68 votes

Reddit has banned r/watchpeopledie

An undoubtedly horrific subreddit that always seemed to comply with reddit TOS and the admins has been banned, probably related to the NZ shooting video that was in the subreddit yesterday until it was taken down by admins. Looks like they're getting ahead of MSM discovering that this shit exists on the site?

Will add any updates here.

r/gore is gone as well.

From @nacho:

It's not ahead of controversy, it's in response to the Reuters article calling out /r/watchpeopledie.

Members of a group called “watchpeopledie” on internet discussion board Reddit, for example, discussed how to share the footage even as the website took steps to limit its spread.

Reddit - which has over 20 investors, including Conde Nast owner Advance Publications - said it was actively monitoring the situation in New Zealand.

“Any content containing links to the video stream are being removed in accordance with our site-wide policy,” it said.

42 comments

  1. [10]
    Douglas Link
    It's just a pre-PR move as always with them. Getting ahead of any potential controversy, provided they can't easily sweep it under the rug with some placating statement. So great, they banned a...

    It's just a pre-PR move as always with them. Getting ahead of any potential controversy, provided they can't easily sweep it under the rug with some placating statement. So great, they banned a subreddit about watching people die; how about the subreddits that fostered and festered the mindsets that enabled this shooter with hateful speech and 1:1 talking points parroted by this terrorist?

    It really says something about a website's owners when its site-wide content policy is A-OK with racism, homophobia, antisemitism, transphobia, misogyny, and all the other fun stuff-- but will ban you site. wide. by the admins (not the moderators, but the admins) for asking for upvotes.

    God do I just need to leave that site entirely.

    46 votes
    1. [7]
      balooga Link Parent
      Agreed, I've always kept far from both of those subs so I can't say I'll miss them in particular. But it really rubs me the wrong way how Reddit handles situations like these. If they were either...

      Agreed, I've always kept far from both of those subs so I can't say I'll miss them in particular.

      But it really rubs me the wrong way how Reddit handles situations like these. If they were either permissive for reasons of free speech, or restrictive for reasons of decency, at least they'd be operating on principle. But this reactionary sort of headline-chasing scrutiny avoidance, that comes from a different place.

      21 votes
      1. [6]
        stephen Link Parent
        What do you suppose that might be? I honestly cannot get into these people's head space. This seems like such an obvious issue to me.

        that comes from a different place

        What do you suppose that might be? I honestly cannot get into these people's head space. This seems like such an obvious issue to me.

        3 votes
        1. [5]
          Amarok Link Parent
          Money. Reddit's sole motivation is financial gain. They've taken over a quarter of a billion dollars in funding, and those investors will get a return on their investment by any means necessary....

          Money. Reddit's sole motivation is financial gain. They've taken over a quarter of a billion dollars in funding, and those investors will get a return on their investment by any means necessary.

          They only ban or take any actions at all when forced to do so by law enforcement, or when not doing so will result in a negative press backlash in the media. Go through reddit's history and every single case plays out just like this one has. I've seen it more than a dozen times over the last ten years and it's always the same old song and dance. That's why I'm here now instead of on reddit - zero confidence in their leadership.

          Reddit is following the old (unbelievably dangerous, stupid, and reckless) silicon valley strategy of growth at any cost. Any decision comes down to one and only one factor: what choice drives the most traffic to reddit and gets the most users to stick around clicking on advertisements disguised as content? Look at it through that lens and everything reddit does makes perfect sense.

          There are other ways to do this, of course, but whoever is holding reddit's purse strings still thinks this is 2005 and is following the same dead end strategies and philosophies that created shitholes like twitter, facebook, and reddit in the first place. It's driven a new silicon valley tech bubble - the advertiser/click revenue model, which is rotten to the core. When it finally collapses it'll be taking most of these companies/businesses with them. The dot-com boom-bust cycle is happening again right now. We're past the 'boom' phase and starting down the 'bust' side of the curve.

          21 votes
          1. [3]
            Deimos Link Parent
            You're falling behind! They've taken $500 million in the last year and a half alone.

            They've taken over a quarter of a billion dollars in funding

            You're falling behind! They've taken $500 million in the last year and a half alone.

            12 votes
            1. [2]
              Amarok Link Parent
              Damn. That's quite the doubling down on a bad business strategy. I'll be toasting their bad fortune and enjoying the schadenfreude when it all falls apart on them. :D

              Damn. That's quite the doubling down on a bad business strategy. I'll be toasting their bad fortune and enjoying the schadenfreude when it all falls apart on them. :D

              1 vote
              1. Cosmos Link Parent
                I've been saying that for so long. Really hoping it comes true soon.

                I've been saying that for so long. Really hoping it comes true soon.

          2. Cosmos Link Parent
            They are also starting to use their own community as a political army that will help them financially. That bill wasn't a war on memes, it was a war on reddit stealing content from real news orgs....

            They are also starting to use their own community as a political army that will help them financially. That bill wasn't a war on memes, it was a war on reddit stealing content from real news orgs. And complying with those regs will help journalists, but cost reddit money. That's why they were against it.

            It's really scary the lengths they are going to make money.

            2 votes
    2. nacho Link Parent
      It's not ahead of controversy, it's in response to the Reuters article calling out /r/watchpeopledie. /r/gore has also been banned following similar behavior there although I haven't seen that...

      It's not ahead of controversy, it's in response to the Reuters article calling out /r/watchpeopledie.

      Members of a group called “watchpeopledie” on internet discussion board Reddit, for example, discussed how to share the footage even as the website took steps to limit its spread.

      Reddit - which has over 20 investors, including Conde Nast owner Advance Publications - said it was actively monitoring the situation in New Zealand.

      “Any content containing links to the video stream are being removed in accordance with our site-wide policy,” it said.

      /r/gore has also been banned following similar behavior there although I haven't seen that subreddit mentioned in the news so far.

      19 votes
    3. stephen Link Parent
      By doing something enormously hypocritical? By carrying out a bald-faced PR move in the wake of ANOTHER person acting on his internet radicalization? It is sickening how eager these people are to...

      Getting ahead of any potential controversy

      By doing something enormously hypocritical? By carrying out a bald-faced PR move in the wake of ANOTHER person acting on his internet radicalization? It is sickening how eager these people are to profit off of hate speech. I should crash their fucking moderator meet up and speak my mind.

      4 votes
  2. [8]
    Rocket_Man Link
    I visited that sub every once in a while. I found it useful in giving me a perspective on how quickly life can end. The community was a mixed bag and I didn't engage with them. but I think if I...

    I visited that sub every once in a while. I found it useful in giving me a perspective on how quickly life can end. The community was a mixed bag and I didn't engage with them. but I think if I tried to find a replacement the communities would be much worse.

    34 votes
    1. [7]
      Latherus Link Parent
      I've only periodically come back to tildes when I see Reddit further circling the drain, and honestly really loving what I'm seeing here now. I'm curious, as someone who was never a member of that...

      I've only periodically come back to tildes when I see Reddit further circling the drain, and honestly really loving what I'm seeing here now.

      I'm curious, as someone who was never a member of that community, would that community be welcomed or shunned on Tildes? I didn't know how "open" this place was (or is), to that extent and although I believe freedom of speech, expression, thoughts are all applicable here, sometimes that comes with a subjective cost that others can't associate to or stomach.

      Is this community accepting of hosting all, the good with the bad, or just another clean bifurcation of curated content for commenting. How does it compare to the rest?

      7 votes
      1. [4]
        alyaza Link Parent
        probably not allowed for a lot of reasons. @Deimos stated downthread that: but also, there's just not a lot to talk about with that sort of thing, which makes it sorta incompatible with tildes'...

        I'm curious, as someone who was never a member of that community, would that community be welcomed or shunned on Tildes? I didn't know how "open" this place was (or is), to that extent and although I believe freedom of speech, expression, thoughts are all applicable here, sometimes that comes with a subjective cost that others can't associate to or stomach.

        probably not allowed for a lot of reasons. @Deimos stated downthread that:

        If you're here looking for that kind of content, you're definitely on the wrong site. I have absolutely no interest in supporting anything like that.

        but also, there's just not a lot to talk about with that sort of thing, which makes it sorta incompatible with tildes' mission of high quality discussion.

        23 votes
        1. [2]
          Latherus Link Parent
          Makes total sense, and perhaps there isn't a one site to rule them all anyway - or not anymore at least. I thought that was unique to reddit and having a cohesive and familiar layout for virtually...

          Makes total sense, and perhaps there isn't a one site to rule them all anyway - or not anymore at least. I thought that was unique to reddit and having a cohesive and familiar layout for virtually anything was helpful, though not something everyone needs.
          Thanks for the quick response.

          6 votes
          1. Amarok Link Parent
            I think with most content, it comes down to a question of if having that content is worth whatever troubles come along with it, and also worth attracting users who come to a community just for...

            I think with most content, it comes down to a question of if having that content is worth whatever troubles come along with it, and also worth attracting users who come to a community just for that content specifically.

            Take porn. Allowing that brings a pile of problems dealing with legal issues and law enforcement. People who visit a site for that sort of thing don't generally engage in good discussions of it - that's not why they are there. It's high hassle, low overall value from a discussion perspective, and there are hundreds of other sites that do it better than a site like Tildes ever could, so that one's kinda obvious. If there were ever to be any kind of porn-related community here, the only one that even makes sense is erotic literature, and that's being generous since most erolit isn't that good in the first place.

            /r/Watchpeopledie wasn't exactly going out of their way to start trouble, and for the kind of content they featured it was, without a doubt, the best community dedicated to that particular topic anywhere on the web (mostly due to their mods doing a great job). The place could be oddly life-affirming at times. Trouble is, a lot of that content is triggering, and some of it is even illegal (like this shooting video). That's why reddit dropped the hammer on them. They've had a high number of these illegal video shares in the last couple of weeks where law enforcement from multiple countries has contacted reddit and told them to remove the threads from that particular subreddit. Seems like reddit doesn't care to handle it on a case by case anymore and decided it just wasn't worth the hassle, so even for them there are limits.

            3 votes
        2. agentseven Link Parent
          The single most appealing aspect of Tildes.

          mission of high quality discussion

          The single most appealing aspect of Tildes.

          3 votes
      2. Rocket_Man Link Parent
        Tildes in general stays away from fluff content, and while I've found value in some of the things posted to WPD there are better ways to discuss mortality. It's also just something that wouldn't...

        Tildes in general stays away from fluff content, and while I've found value in some of the things posted to WPD there are better ways to discuss mortality. It's also just something that wouldn't be welcomed here and I think that's good. Tildes is very much a nice place full of reasonable people. I know full well people don't want to see or be anywhere near that kind of content. If I'm going to look at content of people dying I sort of want it to be isolated in a sketchier part of the internet.

        5 votes
      3. SourceContribute Link Parent
        The answer is tildes.net would say "no thanks" and they're free to host their own instance of the Tildes-software and very free to never use the tildes.net brand name on their self-hosted...

        would that community be welcomed or shunned on Tildes

        The answer is tildes.net would say "no thanks" and they're free to host their own instance of the Tildes-software and very free to never use the tildes.net brand name on their self-hosted instance.

        What a terrible community and awful that Reddit kept it around.

        1 vote
  3. [8]
    Tygrak Link
    I am kind of disappointed by this. I didn't look at r/watchpeopledie too often, maybe like twice a year, but I still don't like this. Reddit is just making itself more advertiser friendly by...

    I am kind of disappointed by this. I didn't look at r/watchpeopledie too often, maybe like twice a year, but I still don't like this. Reddit is just making itself more advertiser friendly by censoring anything that is at least a bit controversial. It no longer feels like a part of the old internet, operated by the community, it is starting to feel more and more sterilized and corporate. I think most of censorship on websites is unnecessary and doesn't solve too much, the discussion will just move somewhere else anyways.

    23 votes
    1. [5]
      alyaza Link Parent
      point taken, but i think literally watching people be slaughtered like fish in a barrel is just a teeny bit more than "controversial" and i don't know that you can say it's a particularly bad use...

      point taken, but i think literally watching people be slaughtered like fish in a barrel is just a teeny bit more than "controversial" and i don't know that you can say it's a particularly bad use of censorship to not expose people to those sorts of images, even if they consent to being shown them.

      15 votes
      1. [2]
        Nitta Link Parent
        It's not really like that. Occasional binge reading that sub probably helped improving situational awareness. Many people there said the same.

        literally watching people be slaughtered like fish in a barrel

        It's not really like that. Occasional binge reading that sub probably helped improving situational awareness. Many people there said the same.

        7 votes
        1. alyaza Link Parent
          i'm referring specifically to the video of the mosque shooting which likely prompted this ban, not the general contents of the sub.

          i'm referring specifically to the video of the mosque shooting which likely prompted this ban, not the general contents of the sub.

          5 votes
      2. chas Link Parent
        That's self-evident to pretty much anyone who came of age before the dawn of social media. The younger generation has a different overton window.

        That's self-evident to pretty much anyone who came of age before the dawn of social media. The younger generation has a different overton window.

        5 votes
      3. thisonemakesyouthink Link Parent
        Alright fair enough, but the fact that this is just a PR move to make themselves look better while other content like hate speech is perfectly okay on the website puts it in a different light....

        Alright fair enough, but the fact that this is just a PR move to make themselves look better while other content like hate speech is perfectly okay on the website puts it in a different light. It's just a spineless, half assed move honestly. Reddit didn't care to ban them until they were getting heat, and suddenly they have to shield the community. Bullshit. If they wanted to ban them fine, but not like this.

        5 votes
    2. [2]
      SunSpotter Link Parent
      I feel very similarly to you. I don't know how it happened, it's been a gradual process I can say that much. But these days Reddit feels more and more like FaceBook or other garbage social media...

      I feel very similarly to you.

      I don't know how it happened, it's been a gradual process I can say that much. But these days Reddit feels more and more like FaceBook or other garbage social media sites. All the fluff, all the memes, all the asinine political debates, with fewer and fewer safe havens for genuine and well informed discussion. Reddit's lost its soul, and is increasingly becoming something separate from its roots.

      2 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        Reddit hasn't completely lost its soul, yet. Lots of still awesome smaller communities out there hiding below the mess, though the clock is ticking and they will eventually fall apart as reddit...

        Reddit hasn't completely lost its soul, yet. Lots of still awesome smaller communities out there hiding below the mess, though the clock is ticking and they will eventually fall apart as reddit continues the decline. Someday we may find ourselves 'importing' some of those places directly to Tildes (well, at least their users - the community here is structured a bit different, so the exact subs may change into different groups here).

        Reddit's 'soul' has moved here, for the most part. When Tildes was still just a slack channel you could tell just looking at the names Deimos had invited. So many of the most involved ex-admins, the good power mods, and a lot of long-time familiar reddit users. When that first wave of invites went out for the closed alpha, it went from those people to everyone else they remembered from old reddit, and the people who made that place what it was came here by the hundreds.

        I think of it like shedding an old skin. This time it'll be far, far better with competent leadership than reddit ever could be. Remember that reddit was started with the goal of making money - that's all the founders ever cared about, everything else was (and still is) a smokescreen. Tildes has far more important goals than money. It's going to be so much fun building this place up and watching it outshine the rest of the garbage social media sites. I can't wait.

        6 votes
  4. [9]
    stephen Link
    Ironic that they would do this at this moment. I am curious about their thoughts behind this decision. On the one hand, the sanctity of life is something we should instill in our online discourse....

    Ironic that they would do this at this moment. I am curious about their thoughts behind this decision. On the one hand, the sanctity of life is something we should instill in our online discourse. So maybe r/WPD being banned is good. Maybe not, it's hard for me to be sure.

    But this smacks of a double standard since they refuse to take a hard stand on dehumanizing speech (AKA hate speech). As we speak reddit is being used as a platform to radicalize young men into adopting hateful ideologies. Numerous right-wing terrorists who have committed attacks against the Jewish, Muslim and LGBTQ are documented redditors.

    Why then is the sanctity of life more stringently enforced for people who have already died than it is for people who are not dead yet? Why is this the sub that reddit decided to ban today? Why not, say, the_donald? Or one of the other subs making (((religion of peace))) dog whistles in the immediate aftermath of a deadly attack on a mosque? What is more disruptive? What is more damaging to our society? A video of a guy dying on a moped? Or a space where the dehumanization of people deemed to be "others" is trivialized, normalized, and encouraged? I wonder if it has to do with the bottom line.

    14 votes
    1. [8]
      aphoenix Link Parent
      "We'll not be complicit in allowing people to see mass shootings, but radicalizing people is fine." reddit probably

      "We'll not be complicit in allowing people to see mass shootings, but radicalizing people is fine."

      • reddit probably
      15 votes
      1. [5]
        alyaza Link Parent
        as i recall, spez more or less said at some point that T_D has not been banned because it serves as a way to monitor those types of people, so yeah, radicalizing is pretty much fine according to...

        as i recall, spez more or less said at some point that T_D has not been banned because it serves as a way to monitor those types of people, so yeah, radicalizing is pretty much fine according to reddit as long as they can see you doing it (and subsequently do nothing about it)

        14 votes
        1. [2]
          alyaza Link Parent
          update, i found spez's quote re: T_D ”the_donald is a small part of a large problem we face in this country — that a large part of the population feels unheard, and the last thing we're going to...

          update, i found spez's quote re: T_D

          ”the_donald is a small part of a large problem we face in this country — that a large part of the population feels unheard, and the last thing we're going to do is take their voice away.”

          so i was actually too charitable.

          16 votes
          1. Octofox Link Parent
            I think this shows a larger problem. Tech companies have absolutely insane amounts of power and they are completely unable to handle it. Reddit/facebook/google/apple have more power than most...

            I think this shows a larger problem. Tech companies have absolutely insane amounts of power and they are completely unable to handle it. Reddit/facebook/google/apple have more power than most governments do and yet they have none of the safeguards and systems that governments do. Banning T_D would be a monumental change that would have a very serious reaction. Can you imagine holding that power and responsibility and not knowing exactly what will happen if you make the change? What if everything goes catastrophically wrong. Not doing anything seems like the easiest thing because not doing anything has a known effect, things stay as they are. Doing something is unpredictable and with something so important I don't blame those in charge for doing nothing. They are not meant to be managing global democracy.

            6 votes
        2. Amarok Link Parent
          Spez does whatever he's ordered to do. So does anyone else still working there. The people who actually gave a damn about the community either left or were fired for telling corporate to fuck off...

          Spez does whatever he's ordered to do. So does anyone else still working there. The people who actually gave a damn about the community either left or were fired for telling corporate to fuck off with their bullshit.

          The real reason t_d hasn't been banned is because it drives a literal mountain of traffic to reddit - I'd even wager it's the largest driver of traffic on the entire website.

          How does t_d drive so much traffic? Simple - people love to rage and complain about it. That keeps people on the site so they can hate on t_d, and whenever t_d's bullshit shows up elsewhere online, people come over to reddit to rage about it. Anger and fear remain the primary drivers of online attention. If you want to understand how this works in a nutshell, watch this video will make you angry by CGP Grey.

          I'm sure reddit's leadership looked at banning t_d over the negative press issues, since that's the only thing that merits a look - and they willingly chose to keep t_d around. That means they aren't willing to give up that traffic.

          Once upon a time, reddit's primary traffic driver was AMAs, rather than hate. Just goes to show you how far they've fallen. I'm looking forward to an 'AMA era' on Tildes once it gets bigger and sexier (and has some kind of anon-commenting system for those threads). At least here we can focus on helping those AMAs evolve into whatever they need to be to serve their communities, and treat the experts willing to share their knowledge with some level of respect and courtesy.

          6 votes
        3. aphoenix Link Parent
          That reasoning doesn't really work when they ban a ton of other things though (including r/watchpeopledie). I'm not defending r/watchpeopledie - I rarely went there, and generally detested it -...

          That reasoning doesn't really work when they ban a ton of other things though (including r/watchpeopledie). I'm not defending r/watchpeopledie - I rarely went there, and generally detested it - but it seems like a weird line to draw. Obviously it's only done for P(re)R.

          4 votes
      2. stephen Link Parent
        Someone needs to turn this into that meme where that dude has the two buttons. One could say "Ban people from seeing mass shootings" and the other is "Ban people from justifying mass shootings."

        Someone needs to turn this into that meme where that dude has the two buttons. One could say "Ban people from seeing mass shootings" and the other is "Ban people from justifying mass shootings."

      3. SourceContribute Link Parent
        It's more "the scale of things makes it hard to moderate, it's a technical problem we are trying to build better tools for". At least that's what Huffman said (paraphrasing of course) when I saw...

        It's more "the scale of things makes it hard to moderate, it's a technical problem we are trying to build better tools for". At least that's what Huffman said (paraphrasing of course) when I saw him talk at a fireside chat.

        In hindsight, this is just an excuse.

  5. alyaza Link
    i personally don't really take a stance on /r/watchpeopledie, but yeah, not surprised to see that it got the ax after all of this. it's been on the fringe of acceptability for awhile now, and...

    i personally don't really take a stance on /r/watchpeopledie, but yeah, not surprised to see that it got the ax after all of this. it's been on the fringe of acceptability for awhile now, and reddit has been actively marginalizing it in an effort to make it go away. the shooting gives them an excuse to get rid of it for good, and i can't blame them for doing that. most of the content on there as i recall was just liveleaks stuff anyways, so i suspect most of its residents who actively seek that stuff out will just move over there now.

    6 votes
  6. [6]
    Jeep Link
    I'm here because they banned it My question is, if Vilde is any different, where's a similar forum for it?

    I'm here because they banned it

    My question is, if Vilde is any different, where's a similar forum for it?

    2 votes
    1. Deimos Link Parent
      If you're here looking for that kind of content, you're definitely on the wrong site. I have absolutely no interest in supporting anything like that.

      If you're here looking for that kind of content, you're definitely on the wrong site. I have absolutely no interest in supporting anything like that.

      43 votes
    2. [3]
      dubteedub Link Parent
      My understanding is that Tildes is not going to ever be a platform to host gore or other videos of people dying. I am sure you can find that content on one of the chans or voat or something.

      My understanding is that Tildes is not going to ever be a platform to host gore or other videos of people dying. I am sure you can find that content on one of the chans or voat or something.

      20 votes
      1. [2]
        havoc Link Parent
        The main reason why it is wrong to ban r/wpd is that it was a well-moderated space. Voat, on the other hand, is all about unfiltered submissions and commentary for as long as the platform can pay...

        The main reason why it is wrong to ban r/wpd is that it was a well-moderated space. Voat, on the other hand, is all about unfiltered submissions and commentary for as long as the platform can pay for itself and it's legal. So, recommending the latter as the place to turn to, it's like missing the entire point why tildes exist.

        1 vote
        1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          Except that, as @Deimos wrote in this very thread, Tildes is not going to host the type of content that /r/WatchPeopleDie was about, so there's no point recommending Tildes as a source of that...

          So, recommending the latter as the place to turn to, it's like missing the entire point why tildes exist.

          Except that, as @Deimos wrote in this very thread, Tildes is not going to host the type of content that /r/WatchPeopleDie was about, so there's no point recommending Tildes as a source of that type of content. If someone wants to watch people die, they have to go where that content is available - which is Voat, not Tildes.

          3 votes
    3. guts Link Parent
      Voat or notabug.io.

      Voat or notabug.io.

      3 votes