Friday, June 12, 2015

#RedditRevolt keeps going strong

Reddit continues to field a massive wave of discontent from the people who make the site interesting. The uprising, called #RedditRevolt, draws its support from people who are dismayed at how a policy against "harassment" is in fact being used to harass those who disagree with the "safe space"-friendly SJW ideology of Reddit admins.

Earlier today, a site naming itself after the shorthand for the /r/fatpeoplehate banning extravaganza, "The Fattening," went online with a list of offensive subreddits not yet banned. You can find it here. While Reddit's official line is that behavior is banned, not content, it has offered no evidence that /r/fatpeoplehate did anything more than make fun of pictures of fat people.

Speaking of /r/fatpeoplehate... the Reddit revolutionaries did a good job of creating dozens of alternative subreddits in response. The most recent banning is of /r/fatpeoplehate15 which attempted to circumnavigate the ban and did so successfully for almost 48 hours, rising rapidly in popularity. A smaller respawn has occurred in /r/fatpeoplehate18 but it has only attracted about 450 subscribers at this point. Reddit seems to target them when they get large.

In the meantime, the action has moved to Twitter where #RedditRevolt continues trending with a steady stream of messages. Many of these point to https://voat.co/v/RedditRevolt as a new command and control for the insurgency, but at this time it remains mostly decentralized.

Speaking of Voat, it appears to be down for maintenance after a flood of users have left Reddit. Some speculate that this was what Reddit desired all along, namely the removal of 4chan-style independent thinkers so that more of the social justice audience would attend instead. If that is the case, the strategy is both working and failing, as many virtual rioters have also stuck around Reddit to create more chaos.

A short list of Reddit alternatives:

And if you want to run your own Reddit alternative, some software options:

Adding this functionality to Wordpress:

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Reddit and GamerGate: how the hugbox eliminated dissent

Before GamerGate had officially launched, Reddit showed its true colors when a mod in /r/gaming who was a friend of Zoe Quinn deleted thousands of messages in a thread about Kotaku collusion with Rock Paper Scissors. The reason give for the deletions? They might be "harassing" Quinn, who was unhappy with the fact that she had become a public figure once the extent of her sexual favors for promotion scheme was revealed.

Normally, this would have been a minor scuffle. Someone posted a criticism of a public figure; the white knights will foam and the trolls will erupt, but otherwise, life back to normal. Not so when people can click on a single link and see the kind of massacre which resulted, then learn about the connections between mods, Quinn and the gaming industry. The rage was forthcoming, and prompted the same response that made GamerGate and now #RedditRevolt powerful.

You can see the full thread here.

As #RedditRevolt explodes into full gear, and alternative sites like Hubski, Snapzu and Voat are buckling under the weight of people fleeing the sinking ship that is Reddit, the curve of history -- not the "right side of history" but its path -- shows a pattern: people try to control information by creating a "safe spaces" type argument under which they can ban dissent, and the user community then rises up against them, tired of being played.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Reddit's censorship goes beyond eliminating threats, justifies GamerGate

In the continuing follies of Reddit, the administrators deleted /r/whalewatching -- a mostly-inactive subreddit dedicated to watching literal cetaceans -- as part of their purge of /r/fatpeoplehate and the apparently dozens of subs which have appeared in response to work around the spirit of the ban. Perhaps the admins felt that the sub for whale watching could be used to hate on fat people, or maybe it was just a fat-fingered mistake.

This points to a "tipping point" at which Reddit is no longer seeking to stop bad behavior, but to corral everyone into "good" behavior (as conveniently defined by the ideology of the admins). At first, Reddit used its power as a method of stopping a specific evil, the ill-defined "harassment," but now, Reddit is using its power to censor as a primary purpose, and as a result is going in search of justifiable reasons to use it.

Ironically, this fits within the classic complaint about police, which is that if you give a man a gun and a badge, he has power to abuse. Reddit now has a gun and badge and is abusing its power by eliminating all who do not fit within the narrow confines of what it accepts. Where it once removed those who were opposites to that ideal, it now forces every user into that channel, which is why Voat.co's servers are overwhelmed.

A user named TheBacklogGamer raises another important point: Reddit's behavior fits within a pattern of events where we have seen similar behavior from SJWs across the board as they change from having a grievance and finding the power to address it, to having power and then going to look for grievances. In short, these people fit the profile of pathological abusers but, because they are "good" because of their "social justice" ideology, no one will criticize them:

As many people on KotakuInAction have learned, this goes far beyond gaming journalism. Some people will argue that GamerGate is only just about that, and this attached culture war is only connected in small ways. However, as GamerGate drew on and on, we saw first hand just how far this network spreads. It woke many of us up.

...Our opposition is corrupt. They are liars. They are opportunists. They have power. They are privileged. They take up the banner of "Social Justice" and make the people who don't have power, believe they are in the situation they're in because of their race, their gender, or their sexual identity. That have them believe that there's a systematic problem that's woven into our very culture that stops them from ever being successful, no matter how hard they might try. So why bother? Instead, take up arms. Become an army. Become their tool.

You thought GamerGate might not effect you. You still play good games. You still have fun. Sure, some games might be shit, and launches fucked up, but there's still those gems out there you love. But this isn't just about video games. And you see it now. You see the tip of the ice berg and you're starting to make all the connections.

The whole message is worth reading, but the above is the core of it: GamerGate, MetalGate, ShirtGate, and thousands of other SJWs-versus-normals events have wracked the dying days of Western civilization. When do we admit that they share a pathology, or mode of thinking/acting that is similar in all cases?

In other words, the same thing happens time and again: nasty people take a nice cause and using that cause as a weapon, because nice people are sympathetic and will not oppose it, use it to seize power. It is like the burning of the Reichstag or the Gulf of Tonkin incident, a method of portraying yourself as attacked when you are in fact attacking. We know they use fake accounts to make GamerGate and now certain Reddit subs look bad, and then complain about those as a means of seizing power. That is in fact their strategy in a microcosm: create problem, complain about "problem," take over.

Reddit believes it can capture enough of these people to make its business model work. That makes it clear that any one who is not an SJW is not what Reddit wants because they could be replaced with an SJW and earn Reddit money instead. This is why Reddit has shifted from free speech, and it reflects more than ideological agreement with SJWs. Reddit intends to use them by providing them with "safe spaces" in exchange for advertising dollars. To that end, everyone who is not an SJW must be removed from Reddit, by driving them off with the fear of censorship, outright banning, ruining of their hangouts, whatever. They must be removed.

While the above seems cynical, it is based in the profit motive of internet sites. They need an audience. If you can find four clueless SJWs to buy "male tears" mugs for every one intelligent user, the intelligent users are a money loser. Get rid of them and replace them with zombies. If the zombies demand a safe space, let them all come in. This will last for a few years, which is long enough to sell the site and retire to the Caymans, then watch Reddit become MySpace II on someone else's dime. That's the Reddit Plan in 2015.

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Reddit moves beyond removing "harassment" to removing political non-conformists

Recent events on Reddit, if we read them from the position of the admins, separate into two camps: an anti-harassment campaign and what we might call an anti-harasser campaign, with "harassment" and "harasser" being defined nowhere and having radically different meanings. With the banning of /r/fatpeoplehate, "harassment" came to mean -- presumably, since Reddit did not elaborate -- posting photos of fat people. With the banning of /r/neogafinaction, the campaign switched toward persecuting those who have attitudes that make SJWs such as "anti-GamerGate" nervous. This shows a fundamental shift in Reddit's censorship campaign from removing a few bad apples to cutting out certain types of thought, leaving behind only the pure SJW master race.

As pointed out in a message from a mod of /r/neogafinaction, Reddit had no reason to ban the sub: it did not link to any posts on the site, it was not formed for evading another ban, and it did not target specific people. What it did do however was create an environment that was not entirely welcome to the anti-GamerGate SJWs, who find any pro-GamerGate sentiment to be "triggering" and will squall about it.

And yet... as others have said, part of life is confronting the difference of opinion and lifestyles between people. If you took the average person through a view of one hundred of his neighbors and how they lived, he might approve of the lifestyles of a half-dozen at most. Part of what makes humanity survive itself at all is our ability to keep on doing what we know to be right even when seemingly everyone around us is doing wrong. But the anti-GamerGate (aGG) audience, and Reddit itself it seems, does not want that; it wants us all to do the same thing so that no one feels like they come up short. What a strange, deathlike pursuit that is.

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Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

"There is decline in morals, ideals, manners, respect, truthfulness: just about everything, in fact."

Cited in The Telegraph.

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Reddit in collapse as "safe spaces" backfires

Basement neckbeard hugbox Reddit continues circling the drain. After the new administration began removing subreddits critical of CEO Ellen Pao and her failed discrimination lawsuits slash Ponzi scheme, the site followed that up with the removal of another Pao-critical subreddit, but the real excitement was yet to come.

As if wishing to both flex its muscles and force its userbase into paranoid compliance by avoiding anything that might be considered "harassment," a term from Reddit's new rules which has never been defined and can be enforced at admin convenience by expanding its definition to include whatever behavior is at hand, Reddit then banned anti-obesity group /r/FatPeopleHate and, with constant prompting from resident SJWs, followed up by banning the subs which appeared in response to the original banning.

At this point, Reddit has banned over a dozen subs and yet allows vote-brigade and harassment groups like /r/ShitRedditSays, /r/BestOf and /r/SubredditDrama to continue operating as they were before. In addition, unnecessary extremity like shadow-banned all the mods of /r/fatpeoplehate and removing subs that defended GamerGate suggests how corrupt this entire process is. Under the guise of acting "to keep everyone safe," as if anyone believes that childish promise, Reddit is systematically removing anything which acts as opposition to SJW ideology.

Yishan Wong told the site's moderators legal content should not be removed, even if "we find it odious or if we personally condemn it".

"We stand for free speech... we are not going to ban distasteful subreddits." - Reddit, AD 2012

In the meantime, SJWs have caught wind of the new rules and are downvoting with impunity while simultaneously impersonating users of non-SJW subs to try to get those subs banned. This classic astroturf/agitprop attack involves a user pretending to be a regular, going into one of these subs and posting controversial material, then using other SJWs to report it to the authorities as "proof" the sub is bad and should be shut down. In addition, SJWs have been mass-downvoting and abusing the report feature to try to shut down content they disagree with.

This fits the Reddit agenda, which is "gentrification" of the site into a safe space where Reddit can accumulate a captive audience of SJWs who it can count upon to purchase novelty products en masse. As a revealing interview with a former advertising agency employee shows, SJWs are a desired demographic for many advertisers, but they will not congregate unless they are promised a "safe space," which means the removal of anything except their extremely uptight politically-correct SJW outlook.

SJWs spend an absurd amount of money on cheap, mass-produced lifestyle products. They buy these things so they can post photos of themselves on Tumblr with the product, and a referral link to where they bought the item. These people are prolific consumers on par with the “bourgeois” they claim to resent.

[...]The SJW phenomenon causes a type of gentrification of high-traffic parts of the internet. When they start out, most sites are occupied by people who have goals other than pure consumption itself. They tend to buy less stuff and not buy compulsively. This group is worthless as a target demographic for advertising. They make very little money, buy few products, and hate advertising, so the more you advertise, the less likely they are to buy. Business likes a simple formula of audience x advertising = profits. You can only get that with people who buy compulsively, and since SJWs compulsively buy whatever is trendy at the time, it becomes easy to follow trends, put them on products, and reap the “fat tail” of all the SJWs trying to catch up with their leaders.

Other sources have noted the SJW pathology and the desire of Reddit to benefit from it, at the expense of clearing aside the free thinkers, non-conformists and outsiders who make Reddit interesting in the first place. The cost of having a safe space is banality, apparently.

Reddit follows Digg in this quest for the perfect audience, instead of relying on the chaotic mix of different people that made it interesting. SJWs are not ground-breakers; they are followers. They show up when someone else has made something interesting and try to take it over. Pandering to them creates a space which will be inherently stale because those who can make new and compelling content will go elsewhere, perhaps to Voat, which is experiencing so much traffic at this point that the site takes several minutes to respond to requests for the homepage.

In retrospect, it becomes clear that Reddit hired Ellen Pao to do exactly what she is doing here: drive away the reality and create a hugbox for ego-damaged millennials who think that a combination of political correctness, trendy lifestyles and low-cost consumer goods with high-cost messages will assuage them emptiness in their souls. At that point, Reddit will almost certainly perform a pump and dump, much as MySpace passed itself on to a larger media entity to absorb its losses; Reddit attempted a similar move when originally purchased by Conde Nast.

All of this means the demise of Reddit not just as it previously was, but as a viable community for anyone but those who are decades late on a trend and show up after it has already been mass-produced into non-threatening conformity. SJWs are broken people with a pathology of desiring power despite having zero reason to deserve it. The result will be a very politically correct community on the surface, but with an underlying nastiness and smug pretense that will drive away anyone who is not already an SJW. Maybe that is Reddit's new business model.

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What are SJWs?

From often-banned but never bowed Amerika.org:

SJWs are people for whom activism is an activity, like shopping, or being on a sports team. They bond with one another over having the right opinions. Cheap and easy, with no chance of criticism from others, social activism provides a hobby to talk about at the local bar after a long day of work. The vast majority of SJWs are liberal, middle-class, university educated white women and their low-status male admirers. These are the women who did not get married, but are living the single life, and the men who are of “low status” meaning they are not rich, famous, strong, or so intelligent that they are successful. They hang around middle-level jobs and follow around the women they think may grant them sexual access in exchange for “white knighting” or support in internet combat against the enemy.

Read the full article here.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Reddit jumps shark, bans /r/fatpeoplehate for "violating the reddit rules to keep everyone safe"

Many of us are familiar with the old quotation, "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." But we rarely stop to think what other religions we have. Safety is one. Science is another. Tolerance is yet a third. And when fascism comes to America, it may well be wrapped in those as well.

Reddit just banned /r/fatpeoplehate for "violating the reddit rules to keep everyone safe." That statement links to the following list of rules:

These guidelines are intended to keep people safe, protect kids, keep reddit running, and to encourage personal responsibility for what you do on reddit. You must:

  • Keep Everyone Safe: You agree to not intentionally jeopardize the health and safety of others or yourself.
  • Keep Personal Information Off reddit: You agree to not post anyone's sensitive personal information that relates to that person's real world or online identity.
  • Do Not Incite Harm: You agree not to encourage harm against people.
  • Protect Kids: You agree not to post any child pornography or sexually suggestive content involving minors.
  • Take Personal Responsibility: As you use reddit, please remember that your speech may have consequences and could lead to criminal and civil liability.
  • You also agree to follow the rules of reddit.
  • And what are those "rules of reddit"?
    • Don't spam.
    • Don't ask for votes or engage in vote manipulation.
    • Don't post personal information.
    • What might be personal information?
    • No child pornography or sexually suggestive content featuring minors.
    • Don't break the site or do anything that interferes with normal use of the site.

    So... uh... not to be master of the obvious, but which rule was broken? /r/fatpeoplehate was a community of people who disliked fatties. Not particular fatties, fatties in general. (It's not a prejudice that I share, but I understand the resentment and disgust, even if I'm about to have a double bacon cheeseburger just to spite them).

    And even more... who wrote those completely juvenile rules? They read like a kindergartner proclaiming herself Führer in the name of safety. Reddit has gone downhill more quickly than anyone has anticipated. It's a simplistic view of the world where criticism is bad, but people click on ads is good.

    Reddit also posted an announcement explaining this event:

    We will ban subreddits that allow their communities to use the subreddit as a platform to harass individuals when moderators don’t take action. We’re banning behavior, not ideas.

    Today we are removing five subreddits that break our reddit rules based on their harassment of individuals. If a subreddit has been banned for harassment, you will see that in the ban notice. The only banned subreddit with more than 5,000 subscribers is r/fatpeoplehate.

    According to Reddit dictator Ellen Pao, the following subreddits were removed:

    r/hamplanethatred (3071 subscribers), r/transfags (149), r/neofag (1239) and r/shitniggerssay (219)

    However, zero evidence was given of who these subreddits 'harassed' and whether that was general criticism, e.g. "Taylor Swift writes boring songs" or specific criticism, e.g. "Dave Hamilton smells like stale cream cheese." These are important determinants as to whether Reddit is merely removing troublesome ideological enemies, or enforcing some actual policy.

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    Tuesday, June 09, 2015

    The type of attention-starved, power hungry personalities that cling to internet SJW

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    Monday, June 08, 2015

    Censorship 2.0

    We believe that censorship 2.0 will take a similar form (ie. the appearance of everyone having a voice, but then controlling which voices are actually heard). - thinkst

    Undoubtedly, this is correct. The new form of censorship is giving everyone a voice and then ensuring that official voices appear more frequently than others, while casting doubt on those who are outside of the norm. It has been this way for some time; my guess is that it is a post-Civil War strategy in the United States and probably Napoleonic War-era in Europe.

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