When Gordon first introduced the concept of Shame Day and Fame Day posts it was to keep them short and sweet, and I’m going to try to stick to that as midnight is fast approaching.
When looking at my reddit homepage I can see that underneath the karma [fake internet points] that I have garnered it reads that I have been a redditor for a total of 11 months, and as such I think I can probably more or less comment on the site as a whole.
My first post about the site was admittedly more in line with Shame Day posts, and since then I’ve been quick to point out the site’s flaws to others, practically rejoicing when Anderson Cooper caused the shutdown of a section of the site dedicated to pictures of underage girls. Events like that, along with the mob mentality so prevalent in many threads and the tendency for redditors to somehow consider themselves superior to other internet users makes it very easy to judge Reddit as a whole.
Today, however, I’d like to look at the good that comes out of it.
Random Acts of Pizza, or r/random_acts_of_pizza, is a subreddit [a subforum dedicated to a particular subject or topic] that is entirely dedicated to buying pizzas for those who really need it. This video on ABC News [which I can’t manage to embed] highlights a few examples, such as a person who writes “It’s been a long time since my mother and I had proper food. I’ve been struggling to find any kind of work so I can supplement my Mom’s Social Security… A real pizza would certainly lift our spirits.” One kindhearted redditor purchased one for him out of the goodness of their heart, for which he was extremely grateful.
It’s more than just providing a place for internet strangers to selflessly help each other, Reddit also promotes keeping up with current events and breakthroughs in science, alongside the obligatory pictures of kittens, of course. It’s a website that has everything for everyone, and although this has of course spawned corners for the more depraved individuals out there it nonetheless acts as a resource for those who want to learn and better themselves.
As a closing comment on the site’s improvement, the former porn subreddit r/rape is now “Under new management,” as it has been reclaimed by people looking to create a support group for those who have been raped or sexually abused. The former subscribers have of course moved on and created a new subreddit for their deviance, but what once hosted a twisted fetish is now a place for sharing, and hopefully healing.
No website is perfect due to the fact that their users are fallible human beings who often loudly voice opinions that can border on the reprehensible. That being said, let’s take some time to recognize the pockets of goodness and morality within the sprawling online complex that is Reddit, and appreciate their existence.