A new policy on bullying and harassment that will be selectively enforced like their other broad, vague, and cryptic rules
Leftist nerd-hipster hugbox Reddit has taken another step toward eliminating thoughts that are scary to the underconfident from its platform: a new policy on bullying and harassment that will be selectively enforced like their other broad, vague, and cryptic rules:
We do not tolerate the harassment, threatening, or bullying of people on our site; nor do we tolerate communities dedicated to this behavior.
Reddit is a place for conversation, and in that context, we define this behavior as anything that works to shut someone out of the conversation through intimidation or abuse, online or off. Depending on the context, this can take on a range of forms, from directing unwanted invective at someone to following them from subreddit to subreddit, just to name a few. Behavior can be harassing or abusive regardless of whether it occurs in public content (e.g. a post, comment, username, subreddit name, subreddit styling, sidebar materials, etc.) or private messages/chat.
Being annoying, downvoting, or disagreeing with someone, even strongly, is not harassment. However, 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 crosses the line
The whole point of the rule is to hide the phrase we have highlighted in red: “directing abuse at a person or group.” It is no longer acceptable to criticize groups on Reddit, and since this can be selectively applied, “Gas the conservatives!” becomes a safe statement while “Ban Leftists!” will be a new “hate crime.”
Despite a lot of talk about how this policy is designed to avoid bullying, the real target became clear within an hour of when it was launched: removing removing content that leads people away from egalitarian Leftism.