Reddit Takes Down Post About Woman-on-Man Sexual Assault

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Thu, Jun 11 - 5:27 pm EST | 3 years ago by
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Wednesday, Washington Examiner reporter Ashe Schow released an article featuring a story about an Amherst College male student who blacked out after drinking alcohol and accompanied a fellow student back to her dorm room where, in his blacked-out state, she performed oral sex on him.

This occurred in 2012, and two years after the fact, the female student who performed oral sex would go on to accuse the man – now going by the pseudonym John Doe – of sexual assault. Receiving no due process, the man was then promptly expelled from Amherst.

Despite evidence that proves Doe did not initiate the sexual encounter, or in any way commit sexual assault on his fellow student, Amherst refused to reopen Doe’s case.

You can read more of Ashe Schow’s article here.

The article in question was posted to Reddit on the r/NotTheOnion subReddit and quickly made it to the front page, garnering some 3300+ upvotes. It was then quickly taken down under the excuse that it was “tabloid news.”

I reached out to Schow for a comment.

“I was really excited when I realized my article was on the front page of Reddit, but within minutes it was gone. The reason given was that the article was considered ‘tabloid news’. There are other articles in the r/nottheonion subReddit that are similar in content,” she told me.

While other articles from the Washington Examiner, a respected news source, still remain on the site itself, this article from Ashe Schow, a respected reporter who focuses on campus assaults and radical feminism, is the only one to be taken down. That her article of female-on-male sexual assault was labeled as “tabloid news” does not speak well of the direction the website has taken.

As of late, Reddit has undergone a transformation that leans more toward the politically correct. Where the site was once a bastion of free speech, no matter how obscene and hateful that speech was – under the new guidelines laid down by CEO Ellen Pao – the site has targeted certain articles and subReddits for deletion due to their “offensive” nature.

Pao was brought on as CEO of Reddit last January, and has since set out to make Reddit a more social justice friendly place by setting a new set of rules for Reddit users.

“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.”

This has resulted in the deletion of such subReddits as r/fatpeoplehate, which mocked the overweight. Even the subReddit r/whalewatching was banned, as it was suspected of being an offshoot of r/fatpeoplehate, but was actually a subReddit community of actual whale watchers that had existed for two years.

“It’s not our site’s goal to be a completely free speech platform,” said Pao in response to a question from Business Insider about deleting offensive subReddits. As pointed out by the publication, subReddits that call for actual violence are still allowed to exist, such as r/gasthekikes, an anti-Jewish subReddit.

Pao has not been received well by the Reddit community, and many have called for her to step down as CEO. A petition was created by a Reddit user on Change.org which has so far reached 7.5k signatures, calling for her dismissal. Users have given her nicknames such as “Chairman Pao” and have made Chinese Communist style propaganda art in reference to her, as well as political cartoons. Some users have been banned for merely speaking out against Pao.

Ellen Pao has a history of making trouble, including a failed three year long case against silicon valley firm, Kleiner Perkins, for discrimination. The amount Pao sought was $144 million for punitive damages.

Perhaps not coincidentally, $144 million is around the same amount her husband, Buddy Fletcher, is being sued for by three Louisiana public pension funds.

Long story short, Pao is quite possibly in financial trouble and was very likely trying to use the momentum of today’s social justice movement to get her and her husband out of it.

Pao’s belief in social justice goes beyond deleting content and legal actions. She uses it to judge who will work at Reddit. She has eliminated salary negotiations due to a study that shows women don’t do as well as men do in this area. She even will reject hiring employees based on their feelings about social justice.

As reported in an article in the Wall Street Journal: “Ms. Pao, who said she wants to stay long-term as Reddit’s CEO when a one-year interim period ends, said she has removed salary negotiations from the hiring process because studies show women don’t fare as well as men. She has brought in well-known Silicon Valley diversity consultant Freada Kapor Klein to advise the company. And she has passed on hiring candidates who don’t embrace her priority of building a gender-balanced and multiracial team. ‘We ask people what they think about diversity, and we did weed people out because of that,’ she said.”

Pao has a clear social justice bias. It’s a bias that has strong roots in the radical feminist movement of today which tends to be blatantly anti-male.

So is it any wonder that Schow’s piece – an article that flies in the face of popular feminist narratives – was removed from the site? Did this story run afoul of Reddit’s new social justice friendly mentality, and thus needed to be discarded? Schow seems to think so.

“The article, which challenges preferred narratives about rape accusations, was pulled down just when it reached the front page. Given the state of Reddit and the claims of censorship floating around the site, this could have been the latest example. Because it certainly wasn’t ‘tabloid news’,” says Schow.

Editor’s note of disclosure: The author of this article is personal friends with Ashe Schow.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Brandon Morse has been writing about politics and culture across many websites for the last six years, with a heavy emphasis on anti-authoritarianism. Aside from writing articles, he is also known for voice acting and authoring scripts. He is an avid gamer, dog person, and has a bad habit of making vague references to things no one has heard about or seen. Follow him at @TheBrandonMorse on Twitter.

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