Social Media

Political Backlash on Reddit

Unlike Digg, Reddit allows its users to submit pages from the Reddit.com URL. Often this leads to wildly popular headlines that are simply criticisms of Reddit and its voting system. While the efficacy of these critiques is debatable, it has certainly fostered a degree of openness that is very difficult to find on Digg. Today we take a look at one particular form of backlash brewing against the culture of Reddit.
dc redback Political Backlash on Reddit
Since sites like Digg and Reddit exploded in popularity, it was only a matter of time before people tried to take advantage of them for their own purposes. Famously, people have used the internet to an unprecedented extent as a means of promoting Ron Paul, potentially illicitly. But more generally, people have tried to use these sites to advocate their personal political views.
It’s undeniable that these sites skew to the left politically, and favor atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Dawkins, who are heralded as the harbingers of a new intellectual movement in the U.S. But when people take this too far, it can have unintended consequences.
Take this example, in which a spam site was submitted with the headline “VOTE UP if you want GEORGE BUSH in Prison!!!” This reflexively caused hundreds of Redditors to vote up the story, regardless of the fact that the content behind the link was completely useless. It spawned this popular Reddit story, which took the users to task for falling for such sensationalist tactics. Another similar incident occurred here.
The moral of this story is that using these sites to advocate your political views (or perhaps more accurately, to metaphorically shove your political views down others’ throats) is a really good way to not only alienate visitors, but create a backlash among the site’s users that may ultimately damage your cause. As we discussed a few months ago, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

 Political Backlash on Reddit

Cameron Olthuis

 Political Backlash on Reddit

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12 thoughts on “Political Backlash on Reddit

  1. It’s sad to see such a great social media site like Reddit be taken over by political smoke blowers. I never understood why Reddit didn’t somewhow crack down on the political spammers on that site. It really has ruined that whole community on reddit.

  2. People will take advantage of this situations because they have no other means to be heard. The mainstream media continually laughs them off… the people demand to be heard the will type and submit to anywhere and everywhere. This type of thing will continue as long as media control is in the hands of the few.

  3. If real identities were attached to Diggs and profiles people wouldn’t be so boost full and overt and aggressive with there comments. Hide behind your anonymity and let loose. It doesn’t matter if you are aggressive or offensive… as long as you let it out… You get 10 year kids comment like if they were Tyson… This anonymity makes people a bit too brave and at times I’d wish that it wasn’t so.

  4. I find that Digg skews just as far left as Reddit, although the Diggers control the backlash far better. Does anyone here notice the same speech patterns among the mass of political voters at Reddit. For instance, when they do make comments or vote you’ll notice that if you can quickly catch the voting in progress, they look to be the same person as there is no way that the dozens of people whop all vote on the same issues are online at all times and at the same times. I used to note the misspellings that were similar as well, but they corrected that mistake. So next time you see a political moron vote also note the people and see how the votes just cascade almost all at once for large blocks.

  5. I like reddit, but won’t visit Digg at all unless it’s to see what the racist, sexist homophobes are up to.
    Reddit is pretty good, but I had to take a break after the RonPaulZombies wouldn’t stop.
    nice blog, good articles, thanks from a drive-by visitor.

  6. I think you miss the entire point of a site like reddit: it rises in popularity because it allows freedom of expression to its users (more so than Digg). Political expression is just part of speech. A small percentage of users will abuse any system. It’s human nature. I suspect the liberal bent is what really bugs you. A better question is why social networking (news aggregators) sites like digg, reddit, mixx have a leftward bent? Why is it? Could it be that traditional media is not giving voice to their concerns? I don’t know but it’s an interesting phenomenon.

  7. I think you miss the entire point of a site like reddit: it rises in popularity because it allows freedom of expression to its users (more so than Digg). Political expression is just part of speech. A small percentage of users will abuse any system. It’s human nature. I suspect the liberal bent is what really bugs you. A better question is why social networking (news aggregators) sites like digg, reddit, mixx have a leftward bent? Why is it? Could it be that traditional media is not giving voice to their concerns? I don’t know but it’s an interesting phenomenon.

  8. I think you miss the entire point of a site like reddit: it rises in popularity because it allows freedom of expression to its users (more so than Digg). Political expression is just part of speech. A small percentage of users will abuse any system. It’s human nature. I suspect the liberal bent is what really bugs you. A better question is why social networking (news aggregator) sites like digg, reddit, mixx have a leftward bent? Why is it? Could it be that traditional media is not giving voice to their concerns? I don’t know but it’s an interesting phenomenon.

  9. I think you miss the entire point of a site like reddit: it rises in popularity because it allows freedom of expression to its users (more so than Digg). Political expression is just part of speech. A small percentage of users will abuse any system. It’s human nature. I suspect the liberal bent is what really bugs you. A better question is why social networking (news aggregator) sites like digg, reddit, mixx have a leftward bent? Why is it? Could it be that traditional media is not giving voice to their concerns? I don’t know but it’s an interesting phenomenon.

  10. I think you miss the entire point of a site like reddit: it rises in popularity because it allows freedom of expression to its users (more so than Digg). Political expression is just part of speech. A small percentage of users will abuse any system. It’s human nature. I suspect the liberal bent is what really bugs you. A better question is why social networking (news aggregator) sites like digg, reddit, mixx have a leftward bent? Why is it? Could it be that traditional media is not giving voice to their concerns? I don’t know but it’s an interesting phenomenon.