26 votes

Discussing Blackness on Reddit? Photograph Your Forearm First

22 comments

  1. [7]
    dubteedub
    (edited )
    Link
    The moderators of /r/BlackPeopleTwitter (including me!) have been speaking with this reporter for awhile now and the article just came out. Amy made a follow-up post here about how kind of awkward...

    The moderators of /r/BlackPeopleTwitter (including me!) have been speaking with this reporter for awhile now and the article just came out.

    Amy made a follow-up post here about how kind of awkward and taboo she felt in asking several of the black moderators / users to verify that they were in fact black when speaking with them - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/reader-center/08insider-reddit-race-black-people-twitter-reporting.html

    We even had a user on BPT make a post this morning that their college course is discussing this in their class https://www.reddit.com/r/BlackPeopleTwitter/comments/dghcnm/discussing_this_subreddit_in_class_today_on_if/

    It's been really cool working with Amy on getting this out and I am really happy with the two pieces she has written and think its sparked some great discussion.

    Edit: I had a couple comments since I logged back in checking in. Just wanted to share that I have just been in grad school the last month and a half and swamped from that. I will hopefully be around a bit more often, but just wanted to say all is good for those wondering.

    13 votes
    1. Alfred
      Link Parent
      These articles were great. I appreciate you doing the work to create the space and just trying to make Black people feel comfortable online. I submitted for verification just now because of this post

      These articles were great. I appreciate you doing the work to create the space and just trying to make Black people feel comfortable online. I submitted for verification just now because of this post

      8 votes
    2. tomf
      Link Parent
      This is awesome! Excellent method for authentication, too. Congrats on the press coverage!

      This is awesome! Excellent method for authentication, too.

      Congrats on the press coverage!

      4 votes
    3. [4]
      cwagner
      Link Parent
      Do you know the amount of non-American black users you have? Just out of interest, I once landed on BPT and it seemed like any other big subreddit to me (aka. places I stay away from), being very...

      Do you know the amount of non-American black users you have? Just out of interest, I once landed on BPT and it seemed like any other big subreddit to me (aka. places I stay away from), being very memetastic.

      1. [3]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        We do not really track it, but we have verified several thousand users into our Country Club system so far and the vast majority of them are black.

        We do not really track it, but we have verified several thousand users into our Country Club system so far and the vast majority of them are black.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          cwagner
          Link Parent
          No, I meant if you have any idea how many are not US American

          No, I meant if you have any idea how many are not US American

          1 vote
  2. [5]
    mrbig
    Link
    It's very hard to define race. It's an elusive concept. Will you walk around with a colorimeter submitting people to some kind of standard? I'm relatively light-skinned compared to other black...

    It's very hard to define race. It's an elusive concept. Will you walk around with a colorimeter submitting people to some kind of standard? I'm relatively light-skinned compared to other black people, but I consider myself ethnically black. My mother is black, just like her whole side of the family. My father looks white, but he is Brazilian white, which means heavily mixed, especially with Native Brazilian. I believe my appearance is that of a black person. But IDK what Reddit judges would think.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      We are very flexible and understand the fluidity of race. We've added a ton of mixed race and light-skinned people. If you identify as black, then you are added under that. We also are adding all...

      Will you walk around with a colorimeter submitting people to some kind of standard?

      We are very flexible and understand the fluidity of race. We've added a ton of mixed race and light-skinned people. If you identify as black, then you are added under that.

      We also are adding all other POC (just no checkmark showing they are black), as well as white allies.

      8 votes
    2. [2]
      Octofox
      Link Parent
      Just edit the image and drop the brightness.

      Just edit the image and drop the brightness.

      2 votes
      1. dubteedub
        Link Parent
        The few people we have seen try something like that have been very obvious.

        The few people we have seen try something like that have been very obvious.

        6 votes
  3. [2]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    Maybe it's because I saw the whole meltdown on reddit in real time, but this article feels pretty tame. I think it ends when it should just be beginning... it just comes across to me more or less...

    Maybe it's because I saw the whole meltdown on reddit in real time, but this article feels pretty tame. I think it ends when it should just be beginning... it just comes across to me more or less as "people did thing on the internet." It would have been nice to see a longer-form piece that really explored the various facets of the conversation, especially with how misconstrued the verification issue largely still is.

    I guess this is a good reminder to me that news stories are usually barely scratching the surface.

    7 votes
    1. AnthonyB
      Link Parent
      I agree. It felt like the article ended abruptly and it didn't explore the backlash, or like you said, the various facets of the conversation. Nevertheless, it was an interesting read for me since...

      I agree. It felt like the article ended abruptly and it didn't explore the backlash, or like you said, the various facets of the conversation. Nevertheless, it was an interesting read for me since I've pretty much left reddit completely and had no idea that this took place.

      5 votes
  4. [7]
    cwagner
    Link
    Really? It sounds kinda expected to me, any other reaction than it blowing up would have surprised me.

    “We wanted to find a way to allow actual black people to be heard without being drowned out, […] We had no idea it would blow up this site.”

    Really? It sounds kinda expected to me, any other reaction than it blowing up would have surprised me.

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      It was more when we did it as our April Fool's prank in April, we were not sure what the reaction would be. We figured at best a couple people might think its funny, but would mostly be ignored....

      It was more when we did it as our April Fool's prank in April, we were not sure what the reaction would be. We figured at best a couple people might think its funny, but would mostly be ignored. Instead, we had THOUSANDS of black users messaging us to be added and saying how great the idea was.

      We had not really put a whole lot of thought into the idea and it just came together the day before, so we had to quickly figure out how we were going to actually verify all these people, what we needed to ask, it was all pretty insane, but overwhelmingly positive the first day or two.

      Then on day three the broader Reddit sphere realized what was happening and was NOT happy. It seems like the entire website was suddenly up in arms at us. So we ended it early and made our explanation post.

      But we understood how much this whole idea resonated with so many people and a few weeks later (with more time to prepare and figure out the kinks) implemented our new Country Club system, that is still going strong today. While we have regular outrage from WRD and other altright spaces, its been going great and we still have huge interest (morese right now with these articles coming out).

      13 votes
      1. [4]
        cwagner
        Link Parent
        Yeah, that’s what I meant. It’s possible I misunderstood the article, I thought the surprise was this. Glad it’s working out for you though, imo the only large subs that aren’t shit are those with...

        Then on day three the broader Reddit sphere realized what was happening and was NOT happy. It seems like the entire website was suddenly up in arms at us.

        Yeah, that’s what I meant. It’s possible I misunderstood the article, I thought the surprise was this. Glad it’s working out for you though, imo the only large subs that aren’t shit are those with very strictly adhered to moderation rules.

        WRD

        Never heard of this, some kind of complaint sub about reddit going down the crapper? Assuming it’s watch reddit die.

        note: reposted because I’m drinking and fucked up using the reply button

        5 votes
        1. [3]
          dubteedub
          Link Parent
          Thanks, yeah, we are doing our best right now to keep up with everything, but I think this has made a huge improvement on the subreddit so far. Yeah, the subreddit is /r/WatchRedditDie. They have...

          Yeah, that’s what I meant. It’s possible I misunderstood the article, I thought the surprise was this. Glad it’s working out for you though, imo the only large subs that aren’t shit are those with very strictly adhered to moderation rules.

          Thanks, yeah, we are doing our best right now to keep up with everything, but I think this has made a huge improvement on the subreddit so far.

          Never heard of this, some kind of complaint sub about reddit going down the crapper? Assuming it’s watch reddit die.

          Yeah, the subreddit is /r/WatchRedditDie. They have been watching Reddit die any day now for about 5 years. Its basically just another right-wing rage outlet, but focused on Reddit "SJWs" and "powermods", with their most recent hate mod focused on China / Hong Kong stuff.

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            cwagner
            Link Parent
            I can believe that. The /r/SouthAfrica subreddit always seemed like a gathering of 95% white racists, 4% black racists and 1% normal users ;)

            Thanks, yeah, we are doing our best right now to keep up with everything, but I think this has made a huge improvement on the subreddit so far.

            I can believe that. The /r/SouthAfrica subreddit always seemed like a gathering of 95% white racists, 4% black racists and 1% normal users ;)

            4 votes
            1. Grand0rbiter
              Link Parent
              It baffles me how many racists and hateful persons are out there. When you enter some subreddits, it's just too much. It feels surreal. It makes me wonder how many people i know are closeted racists.

              It baffles me how many racists and hateful persons are out there. When you enter some subreddits, it's just too much.

              It feels surreal. It makes me wonder how many people i know are closeted racists.

              2 votes
      2. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        The fit the site at large threw about that was really telling. r/subforwhitepeopleonly immediately descended into racism far worse than BPT has ever shown, as we all expected, and was banned recently.

        Then on day three the broader Reddit sphere realized what was happening and was NOT happy. It seems like the entire website was suddenly up in arms at us. So we ended it early and made our explanation post.

        The fit the site at large threw about that was really telling. r/subforwhitepeopleonly immediately descended into racism far worse than BPT has ever shown, as we all expected, and was banned recently.

        3 votes
  5. ibis
    (edited )
    Link
    This has given me a new hope for reddit. Well done.

    This has given me a new hope for reddit. Well done.

    2 votes