As I mentioned, we are making the appeal process completely open because we believe there wouldn't be fair play if it was behind closed doors. Below is our appeal to the admin:
First, I would like to tell you that we’ve posted this entire appeal publicly and plan to post your replies as well. We strongly believe this system you have set up to be a kangaroo court and have evidence to support this notion. If you want to prove to us that you are going to treat this appeals process fairly then we welcome your responses to the contrary.
In your message to us regarding our quarantine, you offer an appeals process:
In this case the quarantine was applied for the high degree of misogyny present in this subreddit.
To be removed from quarantine, you may present an appeal here. The appeal should include a detailed accounting of changes to community moderation practices. (Appropriate changes may vary from community to community and could include techniques such as adding more moderators, replacing certain moderators, creating new rules, employing more aggressive auto-moderation tools, adjusting community styling, etc.) The appeal should also offer evidence of sustained, consistent enforcement of these changes over a period of at least one month, demonstrating meaningful community transformation.
You’ve presented us with no evidence for your accusation, simply an assertion of misogyny. And yet your prescription is to change and modify this undocumented problem, a very thinly veiled setup for failure. You know full well we cannot address concerns that have not been raised - Which makes this a kangaroo court by definition.
Your appeals process does not offer an opportunity to claim innocence, instead placing guilt into the default terms of appeal.
But we reject your charges.
Our moderation team has gone to great length to ensure our members follow reddit’s terms of service. We see no terms in the content policy that we have violated. And yet you allege we have broken this unwritten policy. How is it that you expect moderators and community to follow such rules is beyond me. Perhaps it is because you prefer to keep all communities in the dark about the unwritten rules. Keep everybody guilty of some crime, and selectively enforce it upon those you disagree with.
“Show me the man, I’ll show you the crime.” — Lavrenti Beria, secret police chief under Stalin
To me, this seems like an immeasurably bad way to run a social media site which depends on its users for long-term survival. Perhaps it’s not in your interest to ensure Reddit stays around. Maybe you’re using censorship and quarantines as a means to redirect discussion into the direction you prefer. Maybe you’re trying to sway an election? I don’t know, that’s above my pay grade.
Misogyny is a very nebulous term, one that I disagree with heartily. Many use it in places where somebody has been critical of women, but does that meet the criteria of hate? I think that’s a very high bar to meet. One way we can test your definition of misogyny is simply to see how you’ve applied these standards site-wide.
Let’s say I started a subreddit with a mission statement:
R/UpsetFemales is a subreddit for mocking reddit's large, vocal, and hypocritical female population.
Women have a right to dignity and to exist, but they don't have a right to be upset and uncomfortable whenever they're confronted with sexism issues.
Would this meet your definition of misogyny?
Well, substitute the words “female” and “women” with white people and you’ve got yourself the sub /r/fragilewhiteredditor. And for some reason they’re not quarantined.
Now I’m sure you guys understand the implications of picking and choosing what completely legal ideas and topics are okay to discuss on reddit. When you choose to block off /r/theredpill and post an endorsement to your point of view (Michel Kimmel), you’re tacitly endorsing the points of view you’ve chosen not to censor – especially the ones that align with Michael Kimmel.
Hatred (by your definition) is okay as long as the target is against white people.
What about towards men? Here are some lovely sentiments floating around reddit that the reddit admin tacitly endorses by not censoring or quarantining:
“Sorry you're going through this. It's the patriarchy: men think they own women. That is a flat out fact.”
“sorry boys but its true and yall need to be taught not to rape. You are a cancer on society.”
“I still see so many people say that "All men are rapists" This is a factually accurate statement expressing that men are socialized as both heterosexual and weapons against women and so typically have sex relationships that are not consensual in a fully self-actualized sense.”
“I’m a misandrist, but I don’t want to be”
So it is clear, you tacitly endorse these positions if they are not quarantined as well.
To make matters worse, when you quarantined us, you put up a message directing our users to Stony Brook University Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities whose executive director is Michael Kimmel. The same Michael Kimmel who denies male abuse victims. I see since then you’ve had the presence of mind to remove it- but without so much as an apology to our community of men who had to witness this. I would absolutely hate to know that the well being of abuse victims on /r/theredpill have been affected, or worse- hurt, by this event.
What would happen if the admin posted a message at the top of TWOX claiming that women’s abuse isn’t nearly as high as reported and that men’s abuse was much worse? Well, I’m pretty sure you’d call that misogyny.
So what’s it called when you do it to men? (It’s called misandry.)
We know the quarantine process isn’t simply about keeping the front page clear of controversial topics. There’s literal shit porn, women getting pissed on, and detailed rape fantasies which have gotten the pass from your administration. Looks like you guys just love shit, piss, and rape.
Meanwhile the content on TRP has helped thousands (if not more) of men find an identity and the strength needed to get back on the horse after terrible events like breakups, divorces, or false rape accusations. For some, they believe TRP literally saved their lives. Some of whom could easily have ended up dead.
Look, you could have asked us to remove ourselves from /r/all, and we would have complied. But the quarantine makes things much worse. Mobile users see a message that we’ve gone private, causing our modmail to get literally hundreds of messages asking for access, completely halting actual mod functions. Members who have already subscribed are having a hard time finding us. It is clear that your goal with quarantine was to put as much into place as possible to make us fail, all while not actually pulling the trigger on an outright ban, because you know full well we keep the user base in check and do not allow rule breaking.
But I’m willing to give you guys the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say all of my well documented and evidenced accusations are simply wrong. Let’s say you really are just trying to make reddit a nice beige happy-land for new users and advertisers, and your goal was not to tacitly endorse all the hatred on the internet that you have chosen not to censor. I am willing to propose a compromise.
Remove the quarantine, and we will select the option to prevent being seen from /r/all. This has a lot of benefits. First of all, you won’t be tacitly endorsing every bit of hate on reddit because you’re no longer picking sides. But most importantly, your users will see the admin team actually applies rules in a balanced and fair manner, gaining you a level of respect that, let’s face it, Ellen Pao did a good job eroding.
We would be happy to comply with reasonable requests that help you with your advertisers and future IPO. We aren’t your enemy. The way you’ve gone about this was a big mistake and I think we can both agree on that. Let’s work together to move past this event and get the admin and users back on the same side for the benefit of reddit.