63 votes

Alexis Ohanian (site co-founder) resigns from Reddit's board, urging them to fill his seat with a black candidate and pledging future gains on his stock to serve the black community

63 comments

  1. [34]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    @suspended just posted it in the other thread about some of the subreddit/mod protests, but this may be a consequence of Reddit's usual anemic, non-committal response. The major events so far have...

    @suspended just posted it in the other thread about some of the subreddit/mod protests, but this may be a consequence of Reddit's usual anemic, non-committal response.

    The major events so far have probably been:

    1. Reddit posts Remember the Human – Black Lives Matter - A Letter from CEO Steve Huffman on their blog. They don't even post it on Reddit itself, but it does not get a good reception on other platforms, like Twitter. Twitter replies include former CEO Ellen Pao pointing out the hypocrisy.
    2. As discussed in the other thread, many major subreddits do blackouts or other types of protests, some of them specifically calling out Reddit's hypocrisy in publishing a letter like that while taking almost no action on racism and other forms of hate on their site.
    3. Reddit's VP of Product posts Remember the Human - An Update On Our Commitments and Accountability in /r/modnews, saying that they will (yet again) hold "listening sessions" in private so they can try to understand the problems and consider doing something eventually. Mods are not impressed. A very popular post in /r/bestof brings in far more people. ggAlex or any other admin doesn't respond to any questions or concerns in the thread (but he does continue posting elsewhere about tortoises eating and ukelele covers).
    4. Alexis announces his resignation.
    5. Reddit posts Upcoming changes to our content policy, our board, and where we’re going from here
    38 votes
    1. [4]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      On an internet full of platforms that demonstrate abstentions of leadership, Tildes stands out to me as a place where we don't have that problem. This site and its community can be defined as much...

      On an internet full of platforms that demonstrate abstentions of leadership, Tildes stands out to me as a place where we don't have that problem. This site and its community can be defined as much by what is missing from its pages as it can by what's here, and what's missing is hate speech and widespread bigotry of any form. I don't have to passively abide their presence here, and should they arise, they are dealt with swiftly.

      Thank you for this. While so many other admins are trying now to put out the very fires they have allowed to grow through their own inaction, you instead prohibit the fire from even lighting in the first place. I am incredibly grateful for this.

      33 votes
      1. [4]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [2]
          kfwyre
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I think those subreddits exist that way on account of the leadership from their mod teams, whose jobs are made all the harder because the admins above them have failed to handle the noxious forces...

          I think those subreddits exist that way on account of the leadership from their mod teams, whose jobs are made all the harder because the admins above them have failed to handle the noxious forces that continue to inhabit the site and try to pollinate in their communities. Granted, I'm probably among the least qualified people to speak about reddit here given how long ago I left it, but my perception is that reddit is a place where good communities happen in spite of the structure they're under rather than because of it.

          I think Tildes is noteworthy because we see leadership from the very top, which means that the entire platform falls under its umbrella. Whether I'm hanging out in ~anime or ~movies, I know I'm operating under the same assurances. Furthermore, I know that there isn't a ~racists, percolating right here on-site alongside us.

          18 votes
          1. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            All you have to do is look at all the mod complaints from that linked /r/modnews thread to see how true that is. E.g....

            I think those subreddits exist that way on account of the leadership from their mod teams, whose jobs are made all the harder because the admins above them have failed to handle the noxious forces that continue to inhabit the site and try to pollinate in their communities.

            All you have to do is look at all the mod complaints from that linked /r/modnews thread to see how true that is. E.g. https://old.reddit.com/r/modnews/comments/gw5dj5/remember_the_human_an_update_on_our_commitments/fstzl7w/?context=2

            p.s. The topic the mod I linked to mentioned receiving the threats over making... it's a shitstorm of hate.
            https://old.reddit.com/r/starterpacks/comments/gvebt7/rstarterpacks_is_standing_with_the_us_protestors/?sort=top

            That crap would never be allowed to happen here, no matter how big Tildes got.

            8 votes
        2. wundumguy
          Link Parent
          That's exactly it. Tildes is tiny, and I'm hoping it somewhat stays that way

          That's exactly it. Tildes is tiny, and I'm hoping it somewhat stays that way

          2 votes
    2. [24]
      nacho
      Link Parent
      The comments on that reddit post in 5) are so telling. "What about those powermods?!" "Saying the board member has to be black? That's racist, just get the best candidates whatever race!" "Will...

      The comments on that reddit post in 5) are so telling.

      "What about those powermods?!"

      "Saying the board member has to be black? That's racist, just get the best candidates whatever race!"

      "Will this apply to all racism, including the racism towards white people?"

      There are many good comments, but the volume of nonsense missing the entire point because of the privileged positions redditors come from is something to behold. It's just so tone deaf.

      And I bet reddit's employees don't have the guts to say it.

      18 votes
      1. [8]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        I don’t understand why this comment isn’t reasonable. Trying to undo systemic racism from the top-down is good (albeit less productive than the other direction), but it’s also wrong to exclude...

        Saying the board member has to be black? That's racist, just get the best candidates whatever race!

        I don’t understand why this comment isn’t reasonable. Trying to undo systemic racism from the top-down is good (albeit less productive than the other direction), but it’s also wrong to exclude people based on race.

        9 votes
        1. [6]
          cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Meritocracy: the great delusion that ingrains inequality The Myth of Reverse Racism: The idea of white victimhood is increasingly central to the debate over affirmative action.
          29 votes
          1. [5]
            teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            Thanks for these. I've read over them and will try to think passively about these topics over the next few days. But for now, I just need to point out this one ridiculous bit: Palm on face

            Thanks for these. I've read over them and will try to think passively about these topics over the next few days.

            But for now, I just need to point out this one ridiculous bit:

            A 2016 Public Religion Research Institute poll indicates that half of all Americans, 57 percent of all white people, and 66 percent of the white working-class believe that discrimination against white people is as big a problem in America as discrimination against black people.

            Palm on face

            13 votes
            1. cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              NP, and thanks for taking the time to actually read them! Incidentally, I find it kinda funny that this interaction happened on Tildes in a discussion about reddit, since had we been on reddit...

              NP, and thanks for taking the time to actually read them! Incidentally, I find it kinda funny that this interaction happened on Tildes in a discussion about reddit, since had we been on reddit instead of here, you or I likely would have been downvoted to hell (or worse, harassed); You for people wrongly assuming you were acting in bad faith, defending racism, or god knows what else, and me for linking to some articles that very likely contradict the prevailing groupthink of the majority of users there who believe affirmative action = bad, meritocracy = good. :P

              10 votes
            2. [3]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              2016 seems quite long ago, though.

              2016 seems quite long ago, though.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                cfabbro
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                With the pace and scale that things are happening, 7 days ago seems quite long ago. :/ But I very much doubt that many of those white people's feelings of white victimhood dissipated that quickly,...

                With the pace and scale that things are happening, 7 days ago seems quite long ago. :/

                But I very much doubt that many of those white people's feelings of white victimhood dissipated that quickly, especially with 4 years of Trump playing that same card at every opportunity.

                4 votes
                1. skybrian
                  Link Parent
                  I went looking for a newer version of that poll. Here's one from 2019 by the same group. Unfortunately they didn't ask the same question but here's one that's close:...

                  I went looking for a newer version of that poll. Here's one from 2019 by the same group. Unfortunately they didn't ask the same question but here's one that's close: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/04/09/the-role-of-race-and-ethnicity-in-americans-personal-lives/psdt_04-09-19_race-03-04/

                  It seems like the Black Lives Matter movement has had a big effect on opinions about racial issues for Democrats, but much less so for Republicans, and this seems to be reflected in the polls.

                  2 votes
        2. nacho
          Link Parent
          In addition to the two great resources cfabbro has posted, diversity in a group of people can often be a valuable qualification in itself. When you have a group of people who collectively make...

          In addition to the two great resources cfabbro has posted, diversity in a group of people can often be a valuable qualification in itself.

          When you have a group of people who collectively make decisions, you want to have varied experiences among that group to think through a wider range of action than people who all have similar backgrounds (education, upbringing, culture, geography, gender, wealth, ethnicity and many more in no particular order).

          When dealing with systemic hate, having people who've lived through those experiences are qualifications you don't otherwise get. Who can say how it feels the same way as someone who has experienced it and lived that reality their whole life?


          If there are 8 people on a board with a similar background to me, the 9th seat should almost certainly be filled with someone who has a different background to me irrespective of the level of excellence I might have with my background.

          Someone of a different background will almost certainly be a "better total package" than me. That also goes for a board of 8 people of the same gender, same education, same _____.

          19 votes
      2. [4]
        hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        I don't think it's fair to lump the powermod issue in with the other two. A handful of users having power over the largest subreddits is a legitimate issue, as is a history of mods abusing their...

        I don't think it's fair to lump the powermod issue in with the other two. A handful of users having power over the largest subreddits is a legitimate issue, as is a history of mods abusing their power. Doesn't really have anything to do with racism (AFAIK), but Spez did mention that there's a Mod Council that will be used to gather feedback, which is what kicked off the discussion about powermods.

        And it's yet another example of something redditors have been complaining about for a long time with hardly any response from the admins.

        6 votes
        1. [3]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          "Powermods" are a problem in the sense that they shouldn't be allowed to exist, but a huge amount of users on reddit think it's the problem, along with "censorship". And yes, there are some bad...

          "Powermods" are a problem in the sense that they shouldn't be allowed to exist, but a huge amount of users on reddit think it's the problem, along with "censorship". And yes, there are some bad mods, and even a few bad "powermods" (I have known a few in my time as a former moderator myself, and have even gotten several of them demodded over the years as well) but IMO the vast majority of mods act in good faith and work tirelessly for the love of their communities.

          And when I have seen time and time again users complaining about mods and "powermods" over the years who don't even know the difference between a mod and admin (conflating the two), have no idea what shadowbanning is despite claiming having had it done to them "by the mods", and have no idea how moderation even works or what mods even really do (it's just janitor duty, and the vast majority of the time those "powermods" don't actually do anything at all in those subreddits, they just hoard them for bragging rights), I find it hard to believe the majority of complaints about mods and "powermods" are anything but a witchhunt.

          And don't even get me started on all the idiots who constantly keep claiming to everyone who will listen that they were "banned for no reason" by mods at X subreddit, when I know for a fact that they were actually banned for extremely legitimate reasons (like targeted harassment via PMs and modmail).

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            Amarok
            Link Parent
            They think that because in the past several large subs had mod teams with issues like this. It only happened a couple of times, the mess in /r/technology that got them undefaulted and the split of...

            They think that because in the past several large subs had mod teams with issues like this. It only happened a couple of times, the mess in /r/technology that got them undefaulted and the split of /r/trees off of /r/marijuana thanks to Beanz's racism are the two examples I remember the best.

            Leave it to reddit to turn a handful of legit issues into a sitewide conspiracy.

            5 votes
            1. cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I once had to call a user out for accusing @krispykrackers (who is the nicest person I have ever met) a racist and the worst, most corrupt "mod" of all time (she was an admin at the time), in a...

              I once had to call a user out for accusing @krispykrackers (who is the nicest person I have ever met) a racist and the worst, most corrupt "mod" of all time (she was an admin at the time), in a major /r/announcements post. After a bunch of back & forth it turned out they were confusing her with Saydrah (who IIRC got hired by a media company and got caught abusing her mod powers) but by then the damage was already done, and before the user deleted their comment a ton of people had already upvoted it and probably walked away thinking what was said about KK was true.

              Edit: Mea culpa. Turns out even I am guilty of conspiratorial misremembering about "mod abuse" too:
              https://redditblog.com/2010/03/01/and-a-fun-weekend-was-had-by-all/

              A witch hunt and a glut of personal details degrades us all. Posting personal information crosses the line, and it has been our policy since the beginning to remove it when we see it or when it is pointed out to us. That said, we are not all-seeing. We don’t have a program that detects personal information and notifies us. While we removed personal info (per our terms of service) when it was shown to us, we obviously didn’t get it all.

              What happened this weekend saddened us. Saydrah’s postings have been additive to the community, and we have no indication that she’s been anything but a great moderator to the communities she moderates. Moderators are not exempt from our anti-cheating measures, and, though I hate to have to put it in these terms, we’ve “investigated” Saydrah, and we didn’t find any indication of her cheating or otherwise abusing power.

              Edit2: It might have actually been more complicated than that, but regardless she still didn't deserved to get doxxed and harassed.

              4 votes
      3. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Or the interest to say it. I doubt the Reddit employees even care about these things. Those comments are just white noise to them.

        And I bet reddit's employees don't have the guts to say it.

        Or the interest to say it. I doubt the Reddit employees even care about these things. Those comments are just white noise to them.

        3 votes
      4. [10]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        You're either rewording some comments or seeing things I'm not seeing. "What about the powermods" is a perfectly reasonable question. It's worrisome to say the least that a handful of unpaid...

        You're either rewording some comments or seeing things I'm not seeing.

        "What about the powermods" is a perfectly reasonable question. It's worrisome to say the least that a handful of unpaid people have unaccountable content curation access to a ton of subreddits with massive audiences. Imagine if Wikipedia didn't have an edit history.

        And your second point seems like a rewording of the much more reasonable "the next person who picks up the position sure will be glad to be there as a literal token black guy". This isn't acceptable in movies, why is it acceptable here?

        1 vote
        1. [9]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Nacho was pretty obviously paraphrasing, but a lot of the comments in there, especially those in response to users begging for certain hate subreddits to be shut down, are actually FAR WORSE than...

          Nacho was pretty obviously paraphrasing, but a lot of the comments in there, especially those in response to users begging for certain hate subreddits to be shut down, are actually FAR WORSE than what they were paraphrased as IMO. Just sort by controversial, and click on "load more comments" occasionally if you want to see reddit in all its toxic glory.

          4 votes
          1. [8]
            Adys
            Link Parent
            This seems disingenuous. Of course if you sort by controversial you're going to get the worst shit. This seems like complaining a city is dirty and proving it by making you visit its sewers....

            This seems disingenuous. Of course if you sort by controversial you're going to get the worst shit. This seems like complaining a city is dirty and proving it by making you visit its sewers.

            Reddit is one of the most visited websites in the world. Expecting spotless sewers is a non-starter.

            3 votes
            1. [7]
              cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              It's not just the "sewers" of the comment section that are horrible though, that was just to illustrate the point of how bad it can get. But even a significant portion of the top comments and...

              It's not just the "sewers" of the comment section that are horrible though, that was just to illustrate the point of how bad it can get. But even a significant portion of the top comments and their replies are pretty horrible, with many trying to claim that affirmative action is racist, railing about "censorship", and "power mods" being the problem, etc. Yet meanwhile, notice how the calls for banning the actually toxic communities still on the site are the ones all labeled "controversial" due to the sheer amount of downvotes they have received? That is incredibly telling, IMO.

              And while it's true you can't expect perfection on a site so large, if reddit had not allowed that hateful shit and those hateful communities to fester and grow on their site, and actually took a stand to ban those users and communities instead, IMO you would not see nearly as much hateful BS there as we do now, even in the deep recesses of the comment sections.

              3 votes
              1. [6]
                Adys
                Link Parent
                There's a difference between a stance you disagree with, and "hateful BS". Thinking "the powermods are more the problem than reddit's stance on the black communities" is an opinion. I don't...

                There's a difference between a stance you disagree with, and "hateful BS".

                Thinking "the powermods are more the problem than reddit's stance on the black communities" is an opinion. I don't particularly agree or disagree with it, but it's not invalid and certainly not hateful.

                "affirmative action is racist" is not something being claimed in the top comments, beyond what I said above re being a "token black guy" on a movie set, which I happen to agree with FWIW.

                You can't have it both ways and claim the top comments are hateful, but then only use wording from controversial bottom-comments. I too think Reddit's community, as an aggregate, is hot garbage that even the dump would refuse. I stopped actively contributing a few years ago.

                "Hate" is often defined as how far you'll go to uphold your world view. It can't just be an opinion you disagree with or think is wrong. Similarly, something unethical is not necessarily hateful. You gotta be careful with your words.

                3 votes
                1. [5]
                  cfabbro
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  Are you using Q&A sort or something?... because sorted by top: Personal note: It likely doesn't violate EEO law. See: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/cm-607-affirmative-action Ah yes, the...

                  "affirmative action is racist" is not something being claimed in the top comments, beyond what I said above re being a "token black guy" on a movie set, which I happen to agree with FWIW.

                  Are you using Q&A sort or something?... because sorted by top:

                  2882 points - I'm sure the black person you choose will be thrilled to know you've chosen him because of his skin color.

                  2745 points - You have just posted a job opening that literally says "Black applicants only. All other races need not apply"

                  Look, I am all for the diversity thing but JESUS CHRIST this is the stupidest thing to just publicly state in writing you are potentially breaking Federal Equal Opportunity law. Is there not a single person there who pointed this out to you?

                  Personal note: It likely doesn't violate EEO law. See: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/cm-607-affirmative-action

                  2561 points - Who gets to decide what's hate and what isn't? Is saying the n-word in any context, regardless of purpose, always rule-breaking? If not, why was r/waterniggas quarantined? Is dark humor allowed, as long as everyone understands that it's meant to be edgy and none of the participants actually believe or promote hate? Will communities be banned based solely on their userbase if it's deemed hateful, even if the moderation team doesn't technically break any rules? Is it hateful to make subreddits that divide people based on race in a non-discriminatory manner, e.g. r/BlackPeopleTwitter or race-specific NSFW subreddits? Is it hateful to discuss statistics and politics in a way that is civil, and where the subreddit is designed to promote healthy and fact-based debate, but which does not necessarily support the narrative of complete equity? Is being opposed to things like sex change surgeries hateful? Are all christianity-related subreddits hateful because the Bible condemns homosexual acts? Is a user considered "hateful" for criticizing reddit's policy on hate in any way whatsoever?

                  Ah yes, the classic rule lawyering argument against banning hatespeech, combined with "but black people are allowed to say it!", and throwing in some subtle transphobia and homophobia to top it off. Lovely.

                  1229 points - Does no one find this INCREDIBLY racist and demeaning? Hey, new guy, you only got the job because of your skin color and because we needed to virtue signal like every company is doing to show how "progressive" we are. This is frankly one of the most regressive things I've ever seen.

                  And those are all top-level examples from the top 20 comments... want me to go on? Because it gets worse in the replies and the further down you go.

                  p.s. A "token black guy" on a movie set isn't comparable to a board of directors position in any way, shape or form. If there was 5 directors for the movie, and the first 4 (who are all white) decided to look at hiring a black person for the last position, that would be a more apt comparison to what reddit is doing. And frankly, having the added perspective of a black person to the board of directors at reddit is clearly fucking needed, considering how long the others have allowed hatespeech and racism to flourish there.

                  8 votes
                  1. [4]
                    Adys
                    Link Parent
                    I didn't see that last one (I still can't find it, actually… fucking unsearchable topics), but no I don't think the other posts you quoted are claiming, quite specifically, that "affirmative...

                    I didn't see that last one (I still can't find it, actually… fucking unsearchable topics), but no I don't think the other posts you quoted are claiming, quite specifically, that "affirmative action is racist". They find it distasteful and frankly, I understand why. Americans do have a tendency to over-correct on their issues.

                    A "token black guy" on a movie set isn't comparable to a board of directors position in any way, shape or form.

                    Sure, I agree. But getting a role because of your skin color, gender, handicap, nationality etc isn't fun. Whether that's because you're priviledged or because there's affirmative action doesn't change the fact that you're getting a role because of something completely out of your control.

                    And while I hope that whoever it is who fills that seat gives reddit "perspective", my hopes for that are low. Reddit is beyond needing "perspective", it needs an entire new fucking dimension. If the current board has let things get to the point they are now, they are either clueless, powerless, or don't care. I personally don't believe a single seat replacement will change anything.


                    BTW, I recommend that whenever you quote someone, you go through their post history to get an idea of how they communicate. That 2561 points posts for example is very distasteful, but browsing through, it looks like it's an older teenager who hasn't fully figured themselves out yet and is a lot into edgy humor.
                    To clarify (and this is controversial, but imo important if you want to effect positive change): You can hold factually wrong and deeply unethical opinions and harbor no hatred. Getting that wrong is a huge reason for the two "camps" having such a divide between them. You won't convert a racist by yelling at them and telling them they're hateful; and any time they see people claiming those things, they retreat deeper into their shell.

                    I've seen this in action, way too close for comfort: American propaganda today works in part because you have a huge amount of people who are literally being told they're sub-human trash by "the people who claim to be the good guys". "How can your side be wrong if the other side hates you so much?"

                    3 votes
                    1. [2]
                      cfabbro
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      See: Meritocracy: the great delusion that ingrains inequality and The Myth of Reverse Racism which I linked elsewhere in this topic. Not getting the job because of actual, systemic discrimination...

                      They find it distasteful and frankly, I understand why.

                      See: Meritocracy: the great delusion that ingrains inequality and The Myth of Reverse Racism which I linked elsewhere in this topic.

                      Sure, I agree. But getting a role because of your skin color, gender, handicap, nationality etc isn't fun. Whether that's because you're priviledged or because there's affirmative action doesn't change the fact that you're getting a role because of something completely out of your control.

                      Not getting the job because of actual, systemic discrimination is even less fun, I assure you. And they aren't just going to hire the first black person they meet, so there is still plenty of things in that person's control that will lead to them being hired over the other applicants.

                      And while I hope that whoever it is who fills that seat gives reddit "perspective", my hopes for that are low. Reddit is beyond needing "perspective", it needs an entire new fucking dimension.

                      LOL, no argument from me there. Hence why the only time I visit it these days is to manage /r/Tildes. Although lately I have been visiting a bunch of subs for the latest videos from the protests as well... but I avoid the comment sections like the plague.

                      BTW, I recommend that whenever you quote someone, you go through their post history...

                      I have vetted over 3000 people for Tildes invites doing exactly that. Not hateful eh? Sort their comments by controversial:

                      Notice how reddit will still defend "transgenderism" even in this case where the person is clearly fucked in the head beyond repair

                      I don't give a shit if they are just an edgy teen, or how they came by that view. Seeing that, I wouldn't have invited them, and if they had somehow joined and said that here I would advocate for them being banned.

                      7 votes
                      1. Adys
                        Link Parent
                        I think you mistake my defence of their post in that thread for me saying they're a good person overall / should be invited to tildes / anything like that. :) I've seen those two links from your...

                        I think you mistake my defence of their post in that thread for me saying they're a good person overall / should be invited to tildes / anything like that. :)

                        I've seen those two links from your other post and I find myself mostly agreeing with the premise. As I said, I understand where those people are coming from, and partly agree with them, not entirely. Please keep in mind: you can agree/disagree with that premise without being hateful.

                        Something else i wanted to add: The 1/9/90 rule makes it that most people don't contribute, but will gladly be "represented" by someone else who does. You can have someone loudly hold a very well-dressed opinion that stems in their own racism/bigotry, and yet have lurkers who agree without themselves being racist/bigoted.

                        It's kind of the same way the US ended up holding the pumpkin. I don't believe such a large portion of the USA is bigoted, hateful, or generally well-represented by Trump. But most people focus on the lipstick, not the pig… and this isn't just a one-sided thing.

                        3 votes
                    2. Algernon_Asimov
                      Link Parent
                      But that's not what most people do - certainly not the 2,000+ people who upvoted those comments @cfabbro quoted. Those people read the comment, took at its face value, and upvoted it on that...

                      BTW, I recommend that whenever you quote someone, you go through their post history to get an idea of how they communicate.

                      But that's not what most people do - certainly not the 2,000+ people who upvoted those comments @cfabbro quoted. Those people read the comment, took at its face value, and upvoted it on that basis. They don't care about whether someone's into edgy humour, or whether someone hasn't worded things right, or whether someone's still figuring themselves out. They see a comment that says or implies that hiring a black director is patronising or even racist, and they upvote it.

                      That's the point that @cfabbro is making: thousands of people upvoted these comments which say that hiring a black director is racist.

                      7 votes
    3. [5]
      creesch
      Link Parent
      In mod circles we are also discussing this a little bit. Frankly the problem isn't with Alexis or even with Steve. The comment linked in /r/bestof nails it pretty much as far as the action that...

      In mod circles we are also discussing this a little bit.

      but this may be a consequence of Reddit's usual anemic, non-committal response.

      Frankly the problem isn't with Alexis or even with Steve. The comment linked in /r/bestof nails it pretty much as far as the action that haven't been taken over the years go. The real problem is that will Steve has a the personality to match with the problems he effectively is a figurehead if outrage becomes big enough he likely will also just be replaced as he is just a CEO answering to boardmembers as far as I can tell.

      The reason why this is important is because people are also discussing shutting down subreddits for a longer period with clearer demands. So one of the problems seems to be that the only official person people can aim at is Steve creating a situation where it is all too easy for reddit to also replace the CEO call it done and still do nothing.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I worked with/for Steve for over a year. I disagree completely that he's just a figurehead and has no power to do anything. The dynamic between Reddit and its board might have changed some since I...

        I worked with/for Steve for over a year. I disagree completely that he's just a figurehead and has no power to do anything. The dynamic between Reddit and its board might have changed some since I left (especially since they've taken $500 million in venture capital since then, which surely adds some new pressures and influences), but I definitely don't think it's the board that's generally calling the shots for how to run the site.

        I also don't see why Steve being replaced would mollify anyone if there aren't other actions attached to it. The goals should absolutely be concrete actions that actually fix issues on the site. Maybe Steve's removal is one aspect of that, but I agree that it can't be the only one, because it alone won't change anything.

        19 votes
        1. creesch
          Link Parent
          That's not what I said though I can see how it reads reading back. But Steve has been gone and was rehired and he can be fired as well, in fact you can very well argue that he was rehired as a...

          he's just a figurehead and has no power to do anything.

          That's not what I said though I can see how it reads reading back. But Steve has been gone and was rehired and he can be fired as well, in fact you can very well argue that he was rehired as a result of Ellen stepping down to appease a lot of people (if that really is the case I do not know). I am fully aware that he does have effective power ass the CEO but what I am saying is that when it comes down to it he can be replaced to appease people which wouldn't be the first time in corporate history that such a thing is done.

          As you said, reddit has taken a lot of venture capital in recent years and from everything what I have seen the biggest message that came with that money was a growth goal not a quality goal.

          3 votes
      2. [2]
        suspended
        Link Parent
        BTW, if you are u/creesch from r/toolbox then thank you so much for this incredible tool that saves me so much time and headaches!

        BTW, if you are u/creesch from r/toolbox then thank you so much for this incredible tool that saves me so much time and headaches!

        5 votes
        1. creesch
          Link Parent
          You are welcome I guess :D

          You are welcome I guess :D

          6 votes
  2. Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link
    There has to be something else going on here, perhaps an internal feud within Reddit's senior management? Or maybe Serena Williams saw just how disgustingly racist the site's right wing...

    There has to be something else going on here, perhaps an internal feud within Reddit's senior management? Or maybe Serena Williams saw just how disgustingly racist the site's right wing communities were and rightly forced her husband to finally do something about it?

    Kn0thing is a Reddit co-founder and probably held great influence over the site's operation while he was still working for the company. He could definitely have done a lot more to stop the site from turning into the shitshow it currently is.

    I don't blame Kn0thing for resigning. What I do blame him (and other Reddit employees) for is their on the fence, laissez-faire approach towards policing the site, which has proven ineffective time and time again.

    Also, Spez's claims that the site had always banned hate speech is absolute baloney, especially when the site spent years allowing racial hate subreddits to proliferate on the platform. In fact, most of Reddit's Content Policy has been shaped solely by negative press the site has received towards specific content it has hosted. Some very good examples of this can be found in this Wikipedia article.

    10 votes
  3. grahamiam
    Link
    Whoever signs up for this job will be subjected to a torrent of harassment. I'm not sure how anyone could look at how Pao's tenure was treated and purposefully step into this. They will be...

    Whoever signs up for this job will be subjected to a torrent of harassment. I'm not sure how anyone could look at how Pao's tenure was treated and purposefully step into this. They will be SEO-brigaded, photoshopped into a million horrible images, probably targeted through their personal connections, and will almost assuredly have someone try to make contact IRL. Anything perceived as negative by Redditors after they join the board will be blamed on them.

    I guess it's within the possibility that even after all of that, it ends up being a step forward, it just seems like a really ill-considered step by Ohanian without doing some house cleaning first.

    7 votes
  4. [3]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    Added it as point #5 in my other comment, but spez just posted this on Reddit: Upcoming changes to our content policy, our board, and where we’re going from here Comments have devolved into an...

    Added it as point #5 in my other comment, but spez just posted this on Reddit: Upcoming changes to our content policy, our board, and where we’re going from here

    Comments have devolved into an immediate dumpster fire as always.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      JXM
      Link Parent
      They're missing the forrest for the trees here. They need to ban subreddits like this. Quarantining them just lets them keep using Reddit as an echo chamber and draw in new, unsuspecting users....

      This inconsistency has hurt our trust with our users and moderators and has made us slow to respond to problems. This was also true with r/the_donald, a community that relished in exploiting and detracting from the best of Reddit and that is now nearly disintegrated on their own accord. As we looked to our policies, “Breaking Reddit” was not a sufficient explanation for actioning a political subreddit, and I fear we let being technically correct get in the way of doing the right thing. Clearly, we should have quarantined it sooner.

      They're missing the forrest for the trees here. They need to ban subreddits like this. Quarantining them just lets them keep using Reddit as an echo chamber and draw in new, unsuspecting users. While I respect what Alexis Ohanian is doing, it doesn't matter if the rest of the executives aren't willing to take meaningful action to remove hate from their platform.

      (I do appreciate how much nicer people are here in general, but I'm not sure if that's due to size or moderation).

      8 votes
      1. creesch
        Link Parent
        More importantly it hides them from mods and regular users while still giving them an handy on site platform to basically stage from to other parts of reddit.

        Quarantining them just lets them keep using Reddit as an echo chamber and draw in new, unsuspecting users.

        More importantly it hides them from mods and regular users while still giving them an handy on site platform to basically stage from to other parts of reddit.

        8 votes
  5. [24]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    As I said on Reddit: This smacks of drama for the sake of drama. Why not just create a new board position? Why not just hire a black person when the next vacancy comes up? Why does a white man...

    As I said on Reddit:

    This smacks of drama for the sake of drama. Why not just create a new board position? Why not just hire a black person when the next vacancy comes up?

    Why does a white man have to make a Grand Sacrifice for a black person to move forward? Why not just hire a black person without making a big deal of it?

    This looks like they're trying to make a Grand Gesture so that this will get more publicity, rather than just quietly doing the right thing.

    5 votes
    1. [23]
      aphoenix
      Link Parent
      You can't just create spots on the board with impunity. There are other people on the board and they would have to agree, and the more you dilute the board, the less power the individual has. I...

      You can't just create spots on the board with impunity. There are other people on the board and they would have to agree, and the more you dilute the board, the less power the individual has.

      make a Grand Gesture so that this will get more publicity, rather than just quietly doing the right thing.

      I never really understand this sentiment when it is expressed. It's like there's a problem that he's doing something because he announced it to explain it. But he's also constantly told to do something and to use his influence to make a statement. I also imagine that he conferred with his wife, who is black, on the messaging. He also, with his wife, is donating as million dollars to the cause.

      What is an affluent board member supposed to do to start making things better than can satisfy people?

      I'm not a fan particularly of Alexis, but I think he's taking a big step in a good direction here.

      13 votes
      1. [22]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Make an announcement that future board appointments will be made with an eye to diversity and inclusion - and then follow through on that commitment by hiring diverse people. Maybe if they'd...

        What is an affluent board member supposed to do to start making things better than can satisfy people?

        Make an announcement that future board appointments will be made with an eye to diversity and inclusion - and then follow through on that commitment by hiring diverse people.

        Maybe if they'd started doing that a few years back, they'd already have a black person on the board, rather than having to play catch-up in this dramatic way.

        This gesture feels like self-aggrandisement. "Look how wonderful I am! I'm making this grand sacrifice to give a black person a job! (Because, Lord knows, those folks ain't gonna get a job any other way, unless a white fella steps aside and lets one in.)"

        5 votes
        1. [20]
          aphoenix
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          So there's four members of the board. As far as I can tell they have not changed in 5 years edit: they appointed another person last year. There's no realistic reason why either of the other two...

          So there's three four members of the board. As far as I can tell they have not changed in 5 years edit: they appointed another person last year. There's no realistic reason why either of the other two members would leave, so what you've suggested is doing literally nothing. It would be performance art; meaningless fluff for white people to do as it suits them.

          What he has done is an immediate action that puts 33% of the vote potentially in the hands of a black person. That's 1/3 of the voting power of the board. That's actually something. People have to start actually doing things that have an effect, not just mouthing niceties and doing nothing.

          This section in parenthesis:

          Because, Lord knows, those folks ain't gonna get a job any other way, unless a white fella steps aside and lets one in.

          is unfair. I don't really know Alexis, but I think it is really unlikely for a man to actually think those things and be married to Serena Williams and to have a daughter who is black. I say this is a man who has a powerful wife and daughter who are both women of colour. It's really hard to think poorly of your own progeny if you are a halfway decent person, and despite any other faults, I think Alexis is more on the good side than the bad side.

          14 votes
          1. [2]
            Deimos
            Link Parent
            One clarification: they added Porter Gale in May 2019, almost certainly because California passed a law requiring public company boards to have at least one female director by the end of 2019....

            One clarification: they added Porter Gale in May 2019, almost certainly because California passed a law requiring public company boards to have at least one female director by the end of 2019. Reddit wouldn't have been able to do an IPO until they added one (and they haven't IPO'd yet, but they're surely working towards it).

            12 votes
            1. aphoenix
              Link Parent
              Thank you for the clarification.

              Thank you for the clarification.

              3 votes
          2. [17]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            I'm not familiar with the board structure of Reddit Inc. Thanks for the information. I had assumed it was a mid-sized board with 5-10 directors, with some turnover every couple of years. I also...

            I'm not familiar with the board structure of Reddit Inc. Thanks for the information. I had assumed it was a mid-sized board with 5-10 directors, with some turnover every couple of years. I also don't keep track of who's married to whom in these matters.

            So I did some research, to check out your information. It seems Reddit appointed a new director to the board just a year ago, giving them a board of 4 directors. And she appears to have been an addition to the board, rather than a replacement.

            They could do the same now: add a director to the board, making a total of 5.

            There are also other positions of authority at Reddit: the CEO, the CIO, and so on. One could ask how many of them are black. Maybe some future appointments could be black.

            Maybe he is doing this for the right reasons, but it still feels like white-knighting and good public relations.

            2 votes
            1. [9]
              MonkeyPants
              Link Parent
              He has a black daughter. This isn't PR. This isn't white-knighting (at least as I define it). This is personal. There is something incredibly painful about the sudden realization that racism will...

              white-knighting

              He has a black daughter.

              This isn't PR. This isn't white-knighting (at least as I define it). This is personal.

              There is something incredibly painful about the sudden realization that racism will affect you through your children.

              11 votes
              1. [8]
                Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                That may be true. It probably is. However, Ohanian's gesture can be interpreted both ways. It can send a message of self-sacrifice to actually achieve black representation on the board, as...

                That may be true. It probably is.

                However, Ohanian's gesture can be interpreted both ways. It can send a message of self-sacrifice to actually achieve black representation on the board, as @aphoenix says, but it can also send a message that black people can only get jobs of authority when a white person arranges/allows it (i.e. not on their own merits).

                2 votes
                1. [7]
                  aphoenix
                  Link Parent
                  I'm going to preface this by saying that I believe, through words that you've written here and elsewhere online, that you're not a bigoted person. I'm also going to try to be distinct between...

                  I'm going to preface this by saying that I believe, through words that you've written here and elsewhere online, that you're not a bigoted person. I'm also going to try to be distinct between bigotry and racism, where bigotry is personal and racism is systemic, so if I say something like "this is racism" I am not calling you a bigot; I sometimes do or say things that I do because of systemic racism that has influenced who I am today, but I am not a bigot, and I believe the same of you.

                  it can also send a message that black people can only get jobs of authority when a white person arranges/allows it (i.e. not on their own merits).

                  What you've written here is racist gaslighting. I don't believe you are saying it because you are bigoted, but because of a system that tends to precludes people from being able to not at some level, take part in that systemic racism. The crux of the problem is that black people often can only get jobs of authority when a white person arranges or allows for it. You're saying this as a detraction from what Alexis is doing, as if he is somehow spreading this message to make people believe it, but the opposite is true. Alexis understands this, and is using his position of power and authority to try to circumvent it. He is using his position to make people understand that this thing you wrote is true, and that Black people have difficulties in getting these jobs unless white people arrange it. That's not Alexis' fault; he isn't starting this trend, he is trying to fix it.

                  I understand not liking it when someone brings this message up and shoves it in our faces, as Alexis is doing right now. It seems like it's "reverse racism" of some kind; like it's speaking poorly of Black people and putting them down for being unable to get this job on their own. The important thing to understand is that saying that Black people have a harder time of getting positions like this is not in any way a critique of Black people. It is a critique of White people and our systemically racist culture. His position is not saying that "Black people can't do this because they're not good enough, unless a white person allows them to do so", he is saying "Black people can't do this because White people have been stopping them and I will no longer take part in stopping them".

                  This is unambiguously a good thing. It is sidestepping the systems of oppression and in addition he and his wife (you dismissed this earlier, but it's important - she is Serena Williams, arguably the best tennis player who has ever lived, and a powerful Black woman) are also putting their money where his mouth is and donating a million dollars to Know Your Rights Camp.

                  Words without actions, like saying "the next board member will be black" while not stepping down, are empty. Real actions with real consequences are what need to happen right now, not performance humility and words.

                  Maybe Alexis' actions resonate with me because I'm facing the same issue as him:

                  I’m writing this as a father who needs to be able to answer his Black daughter when she asks: 'What did you do?'

                  The answer needs to be "I'm doing these things to make the world better for you to live in."

                  16 votes
                  1. [6]
                    Algernon_Asimov
                    Link Parent
                    See... that's totally not what I meant. And I agree with most of what you've written here. I honestly can't be bothered trying to tease out all the nuances and subtleties of what I do and don't...

                    You're saying this as a detraction from what Alexis is doing, as if he is somehow spreading this message to make people believe it,

                    See... that's totally not what I meant.

                    And I agree with most of what you've written here.

                    I honestly can't be bothered trying to tease out all the nuances and subtleties of what I do and don't mean, so I'm not continuing this discussion. Let people assume the worst of me. I don't care right now.

                    2 votes
                    1. [5]
                      aphoenix
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      If I was assuming the worst of you I wouldn't have taken a significant amount of time and energy to respond like this. I'm trying to assume the best of you, but I am only given what you write as a...

                      If I was assuming the worst of you I wouldn't have taken a significant amount of time and energy to respond like this. I'm trying to assume the best of you, but I am only given what you write as a reference point, and I have to interpret the words to the best of my own abilities.

                      I would like you to please read again and actually consider that at some level you are wrong, and to reframe how you think about actions and race.

                      I would not have spent time and effort writing something like this if you weren't worth talking to or if I assumed the worst of you. I would have left it on read and given up.

                      I understand that you often feel as if people here dump on you a lot, and I agree, and I'm not trying to dump on you, and I sincerely apologize for misconstruing something that you wrote.

                      6 votes
                      1. [4]
                        Algernon_Asimov
                        Link Parent
                        Bluntly: if you don't even know what point I'm trying to make, how can you know I'm wrong? Although, to be fair on you, I've changed my point throughout this discussion as people have presented me...

                        Bluntly: if you don't even know what point I'm trying to make, how can you know I'm wrong?

                        Although, to be fair on you, I've changed my point throughout this discussion as people have presented me with evidence and counter-arguments.

                        But I still argue, and will not concede, that, whatever Ohanian's actual motives might be, the optics around his actions are very bad. It still looks like a white man making a grand gesture so that a black person can get ahead. It still sends the message that black people can only get ahead when white people make a special effort to help them up.

                        Affirmative action (which I support) should not look like this. It should not look like a white person falling on their sword to give a black person a job.

                        4 votes
                        1. [3]
                          aphoenix
                          (edited )
                          Link Parent
                          Bluntly: because the thing you are arguing and not conceding is wrong. Edit for more clarity: "the optics" are much less important than "the systemic racism that is endemic to western culture"....

                          Bluntly: because the thing you are arguing and not conceding is wrong.

                          Edit for more clarity: "the optics" are much less important than "the systemic racism that is endemic to western culture". With all due respect, fuck the optics. How it looks is nowhere near as important as how it is. We need change, and we need it right now, and we need to do radical things that might not look or feel comfortable. And when I talked about racist gaslighting in my previous comment, that is what I meant. Caring about the optics isn't necessary right now. The fact that so many white people are worried about how it looks if we make change is part of the system of oppression that we have learned and grown up with.

                          Please, please, please I implore you: give that up. Stop caring about how it looks and care about what the actions do.

                          If a White person gives a Black person a hand up in life because life is fundamentally unfair, then that's okay. That's what we have to start doing.

                          4 votes
                          1. [2]
                            Algernon_Asimov
                            Link Parent
                            What this action does is put a black person on the board of Reddit in such a way that a lot of people will question that person's right to be there and their ability to do the job. Even the most...

                            Stop caring about how it looks and care about what the actions do.

                            What this action does is put a black person on the board of Reddit in such a way that a lot of people will question that person's right to be there and their ability to do the job. Even the most qualified black person hired to be Reddit's new director will have their competence questioned due to the circumstances in which they got their job. They'll always be seen as that token black person that Alexis gave a job, and never seen as a qualified person who was hired because they were the best applicant, and who just happens to have dark skin.

                            It's already happening, as cfabbro has shown us.

                            3 votes
                            1. aphoenix
                              (edited )
                              Link Parent
                              People were going to question that person's right to be there and their ability to do their job no matter what. Those people leaving those comments are shitty people and they would have found ways...

                              People were going to question that person's right to be there and their ability to do their job no matter what. Those people leaving those comments are shitty people and they would have found ways to do that questioning no matter how this happens.

                              We have to stop systemic oppression and racism, and that's much more important than what the fucking racists are saying in reddit comments (or other places).

                              Again, please, please try to understand this: the optics are not important. Giving a shit about the optics enables long standing systems to continue to hold down people who are Black. Those comments on reddit are amongst the least important things that exist on our planet. Those people are small people. Their opinions are not important. The things they are saying don't matter. The fact that they feel a particular way about the next board member has no relevancy.

                              The relevant thing is moving forward.

                              Final edit: I'm not going to return to this discussion, but please, I really truly implore you to deeply consider why you're concerned with "the optics" to such a degree that you would actually consider helping people who need help the most to be bad.

                              8 votes
            2. [7]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              Since when is "white-knighting" even a legit term? I thought that was just an insult thrown around by racists. I didn't expect to see it on Tildes.

              Since when is "white-knighting" even a legit term? I thought that was just an insult thrown around by racists. I didn't expect to see it on Tildes.

              4 votes
              1. [4]
                DrStone
                Link Parent
                I’ve never heard “white knight” have racial implications. I’ve always seem it as a reference to the fairy tale white-armor knight on a white horse coming to save the helpless princess. It’s...

                I’ve never heard “white knight” have racial implications. I’ve always seem it as a reference to the fairy tale white-armor knight on a white horse coming to save the helpless princess. It’s usually used for guys on the internet making a big show rushing to defend a woman (whether she needs it or not) and show they’re “one of the good guys” (implying their true motive is to win over the girl, like a fairy tale ending). It does sometimes get used for similar behavior in other contexts.

                10 votes
                1. [3]
                  skybrian
                  Link Parent
                  Yes, I should have said anti-feminist, I was remembering wrong. I've seen it used against guys who speak up in favor of the woman in controversies about women. I haven't seen it used by a woman,...

                  Yes, I should have said anti-feminist, I was remembering wrong. I've seen it used against guys who speak up in favor of the woman in controversies about women. I haven't seen it used by a woman, only guys.

                  3 votes
                  1. [2]
                    Adys
                    Link Parent
                    The term "white knighting" is used by a lot of people, women included. That you haven't personally seen it used that way doesn't give you a pass to passively insult @Algernon_Asimov --...

                    The term "white knighting" is used by a lot of people, women included. That you haven't personally seen it used that way doesn't give you a pass to passively insult @Algernon_Asimov -- wrong/annoying as he may be at times ;).

                    2 votes
                    1. skybrian
                      Link Parent
                      No insult intended, passive or otherwise.

                      No insult intended, passive or otherwise.

                      2 votes
              2. aphoenix
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                "White Knighting" used to be at least a somewhat interesting internet insult - in the depths of time, it meant a man coming to the "rescue" of a woman who didn't need it because he wanted sexual...

                "White Knighting" used to be at least a somewhat interesting internet insult - in the depths of time, it meant a man coming to the "rescue" of a woman who didn't need it because he wanted sexual favours.

                Now it just seems to mean "doing the right thing", and is somehow used as an insult, which I can't even being begin to comprehend.

                5 votes
              3. Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=White%20Knight I've taken a term which originated in gender discussions, and I'm borrowing it for this discussion of race. Just to be absolutely...

                https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=White%20Knight

                1. A man white person who stands up for a womens black person's right to be an absolute equal, but then steps up like a white knight to rescue her them any time that equality becomes a burden.

                I've taken a term which originated in gender discussions, and I'm borrowing it for this discussion of race.

                Just to be absolutely clear, I'm not saying this is Ohanian's conscious intention, but his actions can be interpreted in this way.

                And that's me done in this discussion. I seem to be having trouble with the English language, and not conveying my meaning clearly enough. So I'm done here.

                3 votes
        2. monarda
          Link Parent
          I think it's important for people that can do something, to do something. I have no idea what Alexis is thinking and refuse to make any judgement on motivations he may or may not have, or if he...

          I think it's important for people that can do something, to do something. I have no idea what Alexis is thinking and refuse to make any judgement on motivations he may or may not have, or if he should have done something else instead of what he is doing. He's doing something which is more than a lot of white folk are doing. The only people whose judgement matters is his wife and daughter.

          6 votes