finding something disgusting (and racist) might just be the issue.
If people are honestly worked up because they think a subreddit is disgusting and racist, they need to chill out. I mean who cares.
posted by planet at 9:27 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


/r/niggerjailbait

What the fuck?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:27 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


/r/jailbait_nospam

For some reason this one jumps out at me. It means there was some point where somebody said, "sure, these sexually suggestive images of children on /r/jailbait are great, but geez, I wish the bar on submissions was set higher...."
posted by jcreigh at 9:28 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


One of my favorite comments regarding Something Awful's participation in this:

troismurs 146 points 5 hours ago (213|64)
SA has been a hub for white knighting various causes over the past 7 or 8 years despite the site starting from a group that made fun of anything and everything from dead people to teenagers with mental issues. While I agree with the subreddits being creepy, this outrage by SA has more to do with their sense of community often resulting in a focus towards other similar groups, and in this case they combine their white knighting of causes with hating a similar group into labeling all of reddit as pedophiles, etc.
owitzer86 37 points 2 hours ago (48|9)
lol, SA is the new Concerned Mothers of the internet.
crusader86 1 point 9 minutes ago (1|0)
10 years ago I would have laughed at hearing that. Now it's just so weird and true. Now the day /btards get off their lazy asses and go make good on their threats to take down website... oh shit.
posted by birdherder at 9:28 PM on February 12, 2012 [12 favorites]


It's not a decent discussion at all. The discussions there make me want to scratch my eyes out.

SRS is (as it says on their sidebar) a circlejerk. The discussion side of it is off in /r/SRSDiscussion and /r/SRSMeta.
posted by dumbland at 9:28 PM on February 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


Too bad though that sa was the instigator, that is one of the more screwed up sites on the web...the idea of an sa-based moral panic is just absurd.

We live in a future where hacker groups from 4chan, perhaps specifically /b/, are engaged in do-gooder online crusades against the likes of Gaddafi and Assad and Glenn Beck. If anything SA is just trying to get some of that hacktivist cred.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:30 PM on February 12, 2012


Hi there! I helped write the Redditbomb that got sent around and is in the SA thread linked upthread, and have been loving every second of this shit.

The big thing you have to understand is that the admins don't actually care. The infamous violentacrez is buddies with the admins; they won't apply any consequences to him. Also, Reddit's admins don't give a shit about it- in this YouTube video, Reddit's cofounder basically disclaims the idea that he's under any obligation to regular the content that his site hosts and blames the victims for having pictures taken of them. Reddit's admin team has known for years that Reddit is being used to trade child pornography, and, shockingly, they don't give a shit.

When the Anderson Cooper thing happened, the admins removed /r/jailbait not because it's illegal filth, but because having it around was a threat to the site. They immediately stopped any enforcement whatsoever. Last night a bunch of us in the SA Reddit thread in Debate and Discussion went from "God, Reddit is awful" to "Fuck it, burn it down." The Redditbomb came together in a few hours, and was widely disseminated to various media sources and such. The admins had their chance to fix it; they didn't just fuck up, they actively refused, doing nothing beyond what was necessary to get the spotlight off of themselves. This was the next step; if they will not voluntarily take responsibility for the fact that Reddit is used to trade child pornography, then goddammit they will be forced to take responsibility.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:31 PM on February 12, 2012 [99 favorites]


If you're interested in GRAR on reddit (usually user-to-user, and at a much . . . less refined level than is usually present in MeTa, r/SubRedditDrama is very entertaining.

I predict that this thread will take the same turns as pretty much every thread concerning reddit on Metafilter.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:32 PM on February 12, 2012


So, uh, finally? I mean, are we supposed to congratulate them on reaching some basic, widely agreed on concept of what is and what isn't okay?

Well, congratulations reddit. Keep going. Some day you'll figure out that racism is pretty shitty, and women are people too.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:33 PM on February 12, 2012 [34 favorites]


Well, it kind of starts at the end point of every other thread concerning reddit on Metafilter, so, probably?
posted by Artw at 9:34 PM on February 12, 2012


The discussions there should make you want to scratch your eyes out, Azza.

And if you can't hang with it, don't read it. Nobody said you had to. I am suggesting that perhaps your indignation at what is posted there is a little misguided

Actually, after hitting it up just now, I take it back. Your annoyance at SRS is absolutely misguided.
posted by JLovebomb at 9:35 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seriously, if you read no other links in this thread, READ THE OP OF THE SOMETHING AWFUL POST because it lays out exactly how shitty and uncaring the Reddit admins are. If you haven't read the OP of that post, you don't understand just how fucking awful things are.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:35 PM on February 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


Could you cut and paste for the non members?
posted by Artw at 9:36 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


PG: I am not your lawyer. Not at all your lawyer. Were I your lawyer I might hypothetically remind you that CNP has a lot of libel lawyers on staff though (although, admittedly, they almost certainly wouldn't want to touch this particular hot potato).
posted by jaduncan at 9:37 PM on February 12, 2012


beating women? That is so wrong. That should not have a voice. I hate to have to leave reddit now becausee even though in my experience it is indeed true that the admins don't care to do anything about usernames that include hate speech, etc, I had no idea there were all these horrible subreddits. The misogyny doesn't penetrate into the subreddits I value. But I feel sick now.
posted by Listener at 9:37 PM on February 12, 2012


Pope Guilty that link just leads to a page with a bunch of boxes, ads, and solicitations to become a member.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:38 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


And if you can't hang with it, don't read it. Nobody said you had to. I am suggesting that perhaps your indignation at what is posted there is a little misguided

Reddit is owned by Conde Nast, for heaven's sake. You would expect them to set the bar a little higher for their publications.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Redditbomb.
posted by dumbland at 9:38 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Could you cut and paste for the non members?
--
This thread is about Reddit actively trading child porn. Do not come in here to defend /jailbait or any other objectivist talking points. They are explicitly breaking the law, the reddit admins know, and they choose to not stop it.

So, Predditors and Pedo-apologists, before you post: Read the thread. Read the thread. Read the fucking thread.

----------------------------------------------------------------

News Mentions:
http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/0...ornography.html
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57...es-of-children/
http://www.observer.com/2012/02/red...ans-child-porn/

----------------------------------------------------------------


It's only been 3 months since Something Awful (and Anderson Cooper) took on reddit and their r/jailbait section.

Since then they have expanded into dozens of child pornography subreddits, exchanging illegal material out in the open. This time, a single news anchor probably isn't enough, so the reddit thread in Debate & Discussion has created

The Redditbomb:

-------------------------

reddit [http://www.reddit.com/] is a social website that allows its users to share links to content on the internet and post comments about the links. This enables not only the sharing of content (photographs, videos, websites, and so on) but also the discussion of said content.

reddit is massively popular [http://blog.reddit.com/2012/01/2-billion-beyond.html], especially with young people [http://en.reddit.com/r/misc/comment..._survey_in_pie/].

reddit is split into subcommunities known as "subreddits", meaning that while reddit exists as a website, it consists as the sum of its subcommunities that people can subscribe to and participate in by means of sharing and commenting as aforementioned.

Unfortunately, the reddit community as a whole also harbors pedophiles and distributors of child pornography, including a man who goes by the name Tessorro [http://www.reddit.com/user/tessorro] and runs a subreddit called "preteen_girls"[http://www.reddit.com/r/preteen_gir...ase_can/c3pxuv8]

The main purveyor of child porn on reddit is Violentacrez, who was the former leader of the "jailbait" subreddit, before Anderson Cooper's report [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuMd...feature=related] got it shut down: [http://www.reddit.com/user/violentacrez]

A list of Jailbait (underage porn) forums which have sprung up to replace it that are currently on reddit:

preteen_girls
jailbaitarchives
truejailbait
gaolbait
GirlsinSchoolUniforms
LegalTeens
niggerjailbait
Thenewjailbait
RealGirls
trapbait

/r/jailbait is shut down now, but the traffic statistics [http://i.imgur.com/jvNpg.png] posted by Violentacrez [http://www.reddit.com/r/TheoryOfRed..._for_rjailbait/] from its heydays are interesting. The dip in mid August is when admins temporarily closed the subreddit, and the spike on September 30th is when Anderson Cooper talked about it. The numbers after the temporary shut down are abnormally low, as would be expected. But prior to that, they were getting about 30,000 unique visitors each day.

When r/jailbait was open, it had a message on the sidebar asking young girls to submit pics to their jailbait gone wild subreddit, which still exists, and even wants these 'jailbait' girls to get verified before submitting photos. You're also told to "Be respectful. Don't insult the ones brave enough to submit photos / videos".

The owners of reddit know there is active trading of child porn on their forums, and refuse to do anything about it. Further, Reddit's cofounder simply dismisses the issue and blames the exploited children whose pictures are being traded: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXZYvrue1BE]

The inaction of reddit's administrators has been a frequent topic, part of that being Violentacrez's shockingly close relationship with them.
Violentacrez's Twitter account [https://twitter.com/!/violentacrez] seems like a good example of this.
Krispykrackers [http://twitter.com/krispykrackers] (head of advertising and the community helpline at reddit)
Hueypriest https://twitter.com/!/hueypriest] (reddit's general manager) and
Chromakode [https://twitter.com/!/chromakode] (developer) all follow violentacrez.
So does Jedberg [https://twitter.com/!/jedberg] (former administrator),
KeyserSosa [https://twitter.com/!/KeyserSosa] (former lead developer) and
MikeSchiraldi [https://twitter.com/!/MikeSchiraldiraldi] (another former developer type).

If you view their past tweets, you'll see that Violentacrez has regularly been in direct, public contact with them.

In 2008, r/jailbait received the most votes in reddit's "Best Community" contest [http://www.reddit.com/r/bestof/comm...comment_here_w/], with SuicideWatch taking a distant second, receiving about half as many votes.

Another interesting fact is that Violentacrez has the third highest amount of karma [http://www.karmawhores.net/violentacrez] on all of reddit for submitted links. Reddit can't get enough of the guy.

Are you sick to your stomach yet? The list of child pornography subreddits continues: (all subreddits listed below are not safe for viewing)

"Preteen Girls"
"Male Jailbait"
"Jailbait Junkies"
"Asian Jailbait"
"Young Porn"

Other awful Reddit things:

A Pedophile's Confession
A subreddit called "Raping Women"
"Beating Women"
A subreddit called "Lolicon" (cartoon drawings of naked children)[/url]
A subreddit called "Pics of Dead Kids"




---------------------------------------------------



What do we do with this?

The biggest, most important thing I can think of that you can do with the "Redditbomb":

Reddit is hugely popular with people under 18, right? And Anderson Cooper may not revisit the story, the FBI may do nothing, gloom and doom, right?

Act Local. If you're in America, I bet there's 20 churches near your home. Each church could have around 100 CONCERNED PARENTS that go to PTA meetings and talk to other parents. Send the "Redditbomb" to local politicians and churches. Let them see that their children are using a website that exploits and sexualizes children.

You can send tips to the FBI all day (god knows I do), but I think a grassroots campaign could do wonders.

I think the smaller we start, the bigger it gets. Barely anyone remembers the Anderson Cooper story. But if a bunch of smalltown moms went on a crusade against a website that wants their precious angel to strip for their gross pleasure?

Do you know how BORING local news is? Can you imagine if your local news could run a "IS YOUR CHILD POSTING IN A PEDOPHILE WEBSITE? STATISTICALLY THERE'S AN 80% CHANCE!" story? They'd moisten their undies when they open the Redditbomb in their email.

Welcome, goons, to PEDOGEDDON 2: The PEDOPOCALYPSE



---------------------------------------------------



Redditbomb distribution list

Churches, PTAs, Schools
-Act Local send it to nearby high schools and churches. If you're in America, there's easily 20 churches near your home. Each church will have 30 to several thousand parents that go to PTA meetings and talk to other parents. Send the "Redditbomb" to local politicians schools and churches. Let them see that their children are using a website that exploits and sexualizes children, requesting that children submit their own nude photos.

Most importantly, Local News
- Local News Stations
-Your local paper

TV News
-ABC
-CBS
-NBC
-CNN
-FOX
-MSNBC
-Al Jazeera
-BBC

Newspapers
-NY Times, NY Post (love salacious/scandalous shit)
-WSJ
-LA Times
-SF Chronicle, Bee
-Washington Post
-Indianapolis Star
-Atlanta Journal Constitution
-Chicago Sun Times
-everything at http://www.newslink.org/toptypes.html
- everything here: http://www.theopedproject.org/index...id=47&Itemid=65

Government Officials
-Your Senator
-Your Representative
-State Legislators
-Governor

Bloggers and Political Websites
-Political bloggers of all stripes (dKos, Digby, Freep, etc)
-Mommybloggers
-Matt Drudge will love this shit
-Huffington Post
-Stephen Colbert
-The Daily Show
-Rachel Maddow

Cops
-FBI
-Your local and state police departments
- https://report.cybertip.org/index.htm


---------------------------------------------------------------

pRedditors are making a big stink about my avatar. On SomethingAwful you can buy another person an avatar as "punishment".
I Mocked GRRM (author of Game of Thrones and its sequels) regularly for the pedophilia and rape in the (otherwise excellent) books.
So there you go. It's not hypocrisy. It's a badge of honor for criticizing a normalization of pedophilia and rape, which are two things Reddit LOVES.

---------------------------------------------------------------

You don't need to cite this post in order to redistribute. SA probably doesn't need the traffic from non-users.

Just copy paste the Redditbomb below


vvvvvvv

posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:39 PM on February 12, 2012 [21 favorites]


Now, can we do something about jailbait.metafilter.com?
posted by Nomyte at 9:42 PM on February 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


Another note on SomethingAwful's influence: they are r/ShitRedditSays. It was recolonized as an on-site place to talk about the shitty stuff on Reddit by SA members a while back. I'm a bit amused by people thinking they're wholly separate entities.
posted by flatluigi at 9:44 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Chemoboy. A happy member of Metafilter for eight years. It's shit like this that reminds me why I don't go anywhere else for my bloggregation. If it weren't for what just happened in the Grammys I'd be smiling. But I'll try for you my little snowflakes. (b'_')b
posted by chemoboy at 9:45 PM on February 12, 2012


SRS was founded by reddit_sux, some random guy that nobody knows who they are. It was taken over by goons and turned into the SRS we have today, but there's a lot more native Reddit users, so to speak, than goons, at least nowadays. I'm kind of over the circlejerk humor, but the "Fempire" of related subreddits are all good places with good people.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:46 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I followed this pretty much all day, I went down to watch Se7en and when I came back reddit had that policy-change post.

Last few days have really really exposed the scummy side of reddit, at this point I've gone beyond trying to believe it'll ever get better, and now I just want to watch it burn.

I had a saying once "Reddit used to be the coolest guy on the chess club, but then he became the worst guy on the chess club. And then, he became the guy all the other chess clubs talk about when they get together...and then he became the guy that all those worst-chess-club people talk about when THEY get together" but now it's like, not even on the scale of that anymore. There are droves of people defending child porn!

I'm kind of sad I defended SOPA and talked to my congressman about it, had this happened before SOPA I would have said "SOPA AWAY" since this site's behavior is pretty much what SOPA intended to fight.

Reddit is pretty much a web-version of Bioshock's Rapture. It was made with the best intentions, and turned into a horror-show.

Not sure what else there is to say. Oh, I'm pissed that they never upvoted my crappy art, and instead upvoted MSpaint rage comics.
posted by hellojed at 9:46 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Reddit has all kinds of creepy underbellies. Gawker's Adrian Chen has been doing the work of the angels digging up stuff like the nauseating Men's Rights forum that helps shape the weird tone of the front page, which for a while teemed with insane stories claiming an epidemic of women conspiring to frame men for rape.
posted by steinsaltz at 9:47 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Reddit is pretty much a web-version of Bioshock's Rapture. It was made with the best intentions, and turned into a horror-show.

Also, it's full of white libertarians.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:47 PM on February 12, 2012 [35 favorites]


It is my understanding that those subreddits were actually stung to death by wasps.
posted by cortex at 9:48 PM on February 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


Another note on SomethingAwful's influence: they are r/ShitRedditSays. It was recolonized as an on-site place to talk about the shitty stuff on Reddit by SA members a while back. I'm a bit amused by people thinking they're wholly separate entities.

It may have started that way, but I think there are more people on there who aren't on Something Awful than those that are. Regardless, they're saying shit that needs to be said. Reddit can be fantastic sometimes, but my god when it's bad, it's just awful. I've actually removed most of the front page subreddits from my subscriptions because I can't deal with the comments sections.
posted by empath at 9:48 PM on February 12, 2012


Non-nude models under the age of 18 is of questionable taste- and what they're expressly disallowing- but was never illegal or "child pornography".

Nope. First, if you think the pictures of the children posted to those subreddits was only pics of professional models, you are mistaken. A lot of it was photos taken from girls' facebooks, myspace, flickr, etc.

Second, see the Dost test:
In order to better determine whether a visual depiction of a minor constitutes a "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area" under 18 U.S.C. § 2256(2)(A), the court developed six criteria. Not all of the criteria need to be met, nor are other criteria necessarily excluded in this test.[1][2]

* Whether the focal point of the visual depiction is on the child's genitalia or pubic area.
* Whether the setting of the visual depiction is sexually suggestive, i.e., in a place or pose generally associated with sexual activity.
* Whether the child is depicted in an unnatural pose, or in inappropriate attire, considering the age of the child.
* Whether the child is fully or partially clothed, or nude.
* Whether the visual depiction suggests sexual coyness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity.
* Whether the visual depiction is intended or designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer.

Third, the US Dept of Justice has ruled that clothed photos of models, if they meet some of the other Dost criteria, can be child pornography:
The Department declines to adopt this comment. As discussion of the depictions at issue in the Knox case shows, there are instances when covered genitals can amount to child pornography. When such images are created, if the performers are under 18, what is being produced is child pornography. The obligations of the proposed rule must apply to
producers who create depictions that could constitute lascivious exhibition, so as to reduce the possibility of child exploitation.

posted by nooneyouknow at 9:48 PM on February 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


Reddit has all kinds of creepy underbellies. Gawker's Adrian Chen has been doing the work of the angels digging up stuff like the nauseating Men's Rights forum that helps shape the weird tone of the front page, which for a while teemed with insane stories claiming an epidemic of women conspiring to frame men for rape.

The excellent MRA naming and shaming site Manboobz.com loves to dip in to the /r/MensRights well.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:48 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


So what is a redditbomb? A ddos attack?
posted by desjardins at 9:49 PM on February 12, 2012


Non-nude models under the age of 18 is of questionable taste- and what they're expressly disallowing- but was never illegal or "child pornography".

I don't know if this is true. I'm no lawyer, but I was under the impression that displaying images of people under the age of majority for the purposes of sexual satisfaction is illegal in the US.
posted by ODiV at 9:49 PM on February 12, 2012


I have been a user of reddit for 4 years now. I can't believe how high the levels the misogyny and racism and defending of rapists/pedophiles/cop killers are. I honestly think I should have left two years ago, but it's like a trainwreck...
posted by cobain_angel at 9:49 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


it's full of white libertarians.

Well, there's no need to be redundant.
posted by scody at 9:49 PM on February 12, 2012 [60 favorites]


And beaten by nooneyouknow, in much more detail.
posted by ODiV at 9:49 PM on February 12, 2012


So what is a redditbomb? A ddos attack?

I'm sure I'm coming off as being awfully conceited in this thread already, but it's a reference to my Paulbomb copypasta, a big chunk of links intended to demonstrate overwhelmingly that Ron Paul is an awful person. The idea was to do a Paulbomb-style copypasta for Reddit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:51 PM on February 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


/r/TrueJailbait
/r/niggerjailbait
/r/asianjailbait
/r/jailbait_nospam
/r/Thenewjailbait
/r/trapbait


what is this

/r/beatingwomen
/r/rapingwomen


the fuck is this
posted by zennish at 9:52 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


desjardins, my understanding is that it is an attempt to get the busybodies of the Moral Majority to delve into it and raise a public outcry.

it is in the text posted above after 'redditbomb:'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:53 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the best summation of this whole thing is a comment from the reddit thread on this (quoting a quote):

In Hebrew (and please hold the Israel-hate, it's pretty ancient Hebrew) there's a saying; "VeYafa Sha'a Achat Kodem".

It translates roughly as "your action was worthy, but it would have been worthier an hour ago".

posted by Nomiconic at 9:53 PM on February 12, 2012 [27 favorites]


It's easy to assume that Conde Nast's corporate attitude toward Reddit is "we wanted to invest in internet-based media" and THIS is representative of the internet to them (and Reddit's open, 'democratic' format proves it, right?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:54 PM on February 12, 2012


Anyone taking bets on a CNP parent company divestment of reddit? The potential legal claims are quite impressive if law enforcement is actually going to pay attention now, and I'm sort of curious what might turn up if the internal emails were subpoenaed (especially regarding the post-Anderson Cooper crackdown).
posted by jaduncan at 9:54 PM on February 12, 2012


the fuck is this

trolls, mostly. Poe's law in full operation, as always. Lax moderation and easy account creation contribute as well.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:54 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm kind of sad I defended SOPA and talked to my congressman about it, had this happened before SOPA I would have said "SOPA AWAY" since this site's behavior is pretty much what SOPA intended to fight.

Actually SOPA would have taken down Reddit only if the the jailbait, misogyny, etc was violating copyright.
posted by birdherder at 9:57 PM on February 12, 2012 [29 favorites]


Yes, because people have shittons of relevant child porn to troll reddit with? They just have lots of images of raped and abused women from casual browsing of the internet?

They aren't trolls, Twists, and if you're coming here to defend reddit I'd advise you to stop before you dig yourself a grave.
posted by flatluigi at 9:57 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


No, you see, I'm only distributing these pictures of children ironically.
posted by ODiV at 9:57 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Seriously, if you read no other links in this thread, READ THE OP OF THE SOMETHING AWFUL POST

Special Message From Senor Lowtax
Sorry, you must be a registered forums member to view this page. If you are already a member, login here.
To register your very own account, see our registration page

So to participate in your little Internet drama I'd have to join in the drama?

You are not worth it Pope.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:58 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure how much influence Conde Nast has over reddit now that they have spun off. I think they might be a subsidiary, but they are a separate entity now.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:58 PM on February 12, 2012


4chan, meanwhile, actively patrols for and removes child pornography, and reports the uploader to the FBI. Reddit: Worse than 4chan.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:59 PM on February 12, 2012 [37 favorites]


Welcome to Lynch Mob 2.0.
posted by cheburashka at 9:59 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reddit is owned by Conde Nast, for heaven's sake. You would expect them to set the bar a little higher for their publications.

Those expecting Conde Nast to raise the bar high enough to match even Gawker Media's trashy standards should definitely prepare for disappointment.
posted by JLovebomb at 9:59 PM on February 12, 2012


You are not worth it Pope.

I didn't realize that the forums were closed to nonmembers right now. furiousxgeorge pasted the contents of it here.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


rough ashlar: furiousxgeorge copy/pasted it here.
posted by ODiV at 10:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


4chan, meanwhile, actively patrols for and removes child pornography, and reports the uploader to the FBI.

I was thinking about this the other day, it kind of blew my mind that reddit's site policies were more regressive than 4chan's. All under the guise of "free speech"
posted by hellojed at 10:00 PM on February 12, 2012


Welcome to Lynch Mob 2.0.

Yes, publicly shaming Reddit for knowingly permitting the trading of child pornography is just like a lynching. That is a good opinion that you have clearly put some thought into.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:01 PM on February 12, 2012 [65 favorites]


I'm not sure how much influence Conde Nast has over reddit now that they have spun off. I think they might be a subsidiary, but they are a separate entity now.

Both share the same parent company, Advance Publications. AP has quite a lot of assets, (including their ownership of CNP), and is the sole owner of reddit. The question is more the AP assets rather than CNP, which one would expect had almost no control.
posted by jaduncan at 10:01 PM on February 12, 2012


Welcome to Lynch Mob 2.0.

Lynching ~= making as much noise as possible until the authorities take action.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:03 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


feloniousmonk, reddit is owned by Advance Publications, which own Conde Nast.

flatluigi if someone had a goal of pissing people off, creating those subreddits and doing some digging on Google would be pretty effective. There are also people who sincerely hold those ideas as well. Distinguishing between them is basically impossible, but I'm pretty sure the last two were made with the sole intent of pissing people off, no matter what they're used for now.

If you're going to accuse me of something, at least wait until I do that thing, yes?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:04 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, someone has gone ahead and created /r/toddlersandtiaras
posted by vidur at 10:06 PM on February 12, 2012


Context from a slashdot comment. Gaaah:

"Being between jobs, I've spent a crap load of time on Reddit lately, so I'll try to give you some better context than you're getting from the other posts, which are almost all random speculation.

This isn't just about seeing sexuality in children or people fapping over misappropriated but otherwise innocuous pictures of other people's children.

The largest of the sub-reddits at issue, preteen_girls, featured a posting from a man attracted to his daughter (I would provide a link to this thread, but reading it once was enough; I ain't going back there). He received advice about how to get her drunk, how to gradually introduce her to some physical intimacy via backrubs and neck massage, and gradually escalate to fully sexual encounters. This is exactly how things unfolded when my wife was raped as a 12 year old. They're not just trading pictures, they're trading time-tested advice on seduction and child rape.

Oh, and the advice I described came from the moderator of the page.

That's the kind of stuff that's going on here. I don't give a flying fuck how you feel about free speech, or even child porn: giving advice on intoxicating, seducing, and fucking people is wrong. Setting aside the serious question of whether children can give consent in the first place, these people think it's fine to seduce and drug kids until consent is no longer an issue. This kind of stuff is wrong whether your target is 12 or 42. Knowing that people meet and give one another advice about such things in public on these sub-reddits, to say nothing of what goes in private between people who connect via these sub-reddits (because most people are still smart enough not to collude in raping a child or sharing true snuff on a public forum), gives Reddit both the moral authority and the legal imperative to shut those forums down.

Seriously, raping 12 year olds. Intoxicating and fucking your own daughter or niece. As I've already had to say once this month on slashdot, sometimes 'think of the children' is a valid concern."
posted by jaduncan at 10:07 PM on February 12, 2012 [67 favorites]


I'm surprised this hasn't been addressed, but. . .what role does imgur play in all this? Isn't there also accountability on the image hosting side to regulate illegal content? No "imgur-bomb"?

ctrl+f imgur

Guess not.
posted by Taft at 10:09 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Welcome to Lynch Mob 2.0.

Hahahahahah - "won't somebody think of the pedophiles!"
posted by Palindromedary at 10:12 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


imgur has a request deletion option, though it's somewhat hidden on the button of the page. Still, at least that shows there's a way to report illegal content...?
posted by Apocryphon at 10:13 PM on February 12, 2012


trolls, mostly. Poe's law in full operation, as always. Lax moderation and easy account creation contribute as well.

If that's true (and that's fuckawful if it is), that just makes me want to go hug a cat.

Ugh and now I just found out about Angie Varona and that's just so goddamn sad. Even googling her name gets the sort of results that makes me want to scrub out firefox's cache with a steel brush
posted by zennish at 10:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


This whole debacle has pretty much solidified my position that I cannot ever mention to anyone that I use reddit without risking embarrassment at best and at worst an association with the people making all sorts of slippery slope style defenses of those subreddits.

My account is 5 years old and if this hadn't been posted to other sites I never would've known about it, but it now effectively doesn't matter that I have a carefully pruned set of subscriptions that consist of 99% interesting posts and 1% kittens.

Already a decent portion of the topics I used to follow there have moved to other places such as Hacker News (which is declining fairly rapidly as well). I think it's interesting that it's evidently impossible to run a site like this without it devolving to the lowest common denominator eventually. I am honestly surprised its run lasted as long as it has.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


God, I really love the /r/Pokemon (I have good taste amirite?) and r/chicagofood subreddits. I hate to give them up since I think they are fun and I've met cool people through them, but I am just full of disgust for Reddit right now. I don't subscribe to very many subreddits, but the idea that r/beatingwomen exists in the same place where I'm merrily laughing at Pikachu comics just scares me.
posted by melissam at 10:16 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised this hasn't been addressed, but. . .what role does imgur play in all this? Isn't there also accountability on the image hosting side to regulate illegal content? No "imgur-bomb"?

imgur would benefit from DMCA protections for simple hosts, combined with the fact it's really difficult to automatically scan for CP based on only the image file.

Reddit would presumably have more issues as it non-automatically removed /r/jailbait (indicating editorial control) and after they removed /r/jailbait they might reasonably have been suspected to have known what might be contained in:

/r/JailbaitArchives
/r/JailbaitVideos
/r/TrueJailbait
/r/niggerjailbait

I would guess (in true megaupload/News of the World/almost-every-recent-scandal style) that a lot would be revealed in a subpoena of internal reddit emails.
posted by jaduncan at 10:18 PM on February 12, 2012


I think it's interesting that it's evidently impossible to run a site like this without it devolving to the lowest common denominator eventually.

Not impossible, but as a community gets a larger userbase, and has a structure that basically lets anyone create a forum for any topic they want, if you are an admin of said community, it behooves you to respond to reports of illegal (or even legal-but-wildly-inappropriate) content rather than ignore them. The chickens have simply come home to roost for having either too few admins or too lax of an enforcement system, or (I'd wager) both.
posted by chimaera at 10:19 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, I'm stopping reading this thread now. I've had enough of Reddit, and I have only visited the site maybe a couple of times.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:21 PM on February 12, 2012


Question for redditors, are there any subreddits that make the site worthwhile? The only one I cam across when I was an active member sometime last year was /AskScience which is notable for it's extremely strict moderation policy.
posted by atrazine at 10:23 PM on February 12, 2012


HOLY SHIT NOT CLOTHED IMAGES OF PEOPLE WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE UNDER 18!!! ffs
posted by cmoj at 10:23 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm happy that this thread introduced me to manboobz.com, which it turns out is pretty hilarious: "Devastating new "FLY" slogan gives MRAs the edge in the war of ideas".

Everything else makes me so sad for the world I just want to go to bed. :(
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:24 PM on February 12, 2012


The funny part about Imgur is that from what I've heard, the Report button does nothing.


HOLY SHIT NOT CLOTHED IMAGES OF PEOPLE WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE UNDER 18!!! ffs

If you don't think "these guys willingly host child porn" is a big deal, I'm not sure what to tell you.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:25 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


HOLY SHIT NOT CLOTHED IMAGES OF PEOPLE WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE UNDER 18!!! ffs

Did you actually read much of the thread, cmoj?
posted by jaduncan at 10:26 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't subscribe to very many subreddits, but the idea that r/beatingwomen exists in the same place where I'm merrily laughing at Pikachu comics just scares me.

The whole thing makes me wonder about what Reddit (or, indeed, any large, diverse internet community) is. Did you ever use Usenet? Would you be put off reading, I dunno, comp.os.linux by what was going on in alt.sex.children? There was less central control over Usenet - you couldn't just kill a newsgroup or ban a user. The fact that Reddit is a site, controlled by one organisation, means this stuff can be (and should be) removed. On the other hand, being controlled by one organisation means they can remove anything they don't like.
posted by Jimbob at 10:26 PM on February 12, 2012 [14 favorites]


* It was /r/ShitRedditSays no SomethingAwful that caused this. As Pope Guilty says. The SomethingAwful thing is spin, they just helped publicize it.

* /r/ShitRedditSays and its sister subreddits are pure gold and full of wonderful people, and fuck anybody who thinks otherwise.

* there are still some horrible things out there that the reddit admins are leaving alone because they can get away with leaving them alone without particular legal jeopardy, and they don't give a shit. They did not give a shit about child porn until a threat came to massively publicize exactly what they were harboring, with links to the worst of it. Then they had a problem with it.

* yes, some non-nude photographs of children CAN be legally child porn, and those subreddits were full of 'em. But that's not even the worst of it as the post from furiousxgeorge shows. This is about pedophilia enabling pure and simple.

* did I mention the admins do not give a shit and still don't, except to the degree that they're afraid not to? And that they're good friends with the main offender?

* Thanks, Pope Guilty and furiousxgeorge.
posted by edheil at 10:29 PM on February 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Oh dear lord, shitredditsays.

As someone who voluntarily trudges through multiple gender- and sex-related subreddits in quest of the occasional gem predicted by Sturgeon's Law, I can sum up my feelings for SRS as "Christ, what a bunch of assholes".

e.g., when they don't get the material they want they just start abusively trolling people in hope of an out-of-context quote they can link up to sustain their little circle-jerk, they seem to have a pretty set rota of "it's Tuesday, must be time to post hate-filled crap in this group's subreddit", etc., and if all else fails you just fire up a sockpuppet account to get the posts you want to link up.
posted by ubernostrum at 10:29 PM on February 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Question for redditors, are there any subreddits that make the site worthwhile? The only one I cam across when I was an active member sometime last year was /AskScience which is notable for it's extremely strict moderation policy.

I guess it depends on your interests, but for me:

/r/TrueReddit
/r/LongText
/r/Interestingstuff
/r/foodforthought
/r/Indepthstories
/r/bikewrench
/r/programming
etc.

I'd say that there are more non-cesspool subreddits than cesspool subreddits, but the latter get all of the attention. I never even know about the cesspool reddits until they get attention like in this case.
posted by cmonkey at 10:29 PM on February 12, 2012 [14 favorites]


I think it's interesting that it's evidently impossible to run a site like this without it devolving to the lowest common denominator eventually.

I think so. The problem is that they more or less delegate all moderation to the people running the subreddits, that works well until you have a group that starts a subreddit for swapping CP. There are literally zero full time employees that have monitoring content as their job and *maybe* a few that do it part time.

Compare that to MetaFilter, which with a userbase literally orders of magnitude smaller than Reddit's has three full time moderators and a number of part time volunteers.
posted by atrazine at 10:29 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Question for redditors, are there any subreddits that make the site worthwhile? The only one I cam across when I was an active member sometime last year was /AskScience which is notable for it's extremely strict moderation policy.

r/tea is quite excellent. People there know A LOT about fancy tea.

some local chicago ones I follow are quite nice like r/chicagofood and I've met people IRL through there and had a lot of fun at supper clubs

There are a lot of book and TV show subreddits that are quite useful and interesting as well.
posted by melissam at 10:30 PM on February 12, 2012


* It was /r/ShitRedditSays no SomethingAwful that caused this. As Pope Guilty says. The SomethingAwful thing is spin, they just helped publicize it.

Nah, the bomb was built in the Reddit thread on SA's "Debate and Discussion", then the ever-excellent Tony Danza Claus posted it in the main forum, GBS, and also on Reddit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:31 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can't really be shocked by the diversity and perversity (and diversity of perversity) that a large site such as Reddit could have. I'm just shocked that it hasn't been better policed even after a CNN expose. And didn't the site come out of Y Combinator to begin with?
posted by Apocryphon at 10:31 PM on February 12, 2012


yeah, people who are finding the wiping of these subreddits objectionable aren't really thinking it through.

also, the idea that 'you don't actually have 'free speech' on a privately-owned website' seems to have propagated well, which is nice.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:32 PM on February 12, 2012


I find Reddit to be a very useful site, I visit the front page, some of the local reddits, and a few specialty reddits like /r/tacos and /r/art. I have never been exposed to 99% of the awfulness that lurks on the site, mainly because I rarely read the comments.

One the one hand, it's an incredibly open site that gets billions of pageviews and is very difficult to monitor or police. Anyone on earth can create a reddit and/or comment on the others.... the logistics of deciding what is or isn't OK, especially if we're talking about free speech and not actually illegal activity, is very difficult. On the other hand, the site is owned by a major media company and if they want it to be a business and not 4chan, they clearly need to make some major changes.
posted by cell divide at 10:32 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, and Reddit is the only site I know of where I can get a good answer to an Android programming question, an answer to a question about bicycle repair, and a bunch of Greek citizens talking about their perspective on the current Euro crisis all on the same day. That's why I hope Reddit can clean itself up - there's a lot of good stuff there.
posted by cmonkey at 10:32 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hey, after a message from furiousxgeorge with second thoughts about posting the direct quote of the horrific seducing-the-daughter how-to post, I deleted that here because it's really seriously upsetting, and has been summarized accurately by jaduncan above.
posted by taz at 10:33 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


srs and sa are the same people

I think this is long overdue though.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:33 PM on February 12, 2012


Thanks, Pope Guilty and furiousxgeorge.

For the record, I had nothing to do with this. I thought this was solved back when they got rid of r/Jailbait. By the time I saw the new SA thread today it was all over. PG is indeed pretty awesome though, I for one am really glad he is posting on MeFi again even if he is way too hard on poor Ron Paul.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:33 PM on February 12, 2012


I genuinely don't understand why everyone says Reddit is nothing but a cesspool. Now, things like sexually suggestive images of children are one thing, but if you don't want to read the white power subreddit...then don't read it. I love reddit. I love /r/askscience, and /r/nosleep, and /r/vinyl, and many more. I never see the shitty subreddits, because I choose not to read them.
posted by Roman Graves at 10:34 PM on February 12, 2012 [19 favorites]


RE: devolving into the lowest common denominator "eventually"

/r/jailbait had been one of the most popular subreddits for *years* when they shut it down out of fear of the Anderson Cooper report, and let the other ones just like it, and a replacement subreddit, remain.

"Eventually" happened very, very fast.

There is some weird thing where the biggest promoter of creepy pedophile-ness, the user violentacrez, has been a close friend of all the admins for years. I don't know what's going on there but whatever it is has something to do with the extreme friendliness towards pedophilia Reddit has displayed over the years, to the point that it has become one of the internet's main outposts for pedo apologists.

At least, I'd rather believe that it's become a particular home for pedo apologists than believe that a random selection of the internet consistently upvotes the hell out of the "why can't we empathize with poor pedophiles, they're so persecuted" and "is cp really as big a deal as FREE SPEECH? seriously?" threads.

Cause if the latter is the case, ugh.
posted by edheil at 10:35 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


poor Ron Paul.

Words mean things.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:35 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Question for redditors, are there any subreddits that make the site worthwhile?

I enjoy the DIY oriented subs (r/DIY, r/woodworking, r/metalworking, r/somethingimade etc). I'm a grown man but something about certain rage comics or advice animals tickles my funnybone. Threaded commenting means on and off-topic conversations can coexist in the same post.

A lot of disdain for reddit whenever the topic comes up on mefi, but I find that I can get a good chuckle or insight at least a few times a day, whereas mefi is starting to feel like the same people having the same few conversations over and over again.
posted by davey_darling at 10:35 PM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


atrazine:
Question for redditors, are there any subreddits that make the site worthwhile?


I dont really consider myself a redditor because I just go there for the "aww" imgur links.
posted by HMSSM at 10:36 PM on February 12, 2012


People really should realize that Reddit, being a general-purpose site, is just a microcosm of the internet. They have pretty racist and bigoted subreddits as well. It's just surprising that something as basic as prohibiting cp wasn't formally enshrined anywhere.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:36 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is right, and what is legal are two different things.

Also, I'm *almost* glad when there is a public forum for monsters like these people. If they aren't being sneaky, they are much more likely to be stopped before they actually hurt a child.
posted by Drumhellz at 10:37 PM on February 12, 2012


srs and sa are the same people

If you're wanting to play up the links between SA and SRS, you want to link to the page of smileys and in-line graphics for SRS, which contains a bunch of SA smileys and emoticons. The page you linked doesn't really have SA material on it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:38 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is that it becomes a never-ending battle. Not that it isn't a battle that shouldn't be fought - but sure, you shutdown /jailbait and /preteenporn or whatever and ban the creators and users. Next day, same users make new dummy accounts and trade the same shit on /preteenpron or /jailbait_3257. It's an arms race in a way, and very difficult to control for.

There's plenty of Reddit that's good. I don't know why it's even a question. It's a HUGE site, not just in front-page visitors. There are subreddits for a huge amount of cities, hobbies, games, all kinds of stuff. It's an all-purpose crowdsourced community site. If people start trading child porn on it, well, blame the community. Reddit was doing the bare minimum and now they're doing more, and that's good, I think.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:48 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is that it becomes a never-ending battle. Not that it isn't a battle that shouldn't be fought - but sure, you shutdown /jailbait and /preteenporn or whatever and ban the creators and users. Next day, same users make new dummy accounts and trade the same shit on /preteenpron or /jailbait_3257. It's an arms race in a way, and very difficult to control for.

Every other website does it. 4chan manages it. Metafilter manages it. Something Awful manages it. "Shit's hard" is not an excuse for doing nothing about the fact that your website hosts kiddie porn.

If people start trading child porn on it, well, blame the community.

Right, and if the administrators are aware of it and don't care, blame the admins. Which is what we're doing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:50 PM on February 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


Honestly, BlackLeotardFront, it seemed like they were doing the bare minimum, and now that's changed. I don't see them really doing anything more than the new barest minimum. Sure, I guess it's better than it was before, but good? I mean, syphillis is better than smallpox, but I'd rather not have either.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:52 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not quite sure how imgur hasn't gotten shut down since they're hosting 90% of the images in question.
posted by empath at 10:54 PM on February 12, 2012


Next day, same users make new dummy accounts and trade the same shit on /preteenpron or /jailbait_3257. It's an arms race in a way, and very difficult to control for.

Well, no, it's not really. You implement a 'report' button, and take down offending subreddits and ban users. They weren't even trying.
posted by empath at 10:56 PM on February 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I genuinely don't understand why everyone says Reddit is nothing but a cesspool. Now, things like sexually suggestive images of children are one thing, but if you don't want to read the white power subreddit...then don't read it.

A cesspool would be a big pool that you had to wade through with no way of avoiding the gross bits, yes.

Reddit is more like a restaurant with an awesome eclectic flight of wines. And some of the most popular selections are actually glasses of sewage. And the wine flight is well known to local drinkers for the sewage, whether because they're annoyed about it or because they're big fans of shit-in-a-glass. And if you want to have some friends out to the joint to drink some wine for the first time, you have to give them preemptive instructions on how the first thing they should is carefully dump out all the glasses of sewage and then order some other wine instead. Because the pinot is really nice.

I have complicated feelings about reddit as an aspirational model for link aggregation and discussion, and I don't think it's valueless by a long shot, but the current model has some serious problems when just introducing someone to the site basically requires explaining to them how to avoid being repelled by the actual popular content of the site.
posted by cortex at 10:58 PM on February 12, 2012 [56 favorites]


I'm just happy that something bigger than me gave a shit.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 10:59 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, no, it's not really. You implement a 'report' button, and take down offending subreddits and ban users. They weren't even trying.

One would hypothetically imagine that admins who personally know the guy who posts a lot of the minor-focused stuff and runs subedits related to it could even have material knowledge of what was going on.
posted by jaduncan at 11:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


On topic of useful/good subreddits:

I read programming, coding, python and django for day-job-related stuff. All are pretty decent. I get my hobby fixes from minecraft and magictcg. And for random amusement/learning, I read f7u12 and askscience.
posted by ubernostrum at 11:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Burn them to the ground. Then burn them to the ground tomorrow. Then come back and burn what they attempt to rebuild. Then burn them down on different sites. Burn them out, forever and always.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:04 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Next day, same users make new dummy accounts and trade the same shit on /preteenpron or /jailbait_3257. It's an arms race in a way, and very difficult to control for.

But every time you do some control, you limit damage to real people. Harm reduction.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:06 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Alright, it seems that people are putting a bit of spin on this, so I just want to repeat:

1. After the /r/jailbait issue in September, SA/SRS were still watching reddit and found quite a number of actual, legitimate child-porn subreddits. Not 'clothed teenagers of questionable age,' actual nude pictures of prepubescent children.
2. These subreddits were reported to the admins, who pretty much shrugged and went 'it's free speech, we don't care what people do on the site.' At the very least, they took no action on the subreddits.
3. After a while of hoping the admins would shut them down and getting no answer, SA organized a big post talking about all the child porn subreddits and sent it off to any and every news organization they could get a hold of.
4. Very shortly after this, the admins finally made the aforementioned post explicitly banning child porn and shut down many (if not all) the subreddits that were trading in child porn.
5. In response, a large number of redditors started complaining about their rights being oppressed and free speech and similar whinges. That's the point we're at right now.
posted by flatluigi at 11:07 PM on February 12, 2012 [25 favorites]


I've also seen a fair number of Redditors saying "About time", FWIW.
posted by Artw at 11:10 PM on February 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I enjoyed this post SA forums by member Space Gopher:

Hey guys, there's only one turd in the punch bowl, and it's like 90% punch and only 10% turd, why do you keep going on about "not fit for human consumption?"
posted by thrind at 11:30 PM on February 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


Long ago I made a point of avoiding reddit's front page and just looking at /r/linux, /r/programming, and some other tech-related subsites, so about the worst thing I've encountered has been some stupid posturing about why one distro rules and another one sucks.

ugh, ugh, ugh.
posted by Zed at 11:42 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


it seems that people are putting a bit of spin on this

Reddit was already banning content that was illegal. Now they've started banning content not because it is illegal, but because people do not like it. The apparent willingness of so many to gloss over this distinction is disconcerting. Clearly this is a choice that many places make, Metafilter more so than others. But if some content should not be on the Internet, it should be illegal. A campaign to have one site censor otherwise legal content because you don't like it is irrational and unproductive.
posted by cheburashka at 11:44 PM on February 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


A campaign to have one site censor otherwise legal content because you don't like it is irrational and unproductive.

All Something Awful was doing was promoting content that was on Reddit by notifying news media. It seems that Reddit wasn't willing to stand behind it.

If Reddit was proud of what they were doing, shouldn't they have been advertising all of those sub-reddits themselves?

It seems that they weren't really willing to stand behind it.
posted by empath at 11:48 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now they've started banning content not because it is illegal, but because people do not like it...because it sexualizes minors.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:50 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


A campaign to have one site censor otherwise legal content because you don't like it is irrational and unproductive.

No, no, no, we aren't 'not liking it', we hate it. We hate it in all its forms and degrees. We hate the kinds of people who post that stuff. We are fueled by an intense zeal to annihilate on our virtual playground this thing which we hate.

Juxtaposed against my feminism, my wish for their to truly be equality between all races, and my love of enlightenment values in general, this hate is hypocritical. So be it. There will be no co-existence.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:52 PM on February 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Since when is child porn not illegal, chebura? Again, this literal nude photographs of prepubescent children.
posted by flatluigi at 11:53 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


One of the reasons that I like SA is that being a pedo or pedo sympathizer is grounds for bannination.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:56 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


A campaign to have one site censor otherwise legal content because you don't like it is irrational and unproductive.

Unproductive how? The campaign was a success, that seems rational and productive to me!
posted by atrazine at 12:00 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I always admired reddit for refusing to censor subreddits, and I agree with them that the internet should have a place for a large, open platform, even (perhaps especially) if I don't like a lot of what goes on there. That said, if there was actual child porn going on a la flatluigi's claims, then it's best that these particular subreddits are gone.

You can't have speech, free or otherwise, on a site that no longer exists because it was nuked from legal orbit. If pictures of naked kids is the free-speech hill these subredditors really want to die on, then they are still "free" to do it on their own site.
posted by vorfeed at 12:01 AM on February 13, 2012


I hate London because I know a couple of streets where someone is pimping out children. The whole city is evil. Someone should bomb it.

Sometimes, seriously, you guys.... man, you depress me with your inattentive fits of selective moral hysteria. It's like you see a huge garden and go turning stones over until you find the biggest, grossest bug you can, and then you're all, "Eww! Eww! Gross! Look at the gross bug! This garden is gross, man! Let's all have a gross-out shitfit and feel good about how our tiny garden isn't gross! Actually, it's worse than that. It's like someone else does that, tells you about it, and then you have a second-hand shitfit.

The level of sheer ignorance about reddit and how it works is pathetic.
posted by Decani at 12:04 AM on February 13, 2012 [26 favorites]


If the studios had only been a bit more perceptive, they would have made SOPA about stopping the transmission of "unlawful images", which conveniently includes both child porn and copyrighted movies. Anybody who disagrees with the law is a pedo sympathizer.
posted by Pyry at 12:05 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, because there's places where children are pimped out, we should not get upset that a website many of us use daily is cheerfully, knowingly, openly hosting a community of pedophiles and helping them trade child porn.

(fuck that)
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:05 AM on February 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


>You implement a 'report' button, and take down offending subreddits and ban users. They weren't even trying

They sure weren't. There is a report button and I have used it in the past. To no avail. I avoided reddit for a while after that, maybe 6 months or a year. Went back and only read it logged in, with only my chosen subreddits showing. As others have said, it depends on your interests, but the geology reddit for me has something good almost every day. Lots of other geography and science reddits, as well as ones for Canada, Vancouver and local post-secondary institutions.
posted by Listener at 12:07 AM on February 13, 2012


Decani: How the fuck is wanting the administrators of Reddit to crack down on the people distributing child pornography under their noses a "fit of selective moral hysteria?" They were shown the subreddits multiple times and did absolutely nothing until the news was alerted.

I really don't follow what you're talking about.
posted by flatluigi at 12:08 AM on February 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


Apologists gonna apologize.
posted by kmz at 12:10 AM on February 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


On reflection it seems as though Reddit has been an excellent example of free will and freedom and has adequately reflected human society.

We're all learning! Yay!
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 12:11 AM on February 13, 2012


There is a report button and I have used it in the past. To no avail.

The Report button doesn't bring a post to the attention of the admins. It brings it to the attention of the mods of the subreddit the post is in. If your subreddit mods are shitty and don't care, it's completely useless.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:11 AM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


The moral equivalencies on display here are... mindboggling. We're talking about a someone hosting actual child pornography, incitement and "rape tips", and glorifying statutory rape at best. And people want to talk about gardens, lynch mobs, if people are actually 18 etc. Anything to avoid talking about the actual issue. I wonder how many of these defenders have children, methinks not too many.

It's mind-boggling because you're clearly comfortable with a site like mefi, where anything with a whiff of sketchy is blown to oblivion. Merely because the site hosts other content does not nullify its responsibility towards ALL content. If you want to talk metaphors, just cause the doctor did a great job patching you up does not excuse the gangrenous sutures left inside by the assisting physician.
posted by smoke at 12:11 AM on February 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I hate London because I know a couple of streets where someone is pimping out children. The whole city is evil. Someone should bomb it.

I kind of think they should think about cracking down on people pimping out children, though, don't you?
posted by empath at 12:17 AM on February 13, 2012 [38 favorites]


Shit man I can't quit visiting Reddit just because there are some subreddits I've never visited that have loathsome content. I'd have to get stuff DONE then.
posted by egypturnash at 12:21 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter is a "community weblog", there's always been the assumption that it's moderated and curated, not only to enforce the bare minimum of compliance with the law, but also to uphold community standards. The question is whether reddit is the same kind of place, or more akin to a web host, where no moderation beyond the bare minimum is expected or welcome. If it's the latter, then the technical legality of the posted content is absolutely germane to the discussion.
posted by Pyry at 12:23 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Since when is child porn not illegal, chebura? Again, this literal nude photographs of prepubescent children.

If you'd read the notice I linked to, your question would be answered. I have seen nothing to suggest that Reddit admins kept illegal content on their site. There would be no sense in it for the same reason that they've now made the choice they made, they are a corporation and act in their own interest first and foremost. If your concern is Reddit, you might see this development as a victory. If your concern is content that sexualizes minors, you're in the same place you were before, except now Reddit is a place that bans subreddits based on public opinion of otherwise legal content.

One of the reasons that I like SA is that being a pedo or pedo sympathizer is grounds for bannination.

Indeed, there are many places where people want to carve out their own little habitat, get rid of anyone who does not conform, and stew in it together to fanaticism. Reddit offers such little habitats, subreddits, SRS was already mentioned.
posted by cheburashka at 12:24 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


There would be no sense in it for the same reason that they've now made the choice they made, they are a corporation and act in their own interest first and foremost.

And yet they did it anyway! The guy behind quite a lot of it turns out to be good buddies with the entire admin staff! Isn't that just fucking remarkable?

Indeed, there are many places where people want to carve out their own little habitat, get rid of anyone who does not conform, and stew in it together to fanaticism. Reddit offers such little habitats, subreddits, SRS was already mentioned.

Dude. They rape children, and they trade in the products of child rape. This is not a preference. This is behavior which is incredibly reprehensible and incredibly criminal.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:30 AM on February 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Reddit is kind of a well known site. I find it hard to believe that the fbi wouldn't seize reddit's servers in a heartbeat if reddit was openly hosting content meeting the legal definition of child porn.
posted by Pyry at 12:35 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have seen nothing to suggest that Reddit admins kept illegal content on their site.

Unlike you, I've been following this since the beginning. Before the subreddits were taken down, I clicked through and can confirm that there was actual child pornography on the site. If you followed the links posted earlier in the thread, you can see corroborating stories from dozens of other people.

And again, what is this "public opinion of otherwise legal content?" What is this 'legal content' you're talking about? Refer to the Copine scale, if need be - are you denying that none of the aforementioned subreddits had anything on those levels?
posted by flatluigi at 12:36 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


If the studios had only been a bit more perceptive, they would have made SOPA about stopping the transmission of "unlawful images", which conveniently includes both child porn and copyrighted movies. Anybody who disagrees with the law is a pedo sympathizer.

That is EXACTLY their strategy for the next bill proposed by Lamar Smith, the “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011". This is SOPA on steroids with the always-politically-winning cover of 'for the children'. Heck, I'll bet many of the MeFites in this comment thread will support it whole-heartedly.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:46 AM on February 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


Each time you use a credit card, each time you read your bank statement, all of your IP information and your search history will be required by your ISP to be stored for 18 months at all times.

I don't think that will find too much support here.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:52 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have been following this for a while as well and there is no way in hell I would ever vouch for there being no CP on the site. I haven't seen any but then again I haven't done an exhaustive search. One thing I've learned about the Internet is it is always worse than you would expect.

The issue is that for better or worse the site admins, of which there are only 3-4, focus on keeping the site running. They offloaded mod duties to random third parties who are unknown quantities. Reddit admins are also wary of distinctions that are not clean cut, they want a legal/illegal distinction, we need people capable of making judgement calls about whether stuff is appropriate for reddit.

1) hire a few full time community liaison people who actually pay attention to complaints. These people are the final word on shuttering subreddits.
2) require approval to create new subreddits. New subreddits get posted to a queue for upvote by the community with the community liaison people having veto power.
3) subreddits can be closed automatically if enough members with a certain standing click report. The subreddits will be closed until review by community liaison. If these accounts are just fucking with this system, such as trying to close /r/atheism they will be banned.

There will be some whining at first and some people grandstanding by trying to game the system but it will settle down eventually.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:58 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


New subreddits get posted to a queue for upvote by the community with the community liaison people having veto power.

Quoting Mr. Shirky:

In the early Nineties, a proposal went out to create a Usenet news group for discussing Tibetan culture, called soc.culture.tibet. And it was voted down, in large part because a number of Chinese students who had Internet access voted it down, on the logic that Tibet wasn't a country; it was a region of China. And in their view, since Tibet wasn't a country, there oughtn't be any place to discuss its culture, because that was oxymoronic.

Now, everyone could see that this was the wrong answer. The people who wanted a place to discuss Tibetan culture should have it. That was the core group. But because the one person/one vote model on Usenet said "Anyone who's on Usenet gets to vote on any group," sufficiently contentious groups could simply be voted away.


Remainder of that essay is required reading for anyone who wants to propose how to "fix" reddit or similar sites.
posted by ubernostrum at 1:10 AM on February 13, 2012 [19 favorites]


Ok, but we can't throw up our hands and say all or nothing, that reddit must continue to be the wild west. I also hope that having respected community reps will mitigate unfairness, that in the event a voting bloc tries to shut down /r/Christianity or block the creation of christian subreddits they can step in and do the right thing.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:15 AM on February 13, 2012


The solution's fairly simple: hire staff to vet reported subreddits. Reddit's a huge site and can easily afford that if they chose to. Hell, 4chan cracks down on child pornography and works with authorities whenever it shows up.
posted by flatluigi at 1:15 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a grandmother, this thread chills me. I have not protected my children or grandchildren enough online. I didn't imagine there would actually be a *community sanctioned* place where their photos could be defiled. I'm reviewing all privacy options on my sites.

AND ... the defenders of Reddit? I shudder. It reminds me way too much of the simplistic arguments about 'autonomy' and 'free expression' of those who simply want freedom to riot and rage with no responsibility. These creatures are the mirror image of the ones who disguised their barbarism with terms like "collateral damage" and "preemptive strike" -- disconnected from human thought and feelings. I fear we have a new feral generation to deal with ... on so many fronts.
posted by Surfurrus at 1:15 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


flatluigi, could you describe exactly what kind of image you saw that you called actual child pornography? I've visited r/Jailbait, never saw any nude pictures. The ones I saw, you can probably find similar grouping of images by typing "Jailbait" in Google Image search.

Why aren't we blocking Google Image search on "Jailbait"?
posted by bluishred at 1:17 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think that will find too much support here.

But it's for the children and against Child Pornography! Reddit is sure to come out against it and you know that's a hive of scum and villainy!

but we can't throw up our hand and say all or nothing, that Redditthe Internetmust continue to be the wild west.

I know that's not what you really mean, Ad hom, but like that song in the puppet show says, "The Internet is for Porn", so anyone who isn't a pervert and a predator had better sit down and shut up.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:21 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why are you talking about r/jailbait? That shut down months ago, these are completely different. You should probably read the contents of threads before jumping in to defend your idea of what the conversation's about.

I was coming back to the thread to link this, anyway - a screenshot of a conversation with one of the admins about requests for child pornography. The subreddit, r/preteen_girls, was one of the ones shut down. Hopefully that meets your standards of proof.
posted by flatluigi at 1:22 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also relevant while I'm linking smarter people than myself: Neil Gaiman, "Why defend freedom of icky speech?"
posted by ubernostrum at 1:27 AM on February 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


If Reddit admins or users violated the law they should be prosecuted accordingly. I'm sure some Reddit users violated the law. If any user encouraged another person to break the law, I believe that this is also a crime. However, I don't have any credible reason to believe that Reddit was not operating legally. I would think both Reddit's legal team and the relevant legal authorities have combed this all over. I don't see how subreddits would be relevant from a legal standpoint, the fact that a subreddit had illegal content is not grounds for removal of the subreddit, just as someone posting illegal content to Metafilter would not be grounds to shut down Metafilter. If you'd like to change the law, by all means go for it. But what happened here is that Reddit was already banning illegal content, and has now banned legal content based on moral outrage about the nature of that legal content. I'm sure many would support this action regardless, even without the disingenuous descriptions here.
posted by cheburashka at 1:32 AM on February 13, 2012


I know that's not what you really mean, Ad hom, but like that song in the puppet show says, "The Internet is for Porn", so anyone who isn't a pervert and a predator had better sit down and shut up.

Why hold reddit to a standard to which we don't hold any other sites. Why must reddit, as a corporation, put itself at risk if the vast majority of the users, who are also now found guilty by association, do not want such content. If reddit is a community site, why are we being held hostage by a handful of people. I would be banned for posting the same links to any other site, does metafilter hate free speech too?

If people want to make a point about free speech, or host borderline material, put up your own site. Don't pollute a site where the majority of the users don't want it.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:35 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


JLovebomb: "/r/rapingwomen still up."

Ditto /r/beatingtrannies.

I've been reading /r/SRS for a couple of months now and I've been cheering them on through this and the recent Amazing Atheist stuff. I don't really comment there but I'm finding the new fempire-modded subreddits that have popped up recently a glorious haven from the awful shit that infects /r/feminism, /r/transgender and so on.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:38 AM on February 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Could you please phrase that in some way that's readable? I think you're saying that subreddits about illegal content shouldn't be brought down because of said illegal content, which doesn't really make any sense.

It really just seems that you're repeating the same message to me every time I talk to you, just adding a few more dozen phrases without adding any content to it. That last comment is virtually indistinguishable from your last two in this thread to me.
posted by flatluigi at 1:40 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


banned legal content based on moral outrage about the nature of that legal content.

Let's be clear here. They take photos from the Facebook pages of teen girls, or from pictures uploaded by boyfriends or whatever...and without their consent post them in a forum for men who find such images sexually stimulating.

Recently a professional athlete googled up my Facebook picture just to make a (good) joke, and even something as harmless as that made me feel uncomfortable.

I can't begin to imagine what it must feel like to have a personal image exploited by a bunch of perverts. I think the issue here is real harm and victimization, even for the photos that are technically legal, and I think calling that moral outrage is a bit dismissive of the potential for real, concrete harm.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:48 AM on February 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


flatluigi, So your proof is a conversation about finding foreign films with nude children? Are we seriously categorizing screenshots of non-sexualized depiction of naked children in foreign films as child pornography?

Again, I'm genuinely curious, are we talking about actual child pornography? (Images of children posing sexually like the ones you can find in 4Chan seconds before it's taken down). Have you actually seen one in reddit and not removed by the admins?
posted by bluishred at 1:48 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why hold reddit to a standard to which we don't hold any other sites.

Reddit are being held to a standard that says 'if illegal content is known about and/or reported, you should take it down'. Most sites on the net manage to meet that standard. Metafilter certainly does.

(Free Speech isn't actually a right on the internet, by the way - you are bound by the TOS of sites you choose to visit and participate in, and they will all say they can ban you for whatever they like at any time.)
posted by stelas at 1:48 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reddit are being held to a standard that says 'if illegal content is known about and/or reported, you should take it down'. Most sites on the net manage to meet that standard. Metafilter certainly does.

Right, what I am saying is why should reddit be a champion of free speech. People seem to be saying that reddit should allow anything legal even if it is objectionable to the vast majority of users.

My point is people always want to defend "icky speech" as long as it isn't in their house. Reddit is under no responsibility to be a beacon of icky speech.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:53 AM on February 13, 2012


I remain unclear on why ViolentAcrez isn't in jail.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:16 AM on February 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


flatluigi, So your proof is a conversation about finding foreign films with nude children? Are we seriously categorizing screenshots of non-sexualized depiction of naked children in foreign films as child pornography?

It was posted in a subreddit about sexualizing preteen girls. Even if it wasn't made originally for that purpose, the context of the conversation was directly about sharing nude video of children.

And yes, as I stated, before the subreddits were taken down I saw their contents. If you're asking me to prove it, I'm sadly (and understandably) not in the habit of saving child pornography. You'll have to take my word for it, though hopefully the SA thread and SRS threads full of others who can corroborate will help you trust it.
posted by flatluigi at 2:20 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


ViolentAcre is a maniac, he is responsible for 90% of the objectionable subreddits. How he was not banned after the first /r/jailbait fiasco is a mystery.

There are entires subreddits that consist of nothing but ViolentAcrez spamming links. He needs to be stopped.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:22 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


How he was not banned after the first /r/jailbait fiasco is a mystery.

He's buddies with the mods. They called him up and talked for awhile before rolling out the new policy and banning a bunch of his subreddits. It's like I've said- the admins have no desire to restrict the posting of child pornography. They simply don't care. They're buds with a pedophile who thinks posting child porn is cool.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:23 AM on February 13, 2012


While this has caused some people to turn away from Reddit (and understandably so), this discussion helped me discover SRSDiscussion which seems to be a great place for reality-based conversation and debate around issues of sociology and social justice. So thanks for that.
posted by Danila at 2:24 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


bluishred: flatluigi, So your proof is a conversation about finding foreign films with nude children? Are we seriously categorizing screenshots of non-sexualized depiction of naked children in foreign films as child pornography?
Actually, I think that movie contains "acted" scenes of child abuse. That is, the child depiction in question is a sexualized depiction.

(I'm using scare quotes for "acted" because it seems to me that putting a naked kid in a movie and having them act like they're being abused basically just IS abuse. Which is probably why, as per the comment in flatluigi's screen, the film is banned in almost every country.)
posted by icarusone at 2:24 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Danila: "While this has caused some people to turn away from Reddit (and understandably so), this discussion helped me discover SRSDiscussion"

SRSDiscussion is okay, but SRSPonies is clearly the best one.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:26 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had a traumatic pony-related incident in my childhood and find their bushy tails and sparkly natures extremely triggering. Would appreciate a trigger warning in the future.
posted by Danila at 2:48 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


My apologies. Have an upvote.

Wait, where am I?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:52 AM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, General Bullshit over on SA is now known as /r/3DBabyWieners, so r/CommunityWeblog doesn't sound so bad.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:13 AM on February 13, 2012


So, just in case people were interested in exercising their righteous fury correctly, reddit isn't owned by Conde Nast. Then again, if you want to get in a big tizzy about Wired sucking, that's cool.
posted by Jpfed at 3:52 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Front Page of the Internet Goes Without Sexy Children
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:01 AM on February 13, 2012


People still read Something Awful?
posted by clarknova at 4:15 AM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


flatluigi, could you describe exactly what kind of image you saw that you called actual child pornography? I've visited r/Jailbait, never saw any nude pictures. The ones I saw, you can probably find similar grouping of images by typing "Jailbait" in Google Image search.

As noted above, a picture of a minor does not have to be nude to be legally considered child pornography. There is a test and nudity is not required.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:46 AM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


And really, I posted something above Taz wisely deleted at my request that made it clear how really blatant and messed up this stuff is. You can't ask for descriptions of this shit, it's really that bad.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:53 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, people on /r/SRS have got in their diving bells and resurfaced with descriptions of what gets posted in these subreddits, and that was more than enough for me. Real I-never-want-to-bring-a-child-into-the-world stuff.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:02 AM on February 13, 2012


from furiousxgeorge's link: With new, rule-skirting subreddits already popping up, like /r/younbeauty and /r/CuteTeens, the admins and the people who think drooling over 10-year-olds is bad are going to have their work cut out for them.

That's kind of an odd way of putting it. I thought the reason for the hate was because kids were being harmed, even if only through defamation. The guys who like, but do not post this stuff, might be creeps, but they're not actually what this is about, are they?
posted by LogicalDash at 5:08 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think there is serious danger to be found in the audience for this material, especially when facebook names and screen names are published.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:11 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, some of those last 50 or so comments that popped up when I hit the refresh button were.... something.

As Ironmouth has just pointed out, and others' as well earlier in the thread if you were paying attention, the definition of child pornography is not as simple as naked under 18 year old people.

And this might be a bit of a derail, but there are reasons why many other western countries aren't that interested in having the culture of free speech that America has, as noble as it is on the grounds of pure principle. One of those reasons is well demonstrated by some comments in this thread.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:12 AM on February 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think the way American constitutional law will judge this stuff has a few tests in front of it still (and someone like Ironmouth is much more qualified to break that down), but I think our culture of free speech is not in conflict with our culture of protecting children from exploitation... at least not in any way this libertarian layman can see.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:17 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The solution's fairly simple: hire staff to vet reported subreddits. Reddit's a huge site and can easily afford that if they chose to

Reddit actually has a small handful of staff and operates on something a shoestring budget, as far as I can tell. I can easily believe that it is well beyond their resources to have paid staff for content moderation; they have enough trouble getting enough hardware to keep the site from breaking under the load. Plus that opens up the troublesome can of worms whereby reddit's content is actually policed or curated, when it is intended to be an open platform.

Their own stated reasons for the new policy (paraphrasing, "no sexual or suggestive content involving minors") is not that this content is illegal or distasteful. Rather, it is that such content tends to operate in a space close to the legal boundary, and they don't have the resources or processes to police this content with the resolution and fidelity they would need in order to guarantee they are not letting any illegal stuff through. So they have to let none of it through. It's not a freedom of speech thing so much as a cover-your-ass thing.

It's actually a pretty fascinating issue, as there is a grey area in which things that are technically legal are widely thought to be immoral or unacceptable, i.e. there is a gap between what the law says and what a lot of people wish it said. The grey area is a free speech case that no-one can touch with a ten foot pole.
posted by PercussivePaul at 5:17 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree furiousxgeorge, I should have expressed myself better. It's more the trotting out of the 'free speech' defence in cases like these that I was getting at. Someone not that long ago made the point even that the right to free speech means not so much on a privately run service.

And on preview, what in the hell would be wrong with stating that content that is 'sexual or suggestive content involving minors' is distasteful, so even if not illegal it's not allowed? And how is it a free speech case, given that it's a privately run service?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:22 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Given the names of the subreddits in question, it would be trivial for Reddit (even if they have .5 employees) to police subreddit creation--require approval to create a subreddit where the name contains certain strings. It's not foolproof, obviously--obscure the name enough and it would slip through, but it'd at least look like they made a minimum of effort to keep child porn off the site.

On preview, I was about to say what PercussivePaul did about being able to phrase it as covering their own ass--'for the good of the site, take your pictures of children elsewhere'. They don't have to say 'this is child porn' or 'this isn't child porn'. That's sort of immaterial. The site is better off without having to try to defend it.
posted by hoyland at 5:23 AM on February 13, 2012


I just want to say that ShitRedditSays is a freaking blessing of a subreddit and frankly the only one I actually enjoy. I'm really shocked that there is metafilter hate for them as being "self-righteous" - I urge everyone to read that page, the description/rules, and participate when they see something that is deeply unsettling on that god forsaken (but still highly addictive) site.

SRS posts all the comments that would be perma-ban worthy on Metafilter and mocks the living hell out of them. They don't even let the trolls defend themselves - they block their posts and then make fun of them for losing their precious "free speech" rights. It is glorious.

And it's funny because the rest of Reddit HATES ShitRedditSays with such a firey passion.
posted by windbox at 5:25 AM on February 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


Re: ShitRedditSays: when they don't get the material they want they just start abusively trolling people in hope of an out-of-context quote they can link up to sustain their little circle-jerk, they seem to have a pretty set rota of "it's Tuesday, must be time to post hate-filled crap in this group's subreddit", etc., and if all else fails you just fire up a sockpuppet account to get the posts you want to link up.

Yes, and it's fucking funny and disturbing all at once how easily you can bait Redditors into whining about false rape accusations, sluts, victim blaming, and mythical money grubbing ex-wives.
posted by windbox at 5:28 AM on February 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Stuff like this is just anathema to the way metafilter operates. People don't know what to make of the "kill all white, heterosexual, cisgender men" stuff going on in there. It is a sure fire argument stopper. If you say "that sounds kind of hateful" they hit you with the "tone argument" deal. Anyway, it isn't like anyone should be surprised when people trying to get people worked up actually manage to get people worked up.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:36 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


This previous, related thread doesn't seem to have been linked.

I am glad they finally did something. Though it really does seem like "We don't feel like being mods, so it's all banned" more than anything. This whole issue continues to make me appreciate the skill with which other sites operate. And if some of them don't get as large, it's often by the design of the site and the atmosphere.
posted by cashman at 5:41 AM on February 13, 2012


Maybe I've missed percussivepaul's point, but operationally an organisation can (and do) come up with a definition of 'sexual or suggestive content involving minors', which might not be perfect, and at times require judgement calls, and which might go the wrong way either way at times; but it's not impossible, just difficult. But hey, that's part of the responsibility that goes with running a website.

In other words, I'm sure there are plenty of parents with photos of their family's beach trip on facebook, flicker, an so on. Of course, they probably aren't tagging those photos as #jailbait, and so on.

And on preview: I took the SRS stuff, which is the first time I've happened across it, as a 'good for the goose, good for the gander' type of thing.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:43 AM on February 13, 2012


Ad hominem: "Stuff like this is just anathema to the way metafilter operates."

There's been some discussion around that recently, resulting in the ICumWhenIKillMen user account being retired. Such usernames and sentiments are intended to satire the rest of Reddit -- on which accounts with names like I_Rape_People converse with others like there's nothing unusual about it, and who multiple people leap to defend when criticised.

SRS is a mirror to the rest of Reddit -- and much of the web -- in that the people who form the majority outside of it are mocked and verbally abused; much as women, people of colour, trans people, people with disabilities and so on have to put up with a greater internet culture that constantly attacks them for being who they are. Naturally, people who apparently see no problem with the latter become CAMPAIGNERS FOR RIGHTNESS in the face of the former, which is sort of depressing and hilarious at the same time.

It is being wound down, though, because other people who also campaign against racism, sexism and so on outside SRS were being upset by the rhetoric and driven away.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:46 AM on February 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


This previous, related thread doesn't seem to have been linked.

Here's hueypriest, the guy quoted in that post, not removing child pornography.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:47 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's been some discussion around that recently, resulting in the ICumWhenIKillMen user account being retired.

ICumWhenIKillMen being a parody of the username of one of the more prolific Reddit pedophiles, IRapePeople.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:48 AM on February 13, 2012


Did you ever use Usenet?

I'm going to weigh in here, because Usenet is a wasteland, desolate and despairing. The web didn't "win" because Usenet was old fashioned or crusty, no, Usenet was amazing and intense and wonderful. Metafilter only exists because Usenet died, otherwise we'd all be in alt.metafilter as Usenet rolled in more social media aspects - it was an amazing and evolving framework for discussion, and it made the internet something phenomenal even before HTML was a gleam in a swiss man's eye.

Then came the Eternal September.

It's easy to blame what happened on AOL, or on "stupid pplz OMG"... in truth, it was a combination of spam, piracy and a complete lack of interest by the Usenet establishment - ISPs, programmers and other engineers - to put effective tools in place to protect Usenet from unbridled self interest. So, a massively distributed internet forum with nascent social media tools, that had been the light of nerd intellectual life for more than a decade, flickered and died.

Reddit is basically a for-profit Usenet, only harder for users to figure out. If their time is not yet up, it's pretty close... the Eternal September is upon them.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:51 AM on February 13, 2012 [19 favorites]


Such usernames and sentiments are intended to satire the rest of Reddit

Yeah I understand. I'm not surprised when people don't appreciate the humor though.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:56 AM on February 13, 2012


Can someone knowledgeable of these subreddits and their defenders summarize why redditors who are not creeps and don't participate in the ephepephila or whatever they're calling it, might think this policy change is a bad thing? Is it just "Durrrr free speech, even though I have never been in those forums" or what?

Also, is there any truth to the idea that these subreddits are partially filled with teenage boys to who argue that they are just attracted to people their own age? Or does that just not enter into it.

Thanks, good work posting details of this here because now I'm scared to ever get off the metaboat.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:57 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


mythical money grubbing ex-wives

band name
posted by LogicalDash at 6:02 AM on February 13, 2012


However, I don't have any credible reason to believe that Reddit was not operating legally.

God, I hope our standard for what's decent behavior in society doesn't ever become 'is it legal?'.

I tell you what, you start a site where you can exchange legal sexy pictures of 13 year olds with your friends. Nobody is stopping you. Reddit has decided that they don't feel like doing it any more, and I'm totally okay with that.
posted by empath at 6:09 AM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm a big free speech believer. So, my first instinct is almost always "defend the free speech side." And in this case, although I often take issue with our laws in the US, I happen to think that our threshold of what is, and what isn't child pornography is pretty well chosen. So, if the issue were framed as "it's in poor taste but not illegal, but we don't like it, so let's shut 'em down" I'd be all on reddit's side. HOWEVER:

(a) The discussion here, which I trust more than I trust random reddit apologists, makes it sound like there actually is illegal content, which is something I think ought to be addressed. Even 4chan does this. Is "do as much as 4chan does" really that onerous a standard of minimum care?

(b) While I don't like the "We say they're guilty, that should be enough for you" tone of the copypasta, the SA mob is really just shining a spotlight at it. If there are really are no cockroaches to seen, and they're nothing wrong over on reddit, well, we'll all just see that, right? "Hey look at this and see if you think it might be a problem," is never really wrong.

(c) I've never seen anything like what jaduncan described above. But I have no reason to doubt him, and my God, that just makes me want to get in line to issued a torch or a pitchfork.
posted by tyllwin at 6:10 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


While I don't like the "We say they're guilty, that should be enough for you" tone of the copypasta

The original versions had links to the offending content before it was pointed out that providing links to child pornography is also a crime.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:12 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


People don't know what to make of the "kill all white, heterosexual, cisgender men" stuff going on in there. It is a sure fire argument stopper.

SRS isn't intended as a place to have arguments or discussion, really. It's 50% a place for people who have these endless calm, reasoned discussions elsewhere to blow off steam, and 50% a satirical funhouse mirror version of Reddit itself, turning almost ubiquitous hateful language back upon its users for comedy purposes.

That said, if you read back through a few SRS threads, there are almost always at least a couple of people saying they used to be shitposters and saw the light through SRS' mockery of their peers. It's possible the short sharp shock of seeing someone talk about safe majority groups the way minorities are commonly discussed is a better tactic than calm appeals to reason, in some social circles at least. It's also possible that people who've been taught that criticism = complaining = whining, and that whining is unmasculine and thus the worst thing a man can do, will be more receptive to directness.

The reason homophobic, transphobic, racist, misogynist terms are threatening is that they legitimise and endorse real-life discrimination, violence and so on. A word wouldn't have much power if it wasn't so often followed by a closed door or thrown brick, and if it didn't contribute to a culture that encourages or ignores those behaviours. It's the one failing of SRS, in a sense - its satirical use of hateful terms against straight white cis men can never carry anything like the harmful weight of the stuff it's mocking. So I think anyone who honestly finds this stuff upsetting or offputting is exactly the audience who needs it most: people who've managed to live in such a safe bubble and remain so delicate that they don't understand it's not the words that are the problem.
posted by emmtee at 6:20 AM on February 13, 2012 [24 favorites]


Can someone knowledgeable of these subreddits and their defenders summarize why redditors who are not creeps and don't participate in the ephepephila or whatever they're calling it, might think this policy change is a bad thing? Is it just "Durrrr free speech, even though I have never been in those forums" or what?

Yeah, that's pretty much it. They really want reddit as a site to not have opinions, so that any opinion can be given its due consideration on the site (and consistent with that, there was even some skepticism about the SOPA blackout, not because of anyone liking SOPA, but because the blackout meant that admin opinion was influencing the site).
posted by Jpfed at 6:21 AM on February 13, 2012


Oh, PG, reading it from a 5-year Mefite with 8000 comments does wonders for my personal belief in it. I would, otherwise, have had a temptation to think "Bikini pics of 16 year olds being drooled over by 19 year olds, good luck cleaning that off the Internet" and roll my eyes. I wonder if a lot of the people who'd defend reddit on this one might be making a similar assumption.
posted by tyllwin at 6:40 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is it just "Durrrr free speech, even though I have never been in those forums" or what?

Not free-speech, but more like "sub reddits are self-governing as a founding principle".
posted by smackfu at 6:42 AM on February 13, 2012


Can someone knowledgeable of these subreddits and their defenders summarize why redditors who are not creeps and don't participate in the ephepephila or whatever they're calling it, might think this policy change is a bad thing? Is it just "Durrrr free speech, even though I have never been in those forums" or what?

The social contract with reddit is that the content is determined by the users, through posting and upvotes, such that the stuff that rises to the top is the stuff that deserves to be there because it reflects the preferences of the userbase. Any constraints on this process, including preferential treatment of some types of content, and by extension deliberate anti-preferential treatment of other types, undermines the premise of the site. Thus decisions like this are not taken lightly, as too many of them would make the users lose faith in the idea that reddit was an open forum.

Skimming the current reddit thread gives me the impression that the userbase seems to support this move in general. However, there are some complaints about the arbitrary nature of the policy in its implementation -- that there are worse things on reddit that should also be banned (by this logic), or that there are harmless and perfectly legal things that are being caught up in the ban. And that reddit should not be in the business of policing content unless absolutely necessary. Going further than the law requires, in this case, is probably the source of the controversy.
posted by PercussivePaul at 6:46 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah I would support getting rid of /r/picsofdeadkids, /r/spacedicks, /r/gore and whatever the fuck subreddit I happened to see the pic of the guy which his eye poked out, how did that make the front page and can't we get a better label for shit like that than nsfw?
posted by Ad hominem at 6:52 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


/walks away from thread
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:53 AM on February 13, 2012


how did that make the front page

That was probably /r/WTF, which for some reason is both on the default front page AND at the same time is being taken over by people who feel WTF should mean "mentally scarred for life".
posted by ymgve at 6:56 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


/r/WTF also seems to be on a "oh god this looks like a woman right but PENIS check it out guys PENIS anyone know her tumblr?" kick at the moment. Fuck everything about the default subreddits.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:59 AM on February 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah I know I saw that pic of the guy with the axe wound to the face on /r/wtf.

I would be happy of they made /r/aww the only default subreddit. People would probably ruin that too though.

I'm sick of reddit, fuck them.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:02 AM on February 13, 2012


PercussivePaul: Thanks!

It seems to cement in my mind the fact that true free speech on the web can only be maintained by wise elected or promoted arbiters of content who can determine on a case by case basis what is fairly protected and what is insidious trash. If I were reddit, I would demand that the mods allow users to elect moderators at a level in-between subreddits and admins to made judgement calls about material like this and whether individual sub-mods were acting in good faith. But they won't do that because of absurd beliefs about the benefits of unfettered freedom, and so the dark side will continually edge out the good.

Automated user modding doesn't work, and it never will. You need mods, and you need to trust them. (It doesn't have to be unoffensive either, I have been on plenty of sites where moderators appreciated a good horrific rape joke or picture of a dude losing an eyeball, but were able to delete predatory trainwrecking and gross CP-grey-area stuff. The point is: there needs to be some, even if it's almost entirely nominal, oversight.)

I hope for the sake of people that love their piece of reddit that they will take this opportunity to rally for self-regulation beyond the subreddit level.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:02 AM on February 13, 2012


Ad hominem: "I would be happy of they made /r/aww the only default subreddit. People would probably ruin that too though."

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but too late. Try /r/Daww, it comes redditry-free! Also /r/Corgi is pretty trouble-free.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:07 AM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


You need mods, and you need to trust them.

The mods are actually the problem on reddit.
posted by empath at 7:08 AM on February 13, 2012


Right, empath. Hence the latter part of my statement. You can't trust mods who are only beholden to their own taste, rather than to the interests of the larger site. Those are not true mods, they are content purveyors.

To be honest, the mods on 4chan (and by extension, Canv.as, since it is on the same, albeit more strict, model) are among the best around at allow the content the majority of users want to see but deleting that which, even if temporarily popular, are hurtful to the long term health of the site (not to mention morally odious).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:15 AM on February 13, 2012


feel good about how our tiny garden isn't gross!

I do feel good that this garden isn't gross. I could do without some of the haughty scumbags who loiter by the gazebo and don't do much besides spit on the sidewalk, flick butts into the tulip patch, and bitch about how lame the garden is, but what can you do?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:19 AM on February 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


Just curious: how does 4chan handle the garbage racist stuff?
posted by mediareport at 7:20 AM on February 13, 2012


smackfu: " Is it just "Durrrr free speech, even though I have never been in those forums" or what?

Not free-speech, but more like "sub reddits are self-governing as a founding principle"
"

I thought that subreddits were a later addition.
posted by Jpfed at 7:23 AM on February 13, 2012


From reddit's user agreement:

'You agree not to use any obscene, indecent, or offensive language or to provide to or post on or through the Website any graphics, text, photographs, images, video, audio or other material that is defamatory, abusive, bullying, harassing, racist, hateful, or violent. You agree to refrain from ethnic slurs, religious intolerance, homophobia, and personal attacks when using the Website.

You further agree not to use any sexually suggestive language or to provide to or post on or through the Website any graphics, text, photographs, images, video, audio or other material that is sexually suggestive or appeals to a prurient interest.


The admins have shown before an unwillingness to do anything unelss it affects their bottom line - looks like SRS and SA hit on the best way to make them get off their asses.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:26 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re: Reddit defenders. My right to tell you that you're being disgusting is also part of free speech. And, of course, your right to be disgusting goes out the window, by definition, when you start posting illegal things.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:32 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just curious: how does 4chan handle the garbage racist stuff?

They allow it in certain chans dedicated to unfettered text speech. On others, it is deleted and the posters banned. On canv.as it is unilaterally deleted. Straight up racism instead of hateful jokes are usually mocked as well by users, since most hardcore btards hate any sort of seriousness.

The point being that they have unpaid volunteer non-anonymous mods who are beholden for their decisions and enforce guidelines, just like here. They just have a different set of guidelines, but they are still working off a template agreed on by the community. The community wants racist jokes, they get them. They want only discussion of Anime, they get that. They want kiddie porn or borderline such, too bad, they can fuck off.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:33 AM on February 13, 2012


Before we get ahead of ourselves about 4chan being awesome there is cp on /b all the fucking time, they are just quick to delete it. If you watch, you can see it appear, then disappear, like magic. There is some on the front page of /b/ right now. I don't even want to screen cap it.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:36 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ad hom, well yeah, haha it's not a perfect system I guess. I don't really go to 4chan, just pointing out that they work fast, have volunteer mods enforcing hard guidelines and still are renowned for being a free speech paragon. Not for my standards, but for their long-term viability as a community.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:44 AM on February 13, 2012


Ad hominem

You were party to my introduction to Reddit; one of your posts on MetaTalk (probably SRS-related) introduced me to the site and started me commenting there. I've independently reached the same conclusion as you, however: until they institute the sort of moderation their traffic and revenue stream clearly suggests they are capable of, fuck 'em.

I'm not comfortable visiting them, let alone having them in my bookmarks where people might see, when they knowingly provide haven to such an orgy of offensive interests. The jailbait/CP thing is only the tip of the iceberg, and the most visible indicator of a deeper problem.

...although I'll probably have to install Tomato on my router and block Reddit at that level until my dislike of it is sufficiently internalized. I just wish I'd been more aware of the site administration's inability or refusal to evenhandedly direct the opening and moderation of individual subreddits before I signed up for Reddit Gold.

More generally

In my layman's understanding, the definition of illegal child porn relies on context, presentation, and intent, and needn't necessarily involve nudity. Similarly, simple nudity needn't necessarily qualify as child porn, so long as it does not satisfy the other criteria: infant bathtub photos are (of course) okay, as is the seminal photograph depicting a naked Vietnamese girl fleeing a napalm attack.

I believe (although this might have changed) the Supreme Court has held that child pornography requires an actual victim, which excludes artwork not based on actual photographs and fictional textual depictions... although such works might still be prosecuted as obscenity in some jurisdictions, and I seem to remember those definitions being otherwise narrowed by some means. I have consumed some Japanese bishojo games professionally translated for American audiences in the past, and the more recent releases are always translated in such a way to suggest the participants are all adult even when their rendering, behavior, and the transparently "high school"-like context of the plot clearly indicate otherwise.

The unsettled question in my mind, interesting to me from purely a legal stance, is whether a photo taken with no prurient intent can be considered child pornography if it is displayed in a context promoting the sexualization of children... like r/jailbait and its relatives. I think that it can; furthermore, I think that it perhaps should. We are, after all, talking about real victims here, even if they might possibly be unaware of said violation.
posted by The Confessor at 7:44 AM on February 13, 2012


Before we get ahead of ourselves about 4chan being awesome there is cp on /b all the fucking time, they are just quick to delete it.

Well, yeah, that's kinda the point. The internet at large is a torrent of horrible people and offensive content. What sets communities apart is how they deal with filtering it. The issue being discussed is that 4chan deals with it better (by deleting and banning quickly) than reddit (which has tolerated these festering subreddits for years without taking any action).
posted by Hargrimm at 7:44 AM on February 13, 2012


Without even getting into the freedom of speech issue, it is very telling that violence, racism, and terrible misogyny are okay, but sexualized children are not.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:45 AM on February 13, 2012


Without even getting into the freedom of speech issue, it is very telling that violence, racism, and terrible misogyny are okay, but sexualized children are not.

I am honestly unsure what you mean here, and I think you should probably clarify what is 'very telling' before someone reads too much into it in either direction and gets upset.
posted by Hargrimm at 7:47 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's very telling that abuse of specific helpless humans is demonized while generalized taboo cruelty towards free adults is tolerated. because it makes perfect sense?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:51 AM on February 13, 2012


violence, racism, and terrible misogyny

To be clear, you mean text right? I'm sure if someone posted literal violence against anyone, say a video or images of themselves committing a hate crime, it would be deleted and reported to the authorities on any of these sites we're talking about. Using the N-word is offensive, but not exactly equitable.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:53 AM on February 13, 2012


Without even getting into the freedom of speech issue, it is very telling that violence, racism, and terrible misogyny are okay, but sexualized children are not.

You have to start somewhere.
posted by empath at 7:54 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]



I am honestly unsure what you mean here, and I think you should probably clarify what is 'very telling' before someone reads too much into it in either direction and gets upset.
posted by Hargrimm at 7:47 AM on February 13 [+] [!]


Yeah sure, you're right, it's Monday morning.

It seems to really reflect American cultural hysteria about pedophilia and a justice system that has an appalling track record with regards to race and crimes against women.


To be clear, you mean text right? I'm sure if someone posted literal violence against anyone, say a video or images of themselves committing a hate crime, it would be deleted and reported to the authorities on any of these sites we're talking about. Using the N-word is offensive, but not exactly equitable.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:53 AM on February 13 [+] [!]


They have subreddits like /r/beatingwomen and deadbabies and crap, but I don't look at them.The comments sections are bad enough.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:55 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]



You have to start somewhere.
posted by empath at 7:54 AM on February 13 [+] [!]


Agreed. That stuff should have been nuked a long time ago.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:57 AM on February 13, 2012


I'm curious as to why there hasn't been a SA/Anonymous/4chan movement to permanently remove this violentacrez entity from the internet. I know it's most likely illegal, but finding the real-life identity of someone they find offense to and proceeding to harass the shit out of them is kind of a modus operandi, and this guy really seems like an obvious target for this kind of thing.

Not that I'm encouraging that, mind you.
posted by dvdgee at 8:08 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


You further agree not to use any sexually suggestive language or to provide to or post on or through the Website any graphics, text, photographs, images, video, audio or other material that is sexually suggestive or appeals to a prurient interest.

That is bizarre, since it's clearly not remotely enforced... there are plenty of perfectly legal NSFW forums on reddit and there is a whole structure to tag them that way.
posted by smackfu at 8:10 AM on February 13, 2012


Jesus. I just checked the beating trannies subreddit.

I'm as hypocritical as the next person, and I know there's tons of wonderfulness at reddit, but seriously, if you're not part of SRS or a similar group working to change the site from within while you enjoy the rest of the site, right now I don't have anything good to say about you.
posted by mediareport at 8:11 AM on February 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


I down vote terrible comments all the time, but i have to tell you it's depressing when it's in the face of 800 upvotes.

It's been getting a little better recently, though.
posted by empath at 8:15 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ug. Why did I click that mediareport? I wish I hadn't. That's some evil stuff.

But, on the subject of this "violentacrez" guy: If, as alleged, "violentacrez" is organizing the trafficking of child pornography, why hasn't there been an effort by law enforcement to bring charges against him? They too busy and need /b/ and SA to do their work?
posted by tyllwin at 8:18 AM on February 13, 2012


smackfu: "You further agree not to use any sexually suggestive language or to provide to or post on or through the Website any graphics, text, photographs, images, video, audio or other material that is sexually suggestive or appeals to a prurient interest.

That is bizarre, since it's clearly not remotely enforced... there are plenty of perfectly legal NSFW forums on reddit and there is a whole structure to tag them that way
"

They're working on replacing the TOS, which in its current form was just boilerplate they got from somewhere else.
posted by Jpfed at 8:28 AM on February 13, 2012


If, as alleged, "violentacrez" is organizing the trafficking of child pornography, why hasn't there been an effort by law enforcement to bring charges against him?

Someone needs to tell law enforcement, without at the same time incriminating themselves for looking at the links to gather evidence. Are you willing to take that risk?
posted by smackfu at 8:30 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


ViolentAcrez is a /b/ guy who transitioned over to reddit. They are probably glad to have him gone. I think 90% of the stuff he posts comes right up to the line without going over. He specializes in jailbait and violent porn it seems. Everyone knows who the guy is and what he posts. Both he and His son have both done AMAs. I'm pretty sure he has even been to meetups.

It isn't like the guy is lurking in the shadows.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:36 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If, as alleged, "violentacrez" is organizing the trafficking of child pornography, why hasn't there been an effort by law enforcement to bring charges against him?

Enforcement against internet people is slow and sporadic, although it does tend to come down like a sledgehammer when action is finally taken. See: Megaupload.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:37 AM on February 13, 2012


The post announcing this change has:
42,473 up votes 39,695 down votes
right now. That's kind of embarrassing.
posted by melissam at 8:39 AM on February 13, 2012




If, as alleged, "violentacrez" is organizing the trafficking of child pornography, why hasn't there been an effort by law enforcement to bring charges against him?

Enforcement against internet people is slow and sporadic, although it does tend to come down like a sledgehammer when action is finally taken. See: Megaupload.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:37 AM on February 13 [+] [!]


Someone should start posting links to Hurt Locker torrents on his subreddits, they'll get him extradited like that!
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:39 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


What, willing to go out and gather the evidence in their stead? No, I'm not willing to violate the law in that manner. But he was described upthread as "infamous." I'm surprised at the notion that a person who warrants that description would not be known to law enforcement, and considered a person of interest. If I ask "why don't the cops do something about the crack dealer on that corner," does it imply that I should have to go buy some rocks and hand it to them? They're aggressive enough when it suits them. I didn't have to pull evidence from Megaupload for them.
posted by tyllwin at 8:41 AM on February 13, 2012


The dude is so public and so protected I'm not entirely sure he is not FBI himself.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:44 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


42,473 up votes 39,695 down votes

Reddit fuzzes their up and down vote totals, so those might not be very accurate.
posted by empath at 8:51 AM on February 13, 2012


melissam: "The post announcing this change has:
42,473 up votes 39,695 down votes
right now. That's kind of embarrassing
"

Counterintuitively, those vote totals say very little about Reddit; they just say that a couple thousand more people like the post than did not. The specific numbers up and down are inflated in a certain way:

Reddit accounts are not merely banned, they are shadowbanned. This is a special state of bannination where your activity can't be seen by anyone else, and there is no way to tell if you've entered this state (aside from noticing that no one replies to you any more). HOWEVER someone could tell if they were shadowbanned if they vote up/down on a post and the number of upvotes/downvotes doesn't go up. So Reddit's code will let the shadowbanned account vote, but soon it will cancel their vote with an opposing vote. Most of reddit's code is open source, but many of their anti-spam measures are not, so there may be additional vote-fuzzing measures being employed here that aren't as well known.

This is all to say that the vote totals you point out are partially the result of shadowbanned users voting and the system voting in an opposing way to cancel them. Therefore, only the difference between up and down matters, not their ratio or absolute numbers.
posted by Jpfed at 8:53 AM on February 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


They're aggressive enough when it suits them.

To be honest, it doesn't really seem like they go after random users they find from searching. The federal level seems to focus on breaking up private rings of guys who trade and produce hardcore child porn, the worst of the worst, and the local level seems to focus on busting people who get caught and reported by a local.
posted by smackfu at 8:55 AM on February 13, 2012


Re: worthwhile subreddits, I frequent r/aww, r/Minecraft, r/pics, r/comics, r/itookapicture, r/lego (LEGO!), and I occasionally pop in at places like r/zombies, r/startrek (not nearly as populated as you'd think), r/photography, r/birdpics, and various and sundry other subreddits that have nothing to do with anything unsavory. There's actually a large quantity of awesome on Reddit, but as cmonkey said, it's the crap ones that get all the attention and outrage, and Reddit as a whole takes the blame as if it was one big monolithic community. It's not. It's numerous discrete communities, most of which have nothing to do with each other.
posted by Gator at 9:03 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you feel it is your moral imperative to advocate the removal of particular content from the Internet, why stop at Reddit? Why not work to get people into the government and start the censorship rolling? Get the moderators in at the root level? If you feel it is your duty to police what people can and cannot say or do in a corner of the Internet you are perfectly free to avoid, why recruit the fickle and arbitrary digital mob instead of working through the legislative process?
posted by cheburashka at 9:05 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you feel it is your moral imperative to advocate the removal of particular content from the Internet, why stop at Reddit?

Reddit is a privately owned site who made their own decision that they no longer wanted to host the material in question. Nobody forced them to do anything. The only 'threat' that anyone made was to publicize the content they were hosting. Why do you think you have a right to force reddit to host content that they find objectionable?
posted by empath at 9:09 AM on February 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


For those who complain about what's on the reddit "front page": Here's how it's meant to work -- you get an account, and it's subscribed to a bunch of "interesting" subreddits by default, which are the same ones you see if you don't have an account. Then you find other subreddits you like and subscribe to them, and unsubscribe from the default ones you don't care about, and the front page is a mix of your subscribed subreddits.*

/r/WTF being on the default is... maybe ill-considered. When they redid the default subreddits recently, /r/WTF was pretty tame, but there's been a thing lately where people have basically said "look, /r/WTF is turning into another copy of /r/pics or /r/funny, can we get back to things that are WTF now?" and it's gone a bit too far the other way. But you can unsubscribe!

(By the way, if you use Reddit at all, you want Reddit Enhancement Suite. Did I mention Reddit Enhancement Suite? Because you totally want Reddit Enhancement Suite.)

As for "interesting subreddits", well, it depends on what you find interesting. Here's a list of mine -- pardon that it's pastebinned and not linked here, but it's a big list. There's also a dozen or so My Little Pony subreddits which I visit regularly but don't have on my front page because when I'm "browsing reddit", especially on my phone, I don't want ponies, and when I want ponies I just go to those subreddits.

Speaking of ponies, though, I will point out how awesome and specialized Reddit can get: /r/MLPDrawingSchool is a subreddit where folks are teaching other folks how to draw in the style of the new My Little Pony. The level of dedication of some of the experienced illustrators there (especially viwrastupr) is pretty amazing, as is the number of people who come in and basically say "I've never drawn anything before but now I'm motivated to try" and a couple months later are not only drawing show-style ponies but are starting to come up with their own personal style, with shading and painting and so on.

By the way, I'm wlonkly over there, someone beat me to "mendel".

* one caveat: the front page is limited to 50 subreddits, so if you subscribe to more than 50, the frontpage at a given time is a random selection of 50 of your subscriptions. If you have Reddit Gold, that goes up to 100.
posted by mendel at 9:32 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reddit is a privately owned site who made their own decision that they no longer wanted to host the material in question. Nobody forced them to do anything. The only 'threat' that anyone made was to publicize the content they were hosting. Why do you think you have a right to force reddit to host content that they find objectionable?

What if Reddit refused? Why would you not force them, if you really believe that particular types of content are so harmful that they should have no place on the Internet? If you feel that every corner of the Internet should conform to your moral standards, why not use the best tool for the job?
posted by cheburashka at 9:36 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


What if Reddit refused? Why would you not force them, if you really believe that particular types of content are so harmful that they should have no place on the Internet? If you feel that every corner of the Internet should conform to your moral standards, why not use the best tool for the job?

How was something awful going to 'force' them to do anything? The only power they had was shining some sunlight on the cockroaches, and that was enough.
posted by empath at 9:38 AM on February 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


You can also have a much more pleasant Reddit experience by following the instructions on my Metafilter profile page.
posted by Jpfed at 9:39 AM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


There are a few things I find disturbing about this entire incident, and none of them have to do with the actual content in question. First of all, isn't it amazing that we have DMCA provisions for the near-immediate removal of copyrighted materials online, but no law or regulations for the removal of stuff like this? Seriously, the fastest and most expedient way to get this CP removed from reddit would be for someone to claim copyright and file a DMCA takedown notice, correct? That's messed up.

Second, the entire "/b/ sends IP addresses of CP uploaders to the FBI while Reddit does not" is probably (though not provably) false. I have little doubt both sites provide data like this to the FBI if/when requested, but maybe this is not so well-known among Redditors. I don't think Conde Nast has any interest in being smeared as smut peddlers, and it would be in their interest to strike a deal where if they provide user data to the FBI, the content is allowed to stay up - sorta like a honeypot to entice non-tech-savvy creeps into posting to an open forum w/o protection (proxies, VPNs, etc.).

Which brings me to the last point, and that is who gets to decide what content gets taken down and which subreddits go dark? It's easy to monitor /r/teengirls but once you take that away you're going to be playing whack-a-mole with sites like /r/dasfhoawfoswfb09, which is a (fictitious) subreddit, the existence of which is passed through underground (read: difficult to monitor) back channels.

Maybe things like this SA "redditbomb" is the best recourse for this type of thing, as most users of reddit are surely unaware that these subreddits even exist. I guess I'm glad Reddit did what they could, but I'd like to move forward on how to deal with these situations "once and for all" - public shaming is not always going to work...
posted by antonymous at 9:39 AM on February 13, 2012


Why do you think you have a right to force reddit to host content that they find objectionable?

Indeed, why should a majority of users on a site not be allowed to declare that the site not include content that they find objectionable? Especially when that content threatens the existence of the site?

(This is even if you suppress the somewhat obvious fact that celebrating the sexualization of minors is universally wrong and deserving of being marginalized. Which, I mean, why do that? It is evil. This isn't just some wimpy opinion, it's a fact understood by all but semantic faux-losophers. That's why CP is illegal everywhere. Durr.)

What if Reddit refused?

Then people could continue to spread the word that Reddit allows the trade of illegal and borderline material and celebratory discussion of child molestation. But of course they don't want that. So they took action, finally.

cheburashka: I get the feeling you haven't really read into this issue, here or elsewhere, and I encourage you to read all of flatluigi's post in this thread before you continue to argue that this effort constitutes an unfair campaign against free speech-- otherwise you're just being obtuse yo.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:42 AM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I encourage you to read all of flatluigi's post[s] in this thread before you continue to argue that this effort constitutes an unfair campaign against free speech . . .

Also jaduncan's, though I warn you that just reading it might make you physically ill (it did me).
posted by Eyebeams at 9:53 AM on February 13, 2012


First of all, isn't it amazing that we have DMCA provisions for the near-immediate removal of copyrighted materials online, but no law or regulations for the removal of stuff like this?

Censor first, let the courts figure out if it's actually illegal later?
posted by smackfu at 9:53 AM on February 13, 2012


I can't believe that people on this site where there have been quite a few posts where people have been brave and shared their tales of childhood abuse and have been comforted by other members has people defending another site that lets people post photos of child sexual abuse and seems to almost encourage it with their lack of control.
posted by kanata at 9:59 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


OTOH, I do believe that people read into a discussion whatever they want to.
posted by smackfu at 10:02 AM on February 13, 2012


If you feel it is your moral imperative to advocate the removal of particular content from the Internet, why stop at Reddit? Why not work to get people into the government and start the censorship rolling? Get the moderators in at the root level? If you feel it is your duty to police what people can and cannot say or do in a corner of the Internet you are perfectly free to avoid, why recruit the fickle and arbitrary digital mob instead of working through the legislative process?

There already are laws against child pornography. As for what Reddit does about it, pressuring them to behave a certain way is no more ridiculous or violative of their rights than a PR campaign against Komen.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:07 AM on February 13, 2012


WHY did I let curiosity get the better of me and visit /r/spacedick? I need to go hug my daughter for, like, an hour now. Ditto.
posted by Toothless Willy at 10:14 AM on February 13, 2012


I'm not quite sure how imgur hasn't gotten shut down since they're hosting 90% of the images in question.

imgur walks a line here. he's made his tos explicitly ban porn and the like, but he's said in reddit comments that he won't ever take it down unless he's directly asked to do so.
posted by Avenger50 at 10:15 AM on February 13, 2012


I never said this was "an unfair campaign against free speech." Nor did I say that I "have a right to force reddit to host content that they find objectionable." I'm trying to understand why someone would campaign to have one particular website censor content on the basis of "it's evil," but not follow through on the Internet as a whole. To me this suggests a mentality not so much concerned with actual harm, but about carving out a little habitat for itself so that it doesn't have to be exposed to "those-people-I-don't-like."
posted by cheburashka at 10:16 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reddit as a whole takes the blame as if it was one big monolithic community. It's not. It's numerous discrete communities, most of which have nothing to do with each other.

Yeah, yeah, it's not news that Reddit makes it easy to ignore things like /r/beatingtrannies. But in threads about Reddit's seedier side, it shouldn't be surprising that folks ask those of you who spend time at the site ignoring the absurdly violent garbage there if you ever maybe sorta use your presence there to do a little something about it.

Like I said, I'm as hypocritical as the next person. But that's some seriously aggressive garbage you're stepping over, and it's reasonable for folks to be curious about how you think around it.
posted by mediareport at 10:16 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to understand why someone would campaign to have one particular website censor content on the basis of "it's evil," but not follow through on the Internet as a whole.

"Hey, somebody somewhere is always gonna be littering on the side of the highway, so why bother cleaning up this stretch?"
posted by kmz at 10:22 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm trying to understand why someone would campaign to have one particular website censor content on the basis of "it's evil," but not follow through on the Internet as a whole.

Don't people usually just do one thing at time? This is one of the world's most popular sites. If this was a large scale community discussing sexualized child videos on Youtube, there'd be a similar campaign. This came to everyone's attention due to reddit users finding it extremely unbearable that the site they enjoy was being tarnished by the existence of over- and on- the line CP and CP aficionados.

Instead of asking rhetorical questions, why don't you just come out and say why you think people are doing this campaign if it's not for the reasons that have been stated over and over. Is there some hidden motive we don't understand?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:25 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


it's reasonable for folks to be curious about how you think around it.

DVIAMO
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:25 AM on February 13, 2012


I'm going to agree with Jesse Thorn here in his most recent podcast: Arguments against hypocrisy always read to me like gotchas, because it's always possible to point out that fallible humans are not fully living their ideals, but they do very little to forward any actual conversation.

If your argument is that there is hypocrisy here because why clean up one corner of the Internet and not every corner, my answer is: A little good is better than no good at all.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:27 AM on February 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


DVIAMO

I guess that works as a rationalization. But you'll forgive me if it seems that devoting time, attention and lots of clicks to a site whose owners tolerate, if not encourage, communities whose purpose is to salivate over cutting dicks off transsexual women might require an occasionally stronger response.
posted by mediareport at 10:28 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ad hominem: Before we get ahead of ourselves about 4chan being awesome there is cp on /b all the fucking time, they are just quick to delete it. If you watch, you can see it appear, then disappear, like magic. There is some on the front page of /b/ right now. I don't even want to screen cap it.
I'm not sure how much I can listen to the opinion in this thread of a guy who clearly has a suspiciously deep knowledge of where to find the best child pornography!!!

I'm just kidding, please don't delete me mods... what's the term for eponysterical, but when it's the username of the other person you're talking to? :)


Anyway, jumping back this morning to catch up on this thread after posting at the very, beginning: first, I actually never use reddit; the closest I get is the imgur section /gallery/new, because my morning is made immeasurably better by zipping through a few dozen funny/cute/touching/ok, sometimes weird image macros. And I had just naturally presumed that reddit being a big, well-known site that accusations of "child porn" were overwrought and hyperbolic. And honestly, reading this thread... I still mostly feel that way. It sounds like there were some seriously sketchy discussions about "seducing" underage girls, as well as personal pictures taken from facebook accounts, etc, and leered over... but while creepy as hell, I still think that's a far cry from child pornography, which is a pretty serious accusation. And honestly, in this thread when I see opinions expressed like this one (emphasis my own):
The Confessor: The unsettled question in my mind, interesting to me from purely a legal stance, is whether a photo taken with no prurient intent can be considered child pornography if it is displayed in a context promoting the sexualization of children... like r/jailbait and its relatives. I think that it can; furthermore, I think that it perhaps should. We are, after all, talking about real victims here, even if they might possibly be unaware of said violation.
it definitely makes me uneasy about the slippery slope. Forget what fine hairs the law might split on this, I just can't believe that a picture that was taken innocently suddenly becomes contraband because someone else reacts to it with lasciviousness. This sounds like the internet version of a "ban the Sears catalog, with all those sexy, sexy photos of children in underwear!" mentality, and it makes me more uneasy than most of what I've gleaned happened at reddit (again, assuming actual child pornography was a real rarity, similar to what Ad hominem says happens at 4chan where the stuff might bubble up and then promptly disappear).

I'm sure it has something to do with me not being a parent, but so long as it's just looking, I can't get worked up over some teenagers or middle-aged men looking at "jailbait", if the pictures themselves aren't evidence of a crime. And yes, talking about wanting to rape your own daughter is royally fucked... but so long as it is a fantasy that exists only in words, it's still not to my mind something I should lose sleep over, other than cementing my already rotten impression of the world I live in anyway.

I've posted with great anger here in the past about the stories on 4chan regarding the hordes of malcontents at that site crossing that line- hacking webpages to post slander, sending anonymous threats of rape or murder to actual people, non-stop harassment, etc- that to me is far, far worse than posting pictures of someone's tumblr and then jerking off to it in your own home. To me, the crime of child pornography is due to the crime of how it had to have been made; taking pictures that were shot innocently and re-contextualizing them in your mind to be sexual and lurid isn't, and shouldn't be, a crime.

But again, I suppose I could still be wrong, because all I know first-hand of reddit is that it is mentioned on imgur.com comment threads repeatedly. Friggin' love that imgur!
posted by hincandenza at 10:29 AM on February 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, “you're fighting a particularly egregious instance of [bad stuff] but do not devote your entire life to eradicating it in all its forms, sleeping no more than four hours per night and pausing your efforts only to consume a Matrix-esque gruel” is pretty weaksauce “hypocrisy.”
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:31 AM on February 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure how much I can listen to the opinion in this thread of a guy who clearly has a suspiciously deep knowledge of where to find the best child pornography!!!

More like the most obvious. If you click the /b/ link from google and it is there on the front page something is wrong.

Discussion on Hacker News is sadly not good. The "oh noes , there goes /r/trees, where will I post pics of my bong" peeps are out in force over there.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:33 AM on February 13, 2012


WHY BOTHER EATING, WHEN YOU CANNOT EAT ALL THE FOOD THAT EVER WAS?
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:33 AM on February 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


We are, after all, talking about real victims here, even if they might possibly be unaware of said violation.


You know, I been thinking about this. if anyone could track down people who had their pics ganked off facebook or myspace and posted to one of these subreddits could they not make DMCA takedown requests ? Threaten to sue reddit for real money?
posted by Ad hominem at 10:39 AM on February 13, 2012


They had to make this a rule? Isn't that a LAW already?

Funny. I thought that one of those constitutional amendments protected it.

Maybe the first?

This is a business decision. That's fine. Let's not pretend this was child pornography.

Mods: if there was ever a time to shut down sign-ups for a 24 hour period, this is it.

Can we put up a "Site under construction" sign or something?


No free-speech "zones" and no free-speech "timeouts"!

What are you afraid of? Words?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:45 AM on February 13, 2012


where will I post pics of my bong

Tumblr?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:47 AM on February 13, 2012


if anyone could track down people who had their pics ganked off facebook or myspace and posted to one of these subreddits could they not make DMCA takedown requests ? Threaten to sue reddit for real money?

Celebs seem to do well with getting the photos taken down, but not so much with suing anyone other than the original person who stole the photos.
posted by smackfu at 10:48 AM on February 13, 2012


Yes I'm afraid of words, that's why I read this whole thread. Maybe you should try that?

Let's not pretend this was child pornography.

There was child pornography in these subreddits. See you later!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:48 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ad hominem - remember that reddit does not actually host any pics (they just provide the framework to build communities), that's what an image-hosting site like imgur does, so I'm not sure if reddit would actually be the target of a DMCA takedown request in that scenario. IANAL of course.
posted by antonymous at 10:48 AM on February 13, 2012


There was child pornography in these subreddits. See you later!

But that was already banned. The new rule goes beyond that.
posted by smackfu at 10:51 AM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Alright, it seems that people are putting a bit of spin on this, so I just want to repeat:

1. After the /r/jailbait issue in September, SA/SRS were still watching reddit and found quite a number of actual, legitimate child-porn subreddits. Not 'clothed teenagers of questionable age,' actual nude pictures of prepubescent children.
2. These subreddits were reported to the admins, who pretty much shrugged and went 'it's free speech, we don't care what people do on the site.' At the very least, they took no action on the subreddits.
3. After a while of hoping the admins would shut them down and getting no answer, SA organized a big post talking about all the child porn subreddits and sent it off to any and every news organization they could get a hold of.
4. Very shortly after this, the admins finally made the aforementioned post explicitly banning child porn and shut down many (if not all) the subreddits that were trading in child porn.
5. In response, a large number of redditors started complaining about their rights being oppressed and free speech and similar whinges. That's the point we're at right now.
posted by flatluigi at 2:07 AM on February 13

posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:55 AM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Right, and step 4 was done by introducing a much broader rule that shut down anything with photos of minors, so that there were no judgement calls on whether things were actually CP or not.
posted by smackfu at 11:05 AM on February 13, 2012


so I'm not sure if reddit would actually be the target of a DMCA takedown request in that scenario. IANAL of course.

I guess I figured people keep threatening piratebay and torrent sites and they don't host anything. Good point though.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:07 AM on February 13, 2012


Right, and step 4 was done by introducing a much broader rule that shut down anything with photos of minors, so that there were no judgement calls on whether things were actually CP or not.

I think if you get to a point on your website where your job is to figure out which legally shady pictures of underage kids cross the line into pornography, you're doing something wrong.
posted by empath at 11:23 AM on February 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


Yeah, you should be way more worried about 17-year-olds being uploaded to the normal NSFW side of the site.
posted by smackfu at 11:37 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


No free-speech "zones" and no free-speech "timeouts"!

What are you afraid of? Words?


The call is coming from inside the site!

I was hinting that there would be an Eternal September-style migration of reddit users who had enjoyed the relative freedom that they had found there. Indeed, many people in this thread are arguing that this happened on reddit because users had migrated from /b/ once they realized that reddit had less stringent restrictions on cp. Like parasites fleeing a host, they'll find a new place to continue trading information on how to rape their daughters. I'd rather them not come here.

Metafilter is probably the least obvious target for these people to move to. Then again, these people are idiots.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:55 AM on February 13, 2012


The $5 fee does a good job of mitigating potential floods of new users, honestly. Giving someone a moment of pause in the process of signing up helps keep it so that the folks who follow through with the process actually have decided with some amount of deliberation, however minor, that they want to bother.

Reddit, like mefi, is a heterogeneous place; it has all sorts of users. Some of them might feel like joining metafilter; some fraction of those folks might not find that they get along very well here after all; so it goes. We're not worried about a barnstorming.
posted by cortex at 12:01 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Right, and step 4 was done by introducing a much broader rule that shut down anything with photos of minors, so that there were no judgement calls on whether things were actually CP or not.

Incorrect. The rule is "No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors.," as mentioned at the top of the thread and every subreddit that was shut down was about just that. Could you give examples of what you specifically mean?
posted by flatluigi at 12:31 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looks like people are already protesting.
posted by dobie at 12:50 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Could you give examples of what you specifically mean?

What i mean is that if your goal is to address this:

"After the /r/jailbait issue in September, SA/SRS were still watching reddit and found quite a number of actual, legitimate child-porn subreddits. Not 'clothed teenagers of questionable age,' actual nude pictures of prepubescent children.."

A rule like "No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors" is much broader than that.
posted by smackfu at 12:54 PM on February 13, 2012


...and that I figure they did that so they didn't have to make judgement calls.
posted by smackfu at 12:57 PM on February 13, 2012


Or because the legal definition of "child pornography" includes sexualized-but-clothed images, and if you're the one on the legal hook you don't want people playing rules-lawyer with that particular restriction.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:03 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's exactly what I said, right? "They don't want to make judgement calls so they have a broad rule."
posted by smackfu at 1:10 PM on February 13, 2012


Everything in the rule is still legally defined as child pornography. Are you saying that Reddit should make their rule encompass less than the legal definition?

Here's the copine scale, again. Please note that, because of the context and organization of the subreddits (i.e. they were intentionally gathering and sharing images for sexual purposes), nothing in them was under level 4. What are the appropriate levels you suggest Reddit ban?
posted by flatluigi at 1:19 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm glad that they finally got their heads out of their asses (for whatever reason - terror, a sudden attack of morals, whatever) and fixed something.
posted by kalessin at 1:22 PM on February 13, 2012


I figure they did that so they didn't have to make judgement calls.

I actually agree with you, I think they did probably shut these forums down for that reason. They should have done it for the reason: "Giving adults a forum to post clothed but sexy pictures of minors is fuckin disgusting" but that's clearly not a high priority around Reddit HQ. Hence, the chainsaw tone to the celebration.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:45 PM on February 13, 2012


Good on them. They should have done this long ago.

However, Reddit is not without value. It has plenty of good discussion and links [like Metafilter]. And they remain as popular as ever. This from TPM:
In January, Reddit reported 2 billion pageviews, a new record for the website. The website was also the spawning grounds of the Web’s mass blackout in protest against the antipiracy bills known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
posted by Rashomon at 1:53 PM on February 13, 2012


I guess my employer will be blocking reddit.com shortly.

That's too bad, I really love /r/Skyrim. Great bunch of people there.

I should probably be working anyways.

Also, it was fun to log in to somethingawful.com again, after like 8 years.
posted by sidereal at 2:36 PM on February 13, 2012


I guess reddit user violentacrez was contacted by the admins before the ban. He pasted a chatlog, (link) I have no idea if it's accurate or not.

The money quote is from reddit's general manager hueypriest: "we're making a policy change regarding jailbait type content. Don't really have a choice."

Of course if this is the way that reddit's internal staff feels about the decision, then I can only see bad things for the website's future.
posted by hellojed at 3:13 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's too bad, I really love /r/Skyrim. Great bunch of people there.

Superdouble extra great people over at MefightClub talking about Skyrim and every other game under the sun, with the bonus that most of them are also Metafilter members. Fret not, and join us.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:25 PM on February 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Here's the copine scale, again. Please note that, because of the context and organization of the subreddits (i.e. they were intentionally gathering and sharing images for sexual purposes), nothing in them was under level 4.
I don't think you've read that correctly. Here's what level 4 is described as:
Posing Deliberately posed pictures of children fully clothed, partially clothed or naked (where the amount, context and organization suggests sexual interest).
It's not saying that anything gathered due to sexual interest is level 4 or above. It's saying that "deliberately posed" photos which suggest sexual interest in various ways are level 4 or above.

For example, even level 1 is explicitly described as being compatible with the collector having inappropriate interest.
posted by Flunkie at 3:30 PM on February 13, 2012


What's your interpretation of the clause in parentheses, then?
posted by flatluigi at 3:35 PM on February 13, 2012


Why they were posted and how they're composed are separate questions.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:39 PM on February 13, 2012


What's your interpretation of the clause in parentheses, then?
Didn't I just say it? Deliberately posted photos which fulfill the terms of the parenthetical content are level 4 or above.

Seriously, I don't see how you could interpret it any other way. You seem to be interpreting it as "Irrelevant main clause (parenthetical absolute definition)". And you seem to be ignoring the fact that, as I have already pointed out, level 1 is explicitly defined in a way which implies that there are things that are level 1 that meet what you seem to be saying is the definition of level 4.
posted by Flunkie at 3:46 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Excuse me, I mean "deliberately posed", not "deliberately posted".
posted by Flunkie at 3:47 PM on February 13, 2012


I don't want to say I'm against the policy, because I think there's some confusion about what the policy actually is, but there's something that's been bugging me since I started to read this thread:

Not everyone is getting the same story. And it seems like not everyone is talking about the same thing.

The announcement on Reddit says that child pornography - the illegal stuff - has always been against policy and what's changing now is that legal content is banned. If I take the announcement at face value, I do have a problem with it, although I recognize that Reddit has to protect itself.

I was on LiveJournal during the "Strikethrough" debacles. (Strikethrough refers to how usernames are displayed when the account is deleted or banned.) LiveJournal had previously allowed fictional depictions of minors in sexual situations, and had only disallowed illegal content. Then, probably under pressure from an outside group, they changed their policy and started to remove that content. Fanfiction was the primary target - fanfiction that for the most part didn't serve to stoke some pedophilic lusts of its readers and writers, but that just treated the number "18" as something incidental.

The possible shutdown of this kind of content on LiveJournal brought up the question of where it should go now. Since then, more platforms have been developed, and so it's not as though people in fandom would be unable to share their 50,000 word Harry/Draco romance at all if LiveJournal fully committed to this new policy and disallowed it for good. But I wonder: The internet is the only practical forum for sharing this kind of content, yet the sites it can be shared on are overwhelmingly private. Could it reach the point where content that is legal can nonetheless not be shared at all because there is no place for it left?

But back to Reddit. I said "If I take the announcement at face value" for a reason. After reading this thread, I no longer do.

I've learned that one of the reasons people were/are so angry at Reddit is that despite their stated policy, they allowed illegal, threatening, and/or invasive content to be posted to the site, and that they were buddy-buddy with one of the people most responsible for it. That these newly banned subreddits were places that only skirted legality in their descriptions, and within the threads there was heinous shit. The loudest complaints in this thread are about stuff that is dangerous to real children - for good reason.

I've come to think that this policy change is not just to cover Reddit in the future, but to give them a cover for the past: With a policy change, they can get rid of these Reddits and start cracking down without really addressing their prior failures. If that's what it takes for them to get rid of this shit, then it's a good policy change. I wish they would own up, but it's far better than what they were doing before.

People arguing against Reddit's new policy might not know about all this. I had no idea until I left the site and read about it here.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:00 PM on February 13, 2012


And because I completely failed to make this clear: I don't think that slash fanfiction is comparable to posting pictures of preteen girls in order to titillate fellow pedophiles. I just have a reservations about incredibly broad bans of legal content on large platforms because they can impact more than just harmful content.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:12 PM on February 13, 2012


reddit takes a new direction
posted by clearly at 6:26 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll just leave this here.
posted by Talez at 6:53 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


To me, the crime of child pornography is due to the crime of how it had to have been made; taking pictures that were shot innocently and re-contextualizing them in your mind to be sexual and lurid isn't, and shouldn't be, a crime.

1. You don't necessarily know how a picture was taken when you see it. Pictures taken from kid's facebook (ewwwwwwwww) may not look that dissimilar from something taken under duress (like a clothed shot in an eventually nude photoset).

2. Having a large collection of pictures of minors in a collection as if to be used as fetish material is illegal, so technicalities relating to nudity can't stop this kind of thing from happening.

3. It normalizes behavior that should not be encouraged.

I'll be honest, reading your first comment and seeing that it had 40 favorites kind of broke my heart when I opened this thread. I know people who were sexually abused as children, and with thousands of people subscribed to these subreddits I can bet that someone who has done that kind of thing is pissed off that he can't get to such easily available stuff anymore. It might be petty of me, but I celebrate that they can't get it anymore.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:29 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't believe that people on this site where there have been quite a few posts where people have been brave and shared their tales of childhood abuse and have been comforted by other members has people defending another site that lets people post photos of child sexual abuse and seems to almost encourage it with their lack of control.

FWIW Reddit has that also - as mentioned above Reddit is very large and contains a lot if things.
posted by Artw at 8:19 PM on February 13, 2012


it is gross that SA is using this to market themselves
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:38 PM on February 13, 2012


smoke writes "It's mind-boggling because you're clearly comfortable with a site like mefi, where anything with a whiff of sketchy is blown to oblivion. "

Like how to get rid of a dead body you've inconveniently come into possession of?
posted by Mitheral at 8:39 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


like i actually dislike them more now that they have used this thing as a PR device

the likelihood this would have happened were there not some way to tie it back to Something Awful Dot Com home of the ten dollar signup fee is essentially nil, imho, and even if you are doing something strictly for the right reasons, turning around and using it to promote your product is fucking repugnant

the gross opportunism is kind of making my guts hurt
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:49 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


the likelihood this would have happened were there not some way to tie it back to Something Awful Dot Com home of the ten dollar signup fee is essentially nil, imho

I'm curious how you come to this conclusion. My "humble opinion" is that the sharing of these images would have attracted more attention and eventually resulted in group action of some sort, whether originating on a paid forum or not.

Are you under the impression that there are Something Awful marketers that explicitly greenlight projects such as this? Or do you maybe mean something more subtle, like that the $10 signup fee creates an atmosphere of superiority which contributes to stuff like this or?... Help me out here because I'm struggling.

I'll agree that the Lowtax is definitely profiting off of this. I'm pretty sure that the forums were blocked for non-paying members shortly after all this broke both to further enrage some Redditors and to get $10 from whoever couldn't stand to just read a copy-paste.

I don't see how it follows that without this $10 signup fee this small group of SA members (a handful really) would have not gone through with this "Redditbomb". I don't really see any promoting of the "product" that is SA from those responsible.

On the flip side of it, Lowtax isn't "turning around" from anywhere to promote SA and use this as a money making opportunity; that's pretty much his job.
posted by ODiV at 9:52 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't really see any promoting of the "product" that is SA from those responsible.

you don't, huh
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:56 PM on February 13, 2012


Neither Reddit nor Livejournal are obligated to host any material, regardless of its legality. Content which depicts minors in sexual situations is something that is rightfully loathed, and nobody is wrong for saying that other people shouldn't host it, or for declining to host it, regardless of its legality.


it is gross that SA is using this to market themselves

We're certainly celebrating, and gloating about our moral superiority (as I've said upthread, SA is a place where people like violentacrez and tessorro are banned on sight), but marketing? Shit, SA doesn't need marketing. It gets on quite well on its own and has since before nearly all of the sites you visit. It does this because it's a good place to post, has strict moderation (moreso than here, actually), and has an enormous meta-community comprised of several smaller, interrelated subcommunities. And I'm not sure why you're singling out the signup fee; the ten bucks it costs is a big part of why the SA forums are as good as they are, and anyway it's $5 to post here, which again is a big part of why Metafilter is as good as it is.

the likelihood this would have happened were there not some way to tie it back to Something Awful Dot Com home of the ten dollar signup fee is essentially nil, imho, and even if you are doing something strictly for the right reasons, turning around and using it to promote your product is fucking repugnant

I don't know what your problem is, but this happened without the input of the SA mods and admins. I'm not sure if this link works for people without accounts, but after a bit of looking back, I think that's where the idea started, with some random person saying "Someone should make a website fully laying out what is wrong with Reddit that you can easily link people to. " From there the idea shifted to doing a big copypasta, and then it was put together and spread. One mod, I think, posts in the conversation, but rarely.

We didn't do this because of internet nationalism/tribalism. We did it because Reddit's admins are complicit in the sharing of child pornography and we want it to stop. I can't blame the admins for being proud that something like this was done by their users on their forum; it's something to be proud of!

To be honest, I get the feeling you already have something against SA; I can't speak to that. But I think your complaints are ignorant, groundless and foolish.


I'll agree that the Lowtax is definitely profiting off of this.

Is he ever! We've got a feature which lists all the people who've been banned; a ton of Redditors dropped $10 to come on over and shitpost, and got banned for shitposting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:58 PM on February 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


I mean there's some puffing of chests and back-slapping, sure. Can you point out what I've missed?
posted by ODiV at 9:58 PM on February 13, 2012


it is gross to do something right and then make it about you, far moreso when you profit from it, and to do so casts one's motives into suspicion

there is no reason why that should be an objectionable sentiment and i do not understand why it merits comment.

it is kind of uncanny and disturbing to see the people who frequent that forum jumping to defend it so eagerly.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:07 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're obviously upset at SA or SA forum users over something unrelated to the topic at hand, so why don't you say what it is or just cut out the evasive vagueness already or something?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:12 PM on February 13, 2012


Can you point out how the people who did "something right" in this case are profiting?

This is kind of a bizarre tangent. The discussion here, on SA and on Reddit has pretty much revolved around the issue and not Something Awful, by my reading, and hasn't really gone off on any "let's promote SA" direction as far as I'm aware. As I've said, there's been some general "Hey we rock!" sentiment from those involved (and the admins, sure), but that's far from uncommon and we've done the same thing here at MetaFilter.
posted by ODiV at 10:15 PM on February 13, 2012


Yeah, I mean, remember when MeFites kept those Russian women from being sold into slavery? Fuck Metafilter for being all proud of that!

Yeesh.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:18 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Let's not derail into personal sniping about SA; This, of course, alludes to you, you can discuss SA's part in this, but focus on the topic, not other members of the site. Everyone else, carry on. ]
posted by taz at 10:23 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we'll all feel better when President Santorum does away with all this morally objectionable stuff.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:41 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I ended up writing a very long comment because I did not have the time to write a shorter one.
posted by ubernostrum at 11:48 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Neither Reddit nor Livejournal are obligated to host any material, regardless of its legality.

Since I'm the one who mentioned LiveJournal, I guess this is in response to me? In which case: Of course they're not obligated to, but someone asked why a person knowledgeable about such subreddits could dislike the policy and I offered some of my own opinions about why some people can see it as bad.

I had three points in response to that: First, that not everyone who objects to the policy knows the full story; second, that not all of the content covered under the stated policy is harmful to children (you may disagree); and third, that we are increasingly reliant on private websites for interacting with other people, and if certain kinds of legal expressions are widely banned then that can have a stifling effect.

But I also said that now that I know the full story, I'm behind the policy.

Content which depicts minors in sexual situations is something that is rightfully loathed

That is a very big category. There are all kinds of such content, some that serve the same purpose of child porn, and some that does not. The content on Reddit that has been described here, I would agree that it is rightfully loathed, but the policy as stated does not cover only that content and that was why I brought up something I think is natural and harmless. It was a partial answer to the question of how on Earth anyone could have reservations about the policy change.

I'm regretting answering it, however, because against what was going on in those subreddits these seem like side issues. It's just, before I knew these were the reservations I had.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:00 AM on February 14, 2012


SA doesn't like ponies so they are objectively very bad people. This whole going after child porn thing is still a good idea though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:39 AM on February 14, 2012


They tell me that somewhere there's a moderator who knows what is right and what is wrong. Naked Child with Stork (Paula Modersohn-Becker) is considered wrong. That moderator doesn't like Sally Mann or Bill Henson, because those images are maybe too titillating. Not necessarily for me, mind you, but I mean, for others, who shouldn't see things like that. The moderator hovers over the delete button. Michelangelo's David is certainly obscene, says the moderator, and clicks the button.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:33 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this performance art?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:43 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


twoleftfeet, sorry you're mad about Reddit deleting some stuff, but trying to link a bunch of possibly iffy images here (including the Lewis Carroll child nudes I deleted) to somehow give us grief about it doesn't really make much sense. We are moderated, as you know, just as we were when you signed up. If it's moderation you don't want, don't use the site. If you want to make a statement, do it in Metatalk.
posted by taz at 3:45 AM on February 14, 2012


BTW, I didn't mean to attack you, Taz. The "moderator" was a metaphor for the Superego, which worries incessantly about the dirty doings of the Id. A Metatalk thread exploring the Freudian reality of all this might be interesting. Some other time, I hope.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:08 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: The "moderator" was a metaphor for the Superego, which worries incessantly about the dirty doings of the Id.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:09 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm cool with that, as long as I can get the Superego superhero costume. Not spandex, of course (ew, dirty-do-Idly), but something drapey.
posted by taz at 4:15 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Every Halloween I dress as an enormous Ego. I wear my usual clothes.

Night, Taz. Thanks.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:20 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus christ this fucking thread is embarassing.

At this point, i just want to nuke reddit from orbit.
posted by empath at 7:57 AM on February 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


If a bunch of nerds that want to bitch about how some crazy woman doesn't think games shouldn't actually be games and ME3 should be a $100m Twilight/Potter fanfic offends you so mortally you should probably nuke half the Internet from orbit.
posted by Talez at 8:27 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I get the feeling empath's objection is not so much to the critical salad as it is to the copious shitheel vinaigrette drizzled all over it.
posted by cortex at 8:44 AM on February 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well, that's true too, but any time nerds make fun of other nerds who care about storylines, character relationships and dialog trees in RPGs, because combat is so much more important, I want to force-feed them copies of Planescape: Torment.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:51 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus christ this fucking thread is embarassing.

At this point, i just want to nuke reddit from orbit.


...

you should probably nuke half the Internet from orbit.

Don't stop at the Internet. You might as well blow up half the people too.

C'mon. We are supposed to protect objectionable speech. Am I wrong here?

People are allowed to be embarrassing, and as noted by ubernostrum as others, drawing a line around freedom of speech in a large group is not anywhere as easy as some of you make it out to be.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:57 AM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but I don't have to read it. I just pulled 'gaming' out of my default reddits, hopefully that keeps the nerd rage bullshit to a minimum.
posted by empath at 8:59 AM on February 14, 2012


I get the feeling empath's objection is not so much to the critical salad as it is to the copious shitheel vinaigrette drizzled all over it.

By that logic we should nuke Metafilter from orbit whenever we get one of those threads where Metafilter's pent up misogyny and political incorrectness bubble to the surface in a massive shitfight.

C'mon. We are supposed to protect objectionable speech. Am I wrong here?

Not sure if serious or sarcastic.

That being said I'm pretty lax on the free spech thing and my offend-o-meter is pretty resilient and even I know to leave a "Won't Somebody Please Think of the Children" crusade the hell alone. There's no scenario that results in a positive outcome for free speech and one not looking like a pedo sympathiser.
posted by Talez at 9:08 AM on February 14, 2012


empath that was what did it? not all the other bullshit that's gone on in r/gaming over the years?

you have a stomach of iron.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:19 AM on February 14, 2012


empath that was what did it? not all the other bullshit that's gone on in r/gaming over the years?

That was my first thought. I removed gaming a long time ago for being stupid and the level of discourse being on par with twelve year olds not because they were particularly offensive.
posted by Talez at 9:25 AM on February 14, 2012


Over a critical level of users any subreddit becomes just images and youtube-level comments. Gamine, well, it's WAY over that event horizon.
posted by Artw at 9:28 AM on February 14, 2012


(The weird relationship gaming fandom has with Bioware right now is just... something. DA2 had its share of problems, but the way people talk about it you'd think Bioware harvested orphans and baby seals or something.)
posted by kmz at 9:30 AM on February 14, 2012


They deleted the post. It takes a lot for a thread to be too embarrassingly awful for the r/gaming mods to let stand.
posted by empath at 11:16 AM on February 14, 2012


According to my local news theres sites that are scanning facebook profiles and reposting the photos on illegal sites. I wonder if this is in relation to the Redditbomb or some new type of sites.
posted by lilkeith07 at 11:22 AM on February 14, 2012


They deleted the post. It takes a lot for a thread to be too embarrassingly awful for the r/gaming mods to let stand.

The image is also a complete fabrication, which is probably the only reason the thread was even deleted. I've seen worse vile stuff spew out of that reddit.
posted by kmz at 11:27 AM on February 14, 2012


"Stand with us or with the child pornographers"

Expect to see a LOT more of that from now on.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:09 PM on February 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yup, it's SOPA 2 time! And, well, I'm not sure who to blame for handing them victory, but I have a feeling that someone has in this sorry mess.
posted by Artw at 12:15 PM on February 14, 2012


They deleted the post. It takes a lot for a thread to be too embarrassingly awful for the r/gaming mods to let stand.

You may have noticed that the Bioware "cancer" post is missing. We have removed it. Please check your facts before going on a witchhunt.
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on February 14, 2012


Yup, it's SOPA 2 time! And, well, I'm not sure who to blame for handing them victory, but I have a feeling that someone has in this sorry mess.

Reddit painted a big fat target on themselves with the internet black-out. You know that Hollywood is going to try and destroy them on round 2. They really need to get their act cleaned up, and that might mean killing all the shock reddits and white power reddits, too..
posted by empath at 12:21 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Stand with us or with the child pornographers"

Expect to see a LOT more of that from now on.
Well it was fun while it lasted. Jesus Christ people as a group are fucking stupid. This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by Talez at 12:53 PM on February 14, 2012


"Stand with us or with the child pornographers"

Expect to see a LOT more of that from now on.


As justification for warrantless wiretapping with essentially no oversight. Harper's government is completely whack.
posted by Mitheral at 12:55 PM on February 14, 2012


Expect to see a LOT more of that from now on.

As with gun control, I'm fairly comfortable with drawing a line and saying, "Yeah, that's not cool," when it comes to the sexualization of children.

Now as with gun control I'd have a hard time determining exactly where that line should be. But if you've got a photo based subsection with a sexual theme focusing on minors, I'm comfortable saying that I think it's over the line, while at the same time not equating free speech advocates with child pornographers.
posted by ODiV at 1:51 PM on February 14, 2012


ShitRedditSays is specifically to point out comments or posts from other threads that promote rape, sexual assault, comments that threaten rape and taunts of rape victims, that recieved a lot of upvotes.

This is so incredibly disingenuous. SRS is for people to melodramatically wail about how awful the kyriarchy of the rest of reddit is, and cackle and mock white/straight/male/cis norms. It's generally also a place for people to yell at (in absentia) anybody who's said anything remotely negative about a woman or women. It stopped being just a place to call out rape culture (which I would totally support) a long time ago.
posted by tehloki at 2:40 PM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


It exists because they have no other recourse. If they complained about the rampant misogyny on reddit anywhere else, they'd get downvoted into oblivion or called fat ugly sluts, etc..

You guys act like SRS is going out of their way to look for that shit. It's inescapable on reddit. Even on subreddits like /r/awww where you wouldn't expect it.
posted by empath at 2:44 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


and cackle and mock white/straight/male/cis norms

why thank you it's nice that someone is finally standing up for the poor oppressed white/straight/male/cis people at reddit
posted by Frobenius Twist at 4:13 PM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


and cackle and mock white/straight/male/cis norms

why thank you it's nice that someone is finally standing up for the poor oppressed white/straight/male/cis people at reddit
posted by Frobenius Twist at 18:13 on February 14 [+] [!]


I finally have an opening to make a joke involving Frobenius and norms and I got nothin', damnit!
posted by Jpfed at 5:52 PM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, is there a /r/ShitShitRedditSaysSays yet?
posted by Jimbob at 5:59 PM on February 14, 2012


I saw that "cancer" post. I'm surprised they removed that. Maybe they are going to clean up that site after all.
posted by cashman at 7:40 PM on February 14, 2012


/r/ShitRedditSays is an over-the-top circlejerk. It's silly and involves saying the kinds of things about straight white cismales that straight white cismales are screaming about everybody else all over the rest of Reddit. A lot of straight white cismales (and hi there, SWCM myself!) find this infuriating beyond the capacity for rational thought.

There's also a lot of HOW DARE YOU QUOTE THE THING I SAID IN MY OWN WORDS YOU ARE WORSE THAN HITLER which we also laugh at.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:11 PM on February 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Interesting. It's pretty obvious the admins don't actually care. How weird is it that they actually gave violentacrez a heads up and told him it wasn't their choice?

Part of it probably is in relation to the SOPA thing, and wanting to grow larger and be more legitimate. That stuff helped them grow, but obviously it's preventing people a lot of people from becoming 'redditors' (as evidenced by this thread). And if they want to fight against those things like the data tracking laws that are 'supposedly' about stopping child porn, it would be helpful not to be known as a site for child porn traders.
If a bunch of nerds that want to bitch about how some crazy woman doesn't think games shouldn't actually be games and ME3 should be a $100m Twilight/Potter fanfic offends you so mortally you should probably nuke half the Internet from orbit.
Except she doesn't think those things, the quotations were completely fabricated.
I hate London because I know a couple of streets where someone is pimping out children. The whole city is evil. Someone should bomb it.

Sometimes, seriously, you guys.... man, you depress me with your inattentive fits of selective moral hysteria. It's like you see a huge garden and go turning stones over until you find the biggest, grossest bug you can, and then you're all, "Eww! Eww! Gross! Look at the gross bug! This garden is gross, man! Let's all have a gross-out shitfit and feel good about how our tiny garden isn't gross! Actually, it's worse than that. It's like someone else does that, tells you about it, and then you have a second-hand shitfit.

The level of sheer ignorance about reddit and how it works is pathetic.
This is the equivalent of getting the city to cordon off those streets because they're full of people openly people paying to molest children.

Which would... obviously be a good thing.
posted by delmoi at 10:44 PM on February 14, 2012


empath, SRS is so very far from being a constructive way to approach the actual real problems that I don't even know where to begin. And that's without the bait-and-switch stuff and the manufactured outrages they traffic in these days.

Right now, SRS is as toxic as the people they claim to be calling out. As a veteran of the gender reddits (fun fact: I both read /r/mensrights and have a genuine positive karma score in /r/feminisms -- not many people can claim that!), I can say from experience that even the most virulent stuff doesn't compare to what SRS'ers churn out on a regular basis. And the standard defenses just don't hold up: "we only PRETEND to be so violent and hateful to point out how violent and hateful OTHER people really are"? Um, no, thanks.

As I said in the blog piece I linked further back, there are real, genuine, really genuinely hard problems that need talking about and solving. If there are people interested in actually trying to talk about and solve them, I'm all for it. But SRS has decided it's easier to be part of the problem.
posted by ubernostrum at 4:32 AM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


ubernostrum: "Right now, SRS is as toxic as the people they claim to be calling out."

That requires a rather skewed view of the stuff they call out.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:54 AM on February 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


How can you claim to call something out without actually calling it out? If I know what you're calling out then you did it.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:59 AM on February 15, 2012


[Comment deleted. Reddit fights on Mefi isn't a great way to go here; please take that stuff to email.]
posted by taz at 6:20 AM on February 15, 2012


As I said in the blog piece I linked further back, there are real, genuine, really genuinely hard problems that need talking about and solving. If there are people interested in actually trying to talk about and solve them, I'm all for it. But SRS has decided it's easier to be part of the problem.

Reddit is such a hopeless clusterfuck that all SRS can do at this point is name and shame.
posted by empath at 6:56 AM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is so incredibly disingenuous. SRS is for people to melodramatically wail about how awful the kyriarchy of the rest of reddit is, and cackle and mock white/straight/male/cis norms.

I just don't see that at all looking at the front page. I had never seen SRS or its subreddits before this thread but I've spent two days reading a lot. Do you see the comments they are lampooning? It's some vile stuff and they only single out comments that get plenty of upvotes. Some of it is not so much vile as really stupid but what's wrong with making fun of stupid comments?

When I read the comment threads I mostly see them making fun of the horrible crap and the people who support it. Is it a "white/straight/male/cis" norm to hate women who post pictures of themselves? Is it a norm to assume someone who doesn't like sexism must be fat and therefore horrible? To make jokes about women getting beat up or how awful a minority group is? To defend child pornography? If these are cultural norms then the culture needs calling out.

SRS is so very far from being a constructive way to approach the actual real problems that I don't even know where to begin

Oh I find it so very constructive. It serves as a place where the people who are usually the target of derision and hate get to relax and feel comfortable knowing they're not alone in feeling attacked by crap.

I can say from experience that even the most virulent stuff doesn't compare to what SRS'ers churn out on a regular basis


Like what? I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by Danila at 4:45 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Danila, it's pretty well-established at this point that

A) some definite percentage (I would not be able to give an actual number) of that "worst of" stuff SRS links is deliberately manufactured by SRS. There have been cases of bait-and-switch comment edits, cases of SRS'ers directly abusing someone to provoke link-worthy content, sockpuppetry, the whole nine yards.

B) SRS is perfectly happy to support hate speech, even hate speech suggesting, endorsing or actively encouraging violence, so long as that speech is directed at people SRS thinks deserve it. Which is, um, no, that doesn't really sit well with me. The "lol" defense does not fly.

Throw in the fact that they're already falling victim to Poe's Law -- some accounts have started popping up doing parodies, and it's legitimately hard to tell which are the trolls and which are the real SRS'ers -- and I'm quite content to say SRS is part of the problem.

Anyway. For actual naming and shaming of the worst of reddit, I suggest /r/worstof or /r/assholes, which don't seem to have these problems. For a lighter point of view, try /r/subredditdrama.
posted by ubernostrum at 7:04 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't see any serious threats of violence in SRS at all. Unless people really think they intend to take foreskins and make cosmetics? They won't even say "neckbeard" anymore because some guys find that offensive.

I think the problem, besides the massive bigotry of Reddit and most of the internet, is the fact that SRS seems to be anti-Reddit yet it is a part of Reddit. I think this really bothers people.
posted by Danila at 7:52 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


empath, SRS is so very far from being a constructive way to approach the actual real problems that I don't even know where to begin. And that's without the bait-and-switch stuff and the manufactured outrages they traffic in these days.
Yes, sometimes SRS does something annoying, like defending girls who show their tits on youtube and do 'reviews' to get cheap clicks, which actually are annoying -- youtube should really not 'recommend' videos that have been heavily downvoted. Sometimes they'll complain about raunchy talk about a girl even when the girl is engaging with people and making the same types of comments.

Those things are annoying.

But the idea that they are 'just as vile' as extreme racists and woman haters on reddit is completely ridiculous.

Right now looking through /top/ on srs, they're pointing out that this is on the frontpage of /r/funny today. The comment "Well, you let an Asian drive, so terrifying is expected." gets 330 upvotes. A thread where idiots chastised a woman who'd posted to /r/gonewild because her boyfriend dumped her. A comment comment about how few women are "anarcho-capitalist/libertarians" because it's too 'logical' for them. Redditors calling up and threatening to rape a woman over a scratched jeep. ridiculous misogyny in /r/starcraft. Someone in /r/funny posting text messages where he calls a girl a "stereotypical liberal college girl with no sense of humor" for being offended at the idea of a "racial stereotype party" (Amazingly he actually used "Zing" as the title). And I didn't even post a lot the worst stuff (all kinds of rape and pedophilia nonsense)

Feel free to link to stuff that you think is worse then this on SRS.

The other thing, why does it matter if SRS are full of 'haters'? It's completely normal to hate this kind of stuff. Why engage in 'constructive dialog' with someone who wants to rape children or just joke about raping children? Why should people be nice to awful people, instead of just pointing out how awful they are?

And of course, it's actually more effective to mock people then to post boring theoretical nonsense about why they are wrong. SRS is popular because it's entertains people.
posted by delmoi at 9:51 PM on February 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Weirdly enough, Gone Wild seems like one of the least toxic subreddits, usually... That's because it's pretty well moderated, and they delete negative comments.

And yeah, /r/starcraft is fucking depressing sometimes. So many bitter virgins... The moderation there sucks.
posted by empath at 10:08 PM on February 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


some definite percentage (I would not be able to give an actual number)

Either you can give a number, or that number is not definite.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:36 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


some definite percentage (I would not be able to give an actual number)

Either you can give a number, or that number is not definite.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:36 AM on February 16 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


To be fair, any percentage between 0-100 would be definite.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:50 AM on February 16, 2012


whoops, meant to add that I'm guessing that it's (much) closer to the first number than the later.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:52 AM on February 16, 2012


So many bitter virgins...

How can you possibly know that?
posted by Mitheral at 7:36 AM on February 16, 2012


Oh you can tell.
posted by empath at 7:46 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Presumably by examining the pixels.

(Sex didn't seem to have a lot of effect by itself on people's dispositions in high school and college, as far as I saw; bitter whiners who got laid were just bitter whiners who were getting laid, cheerful people with sex lives were indistinguishable form cheerful people without sex lives apart from the actual sex life bit, something about which people are anywhere from completely secretive to completely open mostly independently of how much sex they were having.

In other words, there may be some probabilistic validity in trying to peg people as likely virgins by cohort, but individual variation dwarfs between-group variation and whether or not a bitter or griping person is getting or has gotten laid is about the least meaningful angle you can take in figuring out what's up with their disposition. It's a weak, tired trope.)
posted by cortex at 8:52 AM on February 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also comments like that stigmitize virginity.
posted by Mitheral at 9:01 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmm, Cortex is probably right but it's much more satisfying to assume they're bitter virgins.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Subreddits sexualizing young boys still up
http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ptiuh/how_come_all_of_the_subreddits_sexualizing_young/
posted by melissam at 8:08 AM on February 17, 2012


Also comments like that stigmitize virginity.

And bitterness!
posted by Zed at 10:09 AM on February 17, 2012


And Starcraft!

Ah, well, never mind...
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on February 17, 2012


More info on the Jennifer Hepler incident.
posted by homunculus at 12:14 PM on February 21, 2012


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