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13

squirrels wrote (edited )

For years I never checked replies on Reddit, because I was tired of being overwhelmed by the misogyny. I wasn't even posting anything radical for the vast majority of my use, and the backlash for merely admitting that you're a woman in some subs would just plaster you with messages. It was tiring. Explaining the toxicity of relationship subs would be a whole long post, too. (I point those out specifically, because it's where a massive amount of toxic gender roles are perpetuated on the site.) Reddit is full of perpetuating racist myths, misogyny, and pseudoscience. Then when I started correcting bullshit, I would cycle through accounts to avoid doxxing attempts. It was exhausting.

Basically, being a woman (or queer, or trans, or black, or [insert anyone not a cis white male engineer in his 20s from Silicon Valley]) on Reddit is psychologically horrendous over time.

What finally killed it for good for me, though, is the effect of Reddit marketing on opinion. I've had people close to me, Reddit users, repeat white supremacist and anti-feminist talking points in real life. Where did they get that information? "Well, that's how people feel." People naturally drift towards what they believe is the majority opinion. We're social animals. This is the basis for online marketing, and it's extremely effective. So then add into that white supremacist groups gaming reddit's voting system, buying upvotes, and flooding the frontpage with bots, and do you see the problem, yet?

[Edit to add: And I don't buy or care for Reddit/Facebook/Google making weak arguments that they're "fixing" things, because it's actually not a problem for them. Nazis making bots is bad for PR, but if it makes them $100,000 or a million, who cares? I've seen some bot detectors come out of academia and some associated corporate engineers with a conscious, but ffs it's too late. The damage has been done. Nazism is now legitimate again in the eyes of a significant amount of Western populations. Trump has a direct Twitter line to his zealots. Damage. Done.]

The worst part is that people don't realize, or will admit to, it happening. It was a cold realization to have sudden clarity about how Reddit was molding my own opinions, thoughts, and feelings about myself. I had a similar realization about 4chan back in my misspent youth (a significant amount of self-hatred stemmed from that cesspool), so I was willing to self-examine. Reddit is far more terrifying in this aspect, because it is one of the highest trafficked websites in the world now.

I'd rather hide out here, even though it's a self-segregated community, than be consistently exposed to that. The internet is being curated and segmented now by only a small handful of companies that are trying to control what we view and click on, so I might as well click on a site that seems safer.

11

Enkara wrote (edited )

The first time I saw a coworker (old white man) using reddit at work I caught a glimpse of his username and stalked it for a bit, all the shitty rapey misogynist and transphobic jokes and reddit bro bullshit he said IRL suddenly made sense once I found out he was a redditor.

But yeah I agree with you, the major social media sites are far more harm than good and the world would be better off without them.

5

goof_goat wrote

" I had a similar realization about 4chan back in my misspent youth (a significant amount of self-hatred stemmed from that cesspool), so I was willing to self-examine. Reddit is far more terrifying in this aspect, because it is one of the highest trafficked websites in the world now."

i feel like there's a panic over 4chan & 8chan in certain sectors of the media related to like angela nagle's kill all normies that completely misses reddit

3

squirrels wrote

Agreed. They'll happily exploit fear-mongering over 4chan & 8chan, but reddit barely gets a mention here or there. I think it's also harder for them to stir up fear or to pin it down for what it is, because there are subs for everything. People will just point to the happy, fluffy subs and the company itself will exploit the image that the company crafted back in the Aaron Swartz days of being the cool, new, progressive internet "community," while entirely missing that the fascist subs are among the most active.