Reddit Sucks: Usenet was better

I have long avoided reddit because of all the negative things I heard about it over the years: the racism, right wing hate groups, conspiracy theories, and all sorts of other garbage going unchecked.

I finally signed up for an account last week (Intransitive101) to see what it’s like because of youtube video compilations, reddit posts rendered with text to speech programs.  I wanted to see the groups where some of this stuff comes from because I share their POV on some of them (e.g. childfree groups, AITA stories, etc.).

After being on for a week, I have reached four conclusions:

One, it’s a corporate owned inferior clone of Usenet.

Two, Usenet didn’t have ads, and moderated groups kept out spammers.

Three, Usenet didn’t have censorship (*), and it had accountable speech.

Four, .sig files (ASCII art and text) beat customizable avatars.

(* If a company limits speech on behalf of or under direction of a government, it’s still censorship.)


  1. lanir says

    I did something similar about a month or two ago. I had made a reddit account years ago but used it only a few times to interact with the indie authors of a tabletop RPG I was playing at the time (they were using it as a cheap game forum). I’d watched some youtube videos of people talking about reddit posts so I thought I’d take a look at the source material they were drawing from.

    Like most curated content it filtered out a lot of so-so stuff. I posted something and replied to a few things. Connected with a few people to find tabletop RPG games to play and then… really haven’t had a lot of interest in it the last couple weeks. Finding groups to play games with was the main use for it but that took maybe a few days of reading and talking to people. These kinds of games tend to meet once a week for months at a time so I probably won’t have any real use for reddit for quite awhile. And it’s not the only resource for that, either.

    Overall I kind of had the impression that sure, there’s stuff there. But it’s also a lot of noise and I really don’t want to wander too far. Because I don’t really have any interest in peering into the darker corners. And it sort of feels like the kind of place where even some topics I agree with could easily be problematic. I can readily envision them being run by people who’re more into getting attention than the ideas they supposedly want to talk about.

  2. jrkrideau says

    I have never used Reddit but there seems to be one or two highly specialised groups I might find interesting. I doubt spamming is much of a problem on The Statistical Computing with R subreddit. but Iam to lazy to find out.