Should we just stop using reddit?

I just learned, from here, that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Mens Rights Advocacy thread of Reddit as a “hate site.” This makes me wonder if reddit, as a thing, a company, social networking sphere, or whatever it is should be boycotted, or put another way if use of that place on the internet is unethical.

Reddit: Mens Rights
A “subreddit” of the user-generated news site Reddit, this forum describes itself as a “place for people who feel that men are currently being disadvantaged by society.” While it presents itself as a home for men seeking equality, it is notable for the anger it shows toward any program designed to help women. It also trafficks in various conspiracy theories. “Kloo2yoo,” identified as a site moderator, writes that there is “undeniable proof” of an international feminist conspiracy involving the United Nations, the Obama Administration and others, aimed at demonizing men.

I think, frankly, that if the SPLC looked at r/atheist on certain days, they would say the same thing about that subreddit.

Is it time to just put reddit aside and shun it, and those who use it, as a matter of social pressure to make this world a slightly better place rather than a slightly suckier place?

Don’t you dare post this post on reddit!

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88 Responses to Should we just stop using reddit?

  1. Crystal D. says:

    Dude, there is a button RIGHT THERE to share it on Reddit, do you know how difficult you are making this for me??? ;)

  2. Nemo says:

    I’m not a reddit user, but I would not think that was an appropriate response, no. My understanding is that it’s an open forum (no?), where all points of view are represented, even stupid, hateful ones. The existence of the MRA section doesn’t imply endorsement by reddit as an organization — does it?

    And if you’re going to argue that we should boycott any open forum, then I’m really, really going to disagree.

  3. Greg Laden says:

    It might imply that, yes, because they have moderators. Also, if you have an open forum and it becomes a place where hate is generated enough that a major watchdog group calls you a hate site, then that isn’t necessarily just people being dicks on the internet any more.

    Putting it a different way, slightly, should I, as a blogger, walk away from Reddit because a watchdog group that I respect has earmarked them in this way? Is using reddit at this point like crossing a picket line?

    I’m certainly not aruging that we should boycott any open forum, and I’m not sure that a moderated forum should be this out of control.

  4. Greg Laden says:

    Crystal: Now my reddit button is hidden under the share button, in a holding pattern.

  5. Achrachno says:

    I don’t use Reddit either, and am unclear/skeptical on whether it should be boycotted in general. I’ve avoided the whole thing (along with much else related to social networking) because I don’t want any more noise/distraction in my life.

    I’d certainly stay away from any MRA dominated site anywhere, and that would certainly include the subreddit you described. Sounds pretty toxic and I can imagine the sort of BS being peddled. But, if SPLC identified just this one subreddit as a problem, why should someone hold people in other interest groups (model airplanes?) responsible? That said, I’ll probably continue to not use Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, etc. so I guess functionally I’m doing what you suggest, even if I may not fully agree.

  6. John Moeller says:

    I really think that we have to answer the following question before we can say whether the whole of Reddit should be boycotted (and further whether stronger action like petitions should be filed):

    How does a subreddit (in particular, the Men’s Rights subreddit) fit into the larger ecosystem of Internet speech?
    More specifically:
    1. If blogs with the same kind of speech appear on Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, etc., should the blog hosting companies censure/shut down these blogs?
    2. If the blog hosting companies should in fact censure this type of speech, should an ISP/DNS host also pull an independent site that has similar speech?
    3. Should we prevent such speech from appearing on the Internet at all?
    4. Is there an Internet-equivalent right to free speech, but more importantly for this question, a right to host a forum for a particular type of speech on the Internet?
    5. Where does a subreddit fall in this spectrum?

    My personal opinion to the above questions are:
    1. Probably, especially since these networks are “socially-enabled”
    2. Probably not, that feels like treading on thin ice
    3. No, because what makes the Internet special versus the mail or paper publication?
    4. It seems like there should be, if we want to consider internet access to be a civil liberty
    5. Seems like it should fall closer to (1), so I say boycott it.

    The thing is, though, I don’t know how much real difference there is between (1) and (2).

    P.S. I’m entirely open to being corrected and educated on this issue.

  7. Nemo says:

    OK, I looked it up:

    http://www.reddit.com/help/faq#Whatisamoderator

    “[M]oderators … are not appointed by reddit.”

    Basically, anyone can create a reddit and they’re automatically its moderator. To me, this means there’s no endorsement.

    The only site-wide rule seems to be a ban on “cheating”.

  8. Rationalwoman says:

    I moderate the r/godlesswomen subreddit. While some of the men can be jerks on various subreddits, women, including myself, have subreddits that speak to our interests. There’s feminist subreddits and pro-choice subreddits. I wouldn’t boycott reddit. If you are a man who uses it and who is offended, serve as a better example.

  9. Greg Laden says:

    Should active sub reddit users and especially moderators be doing more than just telling others that they are not personally doing something wrong and that those who are offended should by example change the behavior f extremists, or should the tell reddit to change hoe they operate as needed to avoid having a major watchdog group list them?

    Nero, I’m not impressed with the fact that reddit happens to be set up in this way. A self serving built in excuse is not much of an excuse.

  10. Greg Laden says:

    Damn autocorrect … You all get the point. ESP Nero

  11. I don’t use Reddit much, but I have no intention of stopping.

    Really, if the corporation that owns Reddit (whose name I just looked up, but which I’d never heard of before) started trying to moderate Reddit, I doubt it would end well. It would invite all kinds of campaigns to shut down anything anyone anywhere doesn’t like. And stupid decisions would be made, because the people making those decisions would be corporate drones who don’t know enough about most of the issues and don’t really care about them either.

    Put another way: what does more harm: the videos YouTube fails to take down, or YouTube takedowns that happen for no good reason?

    The fact that the SPLC has official designated r/MR strikes me as irrelevant. Put it this way: if this “Kloo2yoo” guy had said all the nutty things he said (having just popped over to r/MR, I agree he’s nuts), but SPLC didn’t take note, would that make Reddit allowing him to moderate a subreddit any more defensible?

  12. Louise says:

    I went to the reddit website and typed in Men’s Rights Advocacy and it pulled up a link that said, ‘Southern Poverty Law Center Men’s Rights Advocacy’ or something to that effect. I clicked on it and it directed me to a malicious website which was caught by Malewarebytes. Just an FYI.

  13. Jay says:

    The SPLC did not designate r/MensRights on Reddit a hate site:
    http://www.dailydot.com/news/reddit-mens-rights-hate-group-splc/

    At least contact the SPLC before you make such false claims.

  14. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says:

    I went to the reddit website and typed in Men’s Rights Advocacy and it pulled up a link that said, ‘Southern Poverty Law Center Men’s Rights Advocacy’ or something to that effect. I clicked on it and it directed me to a malicious website which was caught by Malewarebytes. Just an FYI.

    Wow, if that’s not a violation of Reddit’s terms of service something is seriously fucking wrong with the basic structure of the site.

  15. The_Patriarchy says:

    r/mensrights was not identified as a “hate-site” or anything like that:

    http://www.dailydot.com/news/reddit-mens-rights-hate-group-splc/

    Greg Laden, the article you’ve written is defamatory. You’re either misinformed, or are maliciously spreading lies. Either way, you are clearly not living up to the title of “skeptic”.

  16. Aaron says:

    This comes on the heels of reddit getting called out by Anderson Cooper for being a hub of child pornography late last year, and then again by other news organizations this year.

  17. Aaron says:

    For reference in myrevipus post, please check the following link:

    http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3466025

    This was 2 months ago, where the administrators of reddit were forced to grapple with the ” challenging” issue of child porn.

  18. Jon H says:

    This is just silly and reactionary.

    Whatever helps you feel better about yourself I guess.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The men’s rights subreddit wasn’t classified as a hate group. This has been confirmed multiple times, for a long time. e.g.
    http://beta-balancer-1681234300.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com/news/reddit-mens-rights-hate-group-splc/

    It was interpreted that way initially, and some who have an agenda against the subreddit continue to repeat it.

    Please also keep in mind that skepchick’s blog post is mostly a fabrication. No matter what the topic, there will be some morons or bigots; she (and the others with a similar agenda) cherry-picked the worst comments, claimed that nearly everybody believed it (when in reality half the posts were calling it a troll) and claimed that MRAs consider spermjacking a very important issue (paternity fraud is because of the way the laws work, but stealing used condoms most certainly is not).

  20. Agnostica says:

    MRAs have spilled into every part of the site. They spread their hate spiel and claims of ‘female oppression’ everywhere (the subreddit itself has 30,000+ subscribers).

    Here is some MRA related hilarity if you haven’t seen it yet: http://manboobz.com/2012/04/05/guess-who-got-trolled-on-april-fools-day-hint-it-rhymes-with-glens-brights-pubreddit/

    Also, don’t forget this lovely gem if you need a reason to berate Reddit as a whole: http://gawker.com/5884619/reddit-reluctantly-bans-child-porn

    Reddit is rotten from the top-down. There is a ton more information in regards to the site as a whole and why it’s so toxic, but I’ll just leave it at this for now.

  21. GOS says:

    You have not done your research:

    http://www.dailydot.com/news/reddit-mens-rights-hate-group-splc/

    Or how about you check yourself? http://www.reddit.com/r/mensrights

    You’re giving rationalists a bad name.

  22. Sig says:

    You shouldn’t believe feminists when they are making accusations.

    SLPC on the false accusation …

    “It’s false. We wrote about the subreddit Mens Rights, but we did not list it as a hate group . . .
    “In almost all cases, we list hate groups at the end of each calendar year when we publish lists. I very much doubt we would ever list the Reddit [r/MensRights] in question—it’s a diverse group, which certainly does include some misogynists—but I don’t think that’s [its basic] purpose.”
    http://beta-balancer-1681234300.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com/news/reddit-mens-rights-hate-group-splc/

  23. Greg Laden says:

    Louise, here is what the site you found says, de-malwared, in case someone is interested:

    ———————–
    The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a wonderful list of some of the most thought provoking and sympathetic websites that anyone with an interest in men’s rights could hope to find. The sites that made this list:

    Alcuin (has since been made private for only select viewers)
    Boycott American Women
    The Counter-Feminist
    The False Rape Society
    In Mala Fide
    MarkyMark’s Thoughts
    MensActivism
    Reddit: Mens Rights (a news aggregator rather than a blog proper)
    Roosh V
    SAVE Services
    The Spearhead
    A Voice for Men
    The SPLC is a well funded organization that put lots of effort into researching these sites. All sites that made the final cut receive good traffic, are well-written, and are seen as credible rebuttals to the refusal of the feminist lobby to concede equal rights to men, particularly in separation and divorce.

    Ignore the useless verbiage on the list, which can be found here.

    The verbiage dismisses all legitimate men’s rights issues on the grounds that some of the comments on men’s rights sites are a little angry. It goes without saying that the occasional angry comment by some man who has suffered false rape or domestic violence accusations, or who at the behest of his ex spouse has been forcibly denied his children or property by the family courts, has to be separated from the validity of the movement’s underlying issues. No reasonable person would so completely lose sight of those issues because of such comments as the SPLC has done, just as no reasonable person would say that comments made in anger by those who had experienced concentration camps, slavery, genocide, or rape could ever invalidate the legitimate grievances of the victims.

    It’s truly an honor to all who received this recognition. There are a great many blogs out in the manosphere and it takes hard work to rise to the top. Keep up the great work!
    ———————-

  24. george.w says:

    Boycotts do not hinge on “rights” and it isn’t censorship if I decline to visit a particular site or take part in an especially offensive discussion.

    There are subReddits of good purpose as noted by #8 RationalWoman above. So I am inclined to “boycott” the MRA subReddits. Which is about as difficult as not having scrap metal for breakfast.

  25. Greg Laden says:

    Everybody who is worried that I’ve called the reddit subredit a “hate group” or that the SPLC has done so needs to re-read the post and re-read the SPLC’s site.

  26. jamessweet says:

    So I hate to be agreeing with people saying amazingly dumb-ass things like “You shouldn’t believe feminists when they are making accusations”, but Greg, I think you’ve missed the point in your response at #25. The SPLC’s clarification is basically making the an analogous argument to the one others have made against boycotting Reddit in general: That they identified the particular subreddit as a place with a high concentration of hate speech, but that the very nature of a subreddit makes it so they would probably never actually classify it as a “hate group”, at least not in the same way that groups like FRC, etc., are classified.

    You can still think that Reddit should maybe be boycotted in general, but the clarification from SPLC is nonetheless extremely relevant. SPLC is basically identifying the problem of “the manosphere”, but they have stopped short of calling that particular subreddit a “hate site”, exactly because of the anarchic nature of Reddit. You’re disagreeing with the SPLC here — which is fine obviously, the SPLC is not the boss of all liberals, but I think it’s a relevant detail nonetheless.

    As to the MRAs who showed up here whom I am unfortunately agreeing with on this one minor point: They can kiss my ass. There was enough nastiness in a frikkin’ subreddit to get the attention of SPLC, and while I think Greg and Rebecca have gotten a subtlety wrong here, the broader point is accurate. The hate in that subreddit is not taken out of context, it is par for the course, and it’s a disturbing trend whether you call it “hate group” or not.

  27. The_Patriarchy says:

    “Everybody who is worried that I’ve called the reddit subredit a “hate group” or that the SPLC has done so needs to re-read the post and re-read the SPLC’s site.”

    No Greg, you need to re-read both.

    You wrote:

    “I just learned, from here, that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Mens Rights Advocacy thread of Reddit as a “hate site.”

    …yet the SPLC has NOT done this. In fact the word “hate site” (which you put in quotes as if you were quoting them) doesn’t even appear on the SPLC page you linked. You are repeating a lie spread by Rebecca Watson, a member of the subreddit r/shitredditsays. Members of that subreddit have been intentionally spreading this lie, despite knowing it to be untrue, likely in order to bias people like you against us. Here’s an example of them acknowledging as much:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/antisrs/comments/rahw9/article_on_the_dailydot_covers_srs_and_reddits/c449rzx?context=3

    Furthermore, some of them (and people similarly inclined) pose as MRAs in order to say crazy things (again, likely to bias people like you against us). Here is proof of this as well:

    http://i.imgur.com/ohtr1.png

    http://i.imgur.com/p0HrP.png

    http://i.imgur.com/awoAJ.png

    https://imgur.com/a/6GkdM

    They’ve even set up a subreddit masquerading as r/mensrights in order to trick casual observers:

    r/mens_rights (notice the underscore)

    ______

    At this point you KNOW it’s a lie. Without any retraction/etc., you are knowingly spreading that lie.

  28. Greg Laden says:

    Those were scare quotes. I would have thought that was clear.

    No, sorry, this whinging about “GREG LADEN DID IT ALL RONG LEAVE US ALONEOMG!!!” isn’t going to cut it. All this is doing for the MRA’s is documenting the insanity. And I don’t mean insanity in a good way.

  29. The_Patriarchy says:

    ” Those were scare quotes. I would have thought that was clear.

    No, sorry, this whinging about “GREG LADEN DID IT ALL RONG LEAVE US ALONEOMG!!!” isn’t going to cut it. All this is doing for the MRA’s is documenting the insanity. And I don’t mean insanity in a good way. ”

    No Greg, all this is doing is undermining your credibility. You published a lie. When this was pointed out to you, you hand-waved it away, then you backpedaled and resorted to insults. Good job.

  30. Greg Laden says:

    Ok, if that’s what you like, fine.

  31. Ken says:

    The SPLC website describes the list being talked about here as sites “that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express”. Yet the MRA’s here claim here that the subreddit “was not identified as a ‘hate-site’ or anything like that”.

    I’d say “guttural hatred” is very much “like that”.

    Your argument is what? Because the SPLC didn’t use the exact phrase “hate site” and instead called the sites “astounding for the guttural hatred they express” means it isn’t a hate site? Really?

    That’s kind of like saying the KKK isn’t a “hate group” but is, instead, a “group of hate”.

    Yes, you MRA’s can still hold your heads high. You don’t have a “hate site”, you have a site of “guttural hatred”! MUCH better!

  32. Sig says:

    Jamessweet

    “There was enough nastiness in a frikkin’ subreddit to get the attention of SPLC,”

    The SPLC published a few demonstrably dishonest articles based on the demagoguery and false accusations of feminists, it wasn’t based on the actual content of r/menrights, which is less misogynist than your average feminist site is misandrist as anyone can see for themselves.

    There is a lot of Kool Aid being imbibed here, skeptics indeed.

  33. pemo says:

    Note that the SPLC page is titled “Misogyny: The Sites”. You know, misogyny, the hatred of women? So the title, translated to something a MRA can understand, says “Hatred of Women: The Sites”.

    Later that page:
    “Another resource is the Man Boobz website (manboobz.com), a humorous pro-feminist blog (its tagline is “Misogyny: I Mock It”) that keeps a close eye on these and many other woman-hating sites.”

    Where the word “these” includes all the sites listed, such as the Mens Rights subreddit.

    Congratulations, MRA redditors! You’ve been called a hate site rather than a hate group. Hold this semantic victory high. This is like being told to “go to bed”, staying up all night, and then telling your parents “well, you didn’t tell me to go to sleep.”

  34. wills4223 says:

    The MRAs have come out in force to spew nastiness all over your site Greg. I think that while the subreddit site is hateful, and full of misogynists that reddit as a whole shouldn’t be boycotted because of one part of it that is full of hateful bigots. I’m sure most of these people have facebook pages that are full of the same amount of hatred that they are spewing here and on reddit. It is a tough choice though. As for the MRAs that have come here grow up, and stop being hateful bigots.

  35. karmakin says:

    A long long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) there was a site called Plastic, that was arranged kind of in a similar fashion but in a much smaller scale. It was actually halfway between Reddit and Slashdot, more or less. It was invaded by MRAs which pretty much killed the site off.

    So I have no love for either MRAs OR their tactics.

    The problem with Reddit is the problem with society at large. Good people don’t like to throw their weight around. We feel uncomfortable doing it. We generally think the solution for bad speech is more speech, but yet, there’s a certain..shyness in place or something. We don’t want to become the enemy. That’s the best way to put it.

    The problem is that posts that reach the front page, especially in default subreddits (r/Atheism is one of them. Which is why the “big” threads go to hell REALLY fast) attract the various attention seeking locust swarms. Be it MRAs, Ron Paul supporters, overboard “civil libertarians”, or whatever. (Actually there’s probably a lot of overlap between those groups)

    That’s the problem. Solution for Reddit? Ignore the front page focus on the subreddits, that are generally pretty good (with the exception of the ones dedicated to hate, of course).

    For what it’s worth, I went into r/SRS and it set off so many triggers in me that I got the hell out of there. While I agree with the general ideas, the atmosphere presented felt like high school bullying ramped up to 11.

    The fact that I react that way, and I suspect a lot of people feel the same way is probably a big part of the problem.

  36. Sig says:

    Wills4223

    “The MRAs have come out in force to spew nastiness all over your site Greg”

    Why are you saying things that are so demonstrably untrue?

    Anyone can see that you have an axe to grind with mens rights and don’t mind making blatantly false accusations. No prizes for guessing which faith based quasi-religion you subscribe to.

  37. Altasdf says:

    “The MRAs have come out in force to spew nastiness all over your site Greg.”

    Looks to me like they’ve been rather respectful, but have not been given the respect of receiving so much as a reply to the new information.

  38. Greg Laden says:

    They’ve been replied to, they (or should I say, you’all) have just not liked the response. As a rule, MRA’s are babies about this sort of thing. If you don’t appease them (or should I say, you) they throw a tantrum.

    I wonder if reverse psychology would work on them (or should I say, you)?

  39. wills4223 says:

    @Sig I dislike bigots of any creed. MRA’s are just more likely to publicly spew their hatred. It is obviously true that the MRA misogynists have come over to Greg’s blog to whine about being called out for their misogyny and hatred. Continue to grind your axe if you wish, but don’t be surprised when you are called out for your silly hatred.

  40. Greg Laden says:

    Minion of Cthulhu
    Dec 26, 2008

    Minion of Cthulhu writes:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/xblog/2…p-using-reddit/

    It was linked to by MR, but hopefully this is the beginning of something beautiful. I think I’ll send an old copy of the Redditbomb, just to help drive nails into this coffin.

  41. gaffa says:

    From what I can see from the MRA subreddit, there doesn’t seem to be as much misogynism going on as people claim. They also seem to be fairly civil as commenters on this blog. It seems as if they are mainly concerned with issues legal paternal rights and oppose affirmative action. Can anybody explain me why that earns them the badge as a hate group?

  42. Sig says:

    Will4223

    You’ve just said another bunch of things that are demonstrably untrue, whats more you accusations are more descriptive of your own posts.

    Im not here to whine, I’m perfectly happy to call people out on false claims and demagoguery without complaining about it. From the perspective of men’s rights politics, the more and more publicly people make false accusations about us, the better it is for us in the long run.

    So far the only retorts here, have been false accusations and something along the lines of “na-na-na-na-na you’re big whining babies” – that’s not upsetting not is it inconvenient.

    You say you don’t like bigots of any creed, so why are engaging in popular bigotry and false accusations against r/mr and men’s rights in general here?

  43. Greg Laden says:

    Just to keep focus: This is not a discussion over whether or not MRA’s are misogynists assholes. They are. Nor is it a discussion of whether or not the reddit subreddit for MRA should be ignored or shut down. That’s obvious.

    The question at hand is: Does the SPLC warning about this subredit, which causes me and anyone else against hate speech, to avoid/boycott/whatever that subreddit, apply to reddit in general? Is Reddit Inc responsible for their subreddits in a way that should cause me, as a thoughtful politically active progressive bloggers, to drop reddit entirely?

    It is always a blast when the MRA’s show up to use their usual distracting techniques to lower the heat, of course, but there are limits to what is appropriate.

  44. karmakin says:

    Here’s the big problem with that. This network is about a topic that offends millions upon millions of people. Lets say that it was using a certain platform for the software (I believe it uses WordPress, which I think is pretty much immune to this sort of thing but that’s neither here nor there) Would it be proper for the holder of said platform to revoke the license?

    Now, I know there’s a crucial difference in that we’re right and they’re wrong. But in that case, this is immaterial. We’re talking power here and the appropriate use of such. If the right wing had the same infrastructure as the SPLC provides for the left, undoubtedly this network would be listed as hate speech to them.

    There used to be this old PC game called Populous. Some people might remember it, as it was a somewhat popular game. You played a god who was in conflict with another god, with the idea of building your people up to the point where they would eventually overwhelm and eliminate the enemy tribe. The final spell in the game was called Armageddon. You’d force all of your tribe to go up against all of their tribe, in a final clash to the death. I think this is an analogy for this sort of action, and I do not think that we have the power..not even close..for that sort of fight. We’d be wiped out.

    So no, I don’t think escalation is a good tactic here. I think what we need to do is continue to win hearts and minds, and generally speaking censorship does not do this. We just have to trust that we have better arguments, make those arguments and let them speak for themselves.

  45. gaffa says:

    I find your comments very unfair, Greg. I have read through about 10 pages worth of posts in that subreddit, and misogynism seems to be very sparse. If you look at the first posts, they are at the moment

    * NBA star thrown in jail for missing one child support payment

    * The no. of men in distress is growing, laws and courts are not providing enough emotional support for men

    * A discussion about whether males are solely to blame if they ‘look lustfully’ at girls who dress provocatively (link to article by women on topic)

    * A post complaining about an article in which men are purportedly portrayed as sole offenders. No discussion beyond “There was one case of gender bias in that article, but the overall tone was fairly gender neutral.”

    * Complaint about newspaper article that makes a joke out of a serious case of domestic abuse where a man’s scrotum was torn off

    * School suspension for defiance used unproportionately against boys

    * False rape charges

    * Misandry in a popular image shared in social media: “Men you should not date”

    * What should go into a prenuptial agreement?

    * Woman asking about help in how to deal with the CPS because of unstable family situation

    * Debate in Sweden about whether gender neutrality is going too far: Educators want to enforce gender neutral pronouns

    Where is all the misogyny?

  46. Greg Laden says:

    “Here’s the big problem with that. This network is about a topic that offends millions upon millions of people. Lets say that it was using a certain platform for the software (I believe it uses WordPress, which I think is pretty much immune to this sort of thing but that’s neither here nor there) Would it be proper for the holder of said platform to revoke the license?”

    That is exactly the question. It seems to me that Reddit is a thing, a company, something, with the power to define these subredits and to allow moderators, or even appoint them, and occassionaly to close them down. That would make it very different than an open platform like “facebook” or “wordpress blogs”

    Having said that the open platforms do infact shut down blogs. That is why (perhaps) we don’t boycott them … because they do in fact take some level of responsibility. Does Reddit? At all? (unless forced).

    Come to think of it, Reddit might be in a worse position. they have the power to shape themselves but don’t use it.

    “So no, I don’t think escalation is a good tactic here. I think what we need to do is continue to win hearts and minds, and generally speaking censorship does not do this. We just have to trust that we have better arguments, make those arguments and let them speak for themselves.”

    Or, maybe, that.

    Gaffa: “I find your comments very unfair, Greg. I have read through about 10 pages worth of posts in that subreddit, and misogynism seems to be very sparse.”

    That is not in question here.

  47. wills4223 says:

    Sorry to get derailed from the topic. I think that it is the responsibility of the reddit to take down threads if they violate certain lines. Being hit by the SPLC like that is a good indication that the people in charge of reddit should take down the thread, but if they don’t I am unsure if the rest of reddit has nothing else to offer. I generally prefer low or self moderating comments, but the ban hammer has to be dropped at some point. I think if with time reddit doesn’t step up and control the hate on the “men’s rights” thread that other threads should look at moving to a network that takes responsibility, and doesn’t allow hate speech.

  48. theozoph says:

    > Just to keep focus: This is not a discussion over whether or not MRA’s are misogynists assholes. They are. Nor is it a discussion of whether or not the reddit subreddit for MRA should be ignored or shut down. That’s obvious.

    Heard that, boyz? Greg has decided we are misogynist assholes, and that’s all there is to it. The all-knowing SPLC,

  49. Greg Laden says:

    Did you not mean to hit “submit comment” there, theozoph?

    And yes, if that’s all it takes to be All Knowing, then I’m very All Knowing! Thank you very much for the complement.

  50. karmakin says:

    I’ll be blunt (pardon the pun, as you’ll see), I think that as long as things remain in text form, and not directly illegal, or direct links to illegal things, Reddit has very little reason to actually go after such things.

    Why?

    Because they’d be forced to shut down /r/Trees and the associated community, which is for those who don’t know, dedicated to pot. Because of that it’s best for them if they draw as tight a line as possible. The big problem is that if it’s not directly illegal, once they start closing stuff down they basically take responsibility for it. That’s generally the interpretation of the law and society that I see in most places, they follow that sort of “Safe Harbor” standard. So they stay as hands off as possible.

    They have been cracking down on illegal links of all types as of late actually, getting the mods of the larger communities on board to remove those things, mostly copyright violations. So they’ve clearly drawn the line. If it’s directly illegal, we’ll take care of it, if not well…it’s the communities responsibility. (Discussion of pot smoking not being directly illegal of course)

    Now, I’m not sure if that’s the best place to draw the line (although I suspect it’s not), but realistically it’s the only place that you can draw the line for user-generated content operations.

  51. Aerik says:

    If you want specifics on why /r/mensrights is seen as a hate group, just browse /r/againstmensrights sometime. I catch them advocating violence and rape and redefining rape out of existence every single day.

  52. theozoph says:

    “Just to keep focus: This is not a discussion over whether or not MRA’s are misogynists assholes. They are. Nor is it a discussion of whether or not the reddit subreddit for MRA should be ignored or shut down. That’s obvious.”

    Heard that, boyz? Greg has decided we are misogynist assholes, and that’s all there is to it. The all-knowing and respectable SPLC has said so, and Greg believing them without reserve isn’t a betrayal of the free-thinking philosophy he supposedly espouses.

    Even when he is shown proof that the SPLC simply published an Op-Ed, and didn’t “identify” the MensRights subreddit as a hate site, he is in his rights to dismiss it and to refuse to publish a correction, and that’s not unethical, OK? Nobody said a skeptic had to follow rules of intellectual integrity. Or that he can’t use ad hominem attacks like “whining babies” in order to score cheap rhetorical points.

    Plato must be weeping, somewhere.

  53. gaffa says:

    That is not in question here.

    That is a supremely dishonest way of debating. Let me try to make an analogy. I in no way imply that any of what I say in this example is true, but hopefully it will get the point across of what I feel is going on here:

    Person A: Greg Laden promotes rape of underage boys and is an ardent supporter of racism. Does freethoughtblogs have an editorial responsibility in moderating hate speech?
    Person B: I don’t think that characterization of Greg is correct.
    Person A: This is not a question about whether Greg is a pedophile racist. He is. Again, what editorial responsibility does freethoughblogs have?
    Person B: Now look here, I have read a large representative sample of Greg’s writing, and there is nothing there that is remotely like what you just said.
    Person A: That is not in question here.

    Greg, I really dislike the way you misrepresent those who have a different opinion from you. You seem to be painting a diverse community with too broad a brush. That seems prejudicial and unfair.

  54. gaffa says:

    If you want specifics on why /r/mensrights is seen as a hate group, just browse /r/againstmensrights sometime. I catch them advocating violence and rape and redefining rape out of existence every single day.

    I am sure that there are misogynists in /r/mr, but it doesn’t seem to be endemic or descriptive of the subreddit as a whole. Are you claiming /r/againstmensrights portrays the subreddit in a fair light, without cherrypicking bad representatives? Using isolated examples as a representative of /r/mr as a whole seems analogous to claiming that the whole atheist movement is accurately portrayed by the opinions of Stalin.

  55. pemo says:

    @theozoph: I don’t see anywhere that the “Misogyny: The Sites” article is described as merely an “op-ed”. And as I wrote before, they described the sites listed (including the men’s rights subreddit) as “woman-hating sites”, “that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express”.

    Mark Potok said that they did not list the subreddit as a “hate group”. The article is still up, however, that lists it as a hate site, without retraction, disclaimer as an op-ed, or correction. There is not even a by-line, so the article can be assumed to represent the SPLC’s views as an institution.

    Criticizing Greg because the SPLC never explicitly used the words “hate site” together is disingenuous pedantry that evades the point.

  56. x says:

    Aerik says:

    “If you want specifics on why /r/mensrights is seen as a hate group, just browse /r/againstmensrights sometime. I catch them advocating violence and rape and redefining rape out of existence every single day.

    aerik, as you well know, people post lies under false flags in /r/mensrights all the time.

    The first link provided by the author here was a self-proclaimed troll who told a rape lie in order to collect moral support. So go around with all your feminist friends congratulating yourselves about lying and proving why you should not be trusted.

    Feminists invade that subreddit all the time, as The_Patriarchy (comment 27) demonstrated.

    People can also look at the femception account – reddit.com/user/femception and see the posts to which it replied – namely, repeated attempts to troll and trap mras into responding to lies with advice combined with outrage.

  57. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says:

    They also seem to be fairly civil as commenters on this blog.

    Is your only criteria for “civil” not using words like “fuck” and “shit?”

    Because that’s a fucking shitty way to define “civility.”

  58. Sig says:

    Pemo

    The articles that they have up there about the mens movement are a pack of lies and false claims. All they did was reprint some feminist mischaracterizing and saying things that aren’t true… so the SPLC aren’t any kind of legitimate sources, these days. They cited “Manboobz” ffs! And a number of mainstream publications have done articles prior to this thing with men’s rights about the SPLCs tendency to make false claims.

  59. Sig says:

    I urge everyone to visit Aeriks reddit to check his claim

    “I catch them advocating violence and rape and redefining rape out of existence every single day.”

    for validity.
    :)

  60. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says:

    And a number of mainstream publications have done articles prior to this thing with men’s rights about the SPLCs tendency to make false claims.

    Stormfront is mainstream?

  61. John Moeller says:

    The first link provided by the author here was a self-proclaimed troll who told a rape lie in order to collect moral support. So go around with all your feminist friends congratulating yourselves about lying and proving why you should not be trusted.

    Feminists invade that subreddit all the time, as The_Patriarchy (comment 27) demonstrated.

    People can also look at the femception account – reddit.com/user/femception and see the posts to which it replied – namely, repeated attempts to troll and trap mras into responding to lies with advice combined with outrage.

    ROFLMAO

    Hehe — wow, talk about jumping the conspiracy shark.

    Ok, so your thesis is that these posts constitute entrapment. So why isn’t the first response to, for example, the spermburglar troll to say, “wtf, I don’t think that would even work” and “you know, I don’t think punching her was really the right response; she’s obviously just a nutbag.”

    You seem to be implying that misogynistic outrage is completely justified, when in fact, it isn’t.

  62. Who Knows? says:

    From what I have seen there really is very little worth looking at on Reddit. Even in some of the specialized Reddits, r/doctorwho or r/lgbt for examples, there is very little worth spending any time on. For the most part, it’s one big circle jerk and mind numbingly boring.

  63. x says:

    “ROFLMAO

    “Hehe — wow, talk about jumping the conspiracy shark.

    So, let me get this straight. Some jackass tells a lie in order to collect responses. (S)he disregards one of the first and highest rated responses, which was: “never speak to her again. ever. record any text that she sends you, and have them available for your lawyer.” but launches into claims that we all advocated violence or failed to properly denounce the liar’s claimed actions, or advised her(him) to destroy evidence.

    the same liar is featured on no less than five different ‘advocacy’ websites and held up as a star.

    for lying successfully.

    I post data showing that there were previous attempts to deceive people and paint their responses in a false light.

    And that makes +++me+++ the conspiracy nut?

  64. Greg Laden says:

    There’s a Dr Who reddit? Well that certainly changes things …

  65. John Moeller says:

    I post data showing that there were previous attempts to deceive people and paint their responses in a false light.

    And that makes +++me+++ the conspiracy nut?

    LOL, yes. I don’t think there’s a conspiracy. You do. I think that there is a community (of hateful idiots), but not a conspiracy.

    One of the things (out of many) that I think is funny is that you’re all “get a lawyer!! protect yourself!!” from a woman with a used condom full of cold semen. And probably tainted with spermicide. Yeah, that’s a risk.

    So here’s a question: did anyone (that’s not a supposed impostor) respond by suggesting that he turn himself in for assault? That the lawyer should be a criminal defense lawyer? Because had the story been true, the man in the story did actually commit a crime.

  66. Sig says:

    John Moeller

    “One of the things (out of many) that I think is funny is that you’re all “get a lawyer!! protect yourself!!” from a woman with a used condom full of cold semen. And probably tainted with spermicide. Yeah, that’s a risk.”

    You didn’t read the story. The one or two that were advising him to legally protect himself, were advising him to protect himself from an abusive woman that was committing an acts of domestic violence and rape and blackmail against him that generally has the law on her side. Not the pathetic damsel that you are describing.

    “You do. I think that there is a community (of hateful idiots)”

    Have you even been there? I’m seriously doubting that. Skeptics? Lemmings more like.

  67. Sig says:

    Greg

    The topic is only offending people because they are either ignorant of the issues and/or believing in the false accusations and sexist double standards that are being using against the men’s movement.

    All this basically comes down to is feminists making false accusations and holding men to different standards than they do women, and men like yourself being gullible fools rushing to protect imaginary damsels in distress.

  68. Who Knows? says:

    And that makes +++me+++ the conspiracy nut?

    What makes you a conspiracy nut, and really an all around general nut, is that you think what is said on any online forum, especially Reddit, is in any way important.

    How clueless do you have to be to give a fuck what some random person posts on the Internet?

  69. mouthyb says:

    I’ve noticed, in following various blogs and conversations about feminism that a pattern emerges: MRA or other trolls show up, demand that the simplest concepts be explained to them, refuse to take any sort of evidence, and essentially tire everyone else on the thread until they leave.

    There’s a reason these guys are usually greeted with annoyance; they won’t let anyone else have a conversation, and they refuse to honor even the slightest conventions of debate. And when they start losing, if they end up having to acknowledge this because they’re outnumbered and someone has patiently just copy-pasted their own words at them, they immediately devolve into gendered insults and threats of violence.

    There’s a damn good reason the SPLC has cited these sites, and no amount of whining about it can change the fact that a site which monitors hate groups, a site which is well respected by people who do social research, has cited them.

  70. John Moeller says:

    You didn’t read the story. The one or two that were advising him to legally protect himself, were advising him to protect himself from an abusive woman that was committing an acts of domestic violence and rape and blackmail against him that generally has the law on her side. Not the pathetic damsel that you are describing.

    I didn’t describe a pathetic damsel. But nice try.

    Another thing that I think is funny is that you’re still defending these commenters’ “good intentions” when you should really be writing them off as embarrassing idiots. That story was laughably unlikely.

    “You do. I think that there is a community (of hateful idiots)”

    Have you even been there? I’m seriously doubting that. Skeptics? Lemmings more like.

    Actually I have. I stand my my description.

    Oh, and another question: why didn’t the commenters advise the OP to turn himself into the police, and get himself a criminal defense attorney?

  71. MurOllavan says:

    Just to keep focus: This is not a discussion over whether or not MRA’s are misogynists assholes. They are.

    Incorrect. There are misogynistic assholes.

  72. Greg Laden says:

    Damn you autocratic. Could have been worse.

  73. Holly says:

    Hi. I found this blog post because I was looking for an alternative to Reddit with less racism and misogyny. Do you happen to know of one? Googling around, I found some small ones including likeathon, popurls and chime.in, so I’m testing those out. Do you know of one you can recommend?

  74. Pingback: Does the Internet need an HR Department? : Greg Laden's Blog

  75. Benny-hime says:

    Firstly, the SPLC didn’t list r/mensrights as a hate site. But don’t take my word for it, take the word of the SPLC Intelligence Report Editor, Mark Potok: http://www.dailydot.com/news/reddit-mens-rights-hate-group-splc/?=hahasrsinyourface

    Secondly, MRA’s are not misogynist by default. Like every group, there a minority of very vocal douches who tend to give the entire group a bad image. If you need an example of how well that works, just look at how the democrats and republicans view each other. For those of us who aren’t horrible people masquerading as egalitarians, the MRM provides serious legal and philosophical quandaries which, when we present them to people, are generally dismissed as unimportant. But it’s always over the internet, by faceless people. Never once have I seen someone tell a boy considering suicide that the prevalence of suicide in males is irrelevant, never have I seen someone tell a person falsely accused of rape that false rape accusations are so rare we shouldn’t even respond to them. Just like I’ve never seen someone tell a starving person to earn their food, but people do that indirectly every day just by hoarding their wealth. The MRM has legitimate issues. To attack its members and not the issues itself is disingenuous and undermines people who are both pro-feminist and pro-MRA.

    Thirdly, boycotting all of reddit because of the reaction you have to a small potion of it would be like me boycotting the British because I don’t like Elizabeth Hurley’s acting in Austin Powers. It’s senseless and silly.

  76. wissler says:

    I’d just like to add that I find it hilarious that so many of you ‘free thinkers’ are being wilfully closed minded. You skeptics sure have a lot of blind faith in the SPLC.

  77. Ok , i am a user of mensrights on reddit every so often and i want to adress a few things that were raised as they were quite frankly, false.

    1, the splc did not label mensrights as a hate movement http://www.ofmb.org/2012/03/word-on-radfems-splc-and-ugly-hypocrisy.html

    2, the splc link came when a member of the vile group shitredditsays went to them and complained because agent orange had found a large pile of data on some truly malicious and near sociopathic discussions between members of the radfemhub about killing babies etc , some of these radfems are actually teachers and the other sites that got this info were going to release it so parents could be aware of the risks there kids could be at, because of the splc situation the radfemhub started fundraising for them.

    3, the article posted talking about r/mensrights used as a source manboobz, someone who i have personally gone at for anti Semitic comments .

    4, the same radfem group as discussed in point 2 was banned from hosting a conference in a london location because there discriminatory and bigoted views break the law , so the splc , a group that is at the center of this all is taking funds from a group that is now seen as bigoted and as such destroys all credibility they have.

    R/mensrights is where a group of men and women can go and talk about abuse, about hate and about things in society they feel are wrong without other members judging them, when you have a group of people who were abused and victimised by women ( because yes it does happen ) then there will be anger vented, but we have some very vocal female voices in the group like girlwriteswhat.

    Aerik is seen as a joke on reddit , his lying and twisting for a long time is seen as what it is , hatred , he seems unwilling to see that gender doesnt determine good and evil, good and evil defines good and evil.

  78. First: the role reddit plays in censorship. Reddit allows anyone to create a subreddit on any topic, the original creator is the moderator (I moderate a few subreddits myself) and the creator can appoint other moderators. Each of those moderators can appoint other moderators. Reddit only censors when the post itself breaks the law. r/mensrights doesn’t break the law, and therefore doesn’t contravene the TOS. Now, there may be the odd post that actually goes beyond what is legal, and if that is pointed out to the extrememly overworked team that administers the site, they are likely to take action on it, but only if it crosses the line into actually being illegal.

    As to r/mensrights itself. If you do read r/againstmensrights also pay attention to the popularity of the posts that are linked. Yes, some awful stuff happens on that subreddit, but most of it gets downvoted into oblivion. Then Aerik and his allies link it and try to make it look as if it is the mainstream viewpoint. Look, a lot of crap comes out of the mens rights movement, but I’m male and I was abused by an ex. The mens rights movement helped me to deal with that, while the feminists in my life mostly made me feel guilty about it (this isn’t a claim that they are bad people, they just had trouble seeing things from my point of view… it happens). There is a place for some of it, and it’s not as anti-women on the whole as people make it out to be.

  79. James says:

    I don’t understand why people keep saying /r/MensRights is misogynist. There is no hatred of women there. If anything, the MRA’s are even more egalitarian than modern Feminists. We want equality in family court. We want equality in the military and at work. We want equality in both Engineering majors and Nursing majors. We want equality in child custody and some choice in parenthood. We want feminists to stop stereotyping all males as “potential rapists” and to stop posting condescending “dudetips” around UCLA. We want men to be able to help a lost child at the mall without being accused of kidnapping the kid, or to be able to shop for toys and kids books without being accused of being a pedophile. We want genital mutilation to be illegal for both boys and girls. We want female teachers who rape boys to be charged the same as male teachers who rape girls. We want females that falsely accuse men of rape to face some punishment considering a rape accusation with no other evidence is enough to get a man fired and imprisoned, and he has to explain the false arrest to every employer for the rest of his life and hope it’s convincing. We want rape laws like VAWA to be gender neutral instead of sexist.

    MRA’s just want equality and point out double standards, and if you consider that misogynist, then you’re just revealing that you’re the one with issues.

  80. Greg Laden says:

    Scott [77]
    1, the splc did not label mensrights as a hate movement

    This blog post is about the reddit site, not the movement.

    vile group shitredditsays

    You seem to hate them.

    radfems

    I hate you for using that word, you’re banned.

    radfem

    You said it again.

  81. Greg Laden says:

    Benny-Hime:

    For the most part, MRAs are misogynists, by default, it is true.

    Thirdly, boycotting all of reddit because of the reaction you have to a small potion of it would be like me boycotting the British because

    No. I would agree with you, and didn’t mention this here, but r/mensrights is not the only subredit that is out of control. It is a much more general phenomenon.

    James [70]: I don’t understand why people keep saying /r/MensRights is misogynist. There is no hatred of women there.

    Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!

    We want equality in family court. We want equality in the military and at work

    Yes, I understand all that and as a Feminist I’m fine with that, but that is not really what you are up to. If it was, then that is what you would be talking about.

    We want feminists to stop stereotyping…

    BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT

    Your sentence just invalidated itself, MRA-boy.

    We want men to be able to help a lost child at the mall

    You go near my child at the mall and you will not be happy with the outcome.

    But seriously, I do know what the MRA movement is all about, and most of it consists of valid concerns. But no one believes you because so many of you are such horrid shits.

    Clean up your movement and people will start taking you seriously. The damage is deep,though. Very deep. May not be possible to fix.

  82. so much for logic and free thought, i gave the basic info around the allegations and the fact that the splc is taking money from the radfemhub ( a website ) and the owners of that site had the conference refused, i didnt create the term radfem, im merely using it in correct context , if thats enough to invoke hate from you then its a worry , and the moment i saw a post in srs saying that hetrosexuals are inferior to homosexuals and the fact that one user would like to slit our throats and watch us die slowly , or that one cums when white men are killed , i have issues with such behaviours yes

  83. wow mra boy, and you hated me using the term radfem ??? double standards much ?? you are rapidly losing credibility in your arguments here.

  84. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says:

    I don’t understand why people keep saying /r/MensRights is misogynist. There is no hatred of women there. If anything, the MRA’s are even more egalitarian than modern Feminists.

    It must be Opposite Day!

    The Catholic Church is a totally moral institution with NO child rape problems!

    Republicans don’t hate women! or Black people! or Gay people!

    Gravity is just a theory, so if you jump off the roof and don’t believe in gravity, you won’t fall down!

  85. DLZ says:

    Its funny watching the anti-mra’s foam at the mouth. “B-b-but mra’s are this, this and this so THERE ;_;”

    You would think at the very least, that someone who claims to be a freethinker and intellectual would be able to engage in calm, rational discourse without having to resort to strawmen, ad hominem, and every other fallacy in the playbook.

    This really bothers me, as a former feminist, and is one of the biggest reasons I left the movement. Any challenge to the ideology, no matter how slight, and you guys lose your shit like someone on a week long meth bender. It reflects badly on what you’re trying to defend.

    Taking a look at /mr right now, I’m seeing topics about paternity fraud, discrimination against adult men around children, and a case of a man with custody getting stiffed on child support. Where’s the beef, guys? Where’s all this hate I’m hearing about.

    Truth is, guys like Greg are parts of the movement that most feminists like to pretend don’t exist, and I can see why.

  86. DLZ,

    Now greg has gone on record before as supporting the radical feminist stance and said that we would live in a better world if they were in control, now by that logic being brought up in a radical feminist led household should be enlightening and its something that should have made me a better person .

    Now it would take too long to rewrite the story of my childhood in a radical feminist household so it can be found here http://tinyurl.com/bw6ocst , its safe to say it wasnt fun.

    But and this is where things get interesting, i use the term radfem which is a feminist term to differentiate between them and other forms of feminisim as well, i dont hate women, i cant even say i hate feminists , i hate the radical ideology but in itself that is something very different to hating a person .

    So I as an MRA and pinning my colours to the mast and not hating while the op based on me using a 6 letter word can state without any hesitation that he hates me ……. can someone tell me why mras are supposed to be the ones full of hate while feminists are open and enlightened, cause im not seeing it .

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  88. StevoR says:

    “Should we just stop using reddit?”

    Stop? I’ve never started using it in the first place! Nor am I planning to use it from what I’ve heard /read about them.

    “the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Mens Rights Advocacy thread of Reddit as a “hate site.” This makes me wonder if reddit, as a thing, a company, social networking sphere, or whatever it is should be boycotted, or put another way if use of that place on the internet is unethical?

    I don;t know enough about reddit to really say but I gather there are only certain threads / sub forums that are hateful? If the company condones the hate and doesn’t take action, well I guess it is certainly a fair conclusion to draw – at best they’re ignoring and allowing the hate to stand, at worst openly promoting and enabling it.

    “Is it time to just put reddit aside and shun it, and those who use it, as a matter of social pressure to make this world a slightly better place rather than a slightly suckier place?”

    Perhaps. I’d certainly go with not using it if you think that’ll help. I’m not sure I’d go as far as saying reddit users who aren’t doing anything wrong or posting hateful stuff there or elsewhere should be shunned simply for using it though.

    But again, its not something I know that much about or have experienced.

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