Kids These Days

XOJane Blogger Almost Barfs Thinking About Reddit ‘Circle Jerk’

No XO for Reddit.
 XOJane Blogger Almost Barfs Thinking About Reddit Circle Jerk

Keep your hands where she can see ‘em, alien.

Oh, XOJane! Adorable, anti-angel-dust XOJane. It appears the time has come for the site to explain Reddit to its readers. And blogger Kate Conway, who has been “on and off Reddit for years,” has bravely taken up the task.

Ms. Conway, who describes herself as “such a freaking sucker” (for feel-good Internet tales) breaks Reddit down into The Good:

 “. . . the site is chock full of gripping threads, including a contraceptive health debate, a crowd-sourced interview with “Animorphs” author K. A. Applegate and approximately one frillion photos of dogs doing moderately amusing things.”

And The Barf-Inducing:

“Tucked not-so-discreetly among all of the heart-warming human interest stories, though, are the turnstiles of horror that keep me from jumping on the Reddit-love funtimes-train. There are actual subreddits like “r/beatenwomen” and “r/picsofdeadkids,” neither of which I particularly recommend perusing unless you want to give yourself the barf-nightmares. There are also possibly illegal, definitely skeevy niches, like “r/upskirt” and “r/creepshot,” most of which are garnished with such glowing commentary as “titty drive-by shot” or “I find this very easy to fap to.”

Who is to blame for this “faint, grimy layer of jerk patina”? Without any demographic data, Ms. Conway concludes it’s a “whole lot of jerky teenage dudes.” (Nevermind that misogyny isn’t solely the provence of the youth.)

“Again, it’s that 17-year-old boy effect rearing its ugly head. Reddit prides itself on its refusal to censor the vast majority of its users, which means that they’re all free to arm themselves with the vaguely misogynistic jerkassery that some boys love to lug around in lieu of actual rhetoric.

. . . But unless it makes a concerted effort to clean up its teenage-boy act, I’m never going to be able to see it as anything beyond a largely mean-spirited circle-jerk.”

Shhh, no one tell her about 4Chan or she’ll never be able to keep her lunch down.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com