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Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao: The trolls are winning the battle for the Internet
Old 07-17-2015, 11:29 AM   #1
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Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao: The trolls are winning the battle for the Internet

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...059_story.html

“The sad irony is that online harassers misuse the fundamental strength of the Internet as a powerful communication medium to magnify and co-ordinate their actions and effectively silence and intimidate others.” - EFF

It's amazing that EFF admits this sad irony but refuses to see its own culpability as an enabler-in-fact.
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Old 07-17-2015, 02:24 PM   #2
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I guess I'm more surprised when I find a site such as "ours" which does NOT condone "bullying" or MOST unpleasantness. One only has to turn on the TV and see so called political "discussions" in which well paid activists, elected officials, candidates, etc., etc. utterly demonize those with whom they disagree - and these folks are NOT anonymous! Imagine what those who agree with a particular side but ARE anonymous will say in a no-consequences forum.

No longer do folks start with the premise that we mostly want the same things (butterflies, rainbows, housing, food, jobs, medical care, etc., etc.) Once there is a disagreement as to HOW these ideals should be achieved, the war is on. Folks soon forget about "draining the swamp" and quickly accuse the other side of being on the side of the alligators.

Had the internet NOT devolved into the slime pit that characterizes much of it, now THAT would be ironic (and wonderful.) YMMV
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:45 PM   #3
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There is a reason why many news sites have turn their comment section off over the past year. It made their readers look like uninformed lunatics.
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
There is a reason why many news sites have turn their comment section off over the past year. It made their readers look like uninformed lunatics.
+1

The comment sections of many of those sites would convince you the human race has no future...
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:01 PM   #5
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A large portion of the Internet audience enjoys edgy content and the behavior of the more extreme users; it wants to see the bad with the good, so it becomes harder to get rid of the ugly. But to attract more mainstream audiences and bring in the big-budget advertisers, you must hide or remove the ugly.
This I believe is the root cause of what happened with her. I've seen it at some other sites too.

You try to clean up the neighbourhood to new standards and the more fanatic local gang members fight back. Not completely unsurprising since they usually were one of the firsts to move in.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:01 PM   #6
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There have been trolls on reddit since it was formed. Ms. Pao lost her job because she was a bad CEO - she didn't understand her product, and she didn't understand her customers. The trolls are just a convenient scapegoat for her to throw under the bus. And if you look at her history, she typically blames others for her lack of success. It's never her fault.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:41 PM   #7
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Everything peaks and begins to fail...EVERYTHING. Economies, countries, nations, brands, people, websites, ideas, religions, etc. Reddit peaked and now it will die like everything else. I like reddit it was the forum of forums. I surprised that they don't turn a blind eye to "unconventional" subreddits to allow the powers the be to identify nonconformist.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:56 PM   #8
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Yeah, kudos to the moderators here. I hate to admit that while I abhor and will not watch daytime TV I will waste time on Reddit occasionally (I'm sure I'm in oldest 1 percentile) and used to scan some of the news comment sections (now mostly closed). All I can say is who ARE these people that spend all this time tapping out just odd, what, spewings? What is the point? It just boggles my mind how many hours are spent not even arguing issues, just blathering. Occasionally you do find threads that are interesting on reddit, but you sure can find some pretty, well, let's just say out there ones.
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:20 PM   #9
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I have lost track of how many forums I've participated in over the decades going back to usenet groups in 1980. I even like the reddit concept of up and down voting. But I have never liked Reddit. I think it is because there is a lack of a common interest that adds a dimension to another person.

Even putting aside the remarkable maturity consistently shown on this forum and the effective moderation, I find there is transferring of good will by having a shared interest.

Politically Buu and I are pretty far apart, I'd be shocked if we vote for the same presidential candidate in 2016. But I respect his knowledge of the tech industry, so I am willing to give his opinion some weight. The problem with reddit is so big you aren't likely to get a chance to interact with a person except in a couple of subreddits. So it is just too easy to dismiss somebody as an idiot or troll.

Although it the case of Reddit,there are just entirely too many trolls. Lothsome, repulsive creatures that need to be burned and doused with acid to prevent regeneration. "A D&D monster manual"
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
I guess I'm more surprised when I find a site such as "ours" which does NOT condone "bullying" or MOST unpleasantness. One only has to turn on the TV and see so called political "discussions" in which well paid activists, elected officials, candidates, etc., etc. utterly demonize those with whom they disagree - and these folks are NOT anonymous! Imagine what those who agree with a particular side but ARE anonymous will say in a no-consequences forum.

No longer do folks start with the premise that we mostly want the same things (butterflies, rainbows, housing, food, jobs, medical care, etc., etc.) Once there is a disagreement as to HOW these ideals should be achieved, the war is on. Folks soon forget about "draining the swamp" and quickly accuse the other side of being on the side of the alligators.

Had the internet NOT devolved into the slime pit that characterizes much of it, now THAT would be ironic (and wonderful.) YMMV
+1
Well said.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:05 PM   #11
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I remember when they won the battle for TV. Mort Downey.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:50 PM   #12
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All I can say is who ARE these people that spend all this time tapping out just odd, what, spewings? What is the point? It just boggles my mind how many hours are spent not even arguing issues, just blathering
Mostly purpose-built chatbots that failed their Turing Tests.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=11&v=vphmJEpLXU0

I'm pretty sure I've seen threads like that here.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:34 PM   #13
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I remember when they won the battle for TV. Mort Downey.

LOL... I use to have a friend who loved watching him.... I watched a few times and wondered why.... don't we still have Jerry Springer
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
I guess I'm more surprised when I find a site such as "ours" which does NOT condone "bullying" or MOST unpleasantness. One only has to turn on the TV and see so called political "discussions" in which well paid activists, elected officials, candidates, etc., etc. utterly demonize those with whom they disagree - and these folks are NOT anonymous! Imagine what those who agree with a particular side but ARE anonymous will say in a no-consequences forum.

No longer do folks start with the premise that we mostly want the same things (butterflies, rainbows, housing, food, jobs, medical care, etc., etc.) Once there is a disagreement as to HOW these ideals should be achieved, the war is on. Folks soon forget about "draining the swamp" and quickly accuse the other side of being on the side of the alligators.

Had the internet NOT devolved into the slime pit that characterizes much of it, now THAT would be ironic (and wonderful.) YMMV
+2

IMHO, what I have noticed in this forum is that everyone (or the vast majority) wants others here to succeed towards FIRE. While folks may difference in terms of the specific investments, allocation, spending, etc., it is done in hopes of helping others. Folks here recognize that one can apply planning for FIRE principals via different paths, whatever level and style of living one chooses to achieve/live in FIRE is fine, and others succeeding in FIRE do not "take away" for one's own attempts at success (in fact it helps as something to learn from). So I thank the moderators for allowing such freedoms and ensuring participants adhere to them.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:04 AM   #15
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There is a reason why many news sites have turn their comment section off over the past year. It made their readers look like uninformed lunatics.
I ran a news site in a prior life and turned off the comments sections years ago... what was hoped to become a community bulletin board very quickly became a bathroom wall. What was surprising is the large audience that enjoyed being entertained by the handfuls of trolls that came out from under the rocks at every opportunity.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:38 AM   #16
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Folks here recognize that one can apply planning for FIRE principals via different paths, whatever level and style of living one chooses to achieve/live in FIRE is fine, and others succeeding in FIRE do not "take away" for one's own attempts at success (in fact it helps as something to learn from).
That is one of the main problems with so much of media today -- cable "news", talk radio, blogs, social media and many message/bulletin boards -- so many people treat everything like a zero-sum game, where when someone else wins, it means it has to come at the expense of you and those "like" you. It seems like that's how so much divide-and-conquer media work today -- get one half of the people angry at the other half of the people, because the other half is trying to screw you over. It's sad. I cherish the First Amendment, but wow, sometimes the awful sewage spewed on comment pages and such almost makes me wish it were less absolute and sacrosanct.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:25 AM   #17
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Ellen Pao is a very interesting person and her last months at Reddit are also: Reddit's users are in revolt | The Verge is a timeline of articles about the Reddit controversy, which as far as I can tell involved the site's own volunteer moderators (so deliciously ironic imo), so her own oped might not be the most objective view of Internet trolls; my view of her article in the Post is a little cynical.

But definitely, trolls and bots are the garbage of the Internet (and popup ads, but I digress). I don't know why comments reacting to a "published" article shouldn't be moderated--old-school publishing would have found them in a letters to the editor column, which were not only moderated but often also edited before being chosen for publication. Thoughtful comments to a post often offer more information and different viewpoints about the topic, and it is often a loss they are not allowed. Certain subjects are troll magnets and websites just do not have the resources to monitor them.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:25 AM   #18
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That is one of the main problems with so much of media today -- cable "news", talk radio, blogs, social media and many message/bulletin boards -- so many people treat everything like a zero-sum game, where when someone else wins, it means it has to come at the expense of you and those "like" you. It seems like that's how so much divide-and-conquer media work today -- get one half of the people angry at the other half of the people, because the other half is trying to screw you over. It's sad. I cherish the First Amendment, but wow, sometimes the awful sewage spewed on comment pages and such almost makes me wish it were less absolute and sacrosanct.
Not to worry. It is more challenged everyday. Look at campus speech codes, "hurtful speech" etc. You won't have to wait long to see more control of what you would like to be less "sacrosanct".
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Old 07-18-2015, 02:50 PM   #19
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Even more important than the moderation on this board, which is of course exemplary, is the fact that those spouting nonsense would soon have their, uh, er, hat handed to them.

Sure, we have disagreements, but you have to have your A game on; argument by meme, as so often happens on social media and in comment sections, just won't cut it here.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:50 AM   #20
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That is one of the main problems with so much of media today -- cable "news", talk radio, blogs, social media and many message/bulletin boards -- so many people treat everything like a zero-sum game, where when someone else wins, it means it has to come at the expense of you and those "like" you. It seems like that's how so much divide-and-conquer media work today -- get one half of the people angry at the other half of the people, because the other half is trying to screw you over. It's sad. I cherish the First Amendment, but wow, sometimes the awful sewage spewed on comment pages and such almost makes me wish it were less absolute and sacrosanct.
Quote:
the growth of media choice strengthens the extremes while hollowing out the center
February 3, 2014 edition of “The Monkey Cage” - Matthew Levendusky’s column in the Washington Post. Are Fox and MSNBC polarizing America? - The Washington Post
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