It Just Got A Little Harder To Be A Horrifying Misogynist On Reddit
We're going to have a little less material for Garbage Men posts soon — and as Martha Stewart says, "That's a good thing." Why? Because Reddit has revised its content policies on harassment and bullying, and part of that revision involves banning several of the forums where misogynistic cowards go to say horrible things about women all day long. Yay!
Specifically, the new policy is "We do not tolerate the harassment, threatening, or bullying of people on our site; nor do we tolerate communities dedicated to this behavior." This also means that "menacing someone, directing abuse at a person or group, following them around the site, encouraging others to do any of these actions, or otherwise behaving in a way that would discourage a reasonable person from participating on Reddit" will result in getting a ban. That seems fair!
In a post to the site, an administrator explained that the reasoning behind these changes was that their previous policy wasn't clear enough, and because "Reddit is a place for conversation. Thus, behavior whose core effect is to shut people out of that conversation through intimidation or abuse has no place on our platform."
The thing is, these kinds of forums absolutely do discourage people from using Reddit or reading it — which is sad because there is actually a whole lot of wonderful on the site. I have spent hours of my life poring through r/AskHistorians, r/ObscureMedia and r/IDontWorkHereLady and they have been joyous hours. It's kind of a bummer that whenever I tell people who don't spend their lives on the internet about a cool thing I found on Reddit, their immediate reaction is "Oh, I'm scared to go on there. Isn't it a cesspool full of trolls?" It's always sad to see the bad outshining the good.
Expectedly, one of the first forums to be banned is the r/Braincels subreddit — which should have been kicked off a while ago as it was created as a replacement for r/incels after that forum was banned. It also includes r/TheRedPill, another misogynistic subreddit in which angry men sit around talking about how oppressed they are and how all women are evil and what have you. TRP hasn't been taken off the site yet, but the forum's moderators got notice yesterday that it soon will be.
Right now, we have a pretty serious misogyny problem in our culture, and a big part of the reason for that is forums like these. A young man feels a little bit frustrated because he can't get a date or he's had a bad day or someone broke up with him, and he finds a forum like this on Reddit. Maybe at first he thinks it's a little intense, but he's mad and it's satisfying to be around other men who are also mad. Then he starts adopting the philosophies of these groups and becomes a full-fledged misogynist. This leads to fewer dates and more anger. And the cycle continues. It's not unlike a cult.
So the positive thing is that these forums will be less immediately accessible.
The downside, however, is that the alternatives are even more horrifying. A post on the incels.co forum welcoming r/braincels refugees notes that, unlike on reddit, talking about raping women and expressing their desire for "jailbait" is just fine.
This place has relatively more freedom of speech unlike in Reddit so people who post here are free to express their frustrations through violent expressions like "nuke the world", "rape them all", etc. We are also free to express our desire for underage girls, i.e., jailbaits. Enjoy these freedoms for now. One day, even this place might be taken away from us.
Yeah. It's worse. A lot worse. And that does mean that those who make the leap from r/braincels to incels.co will probably get worse and will probably become more dangerous as a result. On the other hand, however, the fact that these toxic places are not easy to find means that fewer men will be drawn into them in the first place.
And eventually, hopefully, this whole thing will peter out. Fingers crossed.
Now, with this small nice time, it's your OPEN THREAD!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse