The Ethics of Reddit

The Ethics of Reddit

Too many times we’ve heard that Reddit is the ‘most ethical’ social media site. So we wanted to explore what that really means with Jack La Violette. Jack’s background is in linguistics and anthropology. At the OII where he researches the language of masculinity on reddit.com from a computational perspective.

Reddit is known as the ‘front page of the internet’. It’s effectively a link aggregator which is divided into different topics called ‘sub-reddits’. When you sign up to Reddit there are about 50 subreddits that you’re automatically signed up to which are liked r/news and r/sport and then there are about 90,000 other active subreddits. Most accounts are anonymous and it has an upvoting system which determines which articles you’re more likely to see.

Interesting Links

We discussed Gamergate. My (Alice’s) favourite guide to Gamergate comes from Vox. Read it here. Andrew mentioned an article by Adrienne Massanari: “#Gamergate and The Fappening: How Reddit’s algorithm, governance, and culture support toxic technocultures

Doxxing is potentially one of the worst things that you can do to a person. It’s when you make public incredibly personal information about an individual, usually to shame them. I’ve heard of medical health records being amended by doxxers so a person cannot get a job. Here’s a bit more info from The Conversation.

Aaron Swartz was a genius who founded Reddit, and was an activist for freedom of information. He committed suicide in January 2013 after the US authorities threatened to fine him for $1 million and throw him in prison for 35 years. Here’s an obituary.

Here’s a brief guide to the rise and fall of Ken Bone.

Finally, here’s an excellent article by Alissa Centivany that gives an overview of the values of Reddit.

We don’t just want to speak at you

Pleasecontact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @agstrait.

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