13 votes

Reddit: Organized lightning

3 comments

  1. [3]
    TheRtRevKaiser
    Link
    Feels like this statement might be oversimplifying some things. My memory may be faulty, but I remember the Ellen Pao stuff being almost a mini-gamergate situation: bad actors using a more...

    When Pao was ousted in 2015, driven out of her role by a user base incensed over the firing of a popular Reddit employee, Huffman stepped back into the CEO seat.

    Feels like this statement might be oversimplifying some things. My memory may be faulty, but I remember the Ellen Pao stuff being almost a mini-gamergate situation: bad actors using a more palatable cause as a front to push shitty views.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      dubteedub
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah, while the initial outrage was led by several moderators setting subreddits private after the main Reddit admin supporting r/IAMA (Victoria / u/Chooter) was let go, the real fuel of the...

      Yeah, while the initial outrage was led by several moderators setting subreddits private after the main Reddit admin supporting r/IAMA (Victoria / u/Chooter) was let go, the real fuel of the outrage was that Ellen had just banned five whole subreddits right before this happened.

      On June 10, 2015 the admins banned some super hateful subreddits, r/FatPeopleHate being the largest. The others were /r/hamplanethatred, /r/transf--s, /r/neof--, and /r/shitn-----ssay. This of course upset the much more reactionary base of Reddit at the time.

      Victoria was fired less than a month later on July 2, 2015. The subreddits went private in protest starting the next day on July 3.

      It is also relevant that this was basically in the height of GamerGate fueled outrage that was already going on after being started just a year prior. I think a lot of the journalists at the time, as well as tons of Redditors themselves, took the vitriol being directed at Pao at face value that it was about Victoria, when there was very clearly a lot of folks who just used it as an opportunity to rail about censorship, free speech, and harass a woman in tech.

      10 votes
      1. Wes
        Link Parent
        It was really awful. People hurled insults at her constantly. They shared her photo with the caption "punchable faces". It was a harassment campaign that thousands of users participated in...

        It was really awful. People hurled insults at her constantly. They shared her photo with the caption "punchable faces". It was a harassment campaign that thousands of users participated in gleefully. It left me feeling disgusted with the site.

        [They] took the vitriol being directed at Pao at face value that it was about Victoria, when there was very clearly a lot of folks who just used it as an opportunity to rail about censorship, free speech, and harass a woman in tech.

        I agree, it was all a farce. It was hatred guided by a faux-cause.

        What really gets my goat is that it was Ohanian who fired Victoria, and he didn't once stick up for Pao. The free-speech dream was long over at that point, and it was becoming clear that letting hate communities foster was not a workable solution. Pao recognized that, but she didn't get the support she needed to continue the mission. Who can blame her for stepping down after being on the receiving end of all that with no help?

        Of all the "reddit incents" (Anderson Cooper, finding the Boston Bomber, whatever), the treatment of Ellen Pao is the one that bothers me the most.

        9 votes