I've used reddit since 2013
I have to be honest; I incurred a lot of harassment. There wasn't much to do about it. I had two people stalk my connected accounts, which was by far one of the creepiest experiences I have had-talked about real dark, personal shit. (Won't make that mistake again, but there are things I spoke about on reddit I tried not to IRL.)
Still - I could go and talk about movies right after watching them whenever I wanted; I could talk about a local news story, or something ongoing in other cities. I could dump my anxiey.
I made the dumb mistake of calling someone a curseword in a PM and was banned from the entire website. I won't defend and it was for a comment I could have ignored, but this was a site where you used to get death and rape threats at least once a year and it took a year to get someone stalking me banned.
I'm aware one of this clusterfuck re: moderation:
(Christ, reading about Aimee Challenor makes me grateful my father is relatively sane. What a fucked up life.)
If you are a long-winded and generally sincere person, you attract trolls. If you have any centrist opinions about crime, gender, etc, you attract even more. If you're candid about a problem in a sub about serious problems - medical shit, unemployment - you attract trolls.
I now realize the smartest trolls routinely instigate people into fights and get them banned as a pastime, while skirting the poorly defined, often-moronic rules against "pettiness", "insults" (the frequent cry someone is "racist" for thinking police serve a purpose, for example), etc. The internet is owned by the left and the online left is a clusterfuck crab fight of psychotic narcissists and low lifes wallowing in their own myre.
But the worst part is truly the culture fomented by moderators: 90% of the moderators I've dealt with are argumentative, sadistic, and criminally stupid pieces of shit. Meaning you could be banned from a sub, and from there, then reddit overall. (God, this whole time I could have used the sister city sub and avoided the bullshit of the mod who foiled me this year, multiple times.)
After successfully evading issues for a few months with a dummy account using Opera and (very, VERY stupidly) using a 7 year old account that must have been tied to a "banned" email, I was banned again. So much for a VPN helping.
My offense was calling someone a "piece of trash'. You have to go through the reddit rules to see that "trash" is a dogwhistle. Imagine that. It's less offensive for these natty little c-nts to call someone a piece of shit.
What disturbs me more is that I thought I was careful not to post as candidly under my dummy as I did under my "bad account", but still, a mod I pissed off months ago figured me out. (The topic is crime in our city.)
I'll admit it, reddit is addictive. I can also clearly see people who post shorter, angrier comments and are less distinct in their writing style are generally left alone. Any regulars in something like a city sub that aren't radical hipster trolls trigger harassment from moderators. And they seem fine. And they're using the website for what it's intended for - to shoot the shit, to engage a few intelligent people about something that happened that day they want to discuss in real time. None of it is that serious.
It makes me angry and paranoid.
The moderator I have in mind trolled me when he was a commenter.
I've never hated strangers on the internet so much. They're all the same snide, vindictive, shitty creature. A glom of awfulness.