by Silviu Costinescu
Reddit me this:
– If you are a musician, you’re more than welcome to post your Soundcloud and Spotify links in Reddit subs.
– If you are a journalist, you’re more than welcome to post links to your published articles in Reddit subs.
– If you are a photographer and you want to post a link to your photography website or portfolio, you’re a spammer, you’re scum, your post will be taken down from most Reddit subs and you’re even risking a ban.
Not as many people are as familiar with Reddit as with Facebook or other socials, so here’s a little context:
Imagine Facebook was only made of groups and group admins were the Suckerbergs of their domains. This is Reddit for you.
When they’re dealing with photography or graphic design or any type of still images, almost all these admins treat creators as milk cows, using their work to drive traffic, engage audiences, grow their influence and sometimes push a product. But if photographers dare to hope for some minimal support, all they get is a spit in the face! As if we are the scum of the Earth for hoping to get some following if our work is appreciated. No one is asking for money, crowdfunding or any direct material compensation. Most of us are so starving for attention on a super-competitive stage that we’re happy to do it for a few bare page views on our websites. But nah, that’s too much to ask, all we are allowed to earn is meaningless upvotes (likes in Facebook terms) which lead nowhere.
Reddit brands itself as the “Frontpage of Internet” but when it comes to photography, it’s just a sinkhole where talent gets exhausted for nothing and quickly buried.
This is not going on only in Photography subs (groups, in Facebook terms), but in most of them. Some of the biggest leaches are the Travel subs, where photography can be even prevalent over other types of posts. There, this crazy unjustified double standard is even more obvious: you can post a video that directly links to your Youtube channel, you can post an article that links directly to a news organization (which is for-profit), but photographers are 2nd hand reditters, they don’t deserve same privileges, they are expected to kiss admins’ feet for being slaved and disregarded.
Linking is a matter of etiquette in most artistic communities.
How is a photography portfolio link any different from, let’s say, article links, which link to the business that created them? No one asks people to copy-paste the articles in posts, to avoid spam in favor of the publisher.
What if people from music subs/groups asked musicians to upload their music directly in posts and stop linking to their Soundcloud?!
I have an even better idea: forget Youtube links, let’s start producing original video content, catered especially for these special Reddit admins, and upload it there, free of charge!
Yeah, sounds insane, my point exactly, I mean: where do you draw the line??
The double standard is not just obvious, it’s insane and deplorable.
This abusive attitude is not even limited to Reddit, that’s just where I find it almost ubiquitous, but it’s quite prevalent on Facebook, MeWe and other socials too. I wonder who came up with the concept that photographers are lower-class artists and deserve to slave for the benefit of some social media parasites.
How is the Reddit organization regarding this behavior?
In its “guidelines for best practices” Redit states:
“We’re not making a judgement on your quality, just your behavior on reddit. Your stuff’s probably amazing and someone would be really interested in it but…
If you submit mostly your own links and your presence on reddit is mostly for your self-promotion of your brand, page, blog, app, or business, you are more likely to be a spammer than you think! Read the FAQ and make sure that you really understand that.”
Self promotion runs the world in 2019, it drives personal growth, self-sufficiency and self-sustainability. It should be encouraged, not seen as a disease. But many people prefer you dependent on them, otherwise their existence would be meaningless.
No one seems to take action when they are flooded with corporate self-promo, even when it’s painted on their chest (t-shirt), because that’s called “advertising” and it’s ok. Meanwhile, the most sour, salty and unaccomplished members of society can’t wait to tax the plebs for attempting to post a mere link to their website because that’s “spam”. However, this is not my main argument here.
The problem is that, even if you accept this retrograde, disconnected and mindless stance from Reddit, admins/mods still don’t seem to care about it. They definitely make no distinctions, everyone is a spammer in their eyes, you won’t see anyone excepted for good behavior from their brutal and abusive ruling. Anyone but themselves.
“Reddit is different from any other place on the web – first and foremost, it’s about community, discussion, and sharing. Honor that and you’ll love it here”, they brag.
In fact, everyone in social media attempts the same thing, that’s nothing original. The only thing different about Reddit is that it expects you to honor it and offers nothing in return, besides contempt and disrespect. At least for photographers and such.
A simple and practical solution in two steps:
Be the change we all need to see on Reddit: Make a sub that accomplishes three things:
– shows actual love to photographers,
– allows them to truly benefit from their contributions,
– actively pushes users to support what they use / love
Just limit the number of daily posts per person to avoid abuse, and limit the links to one per post, which has to lead to a portfolio or similar, not photo equipment sales or such. And I bet my ass that you will beget tons of love, the best contributions and some the best photographers.
I would do it myself, but I can hardly manage my current online presence, I’m doing more things than anyone has time to hear about. So I’m hoping that someone who has the resources and the good motivation picks up on this idea and invites me to the inauguration. I will reward that sub with all the free promo I can offer!
I’m an amateur photographer, it’s not my main activity, not even the second on my list of occupations. But I love the art, I put my soul on a plate when I take and publish an image, I love gifted artists, and I think just treatment should be the default in a healthy society. I know for a fact that all situations we put ourselves in should be win-win, otherwise they are lose-lose. Reddit admins think they should be win-fv#k off. No one really wins when the partner loses.
Boycott and protest the leeches, instead of feeding them your work.
Who wants to be the positive character in this dystopia / internet drama and do it right? Now would be a great time for you to act!
If you enjoy any of my work, remember that most of what I do is made freely available to the general public and I rely on your support for keeping it that way, buy me a coffee if you feel like it, thank you!
! My articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them