In a shocking twist, Reddit protects a structurally racist judicial system from criticism

It’s de Pony Sum, AKA u/No_bear_so_low here, and I’ve been suspended from Reddit.

On the 28th of September I posted the following as an image post:

The next morning I saw that I had received the following message:

“Your account has been temporarily suspended from Reddit for posting or threatening to post personal information.”

But note that the image contains no private information- it’s just publicly available information on how to contact a public official. Indeed Reddit’s own FAQ says:

“Public figures can be an exception to this rule, such as posting professional links to contact a congressman or the CEO of a company. But don’t post anything inviting harassment, don’t harass, and don’t cheer on or upvote obvious vigilantism.”

I’ll further note that nothing in the image invites people to harass or engage in vigilantism, just contact his office.

Now there is a saying that one who seeks justice must come with clean hands, so even though it is irrelevant to the claim Reddit made against me I should address a few criticisms of the image itself. I don’t know if the judge made the decision he did due to personal racism. I know that he is part of a structural racist justice system. I know that 26 years for armed robbery is unjust, and further contributes to unnecessary incarceration.

People have pointed to this article by politifact which explains some of the differences between the cases. My answer is that the meme correctly identifies that the cases are very similar in more ways than not, and none of the differences politifact identifies justifies a disparity greater than an order of magnitude! Would the meme look different had I made it myself? Probably, but it’s basic thesis that this is unfair, and an illustration of underlying injustices is true.

All of this is of course irrelevant to Reddit’s claim against me, which stands or falls apart from the merits of the meme. I can only reiterate that if encouraging people to contact public officials using publicly available information is doxxing, we live in a very weird world.

Reddit, like Facebook, Twitter etc. holds a degree of monopoly power. The scope of these companies means that we cannot simply throw up our hands and say that, as a private company, they can do what they like. They effectively control one of the few means by which people without a lot of money can communicate their ideas to a large audience.

Reddit has come under fire for their handling of race issues in the past, obviously the message didn’t sink in. I have a largish public platform both here and else and I’m going to keep pursuing this indefinitely until I get my way because I’m bloodthirsty like that.

You can complain to Reddit on Twitter- @reddit and many other places besides. My user name is u/no_bear_so_low if you want to check it out, or if you’re from Reddit.

If you enjoyed this article please consider joining our mailing list: also, a collection of my best writing between 2018 and early 2020 is available as a free e-book “Something to read in quarantine: Essays 2018-2020”. You can grab it here. 

Reddit Is Finally Facing Its Legacy of Racism - The Atlantic

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