Reddit, or at least specific parts of the site, is currently “at war” with gossip and snark site Gawker. The back-story is long and filled with gigantic idiots on both sides of the fight, but it’s noteworthy because of how powerful the two entities are in the Internet world. Ain’t no drama like Internet drama.
Basically, a writer for Gawker named Adrien Chen has made it his personal mission to take down Reddit because Reddit allows users to post and comment on highly-questionable material. Specially, Chen takes issues with subreddits like r/jailbait and r/creepshots, which are full of sexualized photos of teenage girls and unsuspecting women, respectively. These subreddits are unquestionably disgusting (sneaking up on women on the street and taking photos of them may not be illegal in all cases, but it’s morally deplorable), but they make up a very small part of Reddit. Still, Chen is not wrong in his assertion that they need to be wiped out.
However, he’s going about it the wrong way. Chen has apparently learned the real-life identity of Reddit user violentacrez, one of the key cogs behind several of these subreddits. Chen made it clear that he was going to release this information to the public, which prompted violentacrez to delete his Reddit account and try to cover up as much as he could.
Reddit then went nuts. If there’s one thing Redditors hold dear, it’s their online anonymity. Gawker links were banned from some subreddits (r/politics being the most prominent one to make that declaration) is a bizarre attempt to get back at Chen and his cohorts. Instead of turning on violentacrez and the perverts who populate the immoral subreddits, many Reddit users voraciously defended his rights. They lashed out at Chen and he fought back with insults on his Twitter feed. The whole thing was very childish.
Reddit admins have finally begun deleting some of the most egregiously immoral subreddits (r/creepshots is no more), but they aren’t doing nearly enough to put a stop to this stuff. It’s far too easy for perverts to just move on to a newly-created subreddit with a slightly-changed name (r/creepsquad is already up and running). Reddit does a ton of good for the world and it would be a big shame if the site becomes synonymous with this kind of behavior.
Chen seems to have backed off his threats to release personal details about Reddit creeps, but a new site has popped up that is doing just that. Predditors is a Tumblr site that is currently posting names, addresses and photos of men that it says are active in the Reddit creeps community. The site doesn’t really offer much in the way of proof and seems destined to falsely implicate at least one innocent person, but this is the Internet and people don’t really think about the potential ramifications of their actions.
Which side are you gonna take up pitchforks for?