Culture Reddit, where chaos thrives, tries to clean up to attract ads from big brands - [Deleted]

Ahriman

Vivere Militare Est.
kiwifarms.net

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Steve Huffman, Reddit chief executive, at a technology conference.

Steve Huffman, chief executive of online chat platform Reddit, is now a self-confessed “Supreme Court nerd.”

After what the company acknowledges as its “wild” early days, the 35-year-old co-founder is now trying to clean up the edgy website known for provocative discussions and fringe groups, while revamping its advertising offering in a bid to woo big brands and move toward profitability.

To that end, Huffman has turned to the history books.

“How do we wrestle with the fact that there are ugly conversations happening in our country when the founding principle is on free expression?” he said. “These aren’t new issues. I look to what people smarter than us have thought about” them.

The strategy is not just ethical but commercial. Reddit has doubled its revenue growth year over year the last two years and is targeting that same pace for its core business this coming year, Huffman said. Staff headcount has doubled over the last year to about 500.

Meanwhile, the group has clinched several high-profile content and advertising deals recently, including with the National Football League and with Google ahead of the launch of its Stadia cloud gaming platform in November.

Reddit has also joined the ranks of Silicon Valley’s so-called unicorns, raising $300 million this year in an investment round led by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., giving it a valuation of about $3 billion.

But tempering extreme conversation while also maintaining Reddit’s reputation as a radical bastion of free speech is a delicate balance, especially as many among its 330 million users are quick to accuse it of censorship.

The site’s darkest corners include communities peddling conspiracy theories, and far-right groups that propagate racist and sexist content or promote violence — material that has only become more problematic after attacks such as the Christchurch mass shooting, in which a white supremacist gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand.

The company only this week revised its bullying and harassment policies in response to concerns that they had been too narrow and enforcement was patchy.

Founded in 2005, the self-declared “front page of the internet” is known as a hub for esoteric memes, sardonic humor and gamers. One of the most popular websites in the U.S., it is also home to thousands of “subreddit” chat forums, where varied discussion topics range from woodworking to low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets.

Now, Huffman is leading the charge to attract brands to advertise their wares inexpensively on the site, at a time of growing scrutiny over Google and Facebook’s advertising duopoly.

As part of his pitch, he cites a unique audience that tends toward millennials and Generation Z: according to Comscore data from 2018, 17% of Reddit’s users do not use Facebook, 28% are not on Twitter and 43% do not have Snapchat.

Although Reddit’s ad-targeting ability is more limited than that of platforms such as Facebook because its users have online aliases rather than sharing personal information, brands can target by interest, placing standard ads or “sponsored posts” in a particular discussion group.

They can also put experts forward to speak directly to users about a product or topic, in one of the site’s popular “AMA,” or “ask me anything,” sessions. And the group is investing in a “self-serve” platform, which allows advertisers to place ads online without going through its sales team.

“Advertisers are looking for other places to spend. We have a tail wind there in that they’d like alternatives,” Huffman said. And “we’re killing people on price.”

But despite his optimism, the chief executive now faces the unenviable task of convincing prospective clients that their ads will not be associated with any unsuitable content — without upsetting users who value the site for its freedom of expression.

Those who came before him have fallen. Huffman, who initially left the company in 2009, returned in 2015 after then-Chief Executive Ellen Pao garnered a fierce backlash for what was seen by Redditors as a heavy-handed cleanup attempt.

For Huffman, the balancing act was evident most recently when the company decided to “quarantine” — or add warning messages to — a popular but controversial subreddit dedicated to Donald Trump (the president himself once hosted an AMA in the group) after users promoted violence toward Oregon police officers.

His approach for wary advertisers is to give them control over where and how their brand is placed. Reddit now has a human-approved “whitelist” of communities that are deemed safe, while advertisers can also opt for “negative targeting” — requesting that their content not appear near a certain keyword, for example.

More broadly, Reddit is looking to clean up its content by investing in a combination of machine learning tools that recognize suspicious or badly behaved accounts, working together with human moderators who oversee the entire site, Huffman said. It also relies on moderators who are not employees to set standards and monitor individual forums.

So far, the approach has impressed some big advertising names.

“Historically, clients have been concerned about some of the content on the site, but as they move to clean that up, I think it’s helped make it a much more acceptable site for advertisers,” said Mark Read, chief executive of British multinational firm WPP, citing “impressive” engagement on the platform.

Others remain wary until the company becomes more transparent. One potential investor said that they were close to putting money into the group but opted not to after it would not share even the most basic metrics, such as revenue.

Advertisers, too, have voiced surprise over the lack of financial disclosure and acknowledged that it is in the early days of its maturation.

“The test will be how they do over the next 12 to 18 months,” Read said, adding that a lot of platforms struggle to get beyond a certain revenue level.

For now, profitability is a “moving target,” Huffman admitted. “It’s something we’d like to kind of build toward, but our priority ... is really growth and continued development of the business.”

But he says the company’s turbulent past means it is better-placed than others to deal with the future.

“We grew up on the frontier of the internet, so we’ve seen it all,” he said.

- End of Article -​

Makes you wonder how long until a plebbit alternative pops up.
 

Alec Benson Leary

Creator of Asperchu
Christorical Figure
kiwifarms.net
It's always weird to see people write about Reddit like it's some kind of wild west when everyone I know considers it the most sanitized, heavily moderated place you can go.
I was going to say the same thing.

It's amazing that the MSM's take on Reddit is that there isn't enough censorship on it.
It really is crazy. There's "not enough" censorship because the fringe lunatics want to destroy anyone who doesn't agree with them on everything, and the media is all too happy to endorse them because outrage sells clicks.
 

Salubrious

Feelin' Healthy
kiwifarms.net
It really is crazy. There's "not enough" censorship because the fringe lunatics want to destroy anyone who doesn't agree with them on everything, and the media is all too happy to endorse them because outrage sells clicks.
The one thing I learned the past couple years is that you cannot be 99% on an SJW's side.

If you are favor of transgender rights and donate money to their causes and march in parades and this and that, but you think maybe there's a chance convicted rapists could be lying about their identities to get close to potential victims, you are just as bad as a lifelong KKK member. Heck, sometimes they consider you WORSE for being a fake ally or someone who "should know better." At least the KKK is honest about their intentions in their eyes but you are deceitful as well as hateful.

Look how often they eat each other in a contest of who belongs to the most oppressed group.

Hell, here's a video from the other day from a black trans group demanding apologies from a white trans group, and when a white trans woman who legit didn't do anything actually stood up to apologize, the black trans woman then berated the white trans woman for not apologizing well enough.

 

RLS0812

Just A Fox
kiwifarms.net
Attracting 'big name' advertisers requires restricting your content to whatever is the latest trends in political correctness.
Reddit is already overly restrictive, borderline WOKE in some cases, adding further restrictions is just going to drive most of the user base somewhere else.
.
.
.
I was banned a long time ago from the site for running r/graveyard - a subreddit dedicated to photography of graveyards .
 

Blender

kiwifarms.net
The one thing I learned the past couple years is that you cannot be 99% on an SJW's side.

If you are favor of transgender rights and donate money to their causes and march in parades and this and that, but you think maybe there's a chance convicted rapists could be lying about their identities to get close to potential victims, you are just as bad as a lifelong KKK member. Heck, sometimes they consider you WORSE for being a fake ally or someone who "should know better." At least the KKK is honest about their intentions in their eyes but you are deceitful as well as hateful.

Look how often they eat each other in a contest of who belongs to the most oppressed group.

Hell, here's a video from the other day from a black trans group demanding apologies from a white trans group, and when a white trans woman who legit didn't do anything actually stood up to apologize, the black trans woman then berated the white trans woman for not apologizing well enough.

Why are niggers always invading the shit white people invent?
 

The Final Troondown

We're All Suberogatory Down Here
kiwifarms.net
it always seemed advertisers are wayyy too paranoid about their ads coming up on spicy content

when was the last time people boycotted something (and i mean successfully, not like posts about boycotting chick fil a while it continues to make money hand over fist) on those grounds?
people don't give a shit aslong as they get their sugary drinks or cheeseburgers or whatever other disgusting filth they spend their money on cramming into their fat fucking faces
 

No Exit

No dignity
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
it always seemed advertisers are wayyy too paranoid about their ads coming up on spicy content

when was the last time people boycotted something (and i mean successfully, not like posts about boycotting chick fil a while it continues to make money hand over fist) on those grounds?
people don't give a shit aslong as they get their sugary drinks or cheeseburgers or whatever other disgusting filth they spend their money on cramming into their fat fucking faces
I think it's because the board of directors are usually filled with really old people and those old people still think it's back-in-the-day where public outrage actually meant something. They're just not with the times and don't understand that exceptional individuals will go on the internet and whine about anything and everything.
 

CivilianOfTheFandomWars

David Cronenboi
kiwifarms.net
It's always weird to see people write about Reddit like it's some kind of wild west when everyone I know considers it the most sanitized, heavily moderated place you can go.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.
Reddit thinks it’s 4chan, thinks 4chan is 8chan, and 8chan was the deep dark web.
If anything, Reddit is Facebook, 4chan is a shadow of its former self, and 8chan is just a sad tale now.
 

Save the Loli

kiwifarms.net
Oh yeah maybe they can get in on that growing market of taking Chinese dick up the ass.
CTRL+F "Tencent" One result found

Time for Bugmen vs Baizuo?

If you make a website that takes any ad revenue whatsoever on a medium where anyone with a single ridge on their brain has several layers of adblock on anyway, you're a fucking moronic sellout and your site will rightfully crash and burn before the end
You think far too highly of plebbitors.
 
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Forever Sunrise

Avatar? I don't need no stinkin' avatar.
kiwifarms.net
Reddit is legitimately the worst community-based website I've ever used. I've been on a bunch of different groups, and they've all been dreadful.

What's absurd is that the dynamic is the exact same as it was back in the early 90's. It's just the subject matter has changed. Back then, communities were awful because you had lunatics going LOL U CANT CONTROL ME ON DE INTERWEBS and degrading every discussion into an endless deluge of goatsie and Godwin's Law. Now you have lunatics going OMG U CANT SAY THAT ON THE INTERNET YOULL RUIN SOMEBODYS LIFE and degrading every discussion into an endless circular argument on political correctness.
 
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