Who Uses Raddle?
It's been said Raddle is a community for outsiders, malcontents and wayward dreamers. That wouldn't be too far from the truth.
The disparate members of Raddle's community have a single thing in common: they all yearn for a better, fairer world.
The founder of this site, ziq, directly witnessed the authoritarian behavior of corporate social media when reddit deleted their subreddit (leftwithsharpedge), and refused to explain why.
The moderators of the banned subreddit had been contacted several times by reddit's admins, and had always reluctantly complied with their overtly-political demands.
Reddit first ordered the mods to remove direct calls to action against authoritarian institutions. The mods complied. Reddit soon came back with a new demand; that mods stop allowing users to 'harass' (expose) racists and misogynists from around reddit. That demand was likewise followed by the mods, who implemented new rules and heavy censorship.
Shortly after this, the community was made 'subreddit of the day' and got mainstream exposure and thousands of new subscribers. The mods worked overtime to abide by the restrictions reddit placed on them, removing anything reddit's management could possibly object to. But later that same day, reddit simply deleted the whole subreddit with no explanation.
It's been postulated the deletion was in response to the sudden mainstream exposure a radical anti-state, anti-police and anti-capitalist platform was getting.
But perhaps more tellingly, the subreddit could also have been described as an anti-reddit platform. A lot of the posts on the subreddit had been dedicated to exposing the dangerous toxicity of various hateful reddit communities such as r/altright, r/coontown, r/the_donald and r/publichealthwatch, and directly calling out reddit's management for not taking actions to curtail fascist organizing.
But it didn't stop there. We also extended our criticisms to leftwing communities such as r/socialism when several authoritarian mods from there shielded rapists in the leadership of a political party they were members of. We exposed r/communism for its purging of anyone that rejected their Stalinist propaganda. We called out certain r/anarchism mods for their class-reductionist politics. And we did it all with a healthy dose of over-the-top farce (the 'sharp edge' we were famous for). It's safe to say we made a lot of enemies on all sides of the political spectrum.
More than a year of hard work building a tight-knit community of anarchists and socialists had been erased forever. Everyone involved and numerous casual observers saw it as a politically-motivated decision by a for-profit capitalist organization.
So, disaffected with reddit, ziq looked elsewhere to rebuild.
Unsatisfied with the few alternative link sharing communities that were available and their proprietary, untransparent and non-secure nature, ziq hastily threw the original raddle.me (then known as raddit.me) together with Wordpress and various plugins. It was up and running within 24 hours of the subreddit's deletion.
The plan from the start was to replace the clunky original site with a site built from scratch. We were incredibly fortunate that emma volunteered to single-handedly make this a reality.
About 6 months later, we relaunched as this fully featured FOSS link sharing site without any of reddit's bloat, and with a mission statement to give the people control over their own community, with full transparency and accountability between mods, admins and users.
Raddle will always have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to fascist ideas and bigotry, and this is one of the things that sets us apart from other online communities.
Though we don't restrict our site to any specific ideology, Raddle is managed according to libertarian anarchist concepts in order to provide the best experience to its users. We embrace the principles of mutual aid, community-driven consensus decision-making, freedom of association, direct action, user privacy / security, anti-authoritarianism / moderator transparency, and free and open source software.
Let's break down what exactly this all means in practical terms:
This site's development and well-being is wholly dependent on its community. If the community members put in the work to improve the codebase, donate funds to help pay costs and maintenance, create interesting discussions and helpful or insightful replies to questions, then the whole community benefits. Conversely, if people are abusive, unhelpful and rude, the whole community suffers.
Everyone is invited to share their ideas on how to improve the design and the running of the site in f/meta, where these ideas can be discussed with the community until a consensus is reached. Policy decisions are also made in f/meta, with the only stipulation being that new policies don't conflict with the Terms of Service. If a certain user is being abusive, the community can discuss ways to deal with the abuse in either f/meta or f/mediation; depending on the severity of the abuse. If necessary, the community can take a vote to decide the best course of action.
Freedom of Association
Anarchists don't believe anyone should have to associate with people that are abusive to them. For this reason, raddle has a block function to prevent abusive user's messages from showing up in their inboxes when they comment.
Freedom of association also means we maintain the right to remove abusive people from our community entirely. We require that mods remove instances of bigotry from their forums and admins will ban serial offenders site-wide.
User Privacy / Security
We have no ads, no tracking, no user profiling and we don't collect or share any user data with anyone (IP addresses of new accounts are only stored for 24 hours before being wiped by the system). We maintain a monthly warrant canary for peace of mind, however the site is not located in the USA or administered by US citizens - meaning we don't have to worry about the US's oppressive anti-privacy laws or secret court orders.
Anti-Authoritarianism / Moderator Transparency
When we talk about anarchist principles, perhaps the most integral principle of all is the staunch opposition to authority. For this reason, we only choose trusted anti-authoritarians as administrators; expecting them to support all the principles outlined on this page. They must understand that all power corrupts in order to function in their role as the effective stewards of Raddle.
Anti-authoritarianism is the glue that holds this space together, and the community is encouraged to monitor all moderator and admin activity through each individual forum's mod log, and the global moderation log. If any moderator or administrator is abusing their position, it needs to be brought to the community's attention so action can be taken against the bad actor.
No administrator is above anyone in the community, and their position is only granted to them so they can maintain the operation of the forums and wikis and remove spam and other terms-of-service violations.
Any power forum-moderators are given is at the behest of the wider community, and if a moderator is misusing that power, the users have the power to remove that moderator from their position using f/meta.
Though moderators may implement forum-specific rules, the greater community is also able to object to any rules moderators make and overturn them using f/meta if these rules go against the culture of the site. For example: The first mods of f/communism tried to exclude libertarian communists, and were thus removed as mods.
Free & Open Source Software
The code behind Raddle is completely free and open source and depends on your volunteered labor to grow. If you're unable to contribute code, then you can also contribute funds to the developers so they can afford to volunteer more of their time. See w/donate for info.
All we ask of new users is that you be respectful of your fellow raddlers and understand that the site is structured to safeguard each user's safety, privacy and dignity.
Raddle is developed and managed entirely by its own community. Actualizing each other's ideas to construct the best possible forum is our entire motivation.