31 votes

Reddit allows hate speech to flourish in its global forums, moderators say

19 comments

  1. [9]
    TheJorro
    Link
    Ayyy @dubteetub! Anyway, I don't remember having a great relationship with the admins even eight years ago. It's always been like this. Not a shred of proactivity, barely any reactivity....

    Ayyy @dubteetub!

    Anyway, I don't remember having a great relationship with the admins even eight years ago. It's always been like this. Not a shred of proactivity, barely any reactivity. Offloading all the labour, effort, and strain onto the moderators while barely providing anything to keep things afloat.

    And it seems little to nothing has changed.

    I wish all the good and dedicated reddit mods would simply just... stop. The site is propped on their shoulders more than anyone wants to admit and should they all let it drop, then reddit drops very quickly.

    16 votes
    1. [8]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      I think an unfortunate factor is that there are absolutely a very dedicated number of reactionary / troll mods who would be more than happy to fill in on any sub where good mods are burnt out and...

      I think an unfortunate factor is that there are absolutely a very dedicated number of reactionary / troll mods who would be more than happy to fill in on any sub where good mods are burnt out and used up. The admins have even implemented a mod scab program (I forget the real name). While its named purpose is for mods dealing with unexpected bursts in volume and in need of support, I really worry that it could be used against mod teams that run counter to admin principles or go to hard in protest. The admins have made it clear in some statements that they will remove individual mods and full teams if they don't comply with their expectations. The only factor we really have in our benefit is the media if it comes to that though.

      12 votes
      1. [6]
        TheJorro
        Link Parent
        That's actually what I'm banking on when I say it will drop. It would be an exposure of the real underbelly of reddit that good mods keep out of sight as best as possible but do not get supported...

        That's actually what I'm banking on when I say it will drop. It would be an exposure of the real underbelly of reddit that good mods keep out of sight as best as possible but do not get supported for doing, at the cost of sanity, time, effort, energy, and more.

        Bad moderation is a bigger death knell than I think many people realize, a number of previously popular sites can trace their downfall to users getting frustrated en masse with poor moderation and management, and moving on to more welcoming pastures.

        There are entire Discord servers that are better versions of the subreddits they spawned from, to the point that users barely even interact with the subreddit anymore, because they're better moderated and controlled than the subreddit (and the mods actually have more abilities and powers in Discord than they do after years on reddit).

        I guess I'm saying I wouldn't mind if reddit died (along with a few other social media sites). It's monopolized too much of the internet, shirked any accountability and responsibility for it repeatedly over the years, and is overdue to go.

        13 votes
        1. [5]
          babypuncher
          Link Parent
          Care to share any examples?

          There are entire Discord servers that are better versions of the subreddits they spawned from

          Care to share any examples?

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            TheJorro
            Link Parent
            Personally, I only subscribe to one: r/Games' Discord is a lot better than the subreddit. I find myself constantly frustrated that good opinion pieces, LGBTQ+ content (or adjacent), or even some...

            Personally, I only subscribe to one: r/Games' Discord is a lot better than the subreddit. I find myself constantly frustrated that good opinion pieces, LGBTQ+ content (or adjacent), or even some basic things like the word "feminism" get quickly buried in the subreddit and all conversations are fraught.

            No such problems on the Discord. Generally more chill, less performative, and a lot less of the armchair poo-poo criticism of everything.

            This is the only one because I'm trying to divorce from any large-scale social media (which also extends to large Discord servers) but I'm into video games enough that I allow myself one decent place to go to for gaming discussion. Or, at least, one gaming place that doesn't make me feel embarrassed to be into video games.

            8 votes
            1. [2]
              babypuncher
              Link Parent
              This is exactly what I need, thank you! I've been feeling disinfatuated with /r/Games for quite a while now.

              No such problems on the Discord. Generally more chill, less performative, and a lot less of the armchair poo-poo criticism of everything.

              This is exactly what I need, thank you! I've been feeling disinfatuated with /r/Games for quite a while now.

              4 votes
            2. Protected
              Link Parent
              I remember /r/Games having that problem from the very beginning. Discord aside, I quickly abandoned it in favor of the chonkier, less frequent prose of /r/truegaming discussions.

              I remember /r/Games having that problem from the very beginning. Discord aside, I quickly abandoned it in favor of the chonkier, less frequent prose of /r/truegaming discussions.

      2. nothis
        Link Parent
        I'm at a point where I think that concepts like reddit don't really work anymore, not with the reality of the internet in 2021. Any place where you let people create a broadcast channel to...

        I'm at a point where I think that concepts like reddit don't really work anymore, not with the reality of the internet in 2021. Any place where you let people create a broadcast channel to potentially tens of millions of people needs some form of regulation to function. It wasn't a problem in the past when the niche subreddits had like 10k subscribers but we're talking about subreddits that have a bigger reach than some TV channels.

        I'm actually wondering whether capping facebook group or Telegram channel size at like 1000 and requiring everything above that to be approved/moderated by the platform owner would fizzle out a lot of the bullshit out there.

        4 votes
  2. [9]
    Akir
    Link
    Hate Speech has been a problem on English-speaking Reddit as well. I've reported 4 comments for calling for violence this month alone, and Reddit admins have only addressed two of them, one of...

    Hate Speech has been a problem on English-speaking Reddit as well. I've reported 4 comments for calling for violence this month alone, and Reddit admins have only addressed two of them, one of which was just a warning.

    8 votes
    1. [8]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      As I mentioned in the article, I have found so many instances where very blatant hatespeech gets responded back by AEO as not a violation of Reddit's rules / TOS it is just ridiculous. Very...

      As I mentioned in the article, I have found so many instances where very blatant hatespeech gets responded back by AEO as not a violation of Reddit's rules / TOS it is just ridiculous. Very obvious usernames that are just word-replaced slurs, triple parentheses, 1488 codes, straight up transphobia and harassment. Every time this happens reddit puts you through the rigamarole of having to copy links to the offending comment and the AEO response and then modmailing it to r/modsupport for them to (hopefully) follow-up. The whole process really wears you down.

      12 votes
      1. [3]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        It's simply not worth the time to me. It's interesting seeing the difference in how different subs I mod reply to modmail to people depending on how big the sub is, how used to hate speech they...

        It's simply not worth the time to me. It's interesting seeing the difference in how different subs I mod reply to modmail to people depending on how big the sub is, how used to hate speech they are, and where the person modmailing falls on the obvious troll to probably just a centrist 'freethinker' who's deeply uninformed or aware of their privilege. Also seems to depend on the moderator and how much bullshit they've seen.

        You have to start treating literally everyone as threats and discounting them because the emotional burden of informing everyone or trying to reach out compassionately will wear you down, it's just a matter of when. These policies are so toxic to the website in so many ways that aren't visible to the average user.

        9 votes
        1. JCPhoenix
          Link Parent
          There was a post in r/TheoryOfReddit some time back where a user was essentially asking why mods are shitheads. In a more respectable way, but that was the gist. I think the more exact question...

          You have to start treating literally everyone as threats and discounting them

          There was a post in r/TheoryOfReddit some time back where a user was essentially asking why mods are shitheads. In a more respectable way, but that was the gist. I think the more exact question was, "Why don't mods respond to messages about bans/removals?"

          He got real answers, including from me, where I said the exact same thing you did. I don't have the time, patience, or energy to figure out how this "conversation" is going to go. Half the time people are insulting and threatening me from their initial modmail. The other's ask more politely at first, but as soon as I explain why, for example, their comment got removed -- not that they got banned, just that their comment got removed -- it all goes to hell. At least I appreciate the honestly from the immediate trolls, because then I can just outright mute. I don't even respond to questions about bans/removals anymore.

          I've had so many instances where I'm trying to be nice, polite, and informative to rule-breakers, sometimes even leaving their comments/posts up out of "niceness," but the warnings are still apparently too much for them and then I get flamed. Comment removals no longer get explanation. I will lock posts, entire thread chains, with no
          explanation. Post removals, I still sometimes do. Idk why.

          I should probably mention I mod political subreddits. The worst of the worst in many ways.

          I have many times considered giving up modship. I know it'd be in good hands, at least my main sub, (other mods are more strict than me, I think). For the rest, Idk. They're not the most active, but I fear them falling into chaos, so I just hold onto them.

          Terrible state to be in.

          11 votes
        2. Merari
          Link Parent
          This is definitely what happened to me. After the hundreth time trying to inform someone, opening a dialogue, providing sources and generally making a lot of effort reaching out - only to have...

          This is definitely what happened to me.

          After the hundreth time trying to inform someone, opening a dialogue, providing sources and generally making a lot of effort reaching out - only to have that culminate in any variation on "lolno" or the simple repeating of their very first problematic assertion, as if I had said nothing at all, how can I do anything except assume bad faith right from the start?

          As you said, it's a form of emotionally guarding yourself against being worn down.

          It's not fair towards those that really are just very young and unaware, against those that really do only need an outreached hand, but it is just the way it is.

          "It is not my job to teach you" isn't a snide put-down so much as it is self-protection.

          5 votes
      2. [4]
        suspended
        Link Parent
        You wrote an article for Time? Are you freelance? Great read btw!

        As I mentioned in the article

        You wrote an article for Time? Are you freelance?

        Great read btw!

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Dubteedub is not the article author, but they were quoted in the article.

          Dubteedub is not the article author, but they were quoted in the article.

          The user DubTeeDub—who moderates r/AgainstHateSubreddits and wrote a widely shared open letter last year excoriating racism on the platform and demanding change—says that Reddit’s administrators have failed to keep up with racists’ constantly evolving dog whistles, such as Neo-Nazis putting Jewish names in triple parentheses to signal their identity.

          “It’s very clearly a white supremacist symbol, but the admins will just say, ‘that seems fine to me,’ and they’ll ignore it,” DubTeeDub, says.

          Concerned moderators have attempted to report these posts and, in turn, become targets of abuse. One of the most common tactics is for zealous users to band together and report moderators for invented reasons in an effort to get them suspended or banned by unsuspecting admins. DubTeeDub says these types of tactics have led to his suspension at least seven times.

          6 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            I remember seeing people changing their own names on Twitter to use triple parentheses which I assume means “Yes, I’m Jewish, what of it?” but I never asked. It doesn’t surprise me that moderators...

            I remember seeing people changing their own names on Twitter to use triple parentheses which I assume means “Yes, I’m Jewish, what of it?” but I never asked.

            It doesn’t surprise me that moderators can’t keep up with it all. I wonder what signals there are in forums used by people from other countries that we miss entirely?

            4 votes
          2. suspended
            Link Parent
            Ahhh. I missed that. Thanks!

            Ahhh. I missed that. Thanks!

            2 votes
  3. Protected
    Link
    It's funny that r/portugal has itself been accused of being a racist community (by the international community). The mods are trying, give them a break. Alternative subreddits like r/portugueses...

    It's funny that r/portugal has itself been accused of being a racist community (by the international community). The mods are trying, give them a break. Alternative subreddits like r/portugueses are founded by (and havens for) disaffected trolls who more often than not have been banned from the original country community, so they couldn't possibly function any differently than they do. I have no doubt it's the same with the other countries listed in the article.

    And sure, it's always possible for the alternative community to also clean itself up, but then the banned people would just go and make yet another cesspit for their bullshit. And the founder of r/portugueses has personally told me that he sees his subreddits as something that he "owns" and "develops" (go take a look, he moderates several, of course). He doesn't see his position as that of a caretaker and volunteer; he'll never do anything that would drive away his community, no matter who they are or what they're doing.

    1 vote