The thing is, network effects are a double-edged sword. People join a service to be with the people they care about. But when the people they care about start to leave, everyone rushes for the exits. Here’s danah boyd, describing the last days of Myspace:
If a central node in a network disappeared and went somewhere else (like from MySpace to Facebook), that person could pull some portion of their connections with them to a new site. However, if the accounts on the site that drew emotional intensity stopped doing so, people stopped engaging as much. Watching Friendster come undone, I started to think that the fading of emotionally sticky nodes was even more problematic than the disappearance of segments of the graph.
With MySpace, I was trying to identify the point where I thought the site was going to unravel. When I started seeing the disappearance of emotionally sticky nodes, I reached out to members of the MySpace team to share my concerns and they told me that their numbers looked fine. Active uniques were high, the amount of time people spent on the site was continuing to grow, and new accounts were being created at a rate faster than accounts were being closed. I shook my head; I didn’t think that was enough. A few months later, the site started to unravel.
This is exactly what is happening to Reddit currently. The most passionate contributors, the most tech-literate users, and the integrators who make all the free tools in the ecosystem around reddit which makes that service much more valuable have left and will never look back.
From the dashboards of u/spez however, things might looks great. Better even! As the drama around their decision making certainly caused a lot more posts and interactions, and the loss of the 3rd party apps drove at least a few users to the official applications.
But this is an illusion. Like MySpace before them, the metric might look good, but the soul of the site has been lost. It’s not easy to explain but since I’ve started using Lemmy full-time, I’ve seen the improvement in engagement and quality in real time. half a month ago, posts could barely pass 2 digits, now they regularly break 3 and sometimes 4 digits. And the quality of the discussions is a pleasure to go through.
I said it before, but reddit was never a particularly good site. Their saving grace was the openness of their API and their hands-off approach to communities. The two things they just destroyed. It’s those 3rd party tools and communities that made reddit like it is. As as the ecosystem around reddit sputters and dies, the one around the Threadiverse is progressing in an astonishing rate.
Not only are the integrators coming from reddit aware what kind of bots and tools are going to be very useful, but a lot of those tools are shut off from reddit and switched to the lemmy API instead, explicitly cannibalizing the quality of the reddit experience. And due to the completely open API of the Threadiverse, those tools now get access to unparalleled access and power.
Sure if you visit reddit currently, you’ll see people talking and voting, but as someone who’s been there from the start, the quality has fallen off a hill and is reaching terminal velocity. But it feels like one’s still flying!
Not just the quality of the posts where only the most superficial meme stuff can rise to the top, not just the quality of the discussion, but even mere vibe of the discussions is just lost.
There’s now significant bitterness and hostility, especially as the mods who were responsible for maintaining the quality, have gone or are being hands off or just don’t have the tools needed to keep up. I’ve heard from multiple people who are leaving even while they were not originally planning to, because the people left over in reddit are just so toxic.
This is a very vicious cycle which will accelerate the demise of that site even further.
A house fire can go from a spark to a raging inferno in less than a minute. The flames consuming reddit are just now climbing up the curtains and it still appears manageable, but it’s already too late. Reddit has reached terminal enshittification and the only thing left for it to do, is die.
I visit Reddit all the time. And I visited Digg before that. In fact I was hooked to this mode of operation since Digg. Suffice to say, something about link aggregation tickles my ADHD brain just right.
However with the recent blackout of a big part of reddit, I decided to start my own Lemmy instance and use Lemmy primarily instead through it. Since I’ve started this experiment, I feel any urge to visit Reddit for my “fix” less and less. I have some thoughts about that.
In Twitter Vs Mastodon AKA “micro-blogging”, The value was in the specific people one followed which made it way harder to switch services because one was help back by other people. I.e. the people kept each other locked-in. Similar to how Facebook keeps everyone locked-in their walled garden because it’s the only social media their parents and grandparents managed to learn to use.
In Reddit however, the value is all about the specific forums, or “subreddits”, in lingo. The specific people one was talking to, never really mattered. What was important was the overall engagement general sense of shared-interest. This has always been the core strength of Reddit, and its early pioneers like Aaron Schwartz understood that.
This is why the minimalist reddit of old, managed to dethrone Digg when the latter decided that its core principles wasn’t user-curated content, but linkspam. The people who migrated into Reddit made what it is today, by creating and nurturing their communities over years.
Any beneficial actions by reddit itself have been either following what the community was already doing (such as adding CSS options or on-boarding the automoderator bot), or forced by bad optics, such as when they were forced to finally ban /r/coontown, /r/fatpeoplehate, /r/jailbait (which their current CEO moderated btw) etc.
The community and the people who run the subreddits have always had to make the minimalist options allowed to them work. They had to develop their own tools and enhancements, such as RES, and Moderator Toolbox, while Reddit couldn’t even provide much requested functionality to counter the known abuses of cross-subreddit raiding.
Instead, Reddit focused on adding useless features nobody asked for like NFT. On the usability, the new look was their push to take the site more towards generic social media network, with friends, follows, awards and avatars, and instead of focusing on their core product: Link aggregation and discussions.
In fact, any action they took, was laser focused on social-media lock-in and extracting wealth and adding features which people didn’t care for, which is why most third party apps simply ignored all that stuff.
Through all this, their valuable communities kept fighting against reddit management’s pushes so that they could do what was right, even if some lost that fight, like /r/AMA which became but a shadow of its former self when the cowardly owners fired their low-level employee leading its success, and scapegoated their then female CEO for it.
Eventually though something had to give, and reddit seems to have realized that their users are too stubborn to simply accept the new paradigm they designed for them where they watch more ads, buy more reddit gold and get addicted to NFTs. And 3rd party apps enabled users to use the valuable part of reddit and skip the enshittification all too easily.
So they had to go. And here we are.
Unfortunately for reddit, since the core value of reddit has always been the links, and the discussions around said links, instead of specific people and a social network around them, it is stunningly easy to jump ship. It doesn’t take a lot to keep a community going on Lemmy instead of Reddit. All it needs is a handful of dedicated people to keep finding and posting links, and the discussions and memes will easily follow.
I don’t need to know that I know the links are coming from Gallowboob, in fact, I never cared who posted the links or started the discussions. Reddit has had the “friends” feature for close to a decade now, and I have “friended” less than a handful of people. There’s literally nothing holding me and most people back except our existing routines.
There is of course still a lot of momentum in reddit communities, and a lot of mods who really don’t want to lose their status. Nevertheless, I’m finding I’m not actually missing much by staying exclusively on lemmy atm and I see a lot of people are realizing the same thing increasingly fast. The finality of the loss of major apps like Apollo, RIF and Sync has already been the final nail for a lot of people.
This exodus might already be unstoppable unless reddit completely capitulates and goes back on their API plans. But I don’t hold my breath on this.
Feel free to come and hang out at the Divisions by zero lemmy instance btw. We’ll do fun things!
I haven’t been able to improve the Stable Horde a lot lately. I was planning to do a lot of work during the week leading to Christmas, but unfortunately the universe had another idea and not only infected me with the nastiest cold I’ve had for decades, but my whole family as well, including the visiting Grandma!
So instead of adding necessary new features, I’ve been instead flattened at bed, trying to muster enough concentration to do some basic updates and answer questions.
Nevertheless, there’s a few improvements added, mostly through the work of some members of the community.
First is the addition of the CodeFormer face-fixing post-processor which seems massively better than the GFPGAN model. Now all clients can request that an image be bassed through CodeFormer for an immediately improvement in faces. Soon I plan to allow this to run in isolation as well
The other new thing is improvements on the workers themselves, allowing them to pickup and perform jobs more efficiently.
The other big news I have is that wrote and unleashed the first Reddit bot for stable Diffusion. That was initially created as an entry for the Ben’s Bites Hackathon since I couldn’t submit the Stable Horde itself (I didn’t win btw), but it was quite an eventful release. My initial release got caught by the automated reddit anti-spam filter, shadow-banning my account and banning my subreddit. Then I refactored the bot to use my own R2 CDN and released it with a new account while asking for a reddit review on my original account. Fortunately my bot account and subreddit got unbanned and I finally released it a third time properly, and it’s been up ever since!
There’s also been a lot of new models and styles onboarded, which are also used by my reddit and mastodon bots.
The next plan now is to allow image interrogation on the stable horde, as well as direct image post-processing (without stable diffusiion), so as to allow even people with low-powered machines to be able to contribute for kudos.
So it seems that the notorious reddit troll/creeper/scum-of-the-earth Violentacrez has deleted their account in the last few days. This is a person who started lovely subreddits like /r/jailbait, /r/picsofdeadjailbait and /r/rape. All pretty much what you’d expect them to be, in the very worst scenario.
Even though widely hated by many, and loved by others, he was maintaining a big presence and influence on reddit culture, constantly promoting the kind of vile shit that would get him beaten up or locked up in real life. None of the hate against him would phase him, and he even made subreddits to post all the hate mail he was getting.
And a lot of redditors loved him for it ((“it” being his stalwart defense of “free speech”, by which we mean everything that is absolutely vile about humanity)) so much, that he has his own fanclub and a host of people willing to sing his praises and defend his character. Because apparently he’s a nice guy IRL. But, as someone else aptly put it:
I love how redditors defend VA. He says that stuff but he doesn’t mean it! He’s not like that off the internet! Of course he isn’t. Because he knows he’d be an instant pariah if he said any of that vile crap to someone’s face. VA isn’t nice in person because he’s a good guy. VA is nice in person because he’s a COWARD.
There are only two options here: either he constantly says offensive shit online because he thinks it’s funny which makes him a troll and an asshole OR he really means it but doesn’t have the guts to say it IRL which makes him a hypocrite and an asshole. Either way he comes out smelling like shit.
So what happened? Well, the manchild got annoyed that someone who wasn’t a waste of oxygen started having more influence to reddit culture than him. Namely SRS, or ShitRedditSays. A subreddit that started to catalogue all the vile things people in reddit actually believe in or support. And because recently SRS has started having more of an effect on reddit’s culture, via online campaigns to close down pedophilic content on reddit for example, VA has decided to take his ball and go home. Reddit is starting to become toxic to him.
A joyous occasion to be sure. What wasn’t even thought possible a mere year ago, has happened just because some people stood up and said “enough is enough”.
To give an idea on why exactly this is such a big deal, and why redditors like VA are so unbelievably upset about the presence of SRS, that they’re willing to delete accounts they’ve invested thousands of hours is, I’ll quote an SRS regular succintly explaining the situation:
Would someone be so kind as to tell me whether or not I’m understanding the gist of what’s going on here? I’ve been on Reddit for over 6 months now and, up until just a few hours ago, I had no idea that the site contained the kinds of things mentioned here.
I’ve seen SRS brought up numerous times in comments but never bothered to look it up until today. It seems to me that this subreddit (in particular) exists to expose the hypocrisy, misogyny and general lack of moral fiber that some users exhibit.
I apologize if this is not the appropriate place to post something like this but I’m not sure where else to put it. I read about Project PANDA and I’d like to help if I can. I’m horribly bothered by the fact that those in charge of Reddit as a whole refuse to take a stance on this issue. I wasn’t aware the exploitation of children was something one could even be neutral about. Ugh.
Reddit needs to be cleaned up if they’re seriously letting perverts run amok like this. Where can I start?
To which an SRS regular replied:
You’ve got the right idea 🙂 I’ll give you a rundown:
Redditors believe the internet is theirs and that they can dictate what is good and bad. When majority of redditors are 20 something white males, the hivemind becomes this misogynistic, racist, ableist, everything-ist ball of rage, intent on attacking everyone who isn’t the same as them, and having pissing contests over who can be the most vile human being because it’s (apparently) funny.
To them, we’re the authority figures these privileged white boys most likely never had, the ones who slap them on the wrist and tell them “NO! That’s not OK!” and drag them kicking and screaming to the naughty step. Only difference is they don’t actually learn anything and keep crying and crying about their rights while literally abusing everyone elses. Since we’re dealing with adults, they’ve managed to build up a facade of this website being all about cute, relevant memes and cats so that they can get their creep on behind the scenes. They’re so good at this, the President himself has unfortunately associated himself with reddit, probably on the advice of some clueless PR. (Really, all they had to do was search Obama and see some of the horrific shit that’s been said about him and his wife on here since 2008)
The admins are the clueless, afraid parents who have to get Super Nanny in to control their adorable little demons and won’t tell them no even though their kids are literally biting them and locking them out of their own house. The admins only listen when the creeping gets so bad that the media starts picking up on it and they risk losing their sponsors. This has happened twice now.
First time was because of the subreddit called jailbait which did as the description suggests. Redditors traded pictures of underage girls, some as young as 12. Anderson Cooper called reddit out on his show then the subreddit was shut down and redditors screamed and cried all night long.
In the last few months reddit’s new sick obsession had become Creepshots, where pictures of unaware women usually in shorts or cleavage bearing tops are posted, and well you can imagine. One creep was a teacher at a high school taking photos of his female students (one with her underwear showing). He/the school was recognised by some other redditors and he was subsequently fired and is being questioned/charged. I’m not entirely sure what went down yesterday but the Creepshots subreddit has officially been banned and the creep tears are flowing freely (and the media shitstorm builds every week). When we began to attack the subreddit, they legitimately asked why creepshots wasn’t OK but People of Walmart was. Most of the redditors who posted creepshots blame the women for, and I quote, “wandering around the planet in short skirts”. One woman’s boyfriend grabbed the arm of a redditor creep taking a creepshot and the redditor cried to Creepshots about it and was comforted and told his rights were being threatened.
Reddit routinely comforts and listens to pedophiles (I saw a thread congratulating a man for not molesting a 4 year old). They do not believe dating a 16 year old is illegal and also justify raping female children because “their bodies are ready for breeding”. A few months ago, they started a thread asking for rapists to tell about their attacks. The ones who almost raped were comforted for not raping and some who DID rape were told it was justified. A psychologist actually joined reddit just to tell them how dangerous the thread was. The general response was that he was threatening their free speech. The admins made no effort to delete the thread or moderate it. They offered no safe space for the TONS of victims triggered by the thread, some only just realising upon reading the accounts that they were, in fact raped, and many MANY people left or were made very distressed because of the thread. Redditors general consensus was that it was an important, insightful topic and what’s all the fuss about?
So that’s a short, depressing history of this not so wonderful website so far.
So there you have it. The driving away of VA was a success greater than what I ever expected from SRS. They managed to drive away a troll who was desperate for intrernet popularity and infamy, and seemingly impervious to criticism, by merely bringing to light exactly the culture it was promoting in reddit. By figuratively merely shining light upon its domain. VA probably panicked when people discovered who he was and started asking him to interviews, which is why I saw him leaving misleading comments about his account being a shared one (i.e. used by many people) shortly before it was deleted.
I don’t believe for a second that VA deleted his account because of some noble protest. He deleted his account because he is, as he always was, a coward.
[TW] A serial rapists comes anonymously on reddit to explain his motives and methods.
[Warning: Massive Trigger Warning for Rape!]
So reddit recently had a post asking for the stories of rapists. I won’t go much into that clusterfuck (hint: Nuke it from orbit) but I was linked to one particular thread, where a serial college rapist explains how he thought when he did it, how he managed it and how he avoided justice. The whole thing is just disturbing but if you can stomach reading it, it will give you an insight not only on how these kind of rapists trap women but also how they get away with it.
“I’ve got more knowledge in my left testicle than you’ve got in your whole brain.”
Oh Gawds, the arrogance is over nine thousand!
The title quote from a right-libertarian redditor named “Libertarian Atheist” who fancies themselves as some kind of anarchist. They got a bit upset that I declined to include /r/agorism in the confederation of anarchist reddits and apparently tried to educate me on their personal ideology. The discussion soon after degraded, until they said this particular sentence, and I just had to bow out. What more can you say to that, that is not said by itself.
For posterity, I’m going to quote in full their latest reply. It’s that amazing.
You mistake arrogance with intelligence, knowledge, and an ability to convey ideas in an effective manner. “Arrogance” is a term dumb people with false ideas and impressions use to describe other people with better ideas. A smart man with false ideas and impressions who comes across another person with better ideas will not call that person “arrogant,” he will try to better understand what the other man is saying and be on the ready to throw out his own follies. What you laughably call a “combin[ing]” of “ideologies” is not so, it is the end result of years of study and reading, throwing out weak ideas (like “gift economy”) and championing the strongest. This is what I have been doing all my life and it does not bother me in the least that you (or anyone else, anarchist or otherwise) can’t understand. Luckily opinions are not measured by how many people “take [it] seriously” (if that were the case Christian and Muslim opinions would be the best) and a man seeking the best opinions does not care who “takes [him] seriously”, what matters is reaching as close an approximation of the truth as is humanly possible.
The funniest part is where you claim to be able to teach me anything. I’ve got more knowledge in my left testicle than you’ve got in your whole brain. You’re barely fit to teach a dog. You deign to reply to me? What a laugh! This back in forth with you is the greatest waste of my time this year so far. . . we’ve got quite a bit to go but you’re in a very high running at this point.
I just love that they also italicized the “me”, making that phrase totally sound like Invader Zim. Adorable!
When anarchists refer to their comrades as weak-willed sheep to be led around, then you know the rots has already gone deep.
It’s generally sad when I get disappointed by fellow anarchists online, but I don’t make a big deal out of it always However, sometimes, I feel a need to point out where I see a failing – when there is a salient point to be made on an issue. Such is the case with the recent interaction I had in /r/anarchism.
The story so far
/r/anarchism has until now been fairly laissez-faire in moderation, something which changed somewhat after the The Great /r/anarchism Shitstorm of 2010 when it was accepted that oppressive speech and people would be removed from the premises. However, it was commonly accepted that all other aspects of moderation, save combating outright spam, would be left to the organic moderation of the community.
One month ago, one of the newer mods in the team, wanted to start manually removing so-called reposts, by which they meant the same story published on different webpages and posted to /r/anarchism within a short amount of time from other versions of it. They asked the community for comments and the general sentiments was that they should remains hands-off about it and that was that.
Yesterday, as I was reading a post about some anarchistic rants from Eric Raymond, I noticed this mod had left a single comment saying “No platform”. I decided to check if that meant what I thought it did, and sure enough, that post had been moved by said mod to the spam filter. Alarmed, I checked the recent additions to the spam filter and found it half-full with reposts (as well as similar “No platform” removals ((The same moderator has also expressed explicit desires to remove “anarcho”-capitalists from the discussion, something which was historically tolerated in /r/anarchism for the purposes of open discussion.)) ) that this mod had started doing, pretty much since the community asked them to remain hands-off.
I kinda exploded about it on /r/metanarchism, not so much about reposts being removed, but about the mod acting unilaterally and despite the decision reached in the past. My tone led this mod to try and troll me, and in the process revealed just what an authoritarian sentiment they hold, and how little they regard the people in the community they moderate.
More specifically, when challenged on the fact that they are not only removing the agency of the community and disregarding democratic decision-making, they replied with two very telling phrases.
Sit down and shut up.
This is significant because it sets the tone of the discussion. The mod is taking the clear role of the authority figure which reinforces the fact that lately, whatever this mod has wanted has been done despite all opposition. ((For example, someone requested that I be added as a mod again, this had significant support, but this particular mod blocked it on the ground that I would prevent mods from acting too much. Obviously they meant that I would stop them from doing what they just did, which I would. The request then moved to modified consensus, which was supported by 10 people and blocked by this one mod. The last request to make the mods follow the rules of their own community, also fell flat)) So I needed to be told my place obviously, a trend which continued throughout the thread by the mod in question continuously mocking my concerns.
It became apparent to me after having to beg to edit the sidebar that people around here tend to oppose things or sit on their ass if you ask, but go along with them if you just do them.
This must be the most cynical justification of authoritarianism I’ve seen. And from a self-professed anarchist no less! This is practically saying that the mod consider their comrades weak-willed and apathetic, so they’ll give lip service to democratic processes but will go through with their plan anyway since nobody is going to stop them anyway. I noted the quote in the thread, which only elicited more mockery from the mod in question, while everyone else just twiddled their thumbs.
It is no wonder that this mod has started acting as if /r/anarchism is their personal fief.
So since then, I’ve been trying to explain to people, that it doesn’t matter how small or trivial the act of authoritarianism was. The problem is that it was a unilateral act that went against what people expressed they wanted. People kept trying to argue with me that “deleting reposts is no big deal, and why should we not do it anyway?” which is frustratingly beside the point.
It doesn’t matter if removing reposts is not a significant act. It matters that this mod cynically rams through their own preferences and anarchists just let him do it. Of course the same people then argued that since people don’t bother to show up and argue the point, then obviously removing reposts is “not a big deal” and round and round we go.
To perhaps make it more understandable why allowing some people to act this way is problematic, I wanted to tell a little story which might make an apt analogy and the point I’m making more obvious:
A story of leftovers
Imagine if you will, a large community with communal kitchens and dining areas. After each meal, the leftovers are left in a pile in the kitchen and there are also a few people in the community who use them for various purposes. Some make compost out of vegetable leftovers, while others make soups out of meat leftovers such as bones.
Now imagine also that there are a few others who really dislike seeing those leftovers hanging there for hours until the ones who wish to use them come around to collect them. After a while, they make a meeting to discuss the situation. They would like to throw them away immediately with the normal garbage. The meeting is not very large because most people don’t care about leftovers, but some who collect them and some who want to throw them away show up, as well as some who don’t feel strongly about it either way. Various arguments are made for and against, with the ones who want to throw them away mentioning that they are unseemly, smelly or unhygienic while the ones who collect them make the case that those effect are very minor and easily avoidable while there are others benefits. After some back and forth on this issue, within this small meeting, the general sentiment is that most people don’t mind the leftovers staying around until they are collected and everyone leaves it at that.
People in the community go on with their lives and nobody really thinks about the issue anymore. However one of people who was the most vocal about getting rid of the leftovers, starts going around throwing away the leftovers when they notice them anyway. They don’t throw all of them away, and they always leave a small cryptic post-it note somewhere in the kitchen area that is fairly easy to miss. The people who gather them don’t really notice it other than simply finding less leftovers around.
Eventually one finds the post-it note and starts to investigate. They go through the normal garbage and notice a large quantity of leftovers in them. Enraged, they call another meeting about it and call-out the one throwing the leftovers away: “Why did you start doing this, when we agreed to let us handle it?”. Various people from the old and new meeting arrived to see what all the fuss was about.
The answer comes back: “But leftovers are unseemly and smelly.” Some people in attendance murmur in agreement, some of the ones collecting the leftovers start explaining again why they want them, and the discussion on if the leftovers should be stored or thrown away starts again. Only this time, the framing is different. This time the ones collecting them need to provide a reason to convince people to let them do it, and they need to find enough support to peer-pressure the one doing it unilaterally to stop. They will also need to get into confrontation about it which is not worth it for something so minor. “Why are you making a big deal out of this? They’re only leftovers!” Those who didn’t want leftovers lying around don’t speak up because they got what they preferred now. And unfortunately, not many care about leftovers anyway, so most remain on the fence or don’t provide any input at all.
The real problem was ignored.
The issue here was not on whether leftovers should be collected. The issue was about one person who put their personal preferences above everyone else. The fact that most were apathetic enough about it to let them is part of the problem, not the justification! At the end of this hypothetical story, the people who were doing something harmless were alienated from their own community. Their wishes, their decision-making, their agency were diminished. In the future they will not even go to such meetings. “Why bother”?
The one who disregarded them and did their own thing anyway? Now they think their comrades are weak-willed and pushovers. And next time they try to ram their preferences though, they’ll find even less opposition as more and more people are alienated. If anyone raises concerns about previous such incidents, they’ll silence them through mockery. “Yeah, fear my hygienic authority. Imma coming for your garbage!”. Those who get their way while in the minority will go with it, because, “why not?”, while those who are against it, even when they know there’s more of them, will be the silent (perr-pressured if necessary) majority, going through with it just to avoid confrontation and belittlement.
Authoritarianism starts to creep in. Some people learn that they can manipulate their more confrontation-averse, apathetic, or facilitating comrades to their own ends and realize that disregarding the wishes of others works better. The ones whose wishes are disregarded will defer more and more from decision-making and may even internalize this behaviour. Soon enough you have an authority-leader figure and followers. And unless the authority figure does something egregious, they will only increase their unofficial influence.
I fully expect to be further mocked for this piece. “All this though about doing something as beneficial as removing spam?”, some will disingenuously asset, once again missing the point I’m making:
Authoritarianism and hierarchy does not always assert itself in one fell-violent-swoop. These sentiments creep into even the best-intentioned communities and rot them from within. Until a point comes where people either finally wake up and a splinter occurs, with the previous authority figures retaining control of the space along with those who’ve internalized the unsaid hierarchy most, while the rest go and found a new community and vow never to succumb to the same traps…until new people join and everyone grows lax once more.
It’s easy to declare vigilance against the obvious authoritarians and entryists who are painfully obvious to everyone. It’s much more difficult to be vigilant to all the small erosions coming from trusted friends, who are getting just a bit too comfortable in being seen at the leader. The stories of anarchist communities being subverted this way and eventually imploding or dissolving are numerous. Some times there’s a happy end with the petulant authority figure being expelled (and sometimes even being found out to have been an agent provocateur), but even then, the wounds done to the community are deep. Sometimes fatal.
The reason I’m starting to call out people on these apparent trivial things is not because I’m a slave to process or “stickler to procedure” as the mod in question described me. The reason I’m doing this is because I am concerned of authoritarian tendencies. No matter how small and no matter if I personally agree with the end result. The price, the rot within, is never worth it.
Authoritarians don’t like being called on their shit, and self-professed anarchist authoritarians even less and will always attempt to divert the discussion to discussing the merits of their perspective, rather than the problems of their tactics. People avert to conflict, or convenienced by the apparent end result, or just looking for lulz will indulge them and join on the assault, ridicule and marginalization of those of us raising attention to the small violations of anarchistic principles. I’ve seen it time and again, coming from all people in positions of authority. Ridicule comes first. If this doesn’t work, then they fight you, clean or dirty. Already some people in /r/anarchism are trying to paint me as a concern troll for raising issues like this, regardless of the fact that I’ve been here active in this community longer than they have. Read the thread above to see just how absurd the accusation basis becomes later on.
But putting the idea out there that I’m concern trolling and repeating it is a rather ingenious tactic. Repeat the lie often enough and then the idea will stick…somewhere. Soon enough, calling me a concern troll will not immediately sound so absurd. “Haven’t they been called a concern troll multiple times in the last few months?” the subconscious will remark.
Oh, and did I mention that it just so happens that lately they’ve started banning concern trolls in /r/anarchism?
And to pre-empt some people, no, I am not a martyr, nor I consider myself one. I am not looking to get myself banned to make a point, nor am I trying to bring down /r/anarchism. What I am is disappointed that a community that is theoretically made of a larger concentration of anarchists than most, not only lets the small violations pass, but they mostly don’t care for a democratic decision-making process. I am dismayed that when a mod cynically refers to their comrades as weak-willed sheep to be led around and shamelessly admit that they do so, nobody bats an eyelid. I am alarmed that there is so little vigilance…
Am I giving too much thought to the going-ons of a small online community on the net, compared to the grand scheme of things? Perhaps. But I find that the “grand things” tend to mask the small ones until it’s too late.
To put it another way: When you’re battling pigs on the street daily, it’s difficult when you come home to notice or be upset about some guys throwing away your leftovers…
The ShitRedditSays Fempire is quickly becoming the only worthwhile place to hang out in Reddit (aside from a few places that make an effort to being inclusive such as /r/anarchism). One of the classic things that happen with some regularity are the so-called “effortposts”, which are basically long text posts, meant to go into some depth into reddit depravity, or simply into a specific subject.
Such is the case with this amazing effortpost on racism in contemporary America and how it’s alive and kickin’ in the 21st century, regardless of what privilege blind white dudes think. I can say, as a white dude, that this was immensely educating, especially since I am very unfamiliar with the realities of racism over the pond.
Look through the following, save it in your bookmarks, and rub it in the face of any idiot redditor who tells you that racism in America is over.
The Privileged and the Masochists are the biggest moralizers online.
Oh gawds, this is the phrase I could say to most of the people I see moralizing against various stuff in Reddit. It’s especially relevant when people criticize video game piracy. In specific, this is the phrase that someone used to put some anti-piracy moralizer in his place. The moralizer said.
They can spend hundreds of $$’s for the original console but can’t afford $10 for a used game?
If it costs an arm and a leg for a new legit game, it must cost them several bodies for a console itself.
It all comes down to buying games you can afford. If they can’t afford MW3 because it is $60, buy older games that are $10.
To which the user pikatu replied:
Here’s the problem Bro, sounds like you’ve never been outside of America. Games in Australia are $100. Do you know how much games in Brazil Cost? 6 month old games are USD$140 [Citation]. What does the average person make in salary in Brazil at USD?
The minimum wage set for the year of 2011 is R$7,080.00 or R$545 per month plus an additional 13th salary in second half of December. Wikipedia
This is why piracy will never go away. Most people play games, will not have money to buy a new game Finally, seeing as how the xbox 360 costs them 581.1743 US dollars Walmart. 4 games cost as much as 360. Older games. With the income they make, they cannot afford it. Piracy is huge in Brazil AND in China, and other third world countries. You talking complete shit while ignorant of how economics works isn’t going to help at all.
So succinctly said and such a great example to point out where most of the piracy is coming from and why.
This kind of mentality – of the clueless First Worlders who projects their own social status on the rest of the world – is frustratingly common. I encounter it almost daily online, and most often than not, it comes from the most moralizing and least empathic people available.
The original commenter then replied
I’m from New Zealand actually. Games here are between $120 and $150.
I’m a student, so I buy games that I can afford. The only brand new game I’ve actually ever bought was Starcraft 2, which I saved up for over 4 months.
I make about $4,000 a year so I don’t buy new games, I buy old games for $5 or $10, and I make less than the average wage of a Brazilian. Granted, though, the games are easier for me to procure in New Zealand.
Which points out the second class of people who like to moralize. The masochists. And if there’s anyone better at moralizing than the privileged, it’s the tools. The 53 percenters and the oppressed who can’t tolerate those more oppressed by themselves jumping up the privilege ladder. Here is someone who had to pay something like half his allowance to buy one game and instead of thinking there’s something wrong with that, and how they’re being excluded from popular culture just because of their economic situation, they’d rather that everyone else is excluded as well, only more so.
It’s the absurdity of not finding ways to improve your own shitty situation, but making sure those in a shittier one don’t get to bypass you.