Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The 6th annual Global reddit Meetup Day is Saturday, June 13th!

Like most of the best things that happen on reddit, Global reddit Meetup Day (GrMD) is a community-created and community-driven event. It's an opportunity to celebrate being human beings existing together not only in online communities, but offline ones as well.

Six years ago, /r/meetup had an idea: “We should organize a GLOBAL Reddit meetup day”. With hard work, diligence, and a little bit of anarchy, the idea came to fruition, and GrMD was hence born. Since then, each year, around the time that spring turns into summer, redditors have come together in their respective cities and towns to socialize, make friends, and have fun with their IRL neighbors. At least, that's what almost always happens.

video by /u/luckyyirish

We hope you’ll join us once again in this time honored tradition! Check out /r/about for photos of GrMD’s gone by, and visit your local subreddit to start working together on planning and executing an event. Don’t forget, reddit is turning 10 this year! Double digits, baby. Birthday celebrations are welcome and encouraged.

Pro tip: you can’t have a bad time with the 3 B’s — BBQ, beer, and board games. Be sure to take tons of pictures, and post them to /r/about!

video by /u/beernerd and /u/Jakattak

It can't be said enough: thank you so much to the people who have turned this into such a special event. None of this is possible without you, our community.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Promote ideas, protect people

TL;DR: We are unhappy with harassing behavior on reddit; we have survey data that show our users are, too. So we’ve improved our practices to better curb harassment of individuals on reddit.

Running a community-based site is complicated; running a site with 9,000 active communities in a changing world is even more complicated. For the past six months we have been examining and reviewing reddit’s community policies and practices, collecting and analyzing data, defining our own goals, and making some hard decisions.

Last week, we announced our internal company values, and we were proud to say: We value privacy, freedom of expression, open discussion, and humanity, and we want to make sure that we uphold these principles for all kinds of people. We didn’t announce them because we’d accomplished them, rather because we are striving for them.

We’ve already begun making changes to live up to these values. In January, we released our first annual transparency report to share when we provide private information to law enforcement and when we take down content in response to legal demands or for privacy reasons. In March, we updated our privacy policy to address revenge porn, regardless of celebrity status. Yesterday, we made additional changes to be even more transparent about content that reddit removes for legal reasons.

Today, we’re making another change that we believe will help make reddit a better place for everyone.

We have been looking closely at the conversations on reddit and at personal safety. We’ve always encouraged freedom of expression by having a mostly hands-off approach to content shared on our site. Volunteer moderators determine and uphold rules for content in their subreddits, and we have stepped in when we see threats to our values of privacy and safety.

In the past 10 years we’ve seen how these policies have fostered cool and amazing conversations on reddit. We’ve seen new types of conversations as AMAs and /r/askscience and /r/askhistorians developed. We’ve seen more and more organic content as part of conversations after the introduction of self-posts. We’ve also seen the scope and scale of discussions explode.

Unfortunately, not all the changes on reddit have been positive. We’ve seen many conversations devolve into attacks against individuals. We share redditors’ frustration with these interactions. We are also seeing more harassment and different types of harassment as people’s use of the Internet and the information available on the Internet evolve over time. For example, some users are harassing people across platforms and posting links on reddit to private information on other sites.

Instead of promoting free expression of ideas, we are seeing our open policies stifling free expression; people avoid participating for fear of their personal and family safety. Last month, we conducted a survey of over 15,000 redditors—these are people who are part of the reddit community—that showed negative responses to comments have made people uncomfortable contributing or even recommending reddit to others. The number one reason redditors do not recommend the site—even though they use it themselves—is because they want to avoid exposing friends to hate and offensive content.

One of our basic rules is “Keep everyone safe”. Being safe from threat enables people to express very personal views and experiences—and to help inform and change other people’s views:

Because of this, we are changing our practices to prohibit attacks and harassment of individuals through reddit with the goal of preventing them. We define harassment as:

Systematic and/or continued actions to torment or demean someone in a way that would make a reasonable person (1) conclude that reddit is not a safe platform to express their ideas or participate in the conversation, or (2) fear for their safety or the safety of those around them.

If you are being harassed, report the private message, post or comment and user by emailing or modmailing us; include external links if they are relevant.

This change will have no immediately noticeable impact on more than 99.99% of our users. It is specifically designed to prevent attacks against people, not ideas. It is our challenge to balance free expression of ideas with privacy and safety as we seek to maintain and improve the quality and range of discourse on reddit.

We are committed to evolving with our communities and the Internet to keep reddit a place where every day more voices are participating in free expression of all ideas. We also value your feedback as members of the community and welcome suggestions in the comments on how we can do this even better.

– Jessica (/u/5days), Ellen (/u/ekjp), Alexis (/u/kn0thing) & the rest of team reddit

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

An update on what the reddit community has done so far to help Nepal - and what’s still needed.

It’s been only a few short weeks since the blog post asking for support for Nepal was posted. In the midst of a tragedy in which more than 8,000 lost their lives, you, the community, responded by going above and beyond our goal of $185,000 (the amount we raised 5 years ago for Haiti) donating over $145,000 and $110,129 to Direct Relief and MAP International, respectively. Each organization has done an AMA (here’s Direct Relief’s AMA + MAP International’s AMA) and has some updates to share on what has been achieved so far.

Unfortunately, with a new 7.3 magnitude earthquake hitting Nepal the morning of May 12th, this will most likely make relief efforts even more difficult—so any donations are crucial and even more appreciated by both Direct Relief and MAP International.

As of May 5th, thanks to reddit’s support, Direct Relief was able to ship 50 medical supply pallets directly to Nepal. In addition, reddit’s campaign generated more than $145,000 of donations to Direct Relief’s earthquake response efforts, and redditors now comprise 30% of the 10,000+ donations received for Nepal so far. Because of reddit’s support, Direct Relief was able to:

  • Confirm the donation of a humanitarian charter for Nepal.
  • Work with Nepal’s Ministry of Health on ordering US$260,000 worth of materials. The supplies are currently being driven from Delhi to Kathmandu.
  • Deliver 118,771 lbs of medical supplies to Nepal over the weekend of May 9th, distributed to local health facilities throughout the country—with this particular shipment containing 6.2 million defined daily doses (DDD) of medications that include antibiotics, antivirals, heart and diabetes medications.
  • Providing emergency airlifts to help deliver high-volume, high-value materials, such as generic medications that have been donated.
  • Continue to provide financial support to existing partners: Direct Relief is supporting the urgent requirements of existing partner organizations, including OneHeart and the hospitals with which Direct Relief has already been working on emergency obstetric care. These partners focus on women and children’s health, and because those particular people were already among the more vulnerable in Nepal, continuing to support these programs is crucial.

MAP International as of May 7th has received more than $110,000 of support from redditors—which has enabled them to:

  • Ship 30 MAP Medical Mission Packs to Nepal, capable of treating 6,000+ people.
  • Send an IEHK (Interagency Emergency Health Kit) to Nepal for the International Medical Corps that has supplies capable of treating 10,000 people for 90 days as of Friday May 8th—with 3 additional IEHKs being prepared now and heading to Nepal in the coming days.
  • Ship 6 pallets of oral rehydration salts to combat dehydration, as well as multiple container shipments of antibiotics and other essential relief items for long term recovery.
  • Utilize MAP's current medicine supplies on the ground in the areas at the center of the crisis, at Sheer Adventist Hospital and Mobile Medical Clinics near the epicenter.

We’ve also had redditors who have been affected by the Nepal Quake share their stories through AMAs ranging from Nepal native Amrit to an Earthquake survivor caught up in the Langtang Trek.

Thanks to the reddit community, we’ve made a huge difference.

But we’re not done yet. If you want a 100% cotton, wearable reminder of your support for the campaign, you can obtain a custom redditors for Nepal limited-edition thank-you shirt from our own /u/YoungLuck here—the proceeds are going to be split 50/50 between Direct Relief and MAP International:

On behalf of MAP international, Direct Relief, and so many other incredible organizations that you as a community have given to and that are continuing to respond to this ongoing crisis --thank you!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

We're sharing our company's core values with the world

reddit is almost 10 years old (just a month and a half away!). It’s been an amazing journey so far, and the next 10 years look brighter still. We’re growing quickly, and as a company, we’re now planning for the future. As we look forward, we’ve realized we want to define and communicate our principles to those joining us on this journey.

So we've articulated our company ideals in seven principles to guide our decisions and growth, to encourage us to abide by and measure our work against them. We also recognize that we may need to revisit and refine them as our company and circumstances evolve over time.

Creating these values was a broad and iterative effort that included company-wide discussions, employee-led committees, and open feedback forums. Because of this, every one of us can confidently stand by these values and commit to following them both in the way we operate internally and how we interact with the community.

We value privacy, freedom of expression, open discussion, and humanity, and we want to make sure that we uphold these principles for all kinds of people. We encourage all redditors to join us in protecting these values and making reddit a safe and positive community for everyone.

And so, without further ado, reddit Inc’s core values:

  1. 1. Remember the human

    • Be authentic, passionate, and empathetic.
    • Treat others as you would in person, and remember we all make mistakes.
    • Champion diversity.
    • Default to transparency, and when you can’t be transparent, be honest.
  2. 2. Give people voices

    • Create a safe space to encourage participation.
    • Embrace diversity of viewpoints.
    • Allow freedom of expression.
    • Be stewards, not dictators. The community owns itself.
  3. 3. Respect anonymity and privacy

    • You are not required to share more than you are comfortable with.
    • Having information doesn't give you a license to use it.
    • Allow people to be as anonymous as they choose, including ourselves.
    • Value the candor afforded by anonymity.
  4. 4. Embrace experimentation

    • Don't let "that's the way it's always been done" be a reason.
    • Seek new ways to be better.
    • Be willing to try new things and fail.
    • But remember wheels don't always need reinventing.
  5. 5. Make deliberate decisions

    • Make all decisions within the framework of larger goals.
    • It's better to make an unpopular, deliberate decision than to make a consensus decision on a whim.
    • Consciously explore options and impacts of potential paths.
    • Voice disagreement; acknowledge that dissension is okay.
  6. 6. Be doers

    • Turn ideas into actions and get things done.
    • Don't be paralyzed by the status quo.
    • Find the balance between perfection and progress.
    • Build for the future and leave things better than you found them.
  7. 7. The spirit of Lambeosaurus embiggens us all

    • Work is better when you're having fun.
    • Don't take ourselves too seriously.
    • Celebrate the good: recognize successes and reward accomplishments.
    • There must be four subpoints to each value.

We are proud to share our values with the world, and they are now also displayed on our about page and linked to in our footer.