It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is Out

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:48 am

Reddit users rebel over banning of fat-shaming subforums
by Jessica Elgot
June 11, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Chief executive Ellen Pao is target of derogatory posts after she leads campaign to clean up harassment on the site

Image
Ellen Pao, interim chief executive of Reddit. Users have begun a petition calling on her to resign for what they say is an attack on the free speech they previously enjoyed. Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

Rebellious Reddit users have swamped the site with derogatory comments about staff and images of overweight people after its decision to ban several subforums.

On Reddit’s r/all page there was an overnight deluge of derogatory postings about Ellen Pao, the interim chief executive, who has led a campaign to clean up harassment on the site.

Five subreddits were banned in total: two which made fat-shaming comments, one racist, one transphobic and one which targeted gamers. One of the subreddits, r/fatpeoplehate, had more than 150,000 subscribers; the others all had under 4,000.

Since the announcement, many alternative obesity-related subreddits have been created, and users have begun a petition calling on Pao to resign for what they claim is an attack on the unfettered free speech they had previously enjoyed on the site.

Crude photoshopped images of Pao on an obese body were appearing, and the popular photography subreddit r/pics was briefly flooded with images of overweight people.

Wednesday’s announcement made it clear that direct attacks on identifiable individuals were the issue, and implied that the site would still notionally allow racism and other kinds of hate speech, if an individual was not the target. Users have argued that subreddits are their own, insular communities, with active policies not to link to other forums, and it would be unusual for anyone unsuspecting to come across them.

In recent years, Reddit has made small inroads into the free-for-all atmosphere that had existed on the site, closing down forums dedicated to suggestive images of children and young teens, “creep shots” of unaware women, as well as a subreddit that had distributed pictures of hacked celebrity nudes.

Reddit bosses have, however, allowed many pages critical of them to exist, including r/chairmanpao and r/paoyongyang.

Wednesday’s announcement about the subreddit closures said staff wanted “as little involvement as possible but will be involved when needed to protect privacy and free expression, and to prevent harassment”.

“We’re banning behaviour, not ideas,” the statement continued. “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.” The statement was posted by Pao, as well as Jessica Moreno, head of community and support, and founder Alexis Ohanian.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:13 pm

How Ellen Pao lost her job but survived Reddit's swamp of trolls
by Beth Winegarner
12 July 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Silicon Valley’s most controversial executive has personified the discrimination and harassment directed at women in technology and on the internet. A look back at her landmark gender lawsuit and her ouster at Reddit reveals how much – and how little – has changed

Image
Ellen Pao leaves the California superior court civic center courthouse during a lunch break from her trial in March. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Beth Winegarner in San Francisco


When Ellen Pao took the witness stand four months ago, accusing the most powerful venture-capital firm in the most powerful new industry of pervasive sexism against her and powerful women like her, she talked about the “right path”.

Pao’s own attorney asked the 46-year-old executive why she continued to fight Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the firm that accused her of being a bad employee, even as she had become the top executive at Reddit, the influential social-media website that is infamous for nothing if not its trolls. The site’s former contributors – Pao now among them – describe it as a kind of misogynist fire swamp where “harassment swarms”, even and especially for an accidental feminist champion like its suddenly former CEO.

“I think there should be equal opportunities for women and men to be venture capitalists,” Pao said calmly that March morning as reporters, technology observers and a jury listened closely to the woman her co-workers said lacked “thought leadership”.

“I wanted to make sure my story was told.”

Now that Pao has suddenly resigned from Reddit, amid both user revolt and increasing recrimination from the landmark workplace-discrimination suit she lost this year, that story has only become more intriguing. Both the international profile of her trial and her ensuing decision to curb Reddit’s trolls made Pao a champion for women and minorities in 2015, and those who have followed her from the courtroom to the subreddit comments remained assured that such a bold legacy would continue.

Reddit board member Sam Altman said after Pao’s apparently mutually agreed exit on Friday that Reddit would not reverse its crackdown on subreddits devoted to harassment – and at least one moderator who participated in recent protests against Pao said those changes were among her best decisions during eight transformative, tumultuous months at the helm.

“Ellen specifically stated: ‘We’re banning behavior, not ideas,’” Jared Shenefield, who moderates Reddit’s cooking forum, told the Guardian on Saturday. “I think that was a good move – probably the best move since she became the interim CEO.”

Pao stepped down amid massive protests from moderators like Shenefield, upset by the sudden firing of talent director Victoria Taylor, who coordinated Reddit’s popular “Ask Me Anything” feature, and from users angered by the shuttering of five hate-filled forums, including r/fatpeoplehate and r/transfags. A petition calling for Pao’s ouster snowballed, gathering more than 213,000 signatures.

Pao denied that the unrest drove her out: “Ultimately, the board asked me to demonstrate higher user growth in the next six months than I believe I can deliver while maintaining reddit’s core principles,” she wrote in a Reddit post.

Pao’s two-plus years deep in the business world’s ultimate battle of modern sexism and out in front of corporate reform is a lesson for the victims of that bias.

The “terrorists” of the internet have their first scalp, lending credibility to what one industry insider called “the Pao-haters”.

Pao’s escape from “hell” – as more than one Silicon Valley watcher put it – has also left an industry reckoning with the all-too-familiar reality of gender and racial bias.

REDDIT SHITSHOW CONTINUES UNABATED

Mike Isaac, reporting for the NYT:

Ellen Pao, the interim chief executive of Reddit, resigned from the online message board on Friday after a week of ceaseless criticism from scores of angry users over the handling of an employee departure.


Reddit: a terrible, childish community posting on a site owned by a terrible, dumbass company. Good luck to the next CEO.

-- Daring Fireball, by John Gruber


Even in defeat, it appears, Pao still serves as an emblem of the tech world’s backward treatment of women and minorities – and an example of how to fight back.

Through a spokeswoman, Pao declined to comment specifically on her resignation or future plans, and her attorneys did not respond to a request for an update on her pending court appeal. Still, a look back at her journey through legal battles and unpopular reforms at Reddit reveals just how galvanizing and transformative this high-tech heroine has become.

The trial that shook Silicon Valley – and shocked the world

Image
Ellen Pao speaks on ABC.

Improbable as it may have seemed for the most famous fighter in the war against workplace discrimination, Pao began consulting for Reddit, of all places, soon after she was fired from Kleiner Perkins in late 2012.

Even as the social media site was confronting conspiracy theories around the Boston marathon bombing and corporate branded posts, Pao took a full-time position in business development and strategic partnerships for the site in April 2013.

When Reddit CEO Yishan Wong resigned suddenly last November, Pao stepped in. Wong later wrote on the Q&A site Quora that the top job at Reddit was “incredibly stressful and draining”, and after two and a half years, the work was having “significantly detrimental” effects on his personal life.

Altman, the Reddit board member who also serves as president of seed funder Y Combinator, said in an “Ask Me Anything” chat on Friday that when Wong quit, Pao stepped in. “She walked into an incredibly difficult situation and [moved] the ball a good bit down the field for reddit,” he said.

Pao, a self-described introvert, has said that she never set out to become a feminist figurehead. She was hired at Kleiner Perkins in 2005 as senior partner John Doerr’s chief of staff, but Doerr later helped her transition into a junior investment role, where she bumped up against the numerous slights that formed the basis for her sex-bias lawsuit.

Another of Kleiner Perkins’ junior partners, Ajit Nazre, allegedly pressured Pao into having an affair. After she broke it off, he began retaliating against her, leaving her out of crucial email discussions and in-person meetings with potential clients that could have led to important deals, she testified.

Although Pao reported Nazre’s behavior to higher-ups, he stayed on at Kleiner Perkins; his only reprimand was receiving a smaller-than-expected bonus. Nazre was later fired after coming on to another junior partner – but not before he was promoted to a highly lucrative senior-partner position.

Pao portrayed her experience with Nazre as representative of the sexist culture at Kleiner Perkins and, to some extent, in Silicon Valley as a whole. She and a former partner at the firm testified about key networking events that excluded women, including a ski trip with potential business partners and a dinner party at the home of former vice-president Al Gore. She and another female partner were asked to play secretary at a Kleiner Perkins event; when they complained, at least one higher-up failed to understand why the request was offensive.

Meanwhile, Pao’s superiors testified that she was repeatedly criticized in performance reviews and ultimately fired for her behavior – behavior that is often lauded in men but criticized in women. She was accused of being too pushy and aggressive, and for elbowing in on other partners’ business deals. Paradoxically, her Kleiner Perkins colleagues also accused her of being too quiet, saying that she failed to “own the room”.

But the death-by-a-thousand-cuts sexism Pao described in court, and which many women report experiencing in the office daily, often isn’t enough to prove discrimination. The jury found that Pao’s gender wasn’t a factor in Kleiner Perkins’ decision not to make her a senior partner, and that her complaints were not a substantial reason for her termination.

Immediately following that verdict in March, Pao insisted that her loss in the landmark case, however devastating, did not mean that she had failed. To be sure, her story was being told – not just in the live blogs of technology websites read by insiders and discussed on Twitter at-replies, but across the world.

“If I’ve helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it,” she said after the verdict. “The problem of gender discrimination in venture capital has received attention around the globe. While today’s outcome is a disappointment, I take consolation in knowing that people really listened.”

On Twitter, women were already showing that they had listened. The #ThanksEllen hashtag was lofted by users who were grateful Pao had taken on on Silicon Valley’s entrenched sexism.

“We don’t question the verdict; we appreciate the risk she took by telling her story,” Lori Hobson, a business developer at Function Engineering, said on Twitter. Another group took out a full-page newspaper ad that said, simply, “Thanks Ellen.”

As it turned out, Pao was just getting started.

The fall of ‘Chairman Pao’ – and Reddit’s unfinished business

By the time Pao’s trial began in February, pervasive discrimination and harassment directed at women in technology and on the internet had already metasticized from the stuff of at-replies to an international conversation – if not an all-out confrontation.

A video went viral last October illustrating more than 100 catcalls and come-ons a woman encountered during an eight-hour walk through New York City. The trolls came out for the maelstrom known as GamerGate to shine a spotlight on the violent harassment and threats lobbed at outspoken women in video-game culture.

That Pao challenged discriminatory patterns at Kleiner Perkins and, by virtue of that extended conversation, the rest of Silicon Valley, raised unspoken questions about her leadership at Reddit. Forums there served as a hive-mind for GamerGate, hosted leaked naked celebrity photos and fostered attacks on women, overweight people and minorities.

“Reddit can be seen as a swamp of standing water that’s been allowed to breed pestilent mosquitoes,” said Katherine Cross, a former Reddit moderator and PhD student in sociology at the City University of New York, where she studies online abuse. “Even if one ignores the site, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore its effluence. Harassment swarms are ginned up by the website’s more toxic users and communities.”

Although Pao, who had taken over as Reddit’s interim leader four months earlier, was in the courtroom every day of her month-long trial, her thoughts clearly hadn’t strayed far from Reddit. Within days of the Kleiner Perkins verdict, Pao ended salary negotiations at Reddit, a tradition which studies have shown often put women at an economic disadvantage.

Pao had sought roughly $16m in past and future lost wages at trial, arguing that without Kleiner Perkins’ bias, she would have made a lot more money. The topic of pay inequity was fresh in Pao’s mind.

Two months later, Reddit announced a ban on any forums, or subreddits, “that allow their communities to use the subreddit as a platform to harass individuals when moderators don’t take action,” Pao wrote.

Cross, the former moderator and sometimes a target of GamerGate’s vitriol, called Pao’s reforms inspirational. “It was the first time someone at the site had publicly suggested the site had a responsibility to both its non-toxic users and the wider internet,” she told the Guardian.

Not everyone agreed. Angry Reddit users called her “Chairman Pao” and compared her to Adolf Hitler.

Mark VerHill, a longtime Reddit member, launched a petition under a pseudonym, calling for Pao to step down as CEO. He said users accused her of “suing her way to the top” and that her policies – championed by the women and minorities those policies were protecting – would run Reddit into the ground.

Other users and moderators felt similarly, insisting that communication channels between the site’s leaders, its paid forum administrators and its unpaid volunteers was nothing short of abysmal.

When the popular moderator Taylor was fired this month, the Pao reckoning began in earnest, and a number of moderators closed more than 300 subreddits for 24 hours.

Shenefield, the moderator who took /r/Cooking dark, said the revolt was meant to be pacifistic, not the beginning of an ouster: “Doing a blackout was the way to have our voices heard without being so hateful,” he told the Guardian. “It worked.”

Shut out of their favorite forums, Reddit users flocked to the petition, bringing more media attention to the tumult.

On Monday, Pao publicly acknowledged the communication gaps and apologized for Reddit’s “long history of mistakes”, but said it would take time for Reddit to deliver concrete results.

Less than five days later, she was out the door.

The accidental success of a user revolt against the accidental feminist hero of the Valley came as a surprise to many, especially considering that Reddit board members had expressed interest in hiring her as the site’s permanent CEO, as Kleiner Perkins attorneys told a San Francisco judge in February.

Already, concerns have blossomed that Reddit reforms initiated in Pao’s abrupt eight-month tenure would quickly become abandoned.

But Altman said in his AMA that wouldn’t happen. He urged Reddit’s community to learn to balance authenticity and compassion, saying that co-founder and new CEO Steve Huffman’s biggest challenge “will be continuing the work Ellen started to drive this forward”.

Altman denied that the petition or the hateful words aimed at Pao had anything to do with Pao’s resignation, saying he was surprised by how cruel Reddit users had been to her.

“While she wasn’t the CEO Reddit needed, she was not deserving of all the hate she received,” said Shenefield, the current Reddit moderator.

Journalist Susan Antilla, who broke the story of sexual harassment at Smith Barney and other Wall Street titans in the 1990s and later wrote Tales from the Boom-Boom Room about those scandals, noted that anyone hoping to change the tenor on Reddit – whose millions of users trend toward 18- to 29-year-old men – will face an uphill battle.

“The assumption by Pao-haters is that Taylor did nothing wrong and that Pao and management were wrong to fire her,” she said. “This is the tech world, folks, where firings and other disruptions are worn like a badge. Suck it up.”

Alexis Ohanion, who co-founded Reddit with Huffman in 2005, revealed in a Reddit post on Friday that firing Taylor was his decision, adding that Pao’s story is far from over: “I have admired her fearlessness and calm throughout our time together and look forward to following her impact on Silicon Valley and beyond.”

Cross, the former moderator turned target of the trolls, agreed, saying that Pao became a target herself – precisely because she made gender a topic of discussion and acknowledged that prejudice and harassment were as much of an unsolved problem as she left them.

“I think she’ll continue to be seen, for good and for ill, as someone who refused to be compliant about sexism,” she said of Pao, “both in the workplace and on social media.”
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:46 pm

Reddit’s Terrorists Have Won: Ellen Pao and the Failure to Rebrand Web 2.0
by Arthur Chu
7/11/15

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
Photo Illustration by Alex Williams/The Daily Beast

Internet communities like Reddit have always been toxic environments that survive on the backs of unpaid labor, and attempts to corporatize them fail because of it.

Some of the worst trolls on the Internet are celebrating victory, as embattled interim CEO of Reddit Ellen Pao stepped down yesterday after what can charitably be described as a month or so of pure hell.

Let’s review the story briefly, since there’s a gushing torrent of BS that’s accompanying the joyful celebrating of Pao’s departure among Reddit’s userbase. Yes, there was a petition calling for Pao’s removal among Reddit’s users that crested 200,000 signatures before she stepped down.

The stated reason for this petition was the firing of Victoria Taylor, the Reddit administrator responsible for coordinating Reddit’s celebrated “AMA” or Ask Me Anything sessions where celebrities fielded unscripted questions from the users.

The narrative goes that after the loss of a beloved figure responsible for much of Reddit’s success—when you hear about Reddit in the media in a positive light, it’s usually because of a celebrity AMA—many subreddits were blacked out by the moderators in protest.

Now, the evil corporate interloper Ellen Pao, who was responsible for kicking out one of the few Reddit employees who really understood the subculture, has finally resigned due to the righteous blowback from her actions. One of Reddit’s founders, Steve Huffman, is coming back to lead Reddit again alongside his co-founder Alex Ohanian (who goes by u/kn0thing on Reddit), and all is well with the world again.

Sound good? Well, not so fast.

First of all, Ellen Pao didn’t fire Victoria Taylor. It turns out that was a decision Ohanian made in his capacity as “executive chairman,” as he appears to admit in a Reddit comment in the wake of Pao’s departure. For people whose primary motivation to hate on Reddit really was that they fired Victoria, it seems like an apology to Pao and a redirection of hate toward Ohanian is in order—one which has not been forthcoming.


The problem is that Reddit has been trying to sell a false bill of goods to investors all this time—something that Ohanian and Huffman and other true believers still cling to against all evidence.

Okay, some might argue, but the job of a CEO is to take the heat on behalf of her subordinates; no matter how unfair it might seem, the buck stops at the chief executive’s desk, not the executive chairman’s.

But it’s not just that Pao is resigning over a bad decision Ohanian made and Ohanian himself is staying. It’s that Pao was targeted by constant, vitriolic abuse during her tenure as CEO, abuse that even Reddit’s board—which normally tends to shamelessly flatter Reddit’s userbase when they talk about them at all—had to call out as “sickening.”

A lot of the personal attacks on Pao were racial—google “Chairman Pao” if you want to see how nasty redditors can be, and how they think repetitive name-calling on the level of a sixth grade bully is the pinnacle of online wit. Even more common than the racial remarks, though, were the ones digging at Pao because of her gender. In the interest of common decency I won’t tell you how to find those on Google, though you can probably figure it out.

Lots of these people are using Victoria Taylor as a fig leaf, claiming that because their anger is in response to a woman’s firing, the hate mob they’ve joined can’t possibly be misogynistic in its origins or its approach. But of course the hashtag #RedditRevolt didn’t start a week ago with the firing of Victoria Taylor, it started a month ago with the closure of the popular subreddit r/fatpeoplehate—a community based on, well, sending hateful messages to fat people (mostly women) who had the temerity to leave their photos on Facebook where redditors could find them instead of shunning all human contact and killing themselves.

We don’t know whether Pao was responsible for that decision, either, but that’s when the “Chairman Pao” meme and others started. Giving those people the cover of legitimacy by giving them a casus belli that doesn’t involve having to say the phrase “Fat People Hate” to major media outlets was Reddit’s biggest own goal here.

And, surprise surprise, it was an own goal scored by Ohanian, who wasn’t the one being blasted with death threats, rape threats, and images of himself being photoshopped into porn; who was, in fact, so clueless about the seething hate mob on Reddit that he—not Pao—made a callous joke about “popcorn” when the backlash against Victoria’s firing started. (And lo and behold, he was not fired.)


Internet communities like Reddit have always been toxic environments that survive on the backs of unpaid labor, and attempts to corporatize them because of it.

The real irony is that the legitimate anger behind the Reddit blackout, the reason the moderators of “respectable” subreddits like r/Books and r/Science found themselves throwing in with refugees from r/FatPeopleHate and r/ShitNiggersSay, was about bad behavior that mostly originated from subreddits like r/FatPeopleHate and r/ShitNiggersSay.

The open letter sent to Reddit about the blackout calls Victoria’s firing “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” stating that moderators were frustrated over Reddit failing to provide either administrative tools to let them do their job or put them in touch with Reddit employees who could. The specific problems called out are “brigading” and “alternative accounts”—that is, the fact that Reddit is known for people on nasty troll subreddits organizing to troll other subreddits or other websites en masse, and that banning individual accounts that do this is nearly pointless considering how easy it is to instantly come back under an alternate username.

Victoria was a beloved Reddit staff member precisely because she did a lot of work to shield VIPs from this side of Reddit when AMA time rolled around—and even then she wasn’t able to keep the racists of Reddit from damaging Reddit’s brand by flinging shit at Jesse Jackson’s AMA.

The problem is that Reddit has been trying to sell a false bill of goods to investors all this time—something that Ohanian and Huffman and other true believers still cling to against all evidence.

This is the idea that you can build a functional community without having to spend any money or effort to manage it—that it just happens spontaneously through the “wisdom of crowds.” The Web 2.0 dream has always been to outsource all of the hard jobs to your users—that unpaid enthusiasts will do all the work of creating your content, curating your content, and promoting your content out of love, and all you have to do is pay some techies to keep the lights on.

Reddit is built on this premise. Anyone can create a subreddit and be its absolute, iron-fisted (but unpaid) dictator on the theory that if they do a bad job of it someone will just create another subreddit and everyone will vote with their feet.

Reddit’s core feature, the upvoting/downvoting system, is rooted in the hope that democracy can replace curation—that if everyone who sees a comment is allowed to throw a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on it, the cream will rise to the top and the shit will sink out of sight without anyone having to do anything.

As a result, Reddit, with a userbase of millions and ambitions to be the “front page of the Internet,” is managed almost entirely by thousands of unpaid, sometimes anonymous volunteers and has an actual staff of less than a hundred people, all of whom are required to live in San Francisco in the name of efficiency (which may be the real reason Victoria was fired).

We can see how well that’s worked out. In practice, the ability of anyone to spawn their own subreddit plus the upvoting/downvoting mechanism leads to each subreddit being an angry little fiefdom fiercely dedicated to its own idea of consensus where dissenting opinions get downvoted into oblivion. A community that’s seen to have a particularly obnoxious bias, say, r/Android supposedly being in the tank for Google Nexus devices, will develop a community focused on attacking the first community for being a “circlejerk” (r/Androidcirclejerk) that has the exact opposite bias and exists to post memes mocking Google Nexus devices for how they’re overrated trash. Eventually one community will lose its patience and “brigade” another community, flooding it with hostile posts in order to show the other side how wrong they are, and mods are forced to stay up all night banning people until everything settles down again (and several users, usually female, have quit Reddit for good after being blasted with death threats).

This is exactly as petty and stupid as it sounds. It’s also as alienating to ordinary, non-basement-dwelling troll users as it sounds. It’s the reason Reddit has gotten a reputation for being attractive to creepy, obsessive people for whom the inherently toxic environment is a reasonable price to pay to be around people like them. These are often people who have very strong opinions that polite society, for obvious reasons, disapproves of—for being a haven for pedophiles, white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and unrepentant sex criminals.

This is not good for Reddit’s brand. This probably has to do with why Reddit has apparently, for all the hype about the size of its userbase, never been profitable. This is why I personally stay the hell away from Reddit and advise my friends, especially my female friends, to do so as well.

Yes, Reddit does have content that is, as Pao put it in her resignation letter, “off-the-wall inspiring” alongside the stuff that makes one “doubt humanity.”

But that comes at a cost. The frustrated mods of the Reddit blackout lost their temper because they’ve been asked to do thousands of hours of unpaid, grueling, emotionally draining labor fighting against the trolls in order to keep the “respectable” side of Reddit usable. Out of the 70 or 80 paid employees at Reddit, Victoria Taylor was one of the only ones who ever participated in that side of the work it takes to keep Reddit alive, and Reddit apparently valued that so little that they let her go.

Specifically, Alexis Ohanian let her go. The same guy who founded Reddit on the principle that unregulated “free speech” will police itself, apparently failing to understand that it was people’s ability to trust Victoria to manage trolls and haters and keep the worst side of Reddit suppressed that allowed AMAs to happen at all.

This is a consistent problem not just for Reddit but for the whole Web 2.0 ethos. This denial that managing a community is hard work, this culture that makes millionaires of the “makers” who write the code for social media platforms but pays the “maintainers” who spend every day keeping them usable minimum wage or nothing at all.

It’s baked into the libertarian free speech absolutism of Silicon Valley culture. People like the founders of Reddit treat being “content-neutral” as almost a religious edict. Reddit won’t take even the smallest proactive steps to “restrict speech” unless forced—hence the long, controversial process it took to get rid of subreddits as openly awful as r/jailbait and r/beatingwomen. Thus we get the ridiculous spectacle of Reddit moderators staying up all night “playing whack-a-mole” to laboriously take down links to illegal content as they popped up while then-CEO Yishan Wong piously intoned “Every man is responsible for his own soul” as the reasoning for not taking down the subreddit specifically created to host those links.

That’s why, even as the racists of Reddit melt down over the closure of r/ShitNiggersSay, its sister subreddit r/CoonTown remains proudly open for business, because unlike r/ShitNiggersSay, r/CoonTown hasn’t been proven to “brigade” other sites—and Ohanian (again, not the supposed iron-fisted left-wing enforcer Ellen Pao) said, “We’re banning behavior, not ideas.”

And yet even this extremely weak response to bad behavior has launched a “revolt,” spreading hundreds of clones of r/FatPeopleHate all over the site in protest. Moderators of big subreddits complaining that Reddit leaves them alone and unequipped against hordes of trolls filling up their content with sludge get co-opted into a “movement” of those selfsame trolls defending their right to throw sludge. When Ellen Pao finally resigns after enduring weeks of this garbage, the top-voted commenter celebrating her departure is a troll with an account named for the Charleston shooter.

What can we learn from this, aside from what we already knew: that boards of directors tend to put female CEOs in charge in times of crisis because they predictably serve as useful lightning rods for backlash and hate?

That Reddit has to be dragged kicking and screaming to even be slightly more of a safe, decent place for ordinary people to hang out and to be slightly less of a massive lawsuit-waiting-to-happen stuffed with terrifying harassing trolls. That what good reputation Reddit enjoys, it enjoys due to the uncompensated labor of people whom Reddit has been abandoning to fight the trolls alone for years. And that top brass at Reddit like Alexis Ohanian are so deeply in denial about this that they’ll fire one of the women keeping Reddit from fully sinking into the mire and let another one of them be hounded out of her job without ever suggesting the site has a fundamental problem that needs to be fixed.

This is the face of Web 2.0, folks. This is the boondoggle they’ve been selling to all the Web 2.0 investors—that the “social web” is an untapped oil well when in reality it’s a seething underground pool of excrement and bile.

Pao tells us that upon her resignation she bluntly told the board that it was impossible for her to meet their six-month growth goals—either in terms of attracting new users to Reddit from among the normal, decent portion of the human race, or in terms of attracting revenue from advertisers who want to reach said new users without wading through a sea of racist memes and semen-stained photographs.

Some say that the “failure to meet growth goals” is a lie to cover that she’s actually leaving because of incessant harassment. I would argue that those are the same thing—that the reaction to Pao neatly demonstrates why Reddit’s attempt to monetize its social web have failed, why all attempts to monetize the social web have been extremely rough going—because the social web itself is poisoned.

Either way, Reddit is fucked.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:50 pm

Reddit revolt continues as user petition calls for resignation of CEO Ellen Pao
by Jana Kasperkevic
July 6, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Petition surpasses 150,000 users upset after firing of talent director

Pao has apologized for handling of transition, but users unsatisfied

Image
Pao posted a statement on Reddit on Friday: ‘We are going to figure this out and fix it.’ Photograph: Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

More than 150,000 Reddit users have signed an online petition calling for Ellen Pao, the site’s interim chief executive, to step down. The petition arose after Victoria Taylor, the director of talent who managed the site’s popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) subreddit, was fired.

“Action must be taken to prevent Reddit from being further run into the ground,” the petition said. “Stop Ellen Pao from destroying the Reddit.com community by making her step down as CEO of Reddit Inc.”

After Taylor left the company last Thursday, around 300 subreddits, or discussion areas, on topics including gaming, science, history and cinema were shut down by their moderators as a form of protest.

By Sunday, most of the subreddits were back up and the petition was on its way to reaching 150,000 signatures.

In answer to a request for comment, Reddit provided a statement that Pao first released to the press on Friday.

“I want to apologize for how we handled the transition yesterday,” the statement said. “We should have informed the moderators earlier and provided more detail on the transition plan. We are working to make improvements and create the best experience for our users and we aren’t always perfect. Our community is what makes Reddit, Reddit and we let you down.”

In interviews on Friday, Pao apologized , but her remarks did not satisfy Reddit users because they were not made on the site, where such users felt Pao would have been communicating directly with them. Pao did post a statement on Reddit on Friday, in which she said: “We are going to figure this out and fix it.”

In March, Pao lost a landmark sex discrimination lawsuit against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Pao and her lawyer argued that Kleiner was a boys’ club and that Pao was fired because she was a woman. The jury found in favor of the company, which claimed that Pao was fired because she was bad at her job, was divisive and not a team player.

According to the New York Times, which spoke to Pao when the petition had about 13,000 signatures, the call for her resignation did not faze her.

“It’s an exciting job. We’re doing a lot behind the scenes that people have not seen yet,” Pao said. “Most of the community is made up of thoughtful people, and they can appreciate what we all do, even if we don’t always agree.”

Pao was hired by Reddit in April 2013. “Being part of a community of people who care is inspiring and energizing,” she said then, in a statement. “Reddit has so much to offer so many people, and I’m excited to find partners to help make Reddit even more awesome.”

In November 2014, she was appointed interim chief executive after the resignation of Yishan Wong.

In September 2011, when Reddit looked to hire a CEO, a company statement said: “Make no mistake, Reddit owes its past, present, and future success to the community. We wouldn’t seriously consider any individuals for the CEO position unless they understood the community and were passionate about serving its needs.”

That is what users signing the petition say Pao – who has offended some by cracking down on trolling – does not do.

“A vast majority of the Reddit community believes that Pao … 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,” the petition says.

“The communication between the Reddit administration team to its subreddit moderators is very lacking and rather unsettling after years of empty promises to the moderators to improve and provide tools to help run subreddits, and ultimately Reddit as a whole, smoothly.”

When the petition surpassed 100,000 signatures on Sunday, its creators posted an update noting that Pao and chairman and site co-founder Alexis Ohanian had issued apologies via comments and interviews via news outlets.

“Along with their apologies were, again, empty promises to improve their communication with the community and provide tools for the moderators as they have promised to do so years ago,” the users behind the petition said.

“As of right now they have not issued an apology in a site-wide announcement or blogpost. It is sad that they have resorted to the news rather than addressing us, their consumers.”

Those behind the petition urged those who signed it to keep “keep spreading, promoting, and supporting.

“We will not stop until we see action taken,” they said.

Advance Publications, which owns Reddit, is under no obligation to respond to the petition.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:11 pm

Sex in Silicon Valley: Ellen Pao & the Kleiner Perkins Scandal
by Vixely
JUNE 14, 2012

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
Ellen Pao

Yesterday, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, the prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm, filed its official legal response to the sex discrimination charges made last month by partner Ellen Pao, vigorously denying all claims. Pao’s sexual discrimination allegations primarily focus on her exclusion from business opportunities based on non-performance related issues.

The lawsuit has revealed a side to the outside world of the very unique social dynamics at play in the male dominated Silicon Valley, where resentment, risk-mitigation, denial and insecurities lie carefully at balance in one of the most discreet places in the world.

There is no question that men dominate the power in the Valley, creating a tightly-knit and closely-guarded community of deep-pocketed investors and visionary entrepreneurs where billions of dollars rest in the hands of few. The individuals that run this world are, by and large, extremely well-educated and hard-working, including engineers, scientists, and all other geeks at heart.

Ellen Pao is the quintessential reflection of how the values of conservative respect, self-restraint and denial manifest as Ellen still remains working at Kleiner Perkins as the scandolous details of her public lawsuit unfold revealing accusations of her collegues. The founder of the firm, John Doerr, publicly denies and refutes her statements, and to date Pao has not quit (nor does she plan to).

Regardless of the outcome, Ellen Pao is bold for confronting one of the most powerful firms in this country. The public filing of the case, the firms handling of it and the Valley’s reaction to it demonstrates that an ostensibly exclusionary culture will face tough questions if it continues to defend (or quietly deny) its actions, particularly when there is so much money and power on the line.

THE SITUATION

On May 10, 2012, Ellen Pao filed a lawsuit against Kleiner claiming she faced sexual harassment and discrimination there over a six-year period. Pao contends that beginning in 2006, she was sexually harassed by Ajit Nazre, an investment partner who left the firm last year. When she complained to senior partners and others at the firm, the suit says, they retaliated against her, limiting her career advancement and income. On June 13, 2012, Kleiner Perkins released a statement (the final day the firm could do so) denying all claims made by Pao. Pao remains employed by the firm.

THE ALLEGATIONS

Ms. Pao’s suit says Kleiner Perkins investment partner Ajit Nazre began making unwanted sexual advances toward her in 2006, and that when she rebuffed him, he “engaged in offensive, obstructionist and difficult behavior” toward her. It says Ms. Pao “succumbed to Mr. Nazre’s insistence on sexual relations on two or three occasions,” but informed him in October 2006 that she did not want a personal relationship with him.

Pao’s suit contends that although she discussed Nazre’s behavior with Kleiner Perkins’s human resources staff and senior partners — including John Doerr, Ray Lane and Ted Schlein — they did not follow up on her complaints. Instead, it says, the firm punished her for speaking out by removing her from the board of a start-up, asking her to transfer to the firm’s offices in China and giving her less of the firm’s profits. Pao’s suit also contends that Randy Komisar, another investment partner with the firm, also made unwanted sexual advances toward her.

More broadly, her suit claims that there was a pattern of sexual harassment at the firm, citing at least one other investment partner and three administrative assistants, all women, complained about Mr. Nazre’s behavior. That prompted an independent investigation, and Nazre left the firm, though Kleiner declined to say whether the two were related. The suit says that on several occasions the firm’s partners held events for other partners and entrepreneurs that purposely excluded women, including one dinner organized by another partner, Chi-Hua Chien. In response to a complaint about the dinner, the suit says, Mr. Chien said women were not invited because they would “kill the buzz.” Ms. Pao’s digital investments with the firm include Flipboard and Jive Software, a business software maker that went public last December. Her suit says that she led Kleiner’s investment in a start-up called RPX, but that Kleiner gave its seat on the company’s board to Mr. Komisar, not Ms. Pao, in retaliation for her harassment claims.

THE TIMELINE

2006

• The start of Ellen Pao’s alleged 6 year sexual harrassment by by Ajit Nazre, an investment partner at the firm
• Nazre starts to make unwanted sexual advances towards Pao.
• Pao rejects Nazre’s advances resulting in him engaging in, what she describes as, ”offensive, obstructionist and difficult behavior” toward her
• Pao “succumbs”, and the pair allegedly have sex a few times (Ms. Pao “succumbed to Mr. Nazre’s insistence on sexual relations on two or three occasions”)
• October: she ends the affair
• Nazre retaliates against her by cutting her out of meetings and email threads

2007

• Pao complains to senior partners at Kleiner Perkins
• Pao gets married to Alphonse Fletcher Jr., a prominent Wall Street investor who has filed discrimination suits in the past
December: Nazre gets promoted to the head of the firm’s green technology unit, making him Pao’s direct boss, and he is moved to an office directly across from hers
• Pao allegedly asks to be switched to the digital investments group

2011

• Fletcher files a racial discrimination suit against the Dakota, the well-known Manhattan apartment building, after its co-op board denied his request to buy an apartment next to his to accommodate Pao and their then-2-year-old daughter

2012

• April: a judge ordered one of Fletcher’s hedge funds liquidated, saying it was insolvent
• May 10: Pao files her case alleging sexual harassment against Kleiner Perkins in California Superior Court in San Francisco
May 30: John Doerr issues a strongly worded statement, saying the firm had conducted an internal investigation and found her charges “false”
• June 5: Ellen Pao posts on Quora she is not going to quit, with the support of commentators such as Dave McClure, a of the darling of the Valley

THE PLAYERS

Kleiner Perkins

The Harvard/ Goldman Sachs/ Chanel of Venture Capital if you will. Kleiner Perkins has been known to highlight the fact that nine of its 38 investment partners are women. But Pao’s suit said that behind the scenes, women were passed over for promotions and given a smaller share of the firm’s profits.

Image
Ellen Pao

Pao, a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in electrical engineering, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, worked at Microsoft, Tellme Networks, Danger Research, and BEA. Before joining Kleiner, Ms. Pao served in various roles at BEA Systems, a software maker that Oracle acquired in 2008.

Pao joined Kleiner Perkins in 2005 as John Doerr’s chief of staff and a junior partner with the firm.

Image
John Doerr

Kleiner Perkins’ most famed investor, backed Netscape, Amazon.com, and Google. But his push into cleantech hasn’t gone nearly as well.

Nor, according to Pao’s lawsuit, has his handling of her complaints. Pao, who started at Kleiner as Doerr’s chief of staff, said she told Doerr about male partners’ behavior on several occasions between 2007 and 2011.

After Pao’s lawsuit became public, Doerr issued a strongly worded statement, saying the firm had conducted an internal investigation and found her charges “false.”

Image
Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher, Jr.

Pao’s controversial husband and hedge-fund manager whose own legal history has fascinated followers of the case. In 1991, he sued his then-employer, Kidder, Peabody & Company, saying it was severely underpaying him because he was black. An arbitration panel awarded him $1.3 million in that suit.

Last year he filed a racial discrimination suit against the Dakota, the well-known Manhattan apartment building, after its co-op board denied his request to buy an apartment next to his to accommodate Ms. Pao and their then-2-year-old daughter.

To make things even more juicy, two men previously working for Fletcher as contractors sued Fletcher for sexual harassment. Both reached confidential settlements. Before marrying Pao, Fletcher lived with a man and has received an award from the Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus in 2005 for his efforts in philanthropy and civil rights.

Fletcher and Pao are both members of the Aspen Institute’s 2007 class of Crown Fellows, a prestigious business leadership award where they met. Crown Fellows spend 24 days together in seminars which stretch over two years. Pao and Fletcher married in 2007.

Image
Ajit Nazre

A former SAP executive, Nazre joined Kleiner Perkins in 2003 as part of the firm’s push into cleantech investing.

Pao alleged that Nazre pressured her to have sex with him beginning with a business trip they took together to Germany in February 2006. Later that year, she had a brief sexual relationship with him, then broke things off.

She alleged that Nazre subsequently retaliated by cutting her out of meetings and email discussions.


In April, VentureWire and other outlets reported Nazre’s departure from Kleiner Perkins. That came after Kleiner had launched an internal investigation of Pao’s complaints.

Nothing’s been heard from Nazre since.

Image
Ray Lane

Allegedly told Pao to solve her problem by marrying Nazre. Lane, the former COO of Oracle, joined Kleiner in 2000 as one of the architects of its push into green technology investing. That hasn’t gone well—notable investments include Fisker, which has proven to be an also-ran to Tesla Motors in the electric-car race.

Pao said that she took her complaints about Nazre to Lane and said that Lane didn’t act on them because he was Nazre’s “mentor.” Lane allegedly suggested to Pao that she resolve the issue by marrying Nazre.

Lane is not involved in the $525 million fund that Kleiner Perkins raised earlier this year, and—besides dealing with this lawsuit—he has his hands full as executive chairman of Hewlett-Packard, the ailing tech giant which recently announced it would lay off 27,000 employees.

By the way, Lane married Stephanie Herle, then one of his administrative assistants at Oracle, in 1995, after divorcing his first wife.

Image
Randy Komisar

Pao says this Kleiner partner gave her a book of “playful and provocative” drawings. A cofounder of Claris and former lawyer for Apple, joined Kleiner Perkins in 2005, the same year as Pao. On Valentine’s Day in 2007, Pao alleged that Komisar gave her a copy of The Book of Longing and asked her out to dinner. According to the book’s front-flap description, it features “playful and provocative” drawings. Pao’s complaint says they’re sexually explicit.

Image

Image


Here’s Komisar talking about the lack of women in venture capital from a 2010 interview posted on YouTube:

There are not enough women in venture capital today. Venture capital tends to be clubby in the sense that you tend to have confidence and trust and perhaps better communication with people that you feel more like than people you feel less like. And that applies across gender as well.


Komisar went on to note that a younger generation of venture capitalists seemed more comfortable with diversity—including gender diversity.

In 2011, Pao alleged that Komisar told her that women weren’t successful at Kleiner Perkins because they were “quiet.”

Image
Ted Schlein

Pao says her boss, Ted Schlein, didn’t bring her out to meetings on business trips.

Schlein runs Kleiner’s digital investing efforts. Pao started reporting to Schlein in December 2009 after repeatedly asking to be transferred out of Kleiner’s cleantech group where she worked with Nazre, according to her complaint.

In October 2011, according to Pao, Schlein and another male partner flew with Pao in Schlein’s private jet to an event for CIOs in New York. On two nights, Pao said, Schlein and the other partner attended evening business events and didn’t include Pao.

At a Kleiner Perkins party in Palo Alto, Calif. last month, according to Reuters reporter Sarah McBride, Schlein and other partners avoided Pao:

There, Pao held court on one side of the room, greeted with hugs and hearty handshakes by a number of start-up entrepreneurs she has worked with. Meanwhile, other Kleiner partners at the bash– including Matt Murphy and Ted Schlein– clutched their drinks and steered clear of their suddenly famous colleague.


All is as usually in Silicon Valley, awkwardness.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:43 pm

The Smutty Poems And Pictures That Helped Get Kleiner Perkins Sued
by OWEN THOMAS
Jun. 25, 2012

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image

Venture capitalist Ellen Pao is suing her employer, Kleiner Perkins, for gender discrimination and retaliation following alleged incidents of sexual harassment stretching back five years.

So you can imagine there's not much they agree on.

Save for this: In early 2007, a Kleiner partner, Randy Komisar, gave Pao a copy of the Book of Longing, a collection of poems and drawings by Leonard Cohen. This came shortly after the breakoff of an affair Pao had with another colleague, Ajit Nazre.

In her complaint, Pao portrays it as an erotic Valentine's Day present, accompanied by an invitation to a Saturday-night dinner. Kleiner says it was a late holiday gift.

We went online and ordered a copy sent to our local library branch and picked it up.

We read the Book of Longing. We could not believe our eyes.

Cohen's work is challenging and provocative. It is also, as they say, not safe for work. We bookmarked pages with words or pictures that a reasonable adult might find racy. That ended up being about 40 percent of the book.

In any normal workplace, a coworker giving such a gift would probably have been marched out by HR.

If Pao's lawsuit tells us anything, it is that Kleiner is not a normal workplace.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:50 pm

Ellen Pao lawsuit loss will not slow fight for gender equality in Silicon Valley
by Susan Cagle
March 28, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Regardless of result, Pao’s effort will have ‘huge impact’ on tech industry, supporters say, as more legal battles are on the horizon

Image
Ellen Pao, center, walks with attorneys Alan Exelrod, left, and Therese Lawless outside of Civic Center Courthouse in San Francisco on 27 March. Photograph: Jeff Chiu/AP

On Friday, a jury found that the venerable venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins had not discriminated against a former junior partner, Ellen Pao, because she is a woman.

Despite the verdict, Pao and other women in the tech industry remained defiant, hinting at more fights to come in their efforts to level the playing field. While Pao’s trial was under way, former employees at Twitter and Facebook filed gender discrimination suits.

“I have told my story, and thousands of people have heard it,” Pao told reporters outside the courtroom. “If I’ve helped level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it.”

The trial captivated Silicon Valley for five weeks, as some of the tech industry’s most elite investors were called to testify about matters as seemingly trivial and salacious as all-male ski trips and steamy Valentine’s Day gifts between colleagues. Pao said she had been denied promotions in Kleiner Perkins’ “boys’ club” culture – where employees chatted about porn and claimed “women kill the buzz” – and was fired in retaliation after she filed suit in 2012.

A judgment in Pao’s favor, along with punitive damages, could have topped $100m. But the jurors – six men and six women – delivered a four-part verdict, siding with Kleiner Perkins on all of Pao’s allegations. In interviews, jurors said their decision was based on the testimony and evidence presented.

Kleiner Perkins’ attorneys homed in on Pao’s perceived personal shortcomings, painting a cartoonish picture of a greedy and incompetent ex-employee out only for revenge and a big pay day.

“There is no question gender diversity in the workplace is an important issue,” the firm said in a statement. “KPCB remains committed to supporting women in venture capital and technology both inside our firm and within our industry.”

Pao’s trial was a watershed moment for women in Silicon Valley, who have always been a minority in the technology industry. Only 4% of senior investing partners at venture capital firms are women, and new reports show the gender gap in tech is growing.

Over the last year, the issue has come to light in a series of disturbing incidents and allegations.

Whitney Wolfe, a former vice-president of marketing at Tinder, filed suit against the company she helped found, alleging she had quit after sustained abuse, harassment and discrimination. The case was settled quickly.

Engineer Julie Ann Horvath left her position at GitHub, claiming she had been the victim of sexual harassment and discrimination. Horvath did not file suit, but made her allegations public in interviews and on Twitter. GitHub conducted an internal investigation, which resulted in the resignation of its chief executive.

“When you have a voice, it’s your responsibility to use it,” said Horvath. “After coming out with my experience, I’ve seen a lot more of the same. I think women are becoming less afraid and more empowered to speak their truth.”

Like Pao’s suit, the suits against Twitter and Facebook will face significant challenges in presenting clear evidence of discrimination in an industry shaped by implicit bias and stereotypes that often come in the form of vague proclamations of “culture fit”.

US employment discrimination law is rooted in Title VII, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which was passed in a time of open and obvious racial and gender bias and harassment. Successful gender discrimination lawsuits have drawn upon clear expressions of such bigotry: in Price Waterhouse vs Hopkins, in 1989, an employer told an “aggressive” woman she needed to be “more feminine” in order to earn a promotion. But stereotypes and implicit bias can be tricky in trial situations that privilege such conspicuous evidence.

“If a jury’s only focused on a single smoking gun – the memo from the bad guy who said some horrible language about the plaintiff – then juries miss the reality of the average workplace,” said Kelly Dermody, managing partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein’s San Francisco employment practice group.

“There’s usually not just one event that explains it all. It’s a host of decisions that are complicated and nuanced. Until we catch up culturally, the law is only as good as the people who are interpreting it.”


But women in Silicon Valley won’t be waiting for juries to catch up to them.

“We’re witnessing a generation of women coming forward who have felt that their attempts to work within the system didn’t ultimately change the culture, and they need outside assistance to actually require employers to act fairly,” said Dermody.

Horvath said: “I’m positive [the Pao] trial will have a huge impact on the way Silicon Valley operates. It becomes more risky for companies to foster or allow misogynistic behavior to be pervasive in their company culture and their leadership.”

The Pao verdict creates no new legal precedent, only a socio-cultural one. As the dust settled and attorneys were still making statements to the press, many supporters tweeted to express their gratitude for Pao’s courage and leadership – with the hashtag #ThankYouEllenPao.

“I’m very encouraged that there are women like Ellen Pao who will file lawsuits and say, this is too much,” said Dermody. “If there aren’t people like that, we won’t fix it.”
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:24 pm

Ellen Pao
by Encyclopedia Dramatica

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.



Image
You'll have to tear this position from my cold dead hands.
—Pao, shortly before getting fired.


Ellen Pao, Alias: April J Butler, aka "Chairwoman Pao", was the hip and happenin' new azn CEO of reddit until she "resigned" due to mutual agreement. Instead of doing something lulzy and deleting subreddits populated by atheist circlejerkers and various other subhumans, she deleted a fat shaming subreddit in addition to others containing harassment. It's been revealed that she has a long history of combating harassment herself as she was "harassed" by a former boss to the point where she absolutely had to fuck him. Being a cheating whore is not her fault. How else is a liberated azn businesswoman supposed to make her way in the white man's world anyways?

Allen's criminal gay nigger husband

Image
"Buddy"—getting ready to drop his mixtape

Image
Buddy Fletcher and his (Butt) Buddy

Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher Jr. is a gay nigger, but not the kind of gay nigger from outer space that we here at ED like.

Fletcher is known for filing frivolous discrimination lawsuits, accusing companies he worked for and buildings he lived in of being racists and demanding money. His case against the company may have been thrown out, and the building he lives in is racist because they wouldn't let him add a fourth apartment to the three he already owns using money he stole, but none of that stopped tech reporters from pretending he's the victim. After spending 10 years being in a relationship with a man, in 2007 "Buddy" decided he needs some tax breaks or something and married the manliest woman he could find, Ellen Pao. But their relationship soon faced its first obstacle when Buddy's hedge fund turned out to be a massive Ponzi scheme. Making Fletcher simultaneously a faggot, a nigger and a jew.

Ellen cheats on her gay husband, sues company for discrimination

Image
Reddit traffic takes a heavy hit following the news of Ellen Pao.

One can only stay in a sexless, sham marriage with a gay negro that you only married for his money for so long without getting horny.

Eventually, knowing that "Buddy" wouldn't care anyway since she's only his beard and doesn't have a dick, Ellen started slutting it up at the office. She started sleeping around with a married man at her firm who was one of the partners, probably hoping to get a promotion. When that didn't work, she broke off the affair and started telling everyone at the office about it, in an attempt to blackmail the guy into giving her that promotion. However, eventually word got out to the news and Ellen tried to cover it up by saying he's harassing her and she only slept with him because she thought he and his wife broke up, forgetting that refusing to sleep with a married man doesn't give you any moral high-ground when you yourself are still married.

After the realization came when she was eventually fired that she will never get that promotion now no matter how many cocks she sucks, taking a page from her "husband's" playbook of fallacious discrimination suits, Pao filed a lawsuit against "Kleiner Perkins" to the tune of about $150 million. Ellen claimed that the firm denied her a promotion and eventually fired her because she is a woman. While this is half-true (she was fired for being a cunt), a jury of six men and six women dismissed the case in less than 48 hoursArchive today-ico.png(archive) after, in the process of the trial, it was revealed that Pao was looked over for promotions and shitcanned not because she was a woman and a slut, but because she was incompetent and hated by everyone who worked there. According to testimonies, Pao threatened to fire her assistant for helping an immigrant who got injured in a car accident, bragged about making a female employee cry, and kept a grudge chart of people she needs to get revenge on.

With this glowing recommendation, reddit jumped at the opportunity to make her their new CEO, perhaps assuming she would be cheaper in her current position.

Oh, and what was the exact amount she was suing for? 144 million. Exactly as much as her husband owed the people he defrauded.

Her loving husband didn't even bother to show up to the trail.

Ellen loses again

Feeling sorry for the sad whore, the company offered to wave the legal fees and end it at that. But Pao, not knowing when to quit, decided to instead try and blackmail them. She told them she would not appeal if they pay her 2.7 million (which was like begging for change after her initial demand for 144). "Kleiner Perkins" instead took her to court for the extensive fees of their overpriced lawyer and won. So not only did Pao not win and have to pay thousands of dollar to her own lawyer, due to her own sheer stupidity, she ended up not only not making money, but losing it when she was forced to pay "Kleiner Perkins" $275,000 instead.

The subreddit ban heard 'round the world

As soon as she was made CEO, Pao got right into the thick of things with the same set of skills that made her so well liked at her previous workplace and declares war on the last few subreddits which don't have anything to do with crying about social injustice. Pao ordered her team to go on a deletion rampage and remove anyone who might oppose her. Reddit then released this statement:

Today we are announcing a change in community management on reddit. 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.

Today we are removing five subreddits that break our reddit rules based on their harassment of individuals. If a subreddit has been banned for harassment, you will see that in the ban notice. The only banned subreddit with more than 5,000 subscribers is r/fatpeoplehate.

To report a subreddit for harassment, please email us at contact@reddit.com or send a modmail.

We are continuing to add to our team to manage community issues, and we are making incremental changes over time. We want to make sure that the changes are working as intended and that we are incorporating your feedback when possible. Ultimately, we hope to have less involvement, but right now, we know we need to do better and to do more.

While we do not always agree with the content and views expressed on the site, we do protect the right of people to express their views and encourage actual conversations according to the rules of reddit.

Thanks for working with us. Please keep the feedback coming.

– Jessica (/u/5days), Ellen (/u/ekjp), Alexis (/u/kn0thing) & the rest of team reddit

edit to include some faq's

The list of subreddits that were banned.
Harassment vs. brigading.
What about other subreddits?


RIP Fat People Hate

She contended that they will only be removing subreddits that are guilty of "harassment", but is actually just banning people she doesn't like while ignoring places like the feminazi shithole that is SRS, even though sending people death threats is literally the only thing they do there. The subreddits that were banned were r/FatPeopleHate, some reddits about making fun of niggers and trannys, and the fucking reddit that made fun of NeoGAF.

Other shenanigans

Pao bans talking about her fraudulent lawsuit


When the fact that Pao is a rabid feminazi became apparent to the actual users of plebbit, they began discussing it on the site and voicing their concerns that she might practice favoritism and ban lulzy reddits while protecting crybaby whores. Pao put all those concerns to rest when she began deleting any mention of her lawsuit or herself from the site and banning anyone who dares talk about it Archive today-ico.png(archive).

Ellen's new hiring policy

Pao began her restructuring of the communist republic of reddit by making a "no salary negotiation" policy. Why? because, according to her own words, women are too weak and insecure to negotiate aggressively like men and need a crutch. She continued by asking all new job applicants what they think of "diversity" in their job interviews so that she could avoid hiring anyone who isn't enough of a radfem. This way, with her salary offer being the only thing that dictates how much people get paid, and with all new employees being screened for anyone who might oppose her, she could safely overpay female employees without fear of dissent.

Ellen proves she never used reddit before

As an encore, Pao proved to everyone that (despite being the CEO of the site), she has never once used Reddit in her entire life.

Pao actually tried to link to a PM in her inbox, like your grandma trying to email you a photo of her computer screen (because she doesn't know what a screencap is) but the link she sends is to "C:\Users\Grandma\Pictures\IMG.jpg". And when everyone on the internet immediately started flooding Reddit to make fun of her for being such a noob, Pao tried to hide the evidence by deleting all of the comments anyone posted pointing out her mistake and then subsequently banning their accounts. Thus proving how much of a noob she is a second time for not knowing that the Internet never forgets.

Pao bans literal whale watching

In a followup to her brilliant FPH move, Pao then went on to show everyone her mastery of reddit by banning r/WhaleWatching, mistaking it for a reddit about making fun of fatties. However, it wasn't. It was literally just a subreddit about whale watching.

Image

Their response

As many folks attempting to post inappropriate links and comments have noticed, and some of you here for legit business, this sub is currently heavily moderated.

Normally, we stand against such things. We were recently banned, and unbanned. A few folks decided to raid our sub and use it for something it wasn't intended for. We got caught in a crossfire, and these things happen.

Problem solved, right? We can now go on about our business as usual, right?

Sadly, wrong.

Currently, we are under fire by members who belong to the /r/shitredditsays, /r/againstmensrights, and /r/gamerghazi collective clique.

They are duty-bent on posting obscene things here in an attempt to harass the moderators of this subreddit and see it banned again. As such, for the time being all submissions (self and link) and comments require a moderator to approve before they are visible.

I do apologize that it has come to this, and we are hoping we can eventually move beyond this nonsense.

We all know how pretentious, privileged, SJWarriors on the internet are. It's the ADD Generation, they'll be on to something else.

I appreciate your time.

Edit: For Fuck's sake, learn to read, SRD. Jesus fuckin' Christ. Post is up nine minutes before getting linked.

Edit 2: And post is now removed. Thank you, SRD mods.


RedditRevolt

Being a soulless, chink businesswoman, you'd think Ellen would be driven by the bottom line, site traffic and jewgolds, making her deletion of one of the most popular subreddits plain retarded. Unsurprisingly, page views to reddit plummeted all most as fast as your sexdrive after seeing Ellen's ugly man-face. Reddit responds to this censorship by doing what Reddit does best: Copying 4chan. Users packed their bags and moved shop to a reddit clone called Voat. The result? Reddit takes a 70% hit to their traffic and Voat's $30 rent-a-server can't handle the load. Ellen has succeeded in making reddit a safe space by getting rid of all the users. However, at the same time, this means 70% of redditors are now refugees and will be spreading their cancer to all corners of the internet, particularly on 8chan, where they're making shitty copies of their deleted boards that are even overtaking the GamerGate faggots. For the next few months it is being advised to wear a hazmat suit when surfing.

TheDarkenning/AMAgeddon

Image

Proving the ride never ends, a few weeks later Pao made her next catastrophic mistake.

In a brilliantly retarded move, Pao fired (with no prior notice) one of Reddit's favorite admins who ran r/IAMA and was one of the only ones still remaining from the era when the reddit staff was actual tech people who interacted with the community (she also fired the admin of r/RedditGifts or r/SecretSanta or something but no one gave a fuck). There was no formal reason, but the various speculations are each worse than the other. The first theory is that she was simply the last person on staff who didn't live in San Fagcisco, which is the capitol of SJW faggots.

The second possible reason is hilariously worse. It is believed she got fired because of a disastrous AMA with Jesse Jackson!!! Apparently, Jackson did an AMA that week and utterly tanked when he was asked some hard questions and went on a rambling triad. Since Jesse is Pao and Fletcher's idol for race-bating and frivolous lawsuits (what you wanna bet he was asked to do an AMA at Pao's personal request?), the admin was blamed for not sock-puppeting enough softballs for him to answer and not being fast enough to ban people who asked hard questions and delete their posts to make Jackson look good. When everyone complained they literally can not do their jobs without this chicks running the AMAs and asked who would replace her and how will they insure reddit isn't giving/collecting bribes for AMAs, they were ignored. In response, over 100 300 1,400 (??? reports are conflicting) 1,800 subreddits made themselves privet in protest and leading to another massive drop in traffic. Even the SJW mecca r/GamerGhazi joined in for a while. Since some of the subs were some of reddit's biggest money makers, Pao went so far as to assume direct control over one of them and ban all the mods so she could re-open it. The situation got so bad that anyone could get his shit on the front page, which was soon flooded with insults to Pao, threads about how it's about to fail as bad as Digg and (for some reason) spam of pictures of cake. One of the site's old power mods even chimed in share some info from his admin friends:

Sup qg... Several of our old mutual friends have been keeping me in the loop and from what they have been saying things are not looking good at reddit HQ. The higher ups (executives and board members) at reddit are totally out of touch with the community, kn0thing included sadly. Ellen Pao barely even knows how to use reddit, let alone truly understand what makes it tick and what it needs to survive and the vast majority of the new hires rarely (if ever) interact with the community like the admins of old. And to top it off most of the current admins aren't even webdevs, software engineers or community team members hired from within the community anymore... they are outside hires, mostly marketers and middle management. Does all this sound familiar? This sort of non-core site functions staff bloat and loss of touch with the community is literally the exact same thing that happened at digg before v4. Apparently this all started with Yishan's retarded plan to close the NYC office (which may be why Victoria was fired, since she was the last remaining admin in NYC) and force all the remote working admins (other than those outside the US) to relocate to SF or be fired, which caused an exodus of talent and generated a lot of resentment even by the staff that were willing/able to move. The mood in the SF office has supposedly gotten steadily worse since then too thanks to some of Pao's bizarre decisions regarding hiring (she refused to honor several of Yishan's hires despite the fact they had already quit their jobs to join reddit), restructuring (can't say much other than she seriously fucked several long-term employees over.. don't want anyone to get in trouble) and salary negotiations (according to her, women can't negotiate as well as men so nobody is allowed to negotiate their salaries anymore). Damnit... I really wish spez would come back and sort this shit out. ...sigh...
p.s. ƃıdɹǝpıds ƃıdɹǝpıds


Soon after r/IAMA was re-opened, possibly by force, but to the detriment of our dear Ellen, more ex-employees came out against her and one of the first new AMA's to be made as soon as the subreddit was pried open was by one of them. The AMA was soon deleted by the admins, but not before the person doing it revealed that ELLEN PAO FIRED HIM FOR HAVING CANCER!!!

Less than a month later, in February of 2014, I received a call from Ellen stating that I was to be terminated in less than a week. When I asked what the specific reason was, she had roughly stated that "because of our discussion, you are too sick to properly fulfill your duties as Community Manager." (At no point during our meeting was this stated - I had raised concerns about the stress levels of Community Management, but had ultimately decided that it was something I could easily manage.)


You're FIRED!

Image

Everything quickly devolved into a downward spiral for Pao as people fled reddit and exposed the fact she committed disability discrimination (the leukemia guy). At first she tried to pun on a brave front by saying the people criticizing her are a "vocal minority" and that she doesn't care, but two days later she posted a formal apology and two days after that she was fired.

It seems Reddit's investors and senior management finally decided that they have had enough of the hug box whoring fascist feminist radical and rightly put the proverbial boot to the fat whaley ass Asian. Pao was very quick to start spinning the news and is already desperately running around like a cat trying to cover up shit on a marble floor, attempting to convince everyone that it was a "mutual decision" and that she willingly stepped down from her position of power that she so routinely abused. However no one believes her and are laughing their collective asses off at her expense.

They had a more aggressive view than I did.
—Mein Führer Pao, on why she got canned from her attempted dictatorship


Chairman Pao the musical



Image

Image

Image

Image
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:42 pm

How Ellen Pao, who oversaw the effort to rid Reddit of harassment, became its latest victim
By Sarah Kaplan
July 13, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
Ellen Pao arrives at San Francisco Superior Court on March 24. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters)

For weeks, the Change.org petition demanding the ouster of interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao had been rapidly gaining momentum: 10,000 signatures, 100,000 signatures, 213,451 signatures.

On Friday, the meter measuring the petition’s progress morphed into a triumphant little red flag, accompanied by the word “Victory” in thin, blunt lettering.

The petition was launched last month in response to the banning of five hate-filled subreddits and other anti-harassment changes overseen by Pao during her brief tenure, and invigorated by the unpopular removal of a well-liked Reddit employee. Its creator lauded Pao’s resignation in his victory post this weekend, as did thousands of Reddit users who have been clamoring for her resignation, many of whom crowed their approval in much less polite (and less printable) terms.

[Ellen Pao resigns as Reddit chief executive]


Pao’s post on the site announcing her resignation is terse about the terms of her departure, saying only that she felt she could not meet the board’s user growth goals “while maintaining Reddit’s core principles.”

Although she doesn’t tie it to her resignation, Pao was much more expansive when writing about the vitriol she endured during her eight months at the helm of the site that is alternately called the Internet’s “front page” and its “most hateful space.” The vast majority of her post was devoted to examining the way she and others were treated on the site.

“I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly on reddit. The good has been off-the-wall inspiring, and the ugly made me doubt humanity,” she wrote. “I just want to remind everyone that I am just another human; I have a family, and I have feelings.”

Pao is one of the most recognizable faces in the debate over discrimination in Silicon Valley. She made headlines earlier this year during a bruising and ultimately unsuccessful gender bias lawsuit against her former employer, the venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins. And she oversaw a fundamental shift in Reddit policy away from free-wheeling free speech and toward tighter restrictions on harassment.

[Censorship, fat-shaming and the ‘Reddit revolt': How Reddit became the Alamo of the Internet’s ongoing culture war]


It’s not clear how much of this shift has been specifically spearheaded by Pao, but she’s been widely credited — or blamed, depending on your perspective — for the changes. Last September, in the midst of a controversy over leaked nude photos of celebrities that had been posted to the site, Pao’s predecessor Yishan Wong wrote in a blog post that Reddit would not ban “questionable” subreddits.

“You choose what to post. You choose what to read. You choose what kind of subreddit to create and what kind of rules you will enforce. We will try not to interfere — not because we don’t care, but because we care that you make your choices between right and wrong,” he said.

Sixth months later, with Pao as chief executive, the site rolled out a new policy against involuntary pornography. A few months after that, it banned five of the site’s most hate-filled subreddits as well as all “systematic and/or continued actions to torment or demean someone in a way that would make a reasonable person (1) conclude that reddit is not a safe platform to express their ideas or participate in the conversation, or (2) fear for their safety or the safety of those around them.”

Those changes made Pao a target of the same kind of harassment that the new policies attempted to curb. A (now private) subreddit called r/paomustresign featured memes comparing her to feces, racist references to “Chairman Pao,” and countless other offensive posts. She also reportedly received death threats from Reddit users.


[Move over, Reddit: Tumblr is the new front page of the Internet.]


Pao’s changes became a major front in the culture war that is currently roiling Reddit and the Internet at large. To her admirers, she was an advocate for inclusion and a pioneering woman in a male-dominated field (only 11 percent of Silicon Valley executives are female and men are twice as likely to be Reddit users than women). To her detractors, she was shill for the “social justice warriors” who wanted to censor the site and a corporate outsider who was changing their community without bothering to understand it.

That belief was solidified early this month, during the mishandled dismissal of Victoria Taylor, the company’s beloved director of talent who oversaw the popular “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) chats. Though founder and chairman Alex Ohnihan wrote in a post that the AMA change was his decision, Pao was blamed for Taylor’s firing. Dozens of Reddit pages were blacked out in a user protest against the way Reddit treats its moderators. Meanwhile, signatures on the petition for Pao’s resignation snowballed, as did use of the hashtag #RedditRevolt, which was first popularized in the wake of the harassment policy changes last month.

Now, maybe not because of the way she was treated online but certainly not in spite of it, Pao is leaving the site amid the same kind of vitriol she worked to reduce. Those who wanted her gone are applauding the change — as are a few who never had a problem with Pao, like New York Magazine writer and occasional Reddit critic Kevin Roose:

Kevin Roose@kevinroose
Congratulations to Ellen Pao for getting out of hell
2:19 PM 10 Jul 2015
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: It’s Silicon Valley 2, Ellen Pao 0: Fighter of Sexism Is

Postby admin » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:53 pm

These are the 5 subreddits Reddit banned under its game-changing anti-harassment policy — and why it banned them
By Caitlin Dewey
June 10, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


POSTING GUIDELINES
Rules:
1. No identifying information
2. No dissent / No being fat
3. Keep the peace
4. No links to other parts of Reddit
5. Absolutely NO FAT SYMPATHY
The posted rules for “Fat People Hate,” the largest forum Reddit banned today. (Internet Archive)


Reddit, the so-called “front page” of the Internet that 172 million people use monthly, has developed a reputation for allowing pretty much anything.

Creepshots of little kids? Check.

Even at a national memorial, no one is safe from ‘creepshots’
By Caitlin Dewey
October 10, 2014

Image
A man who photographed women sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial recently got away with it. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Creepshots, one of the Internet’s many bizarre sexual scourges, are “repellent and disturbing,” a D.C. judge ruled Thursday — but they are not technically illegal.

In case you aren’t familiar with the term (and you might not want to be, FYI), creepshots are essentially just what they sound like: sneaky, surreptitious photos of a person’s, usually a woman’s, private areas, taken without her consent — and often, without her knowledge that the parts in question are even visible. They’re widely considered a genre of so-called “nonconsensual porn” — explicit images or videos traded without permission from the people they depict.

Online, these images enjoy a thriving trade on sites like Reddit, 4chan, AnonIB and even Twitter, where handles like @CreepBK, @SexySights and @Creep_daddy keep up a steady stream of skin-crawling photos. Both Reddit and AnonIB have forums dedicated to these types of photos, specifically; on AnonIB’s creepshot forum, users are currently salivating over a photo of a high-school student bending over to push a Wal-Mart cart as she shops. It’s obvious, from the number and location of the photos, that someone followed her around the store to take them.

“There were some pics of a similar looking girl kicking around the interweb a few years back,” one user wrote. “She was leaning over a barrier at her swimming pool talking to her swim coach … Anyone know the whereabouts?”

Someone else in the forum promptly supplied the photo: It is indeed of a (very young) girl at a swim meet, wearing what look to be swim shorts, watching people in the pool swim.

To many a reasonable observer, the existence of such a photo, and the intentions with which it was taken, seem self-evidently wrong. These are private people, going about their private lives. Why should a quick breeze or a bathing suit expose them to this kind of sustained, humiliating attention?

In the D.C. case, at least, the answer lay in a legal technicality. Voyeurism, a misdemeanor, has a very specific definition: You can’t secretly record someone using the bathroom, changing, having sex, or doing anything else where she has “a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

That reasonable expectation is what many cases hinge on. In this one, the creepshot-er in question, Christopher Hunt Cleveland, took his photos at the Lincoln Memorial as women sat on the steps. He didn’t sneak up under them, or use a peephole, or deploy any other similarly sneaky tricks. Instead, like the photographer who followed the woman in Wal-Mart, or the one who took pictures of the girl at the swim meet, he took pictures of public things, in a public place.

Never mind that leaning over for a moment, or wearing short shorts, does not in any way constitute a consent to be photographed. Never mind that, as U.S. Attorney Akhi Johnson argued, women have a reasonable expectation of privacy just by virtue of wearing clothes.

In purely legal terms, Cleveland’s creepshots don’t meet that standard. And so all charges were dropped against him, even as the stakes for women who visit the memorial were raised. Consider the implications of this for a second: If you were to visit the National Mall this weekend, and someone began taking photos of you or your children, there is nothing you can do about it.

It is “repellent and disturbing,” but it is his right.

There are attempts to change that, of course. In March, after a Massachusetts court ruled that upskirt photos were legal in the state, the legislature quickly pushed through a bill to criminalize it. Creepshots in the Bay State are now punishable by as many as five years in jail or fines up to $5,000. Texas also recently passed a law against photographs taken “with the intent to arouse or gratify” sexual desire, though that was later struck down on First Amendment grounds.

Which means that — in Texas, as in D.C., as in much of the country — women can be photographed, objectified, and have the photos passed around the Web simply for the crime of leaving their houses. Repellent and disturbing, indeed.

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (tinyletter.com/cdewey)


The “most violently racist content” on the Internet? Sure!
BLACK HOLE
by Keegan Hankes

Image

The most violently racist internet content isn't found on sites like Stormfront and VNN any more.

One section of the Web forum is dedicated to watching black men die, while another is called “CoonTown” and features users wondering if there are any states left that are “nigger free.” One conversation focuses on the state of being “Negro Free,” while another is about how best to bring attention to the assertion that black people are more prone to commit sexual assaults than whites.

But these discussions aren’t happening on Stormfront, which since its founding in 1995 by a former Alabama Klan leader has been the largest hate forum on the Web. They’re taking place on Reddit, a huge online bulletin board recently spun off into its own independent entity from Advance Publications, the parent company of Condé Nast. Reddit has been hailed as the last bastion of free speech on the Internet, an unregulated and vibrant community of users who post whatever they want and rely on the community around them to police their content.

The world of online hate, long dominated by website forums like Stormfront and its smaller neo-Nazi rival Vanguard News Network (VNN), has found a new — and wildly popular — home on the Internet. Reddit boasts the 9th highest Alexa Internet traffic ranking in the United States and the 36th worldwide. Many of Reddit’s racist subreddits are among its most popular.

Reddit is a news site that hosts user-submitted links and discussion, organized into specific communities of interest comprised of “subreddits,” which are ranked by votes from users. If a reader believes content is a constructive contribution, he or she can “upvote” it, pushing the content further up the page. Conversely, if a user thinks that content is either off-topic or is not constructive, it can be “downvoted,” causing it to sink further down the page.

Content on Reddit is “moderated based on quality, not opinion,” according to the working document that dictates community guidelines, called “Reddiquette.” This idea of user-policed communities that contain high-quality, diverse content is part of the ethos Reddit has worked hard to project. “We power awesome communities,” reads the graphic atop its “about” page.

But awesome communities for whom?

The ‘Chimpire’

Along with countless others with entirely different interests, Reddit increasingly is providing a home for anti-black racists — and some of the most virulent and violent propaganda around. In November 2013, a hyper-racist subreddit called “GreatApes” was formed. Users posted epithet-strewn links to “news” stories of dubious origin that riffed on long established stereotypes about the black community. GreatApes was wildly popular and grew quickly, expanding into a much larger Reddit network called “the Chimpire,” which was organized by a user known only by his or her posting name of “Jewish_NeoCon2.”

“We feel it’s time to expand our sphere of influence and lebensraum [the Nazi term for “living space”] on reddit. Thus we have decided to create ‘the Chimpire,’ a network of nigger related subreddits,” Jewish_NeoCon2 wrote at the time. “Want to read people’s experiences with niggers? There now is an affiliated subreddit for it. Want to watch chimp nature documentaries? We got it. Nigger hate facts? IT’S THERE. … Oh yes you bet we got videos of ghetto niggers fighting each other. Nigger drama on reddit? There’s a sub. Sheboons? Gibsmedat.”

Within a year, the Chimpire network had grown to include 46 active subreddits spanning an alarming range of racist topics, including “Teenapers,” “ApeWrangling,” “Detoilet,” and “Chicongo,” along with subreddits for both “TrayvonMartin” and “ferguson,” each of them dealing with the controversial and highly publicized shooting deaths of unarmed black teenagers.

Then, last November, Reddit’s most racist community evolved once again, adding the subreddit called CoonTown in the aftermath of a dispute between several top moderators at GreatApes. In just four days, CoonTown had reached 1,000 subscribers. And its popularity continues to grow.

According to Reddit Metrics, as of Jan. 6, there were 552,829 subreddits. CoonTown, with its 3,287 subscribers, ranked 6,279th, placing it in the top 2% of subreddits. It is the 680th fastest-growing subreddit on the site despite — or because of — violently racist material including a large number of threads dedicated to videos of black-on-black violence.

These gruesome videos show black men being hit in the head repeatedly with a hammer, burned alive, and killed in a variety of other ways. The subreddit’s banner features a cartoon of a black man hanging, complete with a Klansman in the background. One fairly typical user, “Bustatruggalo” applauded the graphic violence as “[v]ery educational and entertaining.” He or she continued on a separate thread: “I almost feel bad for letting an image like this fill me with an overwhelming amount of joy. Almost….”

Others, like user “natchil,” were looking for still more. “Where is watchjewsdie?” this user wondered.

'Remember the Human'

There are some limits. “No calls for violence,” the CoonTown subreddit’s description reads. “It’s prohibited by Reddit’s site-wide rules.”

Everything up to violence, however, is very much there, including the horrific content found on other Chimpire subreddits like “WatchNiggersDie” — content which is rarely, if ever, matched on forums like Stormfront and VNN, which worry about being shut down or driving off potential allies.

That’s despite the Reddiquette section’s first rule, which implores Reddit users to “Remember the human.” “When you communicate online, all you see is a computer screen,” it says. “When talking to someone you might want to ask yourself ‘Would I say it to the person’s face?’ or ‘Would I get jumped if I said this to a buddy?’”

If Reddit’s rules seem relaxed, that’s because they are meant to be. Still, although users are asked to “remember the human,” there is little humanity in the way the subjects of subreddits like CoonTown are treated.

In June 2013, however, after an extended, public controversy, Reddit did ban the subreddit “Niggers” when large numbers of its denizens began overrunning another subreddit, “BlackGirls,” with racist posts that were apparently not being policed by its moderators. “Brigading” — when large groups of people from one subreddit gang up to downvote comments on another subreddit that they don’t normally visit — is prohibited by Reddit. Users of the Niggers subreddit also engaged in “vote manipulation,” which falsely raises the popularity of a post by soliciting like-minded users to blindly upvote it. After repeated warnings and “shadow-banning,” or making a user’s posts invisible to everyone but the author, the subreddit was finally banned. According to Jewish_NeoCon2, more than a few former members of the Niggers subreddit have now taken up residence at CoonTown.

A Reluctance to Intervene

Reddit was recently spun off into its own independent entity from Advance Publications, the parent company of mass media giant Condé Nast, which also owns Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and 20 other print and online publications that reach an estimated 95 million consumers (Advance Publications is still a majority shareholder in Reddit). The site’s goal, according to Wong, is to pay its own way and its primary engine for accomplishing that is through ads, a premium subscription option, and the Reddit gift exchange.

Racist websites and organizations do sometimes benefit from racist subreddits like the Chimpire. That’s because subreddit users often post links to other racist sites, and those links drive traffic to those other sites, which in turn typically sell merchandise in addition to pushing racist ideology and recruiting.

It’s hard to dispute that Reddit does offer a venue for remarkably lively and unbridled conversation, and that dissident commentary that might not be tolerated elsewhere finds a welcome home there. Richard Spencer, a racist ideologue who heads the National Policy Institute, held an “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit last November, and although his views are widely regarded as loathsome, he was calm and understated in his discussion of far-right European politics. Unlike in WatchNiggersDie, there were no links to videos of brutal killings or other visual images meant to degrade the humanity of minorities.

Reddit is often hailed as one of the last bastions of truly free speech, and its owners’ hesitance to jeopardize that status is understandable given the loyal following it has inspired. Reddit has removed content that has been illegally appropriated from commercial interests, such as the revelations that emerged from the November hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The Internet is awash in racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and other hateful content, but much of it is relatively tame. Subreddits such the Chimpire offer a window on to just how awful some of the darkest corners of the Web really are.


“We will not ban questionable subreddits,” Reddit’s then-CEO, Yishan Wong, wrote mere months ago. “You choose what to post. You choose what to read. You choose what kind of subreddit to create.”

[48 hours inside the Internet’s “most toxic” community]

48 hours inside the Internet’s ‘most toxic’ community
By Caitlin Dewey
March 26, 2015

Image
A screenshot from a Reddit 404 page. (Reddit)

Reddit, the front-page of the Internet, hasn’t exactly had a banner year.

In August, it served as an early incubator for the Gamergate movement, which would go on wreck the lives of several innocent women and baffle America’s non-gaming populace. Not long after, it became the main distribution center for a trove of controversial stolen celebrity nude photos, including at least one of the gymnast McKayla Maroney when she was underage. To further salt the site’s wounds, a widely-publicized report released earlier this month accused the site of hosting hate groups. Reddit is, the Southern Poverty Law Center claimed, “the most hateful space on the Internet.”

… and the Internet can be a pretty hateful place.

As hardcore Redditors (and the site’s corporate owners) have pointed out, this criticism isn’t always entirely fair. Reddit is like a microcosm of the Internet itself: It’s so vast and labyrinthine and lawless that pretty much anything, good or bad, can make its home there. (“Reddit is the Mos Eisley spaceport of the Internet,” Slate’s Jacob Brogan wrote Wednesday. “A hive of scum and villainy that can carry you to the stars, if you ask around in the right places.”)

[Move over, Reddit: Tumblr is the new front page of the Internet]


So two weeks ago, Ben Bell — a data scientist at the language-processing firm Idibon — set out to quantify exactly which Reddit communities were the proverbial worst. Using both language-processing software and a team of human annotators, whom you can read about in more depth here, he identified the forums where personal attacks and bigoted language were the most frequent.

At the top of the pack, ranked No. 1 for toxicity, was /r/S***RedditSays: a forum with some 64,000 members, devoted, counter-intuitively, to shaming racism, misogyny, homophobia and “toxic privilege” in the larger Reddit community.

Image

“Take a second to think about how unwelcoming this site is for some groups,” the community’s moderators explain in its FAQ. “SRS lets those groups know that there is in fact a faction of vocal dissenters and that they aren’t alone.”

Determined to see how dark the so-called “darkest depth of the Interwebs” could possibly be, I spent 48 hours lurking in SRS and logging every conversation that bubbled up in it. The community is pretty strictly regulated: You can only post literal quotes from other Redditors, and only for the purpose of making fun of them. So the average SRS thread consists of an unsavory quote from elsewhere on Reddit, and then a long string of negative responses. Like:

Reddit: Rape victims lie frequently for “monetary gain.”

SRS: “How stupid do you have to be?”

Reddit: drops a casual racial slur while talking about ISIS.

SRS: “Terrorism is meant to polarize groups, and Reddit happily helps out with that.”

Reddit: “Grad school made me racist … There’s a reason [racial] stereotypes exist.”

SRS: “If you self-identify as racist, you must have a sad existence.”


As should be fairly clear, SRS isn’t the actual source of bigotry or vitriol on Reddit: It’s just a mirror of it, a concentrated reaction to the casual bias and stereotyping that play out in other corners of the site. In fact, when SRS began, it was intended more lightheartedly: a place to gather silly or stupid comments, the same way other variants of the “s*** people say” meme do. But over time, the Guardian reported earlier this month, it became an “enclave within the site for people who have deep concerns about the main community.”

Those concerns, judging by the comments SRS has flagged in the past week, most frequently relate to sexism, racism and religious bias. And SRS has not hesitated to voice its concerns forcefully: “we have found that fighting fire with fire is substantially more gratifying” than discussion, they wrote. (Bell says his report did control for context, so SRS was rated toxic for the tone of its discussion, and not the controversial topics.) A common refrain, in response to virtually any kind of post, is “f*** Reddit” or “f*** Redditors.”

Bigotry on Reddit

Image

The more time I spent in SRS, however, the more I realized that this is not Reddit’s fight — a fact that one moderator acknowledged explicitly in a recent interview. SRS is the most toxic place on the Internet only insofar as this debate over inclusion, diversity and “social justice” remains the most toxic debate in our culture; a debate that has, in the past year, winded around #YesAllWomen, erupted into the inferno that was Gamergate, and has reared its head with every new police shooting and rape allegation.

SRS may as well change its name to “s*** society says,” because that’s essentially what it documents: “the casual racism and sexism that is so popular,” and so insurmountable, even in mainstream, offline venues.

By the end of my allotted 48 hours, I was more than ready to log out of SRS permanently. Not because of the combativeness, necessarily, or the shaming or the “toxicity.” But I got worn down by the parade of human nastiness — and the futility of even trying to fight it.

“We are not here to ‘change reddit,'” the forum’s moderators write. “We don’t expect reddit to change. We know most redditors don’t really [care].”

They aren’t just talking about Reddit, though. And that’s a toxic problem, right there.


But in an apparent reversal of that policy, and in an unprecedented effort to clean up its long-suffering image, Reddit has just banned five “questionable subreddits.”

The site permanently removed the forums Wednesday afternoon for harassing specific, named individuals, a spokesperson said. Of the five, two were dedicated to fat-shaming, one to transphobia, one to racism and one to harassing members of a progressive video game site.

[The battle for the soul of Reddit]

Inside the battle for the soul of Reddit
By Caitlin Dewey
May 16, 2014

Think of Reddit, the Internet’s self-proclaimed front page, as the plankton of the digital information ecosystem. The vast, labyrinthine network of forums, founded in 2005, is the site where all other sites go to feed: on memes, on news stories, on ideas or whiffs of them.

But contrary the view from 10,000 feet, Reddit does not surface stories on the force of the crowd alone. Behind the Internet’s great trend-machine sits a complex, faceless hierarchy of volunteer moderators, called “mods.” Casual users never see them, and even avid Redditors — as the site’s denizens call themselves — have limited power to challenge them.

That has provoked something of an existential struggle in the Internet’s largest news forum, though few have articulated it that way. Is “the front page of the Internet” a democracy that is crowdsourced by virtual millions? Or is it a series of allied feudal kingdoms, steeped in abstract politics?

“The system has its flaws,” admitted Erik Martin, Reddit’s general manager. “But it’s a powerful system that for the vast majority of [the Web site] works great.”

“Works great” is, of course, a relative assessment. While a whopping 110 million people visited Reddit last month — by comparison, the mammoth CNN.com averaged 67 million monthly visitors in 2013 — segments of the site are rife with accusations of moderator censorship, neglect or abuse.

Never has that been clearer than in the past four months, when two of the site’s most popular forums, r/news and r/worldnews, repeatedly deleted a major scoop about British intelligence by Glenn Greenwald. Less than three weeks later, a user in another major forum, r/technology, reported that mods systematically blocked terms like “NSA” and “net neutrality.”

“This is real bad news,” concluded a Redditor codenamed “creq” in his post uncovering r/technology’s blocked terms. “This place is heavily censored.”

In reality, the forum wasn’t so much censored as poorly moderated. But in either case, the incident exposed a more troubling and more systemic drawback of the site: When you hand such profound power to anonymous moderators, the Internet is essentially at their whim.

Image
A screenshot of the Reddit frontpage, as of this writing. (Reddit)

Inside Reddit

That’s particularly true on a site like Reddit, where the politics and power dynamics are opaque obtuse, even to people on the inside. Essentially, Reddit consists of a series of forums, called “subreddits,” which anyone can create. Within each subreddit, users can submit posts (links, photos, questions, etc.) and either up- or down-vote the posts other users have submitted. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, with their ever-evolving, user-friendly interfaces, Reddit’s bare-bones design — sky-blue header, white background, plain Verdana text — has hardly changed since 2005. Each subreddit is a list of links. Each post includes a series of nested comments.

Posts that have been up-voted by large numbers of Redditors move up the subreddit’s “hot” list, thereby gaining visibility. Enough votes can push a post to Reddit’s front page, where it’s exposed to millions of people.

That up- and down-voting system would appear to signal a certain degree of democracy — and it does. As Martin explains, the great benefit of Reddit’s infrastructure is that it allows communities to create spaces entirely of their choosing.

But neither the Reddit front page, nor the network of subreddits behind it, operates without controls. Each subreddit is operated by a moderator, who can make and enforce any editorial decision he wants (including whether or not to appoint other mods). Most of the time, those decisions make sense and help the community run in a smooth manner: deleting spam, blocking disruptive members, that kind of thing. But mods also have the power to delete posts they don’t like or whose politics they disagree with. Alternately, they can slack off their moderation duties to the point the forum fills with junk or spam.

In either case, corporate Reddit tries not to intervene. “We don’t want to be referees,” Martin said. If the company’s three community managers must show their disapproval, they do it subtly — rearranging the highly visible default subreddits to which all users automatically belong.

In Reddit’s nine-year history, overseers have only had to demote default subreddits a handful of times. Last year, they bumped r/politics and r/atheism in favor of more active communities, like r/television and /gifs. Then, just last month, another long-time default fell from grace: the embattled r/technology, which — with its 5 million members — is one of the largest forums on the site.

The battle for r/technology

Image
A screenshot from creq's post. (Reddit) A screenshot from creq’s post of filtered words in r/technology. (Reddit)

By comparison, the user who brought down r/technology was a small fish in the vast Reddit waters. Creq, a Redditor of only seven months, didn’t moderate any big-time forums or hoard any considerable store of karma — Reddit shorthand for street cred — when he noticed that certain topical words seemed to appear in the forum much less than one would expect. On April 13, he posted a list of “banned” keywords to r/technology, alleging that mods censored posts that contained those terms. The list included everything from “NSA,” “Snowden” and “spying” to “Dogecoin” and “Flappy.”

“Can we create a … spinoff, to get away from the anal mods?” one user commented.

“They’re not anal,” another fired back. “They’re corrupt.”

In point of fact, it seems, the r/technology mods were just complacent: with too many users, and too few active mods, they created a bot to automatically torpedo links on potentially spammy or politicized subjects. But that means that, for a window of several months, stories on those subjects — net neutrality, the NSA scandal, cryptocurrencies — disappeared from one of the Internet’s most important technology forums.

To further complicate things, many of r/technology’s mods were so-called “super-users” — senior Redditors who had accumulated massive amounts of karma and who often ran several major forums on the site. One of them also moderated r/bestof, r/food and r/history, all default subreddits. Another oversaw more than 360 other subreddits, including the wildly popular r/EarthPorn. (None of the moderators contacted by the Post responded to requests for comment.)

Critics wanted the top mods to resign, explain their policies, or some combination of the two. The ensuing back-and-forth, which lasted days, essentially brought the forum to a standstill. On April 17, Reddit pulled r/technology from the default subreddits banner, citing rampant dysfunction there.

“They had no critical mass to moderate the community,” Martin said. “We saw this as an opportunity to kind of say — hey, let’s see what happens. Maybe other subreddits will attract that audience.”

The war for Reddit

That principle, what Martin and others at Reddit HQ like to call “market fluidity,” is actually one of the fundamental underpinnings of the laissez-faire Reddit system. If moderators act out, the logic goes, Redditors can just take their business elsewhere — maybe to r/tech, which has grown markedly in recent weeks, or r/futurology, upon which Reddit recently bestowed default status. Market fluidity is, in theory, a check on moderators’ influence: If they become too powerful, or too irresponsible, users can simply leave.

Unfortunately, Martin admits, the system often doesn’t work that way in practice. A subreddit with a critical mass is not easily toppled, particularly when it’s held by a powerful mod with control of multiple subreddits on the site. Spin-off forums with odd names can be hard to find by search. Plus those super-mods, some users have complained, belong to expansive political networks that can stifle dissent across subreddits or punish users who act out.

One particularly melodramatic Redditor, bemoaning the inequity during the battle for r/technology, compared the situation to the French Revolution: “When French peasant stormed the Bastille, pretty much every royal in Europe started hand-wringing and condemning popular dissent … see if you can apply the analogy to these facts.”

That metaphor’s a little dramatic, of course, but it expresses the essential, existential question of Reddit as it grows up. Can there be such a thing as pure democracy online? Or does the web require something else?

In the weeks since the great r/technology coup, Reddit has failed to answer that question. While the community has new moderators and a new transparency policy, it still suffers from intermittent in-fighting. Creq, the r/technology user who first spotted the censorship, is now a mod of the forum, himself. The majority of his last thousand posts are retorts to Redditors accusing him of abuse.

The mods come and go, it seems; the system stays. And still, behind a curtain many Internet-users don’t even acknowledge, a cabal of faceless, nameless wizards work controls that we can’t see.


All five subreddits were warned previously, the company said. And administrators will watch the site carefully to make sure those five subreddits don’t pop up again.

“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,” the company said in a statement. “We’re banning behavior, not ideas.”

What kind of behavior, you ask? These are the five subreddits that were banned.

r/FatPeopleHate

Image
(Via Internet Archive)

Members: 149,504

In their own words: “Absolutely NO FAT SYMPATHY.”

Chief offense: A clearinghouse for lifted photos of overweight people from around the Web. The only rules for stealing and posting these photos — beside the aforementioned ban on “sympathy” — was that submissions include no identifying information.

r/HamPlanetHatred

Image
(Internet Archive)

Founded: October 2013

Members: 3,071

In their own words: “We are a Pro-Health sub! No ifs, buts, or coconuts. With that being said, if you’re a delusional lardmuffin this sub may be a bit offensive.”
Chief offense: Posting pictures of overweight people, frequently from Facebook, Flickr and similar photo-sharing sites, and relentlessly making fun of them in vicious comment threads. One recent photo showed a smiling couple standing outside with the caption “what a happy little hamily.”

r/Transf**s

Image
(Via Internet Archive)

Members: 149

In their own words: “Tired of transgender people and their degeneracy? Disgusted by trans things? Hate the intolerant and whiny transgender community always playing the oppression card? This sub is for you. We aim to ridicule and mock the transgender community because they deserve to be laughed at.”

Chief offense: A running “tranny of the day” feature that pulled photos of individuals from Reddit’s pro-trans subs for the purpose of harassing them. “Mocking photos of [trans people] is okay,” the subreddit’s rules said, “but use imgur instead of linking to their submission if its on Reddit.” The purpose of that work-around, of course, is to avoid anyone discovering it. r/Transf–s also hosted threads on topics like “the best way to tell a [trans person] to kill themselves.”

r/Neof**

Image
(Internet Archive)

Founded: December 2013

Members: 1,239

In their own words: “We generally allow anything. Anyone is welcome to post here and talk s—, or have a serious discussion. Here freedom of expression is sacred — not a lousy principle worked around to protect untenable ideologies and crybabies.”

Chief offense: Unlike the other banned subreddits, which targeted broad groups of people, r/Neof– had a narrower purpose: Harassing members of NeoGAF, a “civil, inclusive” gaming site, and its founder, Tyler Malka. Among other things, members posted pictures of GAF moderators and mocked their appearance.

r/S***N*****sSay

Image
(Internet Archive)

Founded: July 2012

Members: 219

In their own words: “Listen to stuff n—–s say, both on Reddit and anywhere else on the web.”
Chief offense: SNS was a member of “The Chimpire,” a disgusting and wide-ranging network of racist subreddits that the Southern Poverty Law Center named the Web’s worst earlier this year. While the others are regrettably still around, SNS seems to have been banned for copy/pasting things black Redditors said in other forums and then going after them.

Notably, none of these forums were in violation of the Reddit rules even three or four weeks ago: The ban on “attacks and harassment of individuals” was just instituted by CEO Ellen Pao in mid-May. These five subreddits were the first to be axed, a spokesman said, because of the volume of user complaints.

Unsurprisingly, a vocal contingent of Redditors aren’t taking the changes well: “Reddit increases censorship,” read one post on r/freespeech, while forums like r/mensrights and r/opieandanthony theorized they would be next.

But as I wrote in February when the Reddit-knockoff Voat began flying the “anything goes” flag, that attitude — and this crackdown — is actually pretty indicative of the state of “free speech” on the Web. A number of sites that started out as absolutists have realized — particularly as they grow more mainstream — that they also have other corporate and moral responsibilities. If you restrict absolutely nothing, you get child porn. If you define “abuse” too broadly, you watch users leave in droves. Even Christopher Poole, the founder of 4chan, cracked down on his cesspool towards the end (before leaving the site in January, totally exhausted).

This is what happens when you create an online community without any rules
By Caitlin Dewey
January 13, 2015

Image
This domain has been put on hold. Check the reason below.
Child Abuse
If you have any question, please send an email to: info@support.internet.bs

(8chan)

8chan, the more-lawless, more-libertarian, more “free” follow-up to 4chan, disappeared from the Internet under predictable circumstances Monday: Multiple people complained to 8chan’s registrar that the message board hosted child porn.

8chan has since resurfaced at a new URL, 8ch.net, and purportedly recovered its original domain. But that doesn’t erase the inevitable lesson of the matter: When you create an Internet community with virtually no rules, things are bound to go down the drain.

That is not, needless to say, the philosophy of 8chan’s members — nor its polarizing, lionized overseer, Fredrick Brennan. Brennan, a 4chan user since age 12, started 8chan in October 2013 after taking mushrooms and dreaming up a “free speech friendly 4chan alternative.” Like 4chan, Brennan’s forums would be anonymous communities where users could post text and images in nested, themed comment threads. But unlike 4chan, Brennan promised, his Internet utopia would allow anything and everything — provided only that it didn’t violate U.S. law.

Image
Hacking Thread Anonymous 01/13/15 (Tue)
We need to develop beyond ddos and learn how to be a true terror to the SJW menace
I'll upload a few of my hacking ebooks here, simply beginner guides anyone can learn from.
Here is a good set of sites to use:
https://ssd.eff.org/en/playlist/activist-or-protester
A guide for activists and protesters created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
https://ssd.eff.org/en/playlist/online- ... hy-and-pgp
An EFF guide to PGP
https://techtoolsforactivism.org/
Site containing a wealth of resources. Very useful. The list of software and media is especially helpful.

8channers discuss the best way to terrorize “social justice warriors,” or SJWs. (8chan)

To advocates of free speech and a free Internet, Brennan’s vision was refreshing — liberating, even. 8chan gained a small, loyal following on its launch in 2013 and blew up a year later when 4chan clamped down on Gamergate-related threads. Thousands of angry users fled to 8chan, quickly making it the second-most popular imageboard site on the Web.

“Imageboards are the most important medium for free speech on the Internet,” Brennan told Know Your Meme in the midst of that exodus. “Imageboards are a haven for [terrible things] … and that’s exactly what makes them such wonderful places. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

The problem with terrible things, of course, is that they tend to take on lives of their own. From the principled safety of 8chan, Gamergate supporters launched a number of campaigns against female journalists and videogame makers — some of which the FBI is purportedly investigating.

Image
Welcome to Baphomet
THIS BOARD IS WELL WITHIN THE CONFINES OF US LAW YOU [DELETE] STOP WHINING!
Contact admin @BenjaminBiddix on Twitter for any concerns, questions or just for [DELETE]
What is "baphomet"? - The last stand for old anon, a cancer free heavily moderated random conversation board with a secondary concentration on raids, doxing and old anon luls.
All forms of cancer, unfunny [DELETE] posts and autism are not tolerated here.
Raid took kit and etc. can be found here:

The rules for a popular doxing board. (8chan)

Meanwhile, Brennan has welcomed forums dedicated to pedophilia, suicide and concerted harassment or trolling. He does not personally police those forums for illegal content, per 8chan rules; instead, he trusts the creators of those forums and a “team of volunteers” to do it themselves.

It is no wonder that 8chan hosts, in the words of Gizmodo’s Chris Mills, “some of the nastiest s*** on the Internet.” Not explicitly illegal stuff, mind you, but stuff in the gray area, nonetheless: think threatening “dox” files on unsuspecting victims and softcore photos of children wearing thongs.

Brennan and his supporters — of whom there are many — point out that this is, legally, their right. Under the Communications Decency Act, a ’90s law that basically paved the way for free speech online, Web site administrators are not legally responsible for what their users post, no matter how gross their posts get.

Image
Suika 11/26/14 (Wed)
Things to Consider
>>>/hebe/ "is great place of image dumps, including images that violate this board's rule #2."
A pedophile is defined as someone who is sexually attracted to prepubescent children.
Sexual attraction to pubescent children is hebephilia, while sexual attraction to adolescents is ephebophilia.
Being a pedophile does not mean someone is, or ever will be, a child molester or rapist. Both molestation and rape are an action which involve a victim while pedophilia is a passive attraction.
Having a sexual attraction to children isn't illegal, acting on such desires can be however.

A post on a popular pedophilia board. (8chan)

There are only two exceptions — copyrighted content and child porn — and 8chan claims to police those things closely. It’s worth noting, however, that when a number of people reported 8chan’s active pedophilia boards to Cloudflare, a company that protects the site from malicious traffic, Brennan took screenshots of their names and e-mail addresses … and tweeted them publicly.

Previously, asked what he thought about the pedophilia boards on his site, Brennan called them “simply the cost of free speech.”

Of course, free speech has another cost, as 8chan is learning. Sure, you can preach your absolutism from the rooftops, and promise a principled haven for even the most destructive of things. But maybe don’t be super-surprised when your domain gets seized.


Racist and hateful and harassing speech won’t disappear with these subreddits, of course. Already, a number of them have made the leap to Voat.

What they don’t realize, however, is that if Voat grows more popular, it will also need to begin cleaning house. And then, in the same tired cycle, someone else will deservedly kick them out.

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (tinyletter.com/cdewey)
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18033
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

PreviousNext

Return to A Growing Corpus of Analytical Materials

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest