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Reddit's identity crisis: Policy change to clean up content (kinda)The social sharing site adds new rules to control its dark side, while some Redditors find refuge at Voat.co. And Uber deals with a different sort of drama in New York, calling for action on its app.
Reddit is having an identity crisis. I am Bridget Carey, this is your c|net update. Sites on the internet is undergoing changes. This 10-year old site is one giant discussion board to share links and talk about anything. But the anything goes philosophy contributed to the creation of a very dark side of Reddit. A cesspool of hate and violence. In the beginning it was designed as a place to say anything you want but that tone is changing as the company is growing. Last year Reddit received a $50 million investment. Now it's making small steps to address that dark side. The co-founder and new CEO Steve Huffman laid out new rules on a post saying it's gonna ban Spam, harassment, publishing people's private information, and anything that insights harm or violence against an individual or group of people. But you'll still be able to find hateful speech. The way Reddit works is that there are subcategories for an endless list of topics. And Reddit is continuing to allow topics for groups that promote bigotry. Among other filth. Instead of banning it Reddit's just going to put a curtain over it and hide it in the corner flagging it as indecent, and requiring an option to see it. Reddit said it isn't going to make it searchable, and is not going to sell ads on it. So why not just clean up everything crude? Perhaps Reddit doesn't want to complete revolt from it's massive user base of 164 million monthly visitors. Even if they don't see ads on their pages that are virile, I'm sure they are still canoping those users and activity in their overall numbers to attract advertisers and show growth. You see, this is Reddit's big identity problem. Does it care more about growing as a business or does it want to be a home for trolls. Former CEO Ellen Pao wrote in an editorial, quote The trolls are winning. But perhaps those trolls are finding a new place to stay. The site vote.co is marketing itself as the place to go if you don't like Reddit's restrictions. Vote promises completely unfettered free speech and it's ranked by users just like Reddit is, with no legal subject out of bounds. There's a different sort of drama brewing at Uber, the ride hailing app. Ever since it rolled into our lives Uber has been fighting a constant battle against government regulators over it's operations which threaten the status quo of taxi commission groups. Uber's latest battle with New York City has changed the app. If you use the app in New York there's a new option called De Blasio, named after New York mayor Bill De Blasio. And when you click on it, it shows no cars available and a wait time of 25 minutes, asking users to tell the Mayor you're against the city putting limits on this service. You see the City Council is scheduled to vote soon on a proposal to cap Uber's growth to fight traffic congestion. But Uber says it shouldn't be capped and there's demand for these jobs. It's a battle of free market versus government. That's it for this tech news update. There's always more to dive into at cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [SOUND]