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Published 3 years ago with 49 Comments

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Conversation 9 comments by 6 users
  • PrismDragon
    +11

    In the end, does Reddit need to be the front page of the internet? There's so much confusion about Reddit's goal is supposed to be.

    • septimine
      +13

      I think that's the problem. They don't have a goal, they don't have a model, it's just chaos, and since they can't point to a model, everything seems much more arbitrary and random.

      • PrismDragon
        +5

        Yeah, they really need to outline what their concrete goal and model is in their current form. It was okay to be for free speech and not have many written rules near the beginning, but as they grew, they really needed to clarify a lot of things. Time will tell if they can institute one.

        • septimine
          +15

          Free speech or at least free discussion can be a goal, you just have to choose that goal rather than saying "I want free wheeling free speech AND corporate sponsers AND deep discussion AND no harrassment AND to be the default page of the internet". If you choose free wheeling free speech (which is what Reddit originally did) then trying to do that while creating a hugbox and a place where large companies are supposed to want to be associated with, you're essentially pulling in two opposite directions, and you're going to fail at one of them. It might also be hard to get sponsors is your content skews too weird (do you think famous people want to be associated with people who talk seriously about david icke's lizard people?), or too controversial (for example if there's a lot of socialist communist business hate on there, you think Economist is gonna buy ad space?)

          Snapzu, while being a place that doesn't ban discussion, is a place that seems to value friendlyness over freeze peach. We had people try to make /t/fatpeoplehate here, and the only post in the tribe is a LOTR meme saying that it won't fly here. I havent seen a lot of "weird" here either, but it might exist. That's what Snapzu is going for, and so long as it stays true to that vision, rather than going toward the /b/ trolling culture or conspiracy or racism side of the internet, they'll have users.

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          • Goronmon
            +1

            Snapzu, while being a place that doesn't ban discussion, is a place that seems to value friendlyness over freeze peach. We had people try to make /t/fatpeoplehate here, and the only post in the tribe is a LOTR meme saying that it won't fly here.

            Its easy to make these determinations when the topic is a community like FPH. But what happens when the decisions are not so clearcut? That's where sites struggle as they grow in popularity. It's not the FPH communities that start the problem, it will be things like religious tribes vs atheist tribes. Or liberal tribes vs conservative tribes. Or even console gaming tribes vs pc gaming tribes.

    • babymeta1
      +5

      They're the front page of the internet as much as 4chan is the internet's butt. They're only kidding themselves.

Conversation 16 comments by 7 users
  • redalastor
    +29

    It leaves out the most important lesson : It's easier to prevent a toxic spill than to clean one.

    Early reddit, under spez, was a very friendly place were downvotes were uncommon. The admins were very present (even if few) and contributed to define the community values. In turn the users propagated those values. New users soaked in them and everything was fine. Now I barely know the names of the admins and we rarely see them even though there are more of them.

    I think spez will find reverting the damage done in his 5 years of absence a very tough job.

    • Pockets69
      +8

      Early reddit, under spez, was a very friendly place were downvotes were uncommon. The admins were very present (even if few) and contributed to define the community values. In turn the users propagated those values. New users soaked in them and everything was fine.

      Very much like here :)

      But now my question, i have been on reddit for about an year and half, i never knew the old reddit, but i do see the difference between now and an year ago, but my question is, do you think that spez would be able to revert what is going on? while the administration is at fault with all that happened, don't you think that the amount of users that reddit has will make it difficult to change, and seeing that apparently the originals and its core mentality and examples are gone, what would the new redditors base their behavior on?

      • redalastor
        +12

        I think the best illustration of old reddit is what happened when the mobile version called the upvote and downvote "like and dislike". People were outraged! The downvote is not a disagree button! The admins apologized for the oversight and fixed it. If you broke the reddiquette, people would quote it at you.

        Nowadays, say the downvote is not a disagree button and you'll be flooded in downvotes.

        Then and now, the community resisted changing what it was about. And that's why I think spez has an impossible task because this time, we can't just flood reddit with a bunch of well-behaved users that will change the trend.

        Some bean counter probably thought they could save on community building as a "useless expense" and now it bites them in the ass. Just look at the immediate post-Victoria situation. Guests who flew to meet Victoria faced a closed door in New York because she was the only employee there and their fired her. She was Communications Director and they had no idea at all what that entailed.

        • TenNineteenOne
          +6

          I'm very curious about what they're going to do. spez doing weekly or semi-weekly AMAs might actually go a long way to making things better, but really only if he's honest and doesn't try to avoid the answer. Which might not really be able to happen, what with Reddit,inc being a much bigger company than the days of yore.

      • AdelleChattre
        +8

        If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets.

        • Zerei
          +4

          What do you mean?

          • AdelleChattre
            +5

            You were asking if Reddit's new CEO would be able to turn things around. You pointed out the number of users there as a big part of the challenge.

            The comment I linked, from Reddit's CEO, shows out that he's considering at least one approach that can use more users to advantage. Of the users that even have an idea something's been going on behind the scenes, most probably wish things were better. That many people wishing things generates a kind of charge that can be directed.

            Public moderation logs have a lot of potential to make more users a help not a hindrance. It's a critical part of the theory that's not in practice yet. That's as true about a future Snapzu revision as it is Reddit.

            • Zerei
              +3

              Oh! I get it now! Sorry, I didn't see you had a link on your post. Was a bit out of context.

            • Pockets69
              +3

              actually i asked that xD

              But yeah, do you think that those measures would improve the overall running of the site? let's suppose it does for a second, wouldn't the amount of users (again) be a problem, like the moderation team and the staff working close together and better than ever, but the users pushing in another direction, and resisting the change?

            • AdelleChattre
              +3
              @Pockets69 -

              My mistake, sorry. Yes, I strongly believe that what we’re now calling ‘public moderation logs’ is the next step in making systems like Reddit or Snapzu work. It’s an awkward phrase. It’s an artifact of the current Reddit, so it doesn’t convey what is actually meant by principled early advocates like /u/cojoco and the dearly departed /u/go1dfish.

              What you’re getting at, I think, is that there’s a break between mods and users at large. The need that open moderation meets is meaningfully erasing that distinction. Dedicated users acting as a check on all-powerful mods, even with features built more as toys than tools, would work well. Like /u/spez is saying lately, it doesn’t have to be easy, it just has to be possible. There are aspects of this we’re not getting into, like the resolution of conflicts about curatorial decisions between mods, and between mods and users, but open moderation can be made practical, and will be an obvious advantage wherever it is implemented.

              One of my favorite things about Snapzu is that the code is molten. While Reddit, which used to have a workable search function, is rusting out.

      • fred
        +7

        probably not. I was migrated to reddit about 6 months to a year before the DIgg migration. It was a much smaller site at the time.

        They have been dealing with issues of scale, not only in keeping the site running, but in its membership. Unfortunately as popularity gains, you see quality drop, and that is both for content and commentors alike.

        I dont think he will be able to reverse it, unfortunately. Even if he tried, you will just get one shitstorm after the next. That is not to say i think the site is doomed, just that it will never again be what it was.

        • joethebob
          +4

          as popularity gains, you see quality drop, and that is both for content and commentors alike.

          I would say that's the most prominent governing rule. Critical mass is a difficult thing to handle when expansion is the name of the game in your design model. To co-opt a quote - 'You can satisfy some of the users all the time, and all of users some of the time, but you can't satisfy all of the users all of the time'

          • fred
            +1

            Seems like a life rule really. It is one i live by for sure. I prefer to keep my relationships in life simple.

            On another note, arent i supposed to get notified if someone replies to a comment? I just happen to come across this because i was looking for a way to see my own comment history.

            • joethebob
              +1

              There's a line that's posted to the notification log, although it seem to lack any kind of visual representation that it is there. On a similar note there doesn't seem to be any sort of pm system either. Lots of UI work to be done here.

            • fred (edited 3 years ago)
              +1
              @joethebob -

              yeah i found that. I figured there was a PM system based on the inbox and the little manage button saying "who can send you messages" but you are right, i cant find where to actually send a message. odd.

              oh well.

              Interesting. seems to adding @joethebob to replys now....

        • Pockets69
          +1

          Indeed as i said in the post i got on reddit one and half year ago, although i haven't witnessed reddit in it's good state, it was not as bad back then as it is now, seriously.

  • MillenCioran
    +17

    Humans are like sand cupped in the palm of a hand. If you squeeze the sand too firmly, grains are going to slip between the cracks of the fingers. One must hold the sand softly, gently, and with care.

    • ekyris
      +9

      I'm sorry it might be me being dense, but what exactly does your metaphor mean? If you're too strict, people are going to leave? Like, is it a good or bad thing that grains are slipping through the cracks? Because your metaphor also means if you squeeze properly, then you can pack people closer together and prevent them from escaping...

      • MillenCioran
        +1

        There must be some kind of ultimate boundary, but within those boundaries adequate freedoms. Human nature is the formation of factions and groups, which inevitably agree/disagree/quarrel, but in an appropriate environment, such dispersion into factions is acceptable if friction is minimized. But once you come down too hard on people, or a single faction, or squeeze too much, you lose some factions, and picking them back up is no easy task...

    • freespirit
      +3

      Beautifully written metaphor, sir.

  • babymeta1
    +11

    This was an interesting read. I find it more and more that I don't want to go back to Reddit even though I miss it, I can't find myself to stay there any longer. Even if I wasn't talking with anybody the community as a whole was beyond annoying and probably filled with pretentious atheists who wore fedoras thinking they were cool.

    • ekyris
      +8

      While the larger community often suffered from loud assholes, a lot of the smaller subs did not have that issue. I only regularly visit a few small niche subs in topics I am interested in, and the experience is much nicer. I miss out on the in-jokes and some news, but it's a small price to pay to not have to deal with assholes.

      • babymeta1
        +3

        I would also hang out in other places where you'd think there weren't any assholes, but It was something you couldn't really avoid. Even the Reddit admins would act like assholes too from time to time. In general, it was (still is) a pile of mess that nobody wants to take the time to clean and take out to the trashcan. I'm glad there's places like Snapzu where everybody's friendly but cant still voice out their opinions and share conversations with a virtual cup of coffee, or if you prefer, tea.

  • freespirit
    +9

    It's gotten too large and too chaotic. It's time for Reddit's concept to evolve and improve, and unfortunately I don't think they will be able to do that themselves (Hi Snapzu!)

  • Sephtis
    +9

    I think it's largely an issue of sheer number of people. Reddit allows all comers, and that's not exactly a bad thing, but let's face it, some people are simply toxic, and they will find a way in, a few bad apples spoil the bunch.

    So while snapzu's population will rise slowly, I think the entry barrier combined with the reputation system will help keep the population civil. We must do our best not to fall into the elitist trap however.

  • CrazyDiamond
    +9

    Honestly, if anything I would blame the community itself for reddit's downfall. People have been really really toxic on that website, especially in regards to witch-hunting. They hated Ellen Pao despite not making any major impact one way or the other. She didn't have Victoria fired, that was kn0thing who did that, and they don't have to disclose why. The only truly major thing she did was ban FPH. And it kind of helped the community as a whole. If you look at whenever that sub or one of it's defenders comes out, they are now downvoted instead of upvoted.

    To be frank, it seems like reddit really took it out on her to the extent they did in part because she was a woman bossy enough to be a CEO.

  • ekyris
    +8

    While the article makes some good points, I think it misses one of the more fundamental issues with Ellen Pao vs. Reddit I saw repeated again and again in comment sections: you cannot promote a single community that both advocates free speech and hands-off admins while trying to create "safe spaces" that protect people from hate speech. The ideology of reddit allowed racist, sexist, and generally asshole behavior to find like minds and propagate. I don't think it is an inevitable result of a larger community. For example, Snapzu is very clear they don't want hateful comments on this site, regardless of free speech rules. Even if the community gets huge, if the admins are present and active to enforce that core tenet I simply don't see Snapzu going the way of reddit.

  • NerfYoda
    +8

    Is Reddit really burning? I love Snapzu, but it feels like business as usual in the subreddits I still browse.

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  • Raycu
    +5

    I think reddit's biggest problem was that freedom of speech only worked in the beginning because of how close the community was, and how the admins were role models, and the people their always had civil conversations. As the site grew to a bigger extent, more unruly members joined, and it lost it's core of discussion, and moved to a lower common denominator. After time passed, better members left, worse members joined. In the end it degraded to this, and free speech seemed worse and worse due to the people speaking. Sure smaller subreddits were nice, but they were hard to find, and often times things you might be interested in weren't as high quality as you would hope.

    This is probably what leads me to believe that I would much rather have a community where applications, and removal of users is more common. Admins should try and clean the community, and if they do something wrong, the users should still have a say in it as well. In the end, this can either go horribly, or beautifully, but it's a model I want to try some day. Until then, let's see if Snapzu can survive off of it's close community and admins. Maybe it will succeed where reddit failed.

  • TonyDiGerolamo
    +4

    I think most of these online communities are following a very simple pattern. And the cycle of a typical message board is sort of a microcosm of Reddit. Message boards sometimes struggle for users at first, inviting people in, having fun events and making the early users mods or important members of the virtual street team. For a time, this works. After the board gets going, the community grows. As it is growing, people tend to be positive, whether they are "negative people" or naturally "positive people" because a growing message board is popular and to fight popularity on the Internet is hard. The natural tendency is to go with the flow.

    But somewhere between the site growing and the site becoming too crowded with users is a tipping point. It begins slow at first. Someone takes a comment the wrong way, gets upset and then apologizes. Then maybe an argument erupts. Grows and then fizzles out. Each tiny event adds up and the hardcore visitors begin to worry about the board. They take it upon themselves to help bring in people, teach them and avoid problems and arguments, but as people have said on this site, it just isn't possible.

    Eventually, someone rolls onto the site boiling over with emotion and bad reactions to everything. Whether it's a sarcastic user cutting everyone down because he's become bored with the post or a disillusioned early user who feels threatened now that the board is popular. Actions turn into reaction and then into reaction again. Now some boards might have really on-the-ball mods for a time, but we all know these volunteers fade, leave or just stop caring. The trolls eventually snowball and the board soon becomes a place where you have to watch what you type, lest you get insults, attacked or banned. This drives away the lurkers, already shy about posting, then new people and then eventually the trend pushes people away from the board until it either dies or gets revamped.

    Reddit has gone through all these phases and now faces another revamp. But revamping a site like Reddit is like trying to restart a really cool conversation that devolved into an argument. You're better off just starting over. The new sites aren't full of drama yet. They don't have Reddit's baggage, even if they eventually head down the same exact path.

    I don't believe there's anything that can stop this process, save keeping the community small, but that flies in the face of the business model. And size is relative to the site and its popularity. There is no way to keep out trolls or get rid of them before they do damage. There will always be jerks and there will always be naïve people that get sucked into their drama. You simply abandon that poison well, start fresh and keep an eye out for the next well.

    • ttubravesrock
      +4

      what you said is why I'm not excited about the fast growth on snapzu. I've had a couple discussions with /u/drunkenninja about it and I understand that the community needs to grow, but I want to make sure the admin growth stays ahead of the user growth. I'm more of a slow and steady kind of guy anyway, so I know that this is a personal preference thing too.

      • TonyDiGerolamo
        +2

        Brace yourself! Reddit seems on a deep downward slide right now.

    • AdelleChattre
      +4

      Look, it's a redditor I'm always glad to see. As busy as it's been, I missed your entrance at the lounge. Glad you found the place!

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  • ttubravesrock
    +1

    I don't think that "Anything goes/no holds barred/uncensored" is a good thing, especially with so many young teens on reddit. Reddit needs a team of iron fisted admins to snuff out any fires and get back on their feet.

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