Ellen Pao’s been interim CEO at Reddit for more than six months now, but just like any new gig at the sewage treatment plant, she’s still wading through a bunch of shit. Reddit announced yesterday that as part of a new harassment prevention policy, they’re banning five of the worst subreddits. Reddit users calmly responded by calling Pao a freedom-hating Nazi cunt who should be fired. Of course.
Reddit announced that five subreddits would be bannned immediately under the new policy: r/hamplanethatred, r/neofags, r/shitniggerssay, r/fatpeoplehate, and r/transfags. And nothing of value was lost, as the kids say. (“Ham planet” was dedicated to saying disgusting things about fat people; the other four are probably self-explanatory). The idea, the announcement explained, was to ban subreddits that were being used to harass people:
Our goal is to enable as many people as possible to have authentic conversations and share ideas and content on an open platform. We want as little involvement as possible in managing these interactions but will be involved when needed to protect privacy and free expression, and to prevent harassment.
It is not easy to balance these values, especially as the Internet evolves. We are learning and hopefully improving as we move forward. We want to be open about our involvement: We will ban subreddits that allow their communities to use the subreddit as a platform to harass individuals when moderators don’t take action. We’re banning behavior, not ideas.
As Think Progress points out, Redditors responded in their usual measured way, shitting their pants and then trying to fling it at other people. They called her a Nazi. They uploaded photos of swastikas. They called her a cunt, a massive fucking cunt, a cunt who puts cheeseburgers in her vagina, and every other vagina-related insult you could expect from people who have only a theoretical knowledge of the subject matter.
After Pao lost her gender discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins she was appointed CEO of Reddit Inc and Reddit entered into a new age of censorship. A vast majority of the Reddit community believes that Pao, “a manipulative individual who will sue her way to the top”, has overstepped her boundaries and fears that she will run Reddit into the ground. Alternative sites to Reddit.com have sprung up and have received vast amounts of traffic within the recent months.
Action must be taken to prevent Reddit from being further run into the ground.
Yes! Action must be taken. Let’s try hurling our binkies harder. No? Nothing? OK, how about a subreddit called PaoMustResign that’s mostly just pictures of Chairman Mao, shit, and more iterations of the word “cunt.” Still nothing? Man, this must be the first time in human history that throwing a dumb baby tantrum didn’t have its intended effect.
Pao leaving the courthouse during the discrimination lawsuit trial, February 2015. Photo via AP Images