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Yeah man that's almost beat for beat what I was going to say, couldn't agree more, they don't deserve to judge those sites in the slightest let alone think they are comparatively highbrow. Loving this reddit bitching session haha, I had a lot on my mind about the site and nobody to voice it to (if I ever said on reddit you know what would happen).
Completely agree, I said practically the same thing in a comment earlier before reading this. One thing that really got to me recently was all the 'summer reddit' bs. I physically cringed reading the memes and comments, grown adults (or so they say) being unbearably childish about kids coming to the website. I'm generally keen for a laugh and a song parody or two but jesus christ, when I saw somebody made the summer lovin' parody about summer reddit along with the other comments in the thread it was unbearably cringeworthy that these people were being as immature as I'd ever seen them in their complaints about an oncoming wave of immaturity. It's happened before in the few years I've been on reddit without a doubt, so maybe it's me growing as a person (I'm only in uni) and becoming aware of how immature a large part of the community was, or with it's increased popularity (purely anecdotal, I don't actually have any hard numbers, I'm basing this off my own personal observations so could be entirely wrong) the quality of reddit has dipped and it's humor has become more juvenile and mainstream as it's catering to larger audiences with content akin to buzzfeed or 9gag who (their hatred of which is another equally cringeworthy and ironic issue that I'd be happy to rant about but I think this paragraph has gone far enough :s.
I agree in that 4chan/8chan are in a different league of hatred than reddit and the description isn't completely apt, but I choose to interpret as the mainstream internet - with reddit's growing popularity I (as a biased user) would place it in the same league as Youtube, Facebook or Twitter. I think the truly most hateful place on the Internet would have to be 4/8chan and other deeply disturbing websites on the sensationally dubbed 'dark net'.
You're right, the academic subs do have the worth and they're refreshing to visit. When I say I'm not going to use reddit anymore, I'm talking about checking /all before any other social network. I'll definitely browse my city, uni or any other particularly useful subreddit - but I don't think it will become anything more than a reference tool and I won't browse it anymore than say my local newspaper (I'm not as informed about the outside world as I'd like to think).
For sure I was being hyperbolic but I don't think the freedom of speech should be underestimated, whilst I think it's limited by the hive mind, and yes due to it being a business. I don't think it should be overlooked for what it was, it provided on many occasions a medium to voice grassroot concerns over major issues that weren't adequately addressed in mainstream media. To clarify, I don't actually think it was the perfect platform for freedom of speech but nor do I think it should be so immediately classified as another worthless machine churning out the mainstream narrative in the fashion of just about every other popular news and social media platform. That's completely my opinion though and I'm far from qualified. I agree with where you're coming from and I'm down to continue the discussion if you are.