tek, thinks & la strada ☯ॐ☢ csmr@kapsi

Reddit - a cybermobbing platform?

Funny videos and dashcams led me to Reddit last month. I've watched dozens of videos of crashes and falls. Reddit pages look somewhat nice to the eye. Sadly there are groups involving in cybermobbing, and to top that SoMe-hell off, poorly implemented authentication.

In my mind, cybermobbing is when you post details about a person online, to chat or social media, and disseminate hateful comments, and seek to harm the person, for example by sharing personal details. Or by seeking to harm them in physical space, by looking for location or urging others to mob them.

This happens on Reddit, December 2020. I've only ever seen one other "antisocial media" in May 2017, when finnish Ylilauta users cybermobbed a german woman traveling in Finland, threatening her with rape and violence, attempting to locate her. In my interpretation of the social dynamics, it was the pseudoanonymity of Ylilauta and the verbal instigation of several sociopathic posters that then made a group finnish boys turn into scum. Or perhaps these finnish people were scum already, but somehow that doesn't seem likely to me.

Reddit's broken authentication

Interestingly, I cannot do anything about Reddit's little problem, because of their poor technical implementation. A kind of micro-level tech-dystopia come reality: their http-protocol CORS-headers are incorrecly implemented for authentication technology called OAUTH. I only get an error message in a red box whenever I try to post about or report these antisocial users. Only comments and saving drafts of posts function on Reddit.

Reddit is a poor mess

I cannot say anything good about providing a platform for cybermobbing or even just cyberharassment. Reddit is a poor mess. There are good groups, but as it is now its just a murder waiting to happen.

How do they think this approach can ever fly? Does this type of free-for-all go for investors? Advance Publications and Tencent investing money billions in money, to enable cybermobbing?

What a fricking dystopia!

Reddit looks to be just another poorly thought product, enabling hate and making the World a little less better place. The investment dollars end up powering the least good in human character. The promise of internet as an empowering and sharing technology is dissolving into a dystopian mix of surveillance and degeneration - for profit.

Social Media needs human oversight

It is not a rare problem Reddit has. It is mostly a microculture-related problem, as in what kind of culture the users of a service end up creating and communicating to each other, but this problem has other facets.

I've had people bully me in anti-bullying facebook groups using the platforms features to silence my critique of in-group ethnic hate.

I've had twitter "shadowban" me as "a bot" for simply clicking the "like" (heart) button too much - after having twitter make me read thousands of automated twitter posts and advertising from bots posing as users. It's as if Twitter is enforcing only humans to behave, while they make profit out of misbehaving, and provide that as a platform. I cannot click that fast, anyway, that it would amount to more than a hundred likes or so!

On finnish Wikipedia I've been silenced simply for not agreeing with an user with moderator privileges - a powertrip to silence a simple, well formulated and structured verbal argument - for days. Just "normal" for the Wikipedia of the time, and since its "culture" is that of an dictatorship of moderators, censorship is normal, and I doubt it has changed since I've left. Finnish Wikipedia is an authoritarian dictatorship of administrators and lead editors, and there is no other oversight. It does not matter what you do.

SoMe teaching kids to behave like shit?

Significant portion of people will behave antisocially for various reasons. Often school kids may not understand the consequence. As often adults on the level of school kids because of stress, lack of sleep or narcisism do the same. Or maybe these people act like rabid apes in the real World as well, throwing shit on others, trying to silence any dissonant voice of reason with violence or privilege?

On IRC and Wikipedia there are increasing number of conflicts during spring, when the male hormone levels surge. - I am not joking! Pseudoanonymity, as with typical Reddit user, will make many powertrip, and cross accepted social boundaries. And then there are the couple of percent of general population that seek proactively to behave antisocially online, for whatever reason.

SoMe needs human touch

Social media services need very elaborate social design. SoMe also needs human moderation, plus clear and fair guidelines. And importantly: oversight of moderation is needed, because otherwise even the moderation will be abused, and the reporting and moderation tools misused, resulting in a "Only One Opinion Allowed" tyranny that I experienced in finnish Wikipedia, or sniping and vandalism.

Social media should be pre-moderated for (pseudo)anonymous posts. The moderator should have a stake at sticking to guidelines. In the last 28 years SoMe use I have never found a platform, channel or a group where no moderation would have worked for more than 3 people, or for public channels. - Or, make people use their own name, authenticate f.ex. through their banking service provider.


I believe a certain treshold - an imposed hurdle, even - might help. Let me play with this idea! To make a post or a comment on "their" SoMe, have the user fill in a sudoku, or maybe wait 3 minutes, or give them a small technical task like: require a valid SSH-key to post or participate. These might be a simple treshold that would simply eliminate those drunken hate-posts, maybe even some of those drunken with hate.

Or, maybe these hairless cousins of apes just can't help themselves and just need to hate people they do not know online, as if that was a solution to something, ones personal shortcoming or narcisism. The future looks bleak.

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