Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Reddit, Marketing, Political Correctness and Censorship - aka, This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Reddit just lost some of its marketing value by trying to become more marketing-friendly.


I don't really have the energy to type out anything lengthy, so I'm going to make this simple by typing out a series of short semi-coherent sentences and paragraphs.

Reddit, with its ever growing popularity and ability to attract large amounts of money to be thrown at it by large brands, just shot itself in the foot.

link here:
https://np.reddit.com/r/announcements/comments/39bpam/removing_harassing_subreddits/

Reddit just banned 5 "harassing" subs (including gems like /r/fatpeoplehate)

The gem is in the opening paragraph:
"Today we are announcing a change in community management on reddit. Our goal is to enable as many people as possible to have authentic conversations and share ideas and content on an open platform. We want as little involvement as possible in managing these interactions but will be involved when needed to protect privacy and free expression, and to prevent harassment."

This nearly incomprehensible action by my best estimates is code for "Our big brand and celebrity endorsements were being threatened b/c some idiots in their respective PR departments saw non-PC material in certain subreddits, went into 'brand protection overdrive mode' and we didn't have the balls or the brains to think for a second and tell them to chill the f out and realize we have more leverage than they do in this case. So we're starting small and hitting 5 subreddits that we don't think people will care too much about... we survived /r/jailbait being taken down, right? And besides, the /r/fatpeoplehate mods started it!"

Sorry for saying "balls" - if I had posted this on reddit, it might have landed me in /r/SRS

Marketing people (not excluding myself here) and politically correct idiots are why we can't have nice things.

Racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry will never go away via political correctness, being collectively offended, or by an inflated sense of moral superiority. Banning certain forms of speech because you don't agree with it is a very dangerous path to go down... if they are actually wrong and terrible, let them be known and open about it and let people decide for themselves. Professional victims can have Tumblr; leave reddit alone, please (or stay in your respective subs for crying out loud).


All American redditors who don't have an issue with those subreddits being taken off (let's be honest, very few people actually agree with the exaggerated amount of hate and harassment on those subs) should remember this paraphrased phrase: "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." And while reddit as a company can do as they like, they best remember that this mindset is what makes the internet wonderful and reddit the powerhouse community hub and marketing tool that it is.


That all being said, /u/SmokingPopes kinda hits the real conclusion well

"I mean the vast amount of people who use this site don't have an account and won't even know what happened. Hell the announcement thread is pretty buried at this point. Long term this has no real effect, and everything will calm down in a week.
Reddit never has and never will be this free speech haven everyone makes it out to be. People need to cool it with the Golden Age Syndrome and histrionics."

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