Over 25 million users have flocked to Discord, a text and voice platform for gamers, since its launch in May of 2015. Despite the company raising at least 30 million in venture capital funding, the company has only five "customer experience" personnel and no moderators on its staff. From what I've seen, users who wish to engage in harassment, raid servers or bombard chats and users with child pornography suffer no lasting repercussions for doing so. That seemingly any server can become the victim of organised attacks represents the strained and failing infrastructure of moderation — of Discord, and of virtually any community on the internet.
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Bill Mitchell is the host of a conservative online talk radio show and one of the few pundits to accurately predict the rise of Donald Trump. In post-election retrospect, the man Buzzfeed says "owned" the liberal media seemed to possess some sort of awful precognitive powers. Turns out he was just a lucky idiot.
In a lengthy post in the official hub for site announcements, the CEO of Reddit, Steve Huffman, has apologised for comprising users' trust in the site by "attempting to troll the trolls" and added that the site will be "taking a more aggressive stance against toxic users and poorly behaving communities".
For the past 11 years, an eternity in internet time, Reddit has touted itself — repeatedly, and loudly — as the place to have "authentic conversations" online. For a variety of reasons, that sentiment has always rang hollow. Now, Reddit, in its goal to be a laissez-faire haven of (relatively) free expression, has been overrun by nationalist trolls. Its staff of volunteer moderators is losing hope in the site's future.