(I probably won't write too much more about Reddit on my blog, and I'm sorry if it seems like I've been focusing too much lately on the subject of internet communications, but this is something I wrote in an attempt to help establish a more open and accountable subreddit for people interested in ideas about anarchism. If you don't already have one... I hope you'll consider opening a Reddit account if only to subscribe to this forum.)
This post is about
intellectual honesty. As some of you may know, there has been a great
amount of dissatisfaction with the style of moderation displayed in the
r/anarchism subreddit. This has been a simmering issue for several
months. Unfortunately, up til now, there has been little that could be
done about it since r/anarchism associates itself with the basic name of
the philosophy (even though, at best, it only partially promotes that
philosophy). More to the point... the moderators are widely panned as
hardly being anarchists at all. They ban sincere anarchists at a whim,
they invite trolls from other subreddits by harassing those forums, and
their primary method of communication consists largely of logical
fallacy and obfuscation. In short... they are helping to give anarchism
a bad name. Perhaps that's by design, perhaps it's due to a collection
of personality disorders, but the bottom line is that the philosophy of
Anarchism -- in it's historical & contemporary forms -- is not
adequately presented on Reddit.
Last night I was finally sent an invitation to try out Google+. And, after a quick examination, I'm glad I didn't believe the hype.
Don't get me wrong... I was very pleased and excited to get my invitation.
It's just that, judging by the entirely uncritical response I'd seen from my online communities,
I was almost convinced that it was actually going to be the best thing
since sliced silicon. The marketing department was working overtime to
build up expectations about this product in a way that only Google
marketers could. And scores of diehard Google fans were more than eager
to help them out -- regardless of how good the latest Google product actually was. Anyway, deep down, I knew it wouldn't be everything that
everyone was making it out to be.
As an unrepentant news junkie I often
peruse Reddit, submit articles for consideration, and contribute to
various discussions on that website. And, in general, I like a lot
of the stuff I find on Reddit -- from the mundane (r/starcraft &
r/poker), to the profound (r/TrueReddit & r/BadCopNoDonut), and
everything in between (r/reddit.com). That said... Reddit has some
persistent problems which I feel reflect negatively on the whole
site. Some of these problems you may care more or less about, and
maybe all the problems aren't of equal importance, but these are some of my
thoughts about Reddit which I hope might make the site better.
The r/Anarchism Subreddit is NOT an Anarchist
I know that not everyone reading this
is an anarchist (and may hardly have anarchist leanings at all), but
the things is... many of those who post in that subreddit (including
the moderators) are hardly anarchists either! This leads to a
situation where people who may be curious about the philosophy could
stumble upon the r/Anarchism forum and thereby become misinformed and/or
turned off by the ideas they see presented there. This may very well
already be the reason why some people would never consider themselves
Some of you might think that I'm making
much ado about nothing, as if the subreddit were entirely
inconsequential, but the fact is that r/Anarchism is a forum which
ranks very high when doing a basic Google search for the term
"anarchism." So... I'm suggesting that it is actually
influential about what some people think about modern anarchism.
Those who value honest discussion (whether they are anarchists or
not) should therefore take issue with an "anarchist" forum
which actually does very little to promote the philosophy.