Recently a member of the SeedSing team was subject to some internet harassment. This got us all thinking about this old post. We feel like these thoughts are still as valid now as they were way back then. The post originally appeared July 22nd, 2015. Tell us your thoughts.
It has been a bad year for Reddit.
And a less than stellar month for Gawker.
Let us first take a look at the failure of Reddit. I love Reddit. It is part of the daily news dump into my brain. I am one of the millions of people who visit Reddit every single day, sometimes more than once a day. The idea of uncensored non-professional content was a revelation. I could not get enough of the raw content Reddit had to offer. Then I got older, and the ugliness of Reddit was turning me away. The horribleness of the MRA's , racists, and generally despicable people were the main focus of the site. The statistics would show how insignificant these loser subreddits actually were. The problem is these miserable people had social media, and a broken media, to advance their cause. Whenever Reddit would try to reign in the most awful people, the awful people would revolt under the claim of free speech. Gamergate gained its legs from Reddit. That alone is Reddit's greatest failure.
Once Reddit tried to reign in the ugly minority, it had failed. The exit of Ellen Pao was the end of any future for the site. The fact that she tried to monetize the site by tamping down the worst parts of humanity should have been seen as an evolution of Reddit. Instead it was seen as a ploy (by a woman) to silence idiots. Reddit was for the worst of us. That was the lesson we all learned.
Gawker wanted to be the new media. Journalism without influence. I love that ideal. The idea that newsmaker should be part of news creation is idiotic. Influence has destroyed our modern media. I do not care to hear what the policy maker thinks, I want to know how the average person is affected by the policy maker. Fox News raced to the bottom through influence journalism, and all the networks followed. Gawker was going to be different.
So what the hell happened. Well, Gawker decided to be a celebrity (or celebrity connected) scandal tabloid institution. The problem is TMZ already filled that void. Gawker wants to be TMZ, while they trash on entities that are like TMZ. Celebrity gay shaming became a primary part of Gawker (and its other sites). The goal of being new media, but the reality of being a middle school boy, will be the sites undoing.
I absolutely love the Ashley Madison hack story. The hackers do not care about cheating idiots. I do not really care about the weird sexual fantasy's of rich people who want to cheat (well I am kind of curious). The hackers are going after Ashley Madison because of their false claims of anonymity. What is so great about this story is that Ashley Madison will go down because of their own greed.
That is why the old internet is dying, greed. Ashley Madison promised anonymity, and the ability to delete your existence (for a price). The problem is they never deleted anyone from their own servers. Credit card numbers, addresses, names, all of these important pieces of information people wanted to be anonymous were still part of Ashley Madison's data stores. The old internet relied upon financial information, and clicks. Reddit quietly embraced its horrible side because of web traffic. Gawker fell to the tabloid side of journalism because of eyeballs. Users want truth, justice, and financial security. The websites that claim to offer these things failed because of personal greed.
This is the end of the anonymous, self righteous, and asshole internet. Good riddance. I created SeedSing as a place for discussion that centers around what we can do to make a better tomorrow. Will we fall into the same trap as Reddit, Gawker, and Ashley Madison? Absolutely not. SeedSing will not cater to hateful people. The money we make goes to the contributors (after small expenses to keep the site running).
People have ideas, people have solutions, people have ambition. The new web will be contributor based with a focus on problem solving. The days of clickbait, endless surveys, and required personal financial information are over. We do not need your email, we need your thoughts. Society is in a bad state, something needs to change. We need to embrace new culture. We need to embrace new technology. We need to embrace new politics.
There are many problems created by antiquated backward thinking. Our politics is messed up because of this. Our view of sports is suffering because of this. Our drug policy is messed up because of this. Let the internet of the past die. It is time for the 21st century to take hold.
Let your seed sing and take root. We can change the world.
RD is the founder of SeedSing. He is interested in making things better. Join his cause.