Does Reddit help to raise awareness on men’s issues? Without a doubt, it does. The question is on account of what issues, by how much and for how long.
Consider the information contained in the trend line of page views over time that shows to what extent the numbers of page views at Fathers for Life were affected by three different Reddit events, in one of which (and in a follow-up to it) Erin Pizzey had an active part.
Notes on the pages that were and on the ones that were not affected by the Reddit events:
- https://fathersforlife.org/mens_issues/manliness.htm (The discussion focused on fatherlessness producing killer kids and generated 3,484 page views on Dec. 12, 2012, of which almost all were referrals from reddit);
- https://fathersforlife.org/pizzey/failfamt.htm (1,093 page views on Jan. 30, 2013, of which almost all (1,008) were referrals from reddit, in consequence of a discussion that Erin Pizzey did not know had taken place), and
- Neither the April 15, 2013, nor the follow-up April 28, 2013, reddit.IAMA had any discernible impact on the number of visits to Erin Pizzey’s web pages at Fathers for Life, (https://fathersforlife.org/pizzey/cv.htm ).
I have been following the decline of visits to pages that were a consequence of discussions that brought certain topics to people’s attention, got people to take note but failed to escalate the public’s attention. I have done so for years and come to the conclusion that the decline had something to do with censorship.
In discussions with Google (Google controls page ranking – no surprise there) I was told in no uncertain terms that their tweaking of search-ranking algorithms has nothing to do with censorship but everything with optimizing the quality of information and networking relating to the spreading of information. They told me that all I had to do was follow through with the necessary work to make Fathers for Life and its affiliated blog live up to the performance standards that Google keeps tightening, and the popularity ranking of the web pages of F$L and it blog will remain fine.
That is without a doubt good advice. What was once good, Google decides is good no longer and must be forced to become better. It’s a process of re-writing the rule book and common in sports (although not as prevalent, frequent and sinstantaneous) and in the game Google plays.
The problem is that the re-training and the consequential re-tweaking of websites and blogs become an enormously ponderous task that many bloggers and website owners are increasingly unable to comply with. The work of administering a website or blog takes ever more time and resources, as all of the Internet community become trained and conditioned to cater to what Google makes it living on and made it by now one of the richest corporations in the world. Little one-man players will be left behind. They cannot afford to hire the IT gurus and buy the software required to keep their little, inconsequential sources of information and opinions tweaked to comply with the ever higher performance standards set by Google.
No, that is not censorship, but it has the same effect. If it flies like a duck, walks, swims and squawks like a duck…
The curious thing, though – and I won’t dream of trying to understand why that should be so – is that my website and blog are not the only ones affected. I stated that I have been following this for years and found that, for unfathomable reasons, whether a website is politically correct or not has a lot to do with differing impacts on the disparities of popularity rankings of comparable websites but websites promoting pro-liberal vs. pro-conservative views, and especially with the respective rankings of specific web pages. Social researchers would call that anecdotal evidence (of bias). It is beyond my capabilities or those of my resources to make my suspicions stand up in court, but a lawyer would call it “reasonable apprehension of bias,” and ask that the case be moved to a different court or at least be heard by a different judge.
There is a problem with an interested party playing the roles of judge, jury and executioner in the only game in town. where the gambling premises constitute the court. House rules, especially when Google is the house, dictate that the house always wins.