Reddit has long been a place to speak your mind without fear of being censored and oftentimes with complete anonymity – and that’s what its main appeal has been. User of reddit have enjoyed the freedom to run their subreddits as they see fit and allowing the community to self-censor itself. Usually if someone is out of line, the manager of the subreddit would be the one to deal with the situation. But some users have been allowed to go to extremes in the harassing of other users and now that Reddit is under new management, it is looking to change. Interim CEO Ellen Pao is looking to curb the amount of harassment happening on reddit.
We are unhappy with harassing behavior on reddit; we have survey data that show our users are, too. So we’ve improved our practices to better curb harassment of individuals on reddit. “We’ve seen many conversations devolve into attacks against individuals,” the San Francisco company wrote, adding that it is also seeing more and different types of harassment than in the past.
It will be interesting to see how Pao deals with harassing behavior on reddit as users react to reddit’s choice to curb some speech. Free speech and open discussion has been a staple of reddit use and users are likely going to be pretty vocal about the matter, as one reddit user posted.
“Don’t ‘keep everyone safe’. This isn’t Facebook, Reddit is a free speech platform,” said one, who added that it was not for moderators to “dictate to subreddits how they should handle their community”.
“Censorship should be the subreddit’s decision. If we feel that some subs should be silenced then we are no better than they are,” said the user XPythagoras.
Some are accusing reddit of pandering to advertisers, which could very well be true. But it does take resources to run a website, nothing is free , so it makes sense that Pao would want to clean house some in order to attract revenue. What do you think about harassment on reddit? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.