Some time ago, I told my collegues, “Forget Digg, you need to start using Reddit.” Reddit was much more fun then, even only about a year ago. Since then, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend – massive brainwashing groupthink overtaking rational discussion and interesting links.
Reddit really let me down. These days, it’s mostly XKCD comics, snarky images, Ron Paul stories, anti-Reddiquette polls, pro-Atheism articles, a mash of comments complaining about subreddits, and most disturbingly, a real anti-Israel swing. It’s not that I’m anti-Atheism (I’m definitely not) or pro-Israel (because I’m really not), but the absolute anger the redditors have for Israel and religion is not only a little scary, it’s also unquestionable. If you do question it, and you will be modded down – silenced, if not mocked. This serves not only to stifle good conversation, it drives the opposing views away until everyone is just verbally masturbating each other.
There is a bandwagon that travels from story to story, and when I read comment after comment about how bad PHP is, but only about 5 comments have any substance, I realize I’m probably dealing with a mix that includes several 15 year olds in there. Recently, I was modded down for a technical comment about an injection attack. An idiot responder suggested I had used improperly with a smarmy quip, when in fact, I hadn’t. Unfortunately, his fellow redditors must have enjoyed his turn, since they proceeded to deal me a heavy negative score. That’s when I started realizing that Reddit has not only become boring and repetitive for me, but it’s not even close to a valid news source anymore. In fact, it’s barely even entertaining: the news moves at a snail’s pace, it’s always behind Digg, and its search facility is so busted that unless I specifically save an article, it’s a hopeless reference site. So I deleted my entire account straight away.
This is not to say that Reddit is entirely bad, because it’s not. Actually, there are several really insightful people on the site, but I rarely read their comments, either because they don’t post much or the noise ratio is so high they get drowned out. And the actual developers – kn0thing and spez, at least – are really class act guys.
But alas, their community has soured, so I am going to sub in a new site in my bookmarks, maybe techcrunch or techmeme or another site aimed at delivering steady technical news. Although I rarely use it anymore outside of RSS, even Slashdot still has good comments. For me, the Web 2.0-esque social news is getting tired faster than I imagined.
Please note that these views are mine and mine alone and not necessarily indicative of those of OSNews, LLC or the OSNews staff