Ellen Pao, the woman who was once Reddit’s business and partnerships strategist, appears to have some serious problems with the idea of free speech.
Ms. Pao, who has been the interim CEO of the social news hub and media site since (male) former CEO Yishan Wong stepped down late last year (over what, as far as anyone can tell, amounts to a disagreement over carpets and drapes… in an office space) is no stranger to the notion of using every means at her disposal to squash the opinions of those with whom she disagrees. As noted by Return of Kings columnist Blair Naso earlier this year, Ms. Pao filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, noted venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, on the grounds that KPCB had passed her over for promotion based on her gender, rather than her job performance.
As Breitbart’s resident undeniably fabulous homosexual (and friend of GamerGate) Milo Yannopolous noted, Ms. Pao was lauded far and wide by the mainstream media as a feminist icon for taking a “courageous” stand against gender discrimination in the all-boys-club that is supposedly the world of Silicon Valley start-ups, tech companies, and venture capitalist firms.
This, despite losing badly and thoroughly in what was most assuredly one of the least worthy sexual discrimination lawsuits in recent memory.
Not satisfied with making herself look silly in public, Ms. Pao now appears to be willing to drive a sizable chunk of Reddit’s roughly 100 million-strong subscriber base away with poorly defined, unenforceable, and vague rules about “harassment” and “safe spaces.”
An Unenforceable Law Is No Law At All
Ms. Pao took to National Public Radio—which, given its hard-left leanings and its not-insignificant level of funding received from the public purse, was certainly not a hostile environment to Ms. Pao’s feminist ideas—to pitch her firm’s new anti-harassment, anti-troll policy. Unfortunately, the actual details of her policy are woolly, at best:
The question is whether it would make them fear for their safety, or the safety of those around them or where it makes them feel like it’s not a safe platform. Somebody expressing ideas that aren’t consistent with everybody’s views is something that we encourage. There are certain posts that do make people feel unsafe, that people feel threatened or they feel that their family or friends or people near them are going to be unsafe, and those are the specific things that we are focused on today.
It’s not our site’s goal to be a completely free-speech platform. We want to be a safe platform and we want to be a platform that also protects privacy at the same time.
(Emphasis in the original text taken from Business Insider Australia.)
Ostensibly, Ms. Pao seeks to create a safe haven for dialogue, commentary, and discussion within Reddit’s numerous subreddit fora by driving out trolls.
In reality, her actions will almost surely drive real debate and discourse away, and will inevitably destroy the very diversity of ideas and thought that Reddit once built a thriving business upon promoting.
The first thing that Ms. Pao fails to understand is a concept that has been known and accepted by jurists and lawmakers since mankind first devised laws: a rule is not a rule if it cannot be understood or enforced. This “rule” of Ms. Pao’s cannot be understood because it is not defined. It has no concrete definition of what does and does not constitute harassment. And Ms. Pao’s rule cannot be enforced because it is unclear about the punishment for transgressing against it.
Such a rule can serve only one of two purposes: to confuse… or to intimidate. And it’s not difficult to figure out which one aligns with Ms. Pao’s true purpose.
The real purpose of this new decree, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with “fairness” or “safe spaces.” It has everything to do with punishing those with whom Ms. Pao disagrees.
She already has a track record of this rather distasteful behaviour. We also know that Ms. Pao’s grasp of what it takes to reward and keep talent is tenuous, at best, so her newly launched policy of cracking down on comments, threads, and subreddits that make other users feel “unsafe” is clearly not designed with the aim of allowing intellectual growth or cross-pollination of ideas within the Reddit.com community.
This, in turn, means that the first subreddits to be targeted will be those who disagree the most strongly with the groups with which Ms. Pao identifies. These groups are, of course, women, Leftists, and that most noxious of all Leftist sub-types, social justice warriors.
Namely, she will target subreddits such as /r/TheRedPill… and /r/KotakuInAction. Both are subreddits where Reaxxionaries and Kingsmen post regularly. Both are great places to go for those who seek to get the straight dope, rather than listening to the sweet lies that people like Ms. Pao would like you to believe.
Taking Care Of Business
This move is a rather odd one for a woman who, in the past at least, has demonstrated some pretty solid business sense. However, once you realise that this is exactly how SJWs and feminists behave once they gain power, you’ll quickly come to understand that Ms. Pao is acting very much to type.
In order to understand Ms. Pao’s motivations, you have to understand how feminists and SJWs think. Like the Marxists of a different era, it doesn’t matter what means are used to accomplish an end, as long as the end itself is achieved. And to them, the only ends worth pursuing are those which support ephemeral, ill-defined yet highly emotive causes such as “female equality.” Unimportant notions like facts, logic, and reality are not allowed to intrude upon their ideology, which is founded upon the view that Man is perfectible. That we have literally tens of thousands of years of evidence, and literally hundreds of millions of dead bodies, to prove otherwise, is of no interest to them.
And the most important thing that you have to understand about social justice warriors like Ms. Pao is that they always lie.
Ms. Pao is doing this because women in general tend to have serious problems with having their opinions challenged in public. Anyone who has ever debated a feminist in public will know what I mean when I say that their debate tactics basically amount to either seeking validation and support from the crowd, or doing their absolute best to shout down their opponents through sheer volume and threats.
We can already see the effect of Ms. Pao’s not-particularly-hidden threat to censor dialogue and speech on Reddit. The evidence is mounting that other subreddits are actively using both automated blockers and overzealous admins to stop members of the subreddit /r/theredpill from commenting in other fora—and often for the most specious and absurd reasons possible.
“Let A Hundred Flowers Bloom”
This tactic of Ms. Pao’s is a classic Marxist ploy, one that was used to quite spectacular effect (from the point of view of those in power, anyway) in former and current Communist nations. By first enticing the weak and gullible with promises of safety and security, and then driving out those who criticise the obvious end-points of such policies, the stage is set to ensure that those who remain will never dissent from the party line.
The end result will likely be that Reddit.com will lose its competitive advantage and stagnate, as all such failed experiments in human perfectibility always do.
Reddit’s descent into an SJW haven, free of dissent from the party line, was probably inevitable when they appointed a woman with serious skeletons in her closet as their interim CEO. Now, as a private corporation, Reddit and its parent company have every right to do whatever they want with their management and their business strategy. Reddit is a subsidiary of Advance Publications, which owns the Conde Nast publishing empire and didn’t get to where it is today by making a lot of stupid critical business decisions. Assigning a bona fide feminist and SJW as the head of a subsidiary of their overall media empire probably won’t do the parent company much damage in the long run.
Then again, having a bona fide nut-job by the name of Fidel Castro in charge of a tributary nation off the American coast didn’t do the Soviet Union that much harm… and yet it collapsed anyway.
The fight against Ms. Pao’s Orwellian tactics depends entirely on users pushing back against this SJW-driven strategy. Feminists and SJWs are very good at shutting down debate through strong-arm tactics, because the rest of us make the mistake of trying to reason with them. The problem is, there is no use whatsoever in reasoning with those who desire your utter destruction.
We know, from repeated demonstrations over the past twelve months through GamerGate and the Sad/Rabid Puppies episodes, that SJWs are only strong when they think they outnumber the rest of us. In reality, of course, we are the majority; it’s just that we’ve been content to avoid direct confrontation thus far.
Now, however, we no longer have a choice. If Ellen Pao seeks to shut down your ability to speak and comment freely, then the only response is to take the fight straight to her and to the people who pay her salary.
If you are an active Reddit user, deny the SJWs entry into your subreddits. Don’t bother trying to reason with them; instead, remember that theirs is an ideology born of and steeped in evil, and go straight for the jugular. Simply shut them down, as they would shut you down. Use rhetoric instead of dialectic to outflank them. Write to Advance Publications’ public relations department and make it perfectly clear that if Ms. Pao stays, your patronage of their products goes.
Ms. Pao’s mealy-mouthed statements about “creating safe spaces” are a perfect demonstration of the reasons why we have no choice but to fight. If we do not, we face a future in which dissent is impossible and stupidity is allowed to proliferate unchecked. This has gone on for too long, and too much damage has already been done.
Now is the time to tell our enemies that there is a price we will not pay, there is a point beyond which they must not advance.