Humans, Reddit, and the Internet

So I was speaking to Magimos on the Blaugust discord channel about reddit on Monday. What I said has been bothering me just a bit, because I was speaking about those things as though they somehow make Reddit unique, and I don’ think I agree with that statement. What I said was:

It’s a decent resource, sometimes, but you have to be somewhat familiar with the weird sort of reddit meta to find most of the good stuff. It’s most notable problem is bandwagoning and occasionally witch-hunting, though most of the major subreddits have rules against it. […]

Reddit is a strange thing. For all the interesting things I’ve seen and learned there, there are just as many strange and twisted bits lurking in the shadows. It reflects humanity very well, I think.

The first major issue is that everything a human does reflects some aspect of humanity. That’s a pretty broad statement and reddit certainly isn’t uniquely human.

I’m also not sure I agree with my statement that bandwagoning and witch-hunting are a specifically reddit-related issue either. First off, I have no real evidence to back up an assertion like that. I cannot think of any specific feature of reddit that would explain a higher occurrence of this than we would get on Facebook or any other social network.

I have not reason, then, to think that this happens more on one social network than any other. It could be true, but that was based on my experiences with that specific network when I don’t really use any of the alternatives. It’s an inherently biased anecdote.

Cyber-bullying, which certainly includes the behaviors I mentioned, is a very real problem. One for another post, I think.

Y’all take care, and for the love of all you hold dear, be kind.

BlaugustBOnlylogoIn case you haven’t heard, we’re in the middle of an event called Blaugust. The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

2 thoughts on “Humans, Reddit, and the Internet

  1. Twitter is a great place for mob mentality as well.

    Reddit, to me, feels like the Usenet of yesteryear. There are way more topics/subjects for any one person to humanly check up on and read through it all, and each ends up with a self-selected community of individuals with a shared interest in reading/discussing that particular topic in that particular manner. Thus each subreddit community ends up tinged with a different flavor of style and weirdness.

    And it allows for inputs of more than 140/280 characters, which allows for more substantial wordage than some other social media I could name.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s actually a pretty good way to look at it, and exactly how most people I know deal with it. If I know I have fundamental problems with the moderation or content of a particular sub I just don’t subscribe to it and don’t go there. The major problem with that is that it’s easy to engineer your own echochamber without realizing what you’ve done. Still, not a reddit-specific problem I think. I imagine most people tend in that direction with the use of follow/unfollow buttons on other platforms.


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