Today, Ann Coulter did an AMA and was ruthlessly downvoted. This has lead some people to suggest that this was a shameful way for our community to react to a different opinion and that we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

While I did not personally downvote any of her comments, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so. We would not tolerate any other form of hate speech or the like and it is entirely within the rights of the users to downvote as they like.

Can we have an adult conversation about politics with someone having another viewpoint? Probably not.

But that's fine, too. This is not a non-partisan news organization. We are a community of people who have the express right and duty to upvote content that WE deem worthwhile and to downvote that material which we do not.

People are ALWAYS downvoted for dissenting opinions. Try talking shit about Firefly or Emma Watson or Christina Hendricks and you can do a physics project on how long it takes your karma to hit bottom.

Assuming karma is affected by gravity and we ignore air resistance, of course.

Ann Coulter has proven time and time again that she has nothing to offer the political discussion, but vitriol and hate. She used her own inability to login as a means of attacking Obamacare.

Did she give Obamacare a fair chance? Did she present a non-partisan viewpoint?

So, why should we?

This does not belittle us. Letting people spew hate and doing nothing belittles us as a community.

We would not tolerate this kind of behavior on any other topic nor should we tolerate it in this case.

Good for you, reddit. Good for you.

Comments: 1126 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

BoilerMaker11116 karma

I don't understand why people are completely ok with downvoting a WBC post to oblivion, but get all up in arms when we do it to Ann Coulter.

The only thing that separates the WBC and Ann Coulter is the fact that Ann Coulter doesn't protest stuff. They're both batshit insane and we shouldn't give either the platform to spew out their drivel

Taodyn30 karma

Honestly, I believe people wanted reddit to seem more neutral than it is or should be just so we could look "more adult".

5917999 karma

Where is it? It's not on the "new" queue...

Taodyn24 karma

The post was downvoted to invisibility.

Toyou4yu77 karma

I'm a moderate republican and I found her to be what is wrong with the modern Republican party. The extremist in control.

Taodyn20 karma

See, that I find interesting. I've always wondered what republicans think of her.

shii11 karma

Thanks to the brave actions of hundreds of users like you, Reddit stands safe from opposing opinions. God-botherers cower in fear before our mouse-wielding atheist armies. A great victory was won today. Stand strong! Reddit strong!

Taodyn-5 karma

My time on the internet has left me completely unable to discern whether this is sarcasm or not.

She did not represent an opposing opinion. She did not offer reasonable or logical discourse. She has proven time and time again that the only thing she offers is hate and invectives.

We did not downvote conservatism or small government or whatever other republican talking point could have been discussed rationally. We downvoted Ann Coulter because she offers nothing of substantial content at all.

Actually, I didn't downvote her. I didn't have to. Hundreds of people beat me to it.

MammonAnnon6 karma

Game company uses a DMCA complaint to take down Total Biscuit review: the most heinous example of copyright as censorship in modern times.

Reddit users plan for weeks to downvote Ann Coulter AMA: totally legitimate response and nothing to be ashamed about.

Ah, reddit, never change.

Taodyn-3 karma

Yes because we censored someone who was reviewing a product that we were going to charge people for.

Exactly the same thing.

MammonAnnon1 karma

So censorship is fine as long as there is no exchange of money? Isn't censorship of ideas worse than censorship of products?

Taodyn-3 karma

But people downvoting her is a form of freedom of speech. Users, not the site itself, used their freedom of downvote to counter her invectives.

We did not censor ideas. We expressed our own dislike of objectionable and offensive expression of those ideas.

MammonAnnon4 karma

But people downvoting her is a form of freedom of speech.


You may have the freedom to scream over any conversation, drowning out whatever people say, but you look like a huge dick when you do it. There are more mature ways of addressing other people's ideas than by "using your freedom of speech" to censor them.

I don't really understand how you are justifying this behavior to yourself.

If Obama did another AMA and right wing redditors spent weeks planning to downvote everything he said in order to censor his ideas, you probably would be making a post that said "horrible reddit invasion shatters idea of freedom of speech in AMA"

You're just using buzzwords to defend your ideological positions.

Taodyn-3 karma

A single entity did not censor her. Hundreds of users expressed their individual opinion that she is objectionable and not worth discussing. She could have just as easily been voted to the front page.

This is not censorship. Its democracy.

MammonAnnon4 karma

You're right. One person didn't censor total biscuit, it was an entire company. That's capitalism.

Please, drop the buzzwords and obfuscation. It's really nutty.

People ganged up to suppress her speech. That's censorship, I don't care how you justify it.

Edit: also what difference does it make if it's one person or a thousand. What matters is who has the power. In this case it was people who hate Ann Coulter. I don't think democracy is about mob rule and suppressing controversial ideas, but maybe I'm old fashioned. I don't recall the "right to downvote" section of the 1st amendment but maybe my memory of the Bill of Rights is a little lacking.

Taodyn-3 karma

We're not a company. Stop trying to rewrite the situation to suit your argument.

Also, stop saying "buzzwords".

MammonAnnon0 karma

This: "One person didn't censor total biscuit, it was an entire company. That's capitalism."

Was in response to this:

A single entity did not censor her... This is not censorship. Its democracy.

To demonstrate to you how facile your argument is.

I find it interesting that you dodged my question earlier. If it was right wingers downvoting Obama into oblivion would you simply say "democracy has spoken" and put up this same thread saying that there's nothing to be ashamed about?

Taodyn1 karma

Actually, I'd upvote him and let democracy do its job.

[deleted]4 karma


Taodyn-6 karma

I understand entirely and would have posted in the other thread had its title not been clearly insulting to us as a community.

Had the title been more bi-partisan, I would have replied there, but I did not feel it was appropriate for an entire subreddit to be scolded and then only reply within that post.

Perhaps that was incorrect, but I stand by it.

rsantillan4 karma

The community simply used the ability to disagree with the post and OP. Which is what reddit is all about.

Taodyn-3 karma


wicked_oak3 karma

This is the internet dont bring a knife to a gun fight and expect to win. She brought a butterknife and forgot how to weld it. Not only that...she could not even articulate her insults as she ran at us.

Taodyn1 karma

Alright, that made me laugh.

throwaway2ff2 karma

And yet when the Westboro Baptist Church did an AMA, they were not ruthlessly downvoted for being "hateful". Instead, the Reddit hivemind insisted on upvoting them, because the hivemind wanted to distance itself from those conformist, non-edgy r/atheism jerks.

This website makes me ashamed to be human.

Taodyn-1 karma

Again, not what I would have done, but well within the rights of the users.

My default is to ignore. That being said, I don't hate on others who do not choose to do the same.

throwaway2ff1 karma

Well done on stating the obvious. Of course upvoting/downvoting is within the capability of the community, that does not mean they should ruthlessly downvote content they disagree with.

Reddit is unique in the sense that downvoted content is basically barred from view. That means, by downvoting content, you are basically showing that you are intolerant of other peoples views. And in the case of Anne Coulter, who believes all liberals are facists, you are basically proving her right.

Taodyn1 karma

But it is not the act of one user, one individual. People also voted the AMA up. The downvotes simply outnumbered the up.

bakuretsu2 karma

It would have been a lot more interesting if reddit had collectively acted like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. Instead of lazily hitting the down arrow, say something cutting and thoughtful or walk away so someone else gets a chance.

I think if reddit really wanted to, it could turn even Ann Coulter's staggeringly malevolent boilerplate into an interesting or even inspiring thread. I almost said "conversation" but I find it unlikely that Ann would reply to anything.

Though most of reddit's enthusiastic downvoters may not be able to hold their own in a real political debate (and Ann Coulter may not be willing to actually participate in one), we have a large number of very well-spoken and well-read people in our community and I just selfishly want to see those people form a phalanx and trample Ann Coulter's skeletal visage into the dirt.

Metaphorically speaking. Or in real life, though where would you get all of those shields? You know, for the phalanx?

Taodyn1 karma

The was no trampling to be had. The absolute, best case scenario: she up and quits.

That's it.

No one was going to convince her or get her to see the other side of the argument. There was no rational discussion. Honestly, I didn't even see a point of view to be censored.

bakuretsu2 karma

I found the AMA and skimmed it. I don't really know what all the outrage was about apart from the obvious and predictable left-leaning knee-jerk reaction of the whole reddit community.

Everyone knows what Ann Coulter's opinions are about these topics so it shouldn't surprise them when she stays on message, and it seems like the rampant downvoting almost did a disservice to the thread, which is basically unreadable it's so fragmented.

I can't decide if that's a fair example of reddit working as designed, or failing epically.

Taodyn1 karma

She did not surprise me.

Sadly, neither did reddit.

echoswolf1 karma

"Did she give Obamacare a fair chance? Did she present a non-partisan viewpoint?

So, why should we?

So, she's a douchehorse. How does being douchehorses back make you any better? Sinking to her level just makes you as low as her.

No-one's saying you have to "do nothing". Why not at least offer a dissenting viewpoint, or some trenchant satire? Unless, of course, that's just too much for you to do; I mean, after all, if your views require time and effort to support, then we should all just skip over that part and take them as fact, right?

Stifling someone else's opinion, regardless of how infuriating it seems to you, is the direct opposite of liberalism. Unless, of course, you don't value the free speech this community prides itself upon. Today, /r/IAmA proved itself as hypocritical and intolerant as the person it was ridiculing. Congratulations.

Taodyn0 karma

So, she's a douchehorse.

Right there. You judged her.

Ten thousand users did the exact same thing. They just used the downvote button. Maybe they didn't feel she was worth the trouble.

I should also point out that Keanu Reeves received almost 4 times as many downvotes. Are we suddenly hypocritical and intolerant of Point Break?

echoswolf1 karma

Regardless of the fact that I was merely stating the popular view, did I say you couldn't judge her? God, no. That's a basic part of the human condition. However, in a self-acclaimed liberal bastion of tolerance, you'd think people would be able to control their baser instincts for long enough to avoid that downvote button.

If a well-known (in)famous political commentator-cum-celebrity isn't worth the trouble, then why bother having discussions at all?

As far as I'm aware, people didn't plot Reeves' plight days beforehand, regardless of his comments. The Rampart AMA, too, got downvoted, and rightly so. I'm not vetoing all use of that shiny blue arrow; I'm merely suggesting it gets used for its proper purpose.

Taodyn0 karma

However, in a self-acclaimed liberal bastion of tolerance

People keep saying this. WHO IN THE HELL IS CLAIMING THIS?

When have we EVER been tolerant of anything? Anything at all?

Have we been particularly tolerant of the Xbox One? Hell, we crucify people if they use the wrong fucking color mallard when they're giving advice.


We are not philosophers debating the nature of existence in ancient Greece. We are the people that burned down kitchens making grilled cheese sandwiches in fucking toasters.


Troggie421 karma

Scumbag Reddit: Loves to brag about open mindedness and accepting differing opinions; down votes the fuck out of someone with a differing opinion to the whole site.

Taodyn2 karma

We didn't downvote a differing opinion. We downvoted a methodology and a pathology.

Also, who the fuck are all these people saying that reddit is open minded?

theblaah1 karma

Could we please make this all disappear? It shouldnt get even more attention than it allready has.

Taodyn1 karma

Are you censoring me?


improbableartichokes1 karma

I'm sorry I missed the AMA. I would have liked to have asked her this:

Which one of your people told you that it'd be a good idea for you to do an AMA on Reddit? And have you fired them yet?

Taodyn-1 karma

I get that from some AMAs. I just see some people decide to do one and just cringe.

Fly_Caster0 karma


Can you delete this post. This is not an AMA.

Taodyn-1 karma

I honestly would have (and might have saved an evening if I had), but people are asking questions and making comments. I do not want them to think that I am disrespecting their view points by suddenly deleting the thread in the middle of a discussion.

Fly_Caster1 karma

This is not a AMA. It could be discussed as a sticky, not as an individual opinion.

This post drives the hivemind. There were quite a few of us anticipating reading what Ann had to say. Allowing any META post shows you mods agree with the hivemind.

Taodyn-1 karma

a) you can still read what she said. You can check her user name to find her responses or a helpful reader collected all of her questions and answers into a single comment.

b) this has become a pretty interesting discussion of how reddit handled the situation. While I stand by my initial statement, many users have expressed good points of view about the topic.

I've actually spent the better part of an evening responding to people because I respect their right to disagree with my initial statement and I don't want them to feel ignored.

[deleted]-3 karma


Taodyn-7 karma

We do. The very fact that the downvote exists and that only a group of hundreds or thousands can bury a post proves that we have that right.

The entire premise of reddit is that it is user filtered content. Reddit, itself, only makes invisible that which we as a group vote down.

iamzombus-4 karma

That IS something to be ashamed of!

Everyone should have the right to speak, whether you agree with them or not. This is the basis of the first amendment of our constitution and the freedoms we enjoy to even be able post on sites like reddit.

Taodyn-3 karma

So you agree with the religious person who interrupted a same-sex marriage ceremony today?

They should have a right to express their viewpoint and we should respect that?