I kind of like Reddit. I am a casual visitor. So casual that I don’t even have an account. I watch a few quiet subreddits.
The Gawker thing is strange. It seemed to promote a huge backlash against Reddit even though Reddit is pretty much one of the best sites on the internet (even if I don’t look at much of it). And Gawker, by comparison, is blog-spam that wishes it was low-brow journalism. It is a site that could disappear off the web tomorrow and nobody would notice.
Even so, the debacle is rather bizarre. Gawker ‘unmasked’ a moderator for r/jailbait which is a subreddit, as the name suggests, where people post pictures of attractive but slightly underage teenage girls in provocative clothing. This is dubious if you’re above about 21, but plenty of Redditors aren’t. Except it turns out this moderator is 49. But that’s kind of besides the point, because he wasn’t actually doing anything illegal. Strange, yes. Illegal, no. Immoral, probably, but you can’t go around punishing people on arbitrary criteria like “immoral”.
Regardless, don’t go away from this thinking that Reddit is terrible and Gawker is a beacon of justice and morality. It seems that a lot of people reporting on this don’t have any understanding whatsoever of the actors involved. Gawker just wants pageviews, and the ‘writer’ who instigated this has a long running feud with Reddit (for no obvious reason other than failing to have a feud would not give him any attention/pageviews). Make no mistake, he didn’t do it for any noble reasons, he did it because he’s desperate for attention.