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Reddit’s Small Step to Tame the Internet’s Toxic Culture


Thursday, April 7, 2016
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Daily Report
Reddit’s Small Step to Tame the Internet’s Toxic Culture | The Internet is worse than ever.
So wrote Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times’s technology columnist, late last year about the toxic stews that abound across the web. There are presidential candidates spewing hateful messages at one another, a constant barrage of online threats and profanities that reduce seemingly mature adults to name-calling adolescents, and many other unsavory digital cesspools.
One of the Internet’s hubs of some of that activity — Reddit, the online discussion forum — has been taking steps to clamp down on that behavior. In recent months, it has called for more decency on its site through new policies. And on Wednesday, it took another step by introducing a tool that lets people block tormentors from sending them harassing messages, Mike Isaac writes.
The move is just a drop in the bucket. But Reddit’s shift — from onetime laissez-faire online forum to one that is more mindful about Internet behavior — is also mirrored elsewhere, including in the digital publicationGawker’s turn toward becoming a politics site instead of one focused on media gossip. Some may read those developments as signs of hopeful things to come.
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