WBEZ | reddit http://www.wbez.org/tags/reddit Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en On Reddit, bullying doesn't stop after high school http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/reddit-bullying-doesnt-stop-after-high-school-108137 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pete_markham_flickr_computer.jpg" style="float: left; height: 187px; width: 280px;" title="Flickr/Pete Markham" />Although no social networking site has been spared from the epidemic of online disparagement known as <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/23/us/new-york-girl-death" target="_blank">cyberbullying</a>, Reddit has become one of the most popular outlets for such behavior&mdash;and one of the most exploitive.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The controversial &quot;front page of the Internet&quot; has a long history of vile comments leading to ruined lives, as a recent thread <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/jwherrman/the-very-worst-of-reddit-according-to-reddit" target="_blank">created by the Redditors themselves</a> dug up for some much-needed introspection. Some of the worst offenses by past Redditors include identifying innocent civilians as the Boston bombers, sending death threats to rape victims, creating descipable subreddits like r/creepshots and r/jailbait (which have since been removed) and mocking a bearded Sikh woman whose secretly-snapped picture was posted in r/funny for laughs.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Fortunately, the last instance had a transformative outcome: the woman saw the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2012/09/bearded-sikh-woman-teaches-reddit-a-lesson.html" target="_blank">photo</a>&nbsp;of herself online and left a comment to educate Redditors on Sikh religious tradition, thus prompting the original poster to apologize. But not all cyberbullying situations end so amicably, as the suicides of Internet-tortured teens <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Amanda_Todd" target="_blank">Amanda Todd</a>, <a href="http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_pasco/hudson/friends-say-online-bullying-led-to-16-year-old-jessica-laneys-suicide-officials-investigating" target="_blank">Jessica Laney</a>, and <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/society/rehtaeh-parsons-facebook-bullies-anonymous/" target="_blank">Rehteah Parsons</a> clearly show.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Parsons&#39; mother is lobbying for a <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/07/19/pol-joint-cyberbullying-report-rehtaeh-parsons.html" target="_blank">cyberbullying law</a> that will make distributing images of an &quot;intimate nature&quot; &nbsp;illegal without prior consent, so that no one else will have to suffer the Internet slut-shaming that her daughter did after pictures of her rape were posted online. Yet with bullying subreddits like r/cringepics still in existence and horribly racist/sexist/homophobic commentors popping up on practically every other site, how can we stop the cycle? And even more importantly, what can the average person do to make the Internet a better place?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/balpreet-kaur.jpg" style="height: 427px; width: 320px; float: right; " title="This photo of Balpreet Kaur was posted on the r/funny subreddit. Kaur later wrote a comment to explain that her facial hair is a representation of her faith as a baptized Sikh. (Reddit) " /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">For those who face cyberbullying on a daily basis, whether it be ugly comments or unsolicited assault via Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram, know this: anyone who hides behind their computer to spew hate at someone else is a coward, plain and simple.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;Trolls&quot; attack out of jealousy, boredom or a pathological need to justify their own insecurities by putting other people down. Ignore them, block them, report them if you have to, just don&#39;t take the bait; they&#39;re not worth it.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Yes, the Internet is far too often used for bullying and hate-mongering; but thankfully, its powers can also be used for good. In 2012, Redditors helped prevent a Maryland teen from committing suicide after she posted a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/18/reddit-cyber-bullying-maryland-high-school-suicide_n_1357067.html" target="_blank">500-word note</a>&nbsp;on the site, and also sent her high school administrators a flood of emails to express their concern. And just a few days ago, Facebook petitions helped free a Norwegian woman<a href="http://jezebel.com/internet-helps-free-norwegian-woman-jailed-for-being-ra-861059133" target="_blank"> jailed for being raped</a> in Dubai.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Of course, countless other examples of Internet chivalry exist; but we still need more <a href="http://www.upworthy.com" target="_blank">compassion</a>&nbsp;to combat the anonymous hatred, bigotry and proliferation of rape culture that has already claimed so many lives.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Support causes that matter, promote art that is meaningful, and above all, be good to one another. As Aesop once said, &quot;No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Leah Pickett is a pop culture writer for WBEZ and co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2&amp;ign-mpt=uo%3D2" target="_blank">Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/reddit-bullying-doesnt-stop-after-high-school-108137 President Barack Obama went on reddit and answered the dorkiest questions ever http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/president-barack-obama-went-reddit-and-answered-dorkiest-questions-ever-102065 <p><p>To the surprise of the internet, President Barack Obama <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/z1c9z/i_am_barack_obama_president_of_the_united_states/">went on the social news site reddit</a> Wednesday afternoon to answer any and all questions.</p><div class="image-insert-image ">First, he sent out proof via Twitter to the typically skeptical community that it really was him and not an imposter:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/240909486234161152/photo/1/large"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BO2.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px; " title="(Twitter @BarackObama)" /></a></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BO.jpg" style="height: 175px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">He looked a little more serious than his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, seen here <a href="https://twitter.com/MichelleObama/status/157506501043425280">sending her first Tweet in January</a>:</div><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/3Pze1f1x7yU" width="560"></iframe></p><p>He chose to answer some very reddit-friendly questions, like, one on internet freedom:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/internet%20freedom.jpg" style="height: 212px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Or space:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/space_0.jpg" style="height: 338px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div></div></div><p>And #winning:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/win%20or%20lose.jpg" style="height: 98px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In more ways than one...</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/surge%20forces.jpg" style="height: 159px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">We learned that the Chicagoan is no traitor to his sports teams:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicagobulls.jpg" style="height: 175px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">He&#39;s just a normal guy:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/white%20house%20beer.jpg" style="height: 247px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A normal guy who wants to take on Citizens United, even if the Supreme Court doesn&#39;t:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/money%20corruption%20copy.jpg" style="height: 236px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">And who is super lucky because he doesn&#39;t have to commute to work!</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/family%20life.jpg" style="height: 240px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">(Plus: This whole reddit thing? &quot;NOT BAD!&quot;)</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">There were some other serious topics covered, and quite in depth too:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/recent%20grads.jpg" title="" /></div></div></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Of course, the internet isn&#39;t perfect. Some were frustrated that all the traffic to the site was preventing it from loading:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="https://twitter.com/dansinker/status/240913874168201217"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/dansinker.jpg" title="" /></a></div></div><p>Last we checked, there were over 10,000 comments on the main thread and 2 million people reading the post.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/reddit%20is%20down.jpg" style="height: 239px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div></p> Wed, 29 Aug 2012 15:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/president-barack-obama-went-reddit-and-answered-dorkiest-questions-ever-102065