Nobody’s Winning This One: Redditors Ban Gawker Links to Protect Free Speech
The Internet is typically not a fan of “doxxing,” where folks turn up as much personal information as they can find on a person that’s been made available to the public for various reasons. Adrian Chen, a staff writer for Gawker, was apparently looking to do an exposé on the user Violentacrez of /r/creepshots and /r/jailbait fame, and has supposedly found the user’s name and other details. Due to their plan to name and shame the user, several subreddits have now banned links to Gawker content.
It’s important to note that the various subreddits that have banned Gawker content don’t represent the actual opinions of reddit as a company. Redditors will do as they please, and as volunteers moderate the various categories and subcategories they basically dictate the law. The ban is in effect in subreddits as large as /r/politics to those as small and eclectic as /r/powerrangers. If there’s one thing reddit understands, it’s solidarity — even when the person they’re defending might very well be classified as a sexual predator, they’re still a fellow redditor.
Here’s the text from the post to /r/politics that instituted the ban:
As some of you may know, a prominent member of Reddit’s community, Violentacrez, deleted his account recently. This was as a result of a ‘journalist’ seeking out his personal information and threatening to publish it, which would have a significant impact on his life. You can read more about it here
As moderators, we feel that this type of behavior is completely intolerable. We volunteer our time on Reddit to make it a better place for the users, and should not be harassed and threatened for that. We should all be afraid of the threat of having our personal information investigated and spread around the internet if someone disagrees with you. Reddit prides itself on having a subreddit for everything, and no matter how much anyone may disapprove of what another user subscribes to, that is never a reason to threaten them.
As a result, the moderators of /r/politics have chosen to disallow links from the Gawker network until action is taken to correct this serious lack of ethics and integrity.
We thank you for your understanding.
Remember folks: When trolls troll trolls, nobody wins.