As I see it, what distinguishes a mainly-text platform like Reddit from this one, is that the Reddit platform is built to grow and self-moderate, and readily process feedback. This platform is frozen at a single-digit forum count that’s barely changed in 20 years. To be a bit more specific:
- Reddit allows basically any user to create their own forum and moderate it.
- Reddit mods are helped by the user community by way of highly efficient feedback (upvotes, downvotes).
By contrast, SDMB has a sort of star-chamber mod system where folks must spend months or years honing their bona-fides as centrist-friendly referees, and the content quality depends on (a) them processing user feedback, and (b) caring enough to do something about it. And lately there’s the dismaying trend of the new crop of mods taking it upon themselves to police tone, which is pretty gross.
The result is a platform unintentionally serving as a sea-lion sanctuary, where it can take a half decade or more to collectively recognize “okay, this person shouldn’t be here” in regards to people who were obviously operating in bad faith from day 1. That wouldn’t happen on Reddit, where such assholes simply sink to the bottom of the cornfield.
And nobody wrings their hands about “fair and balanced”, nobody carps about “things would be different if I were in charge; the unfair moderation is silencing my opinions which are very popular with people who are also afraid to speak.” Because that proposition is readily tested by the reality that if, say Team Green feels persecuted and oppressed by Team Gold, they can simply fork off their own forum where Team Green dominates and Team Gold gets to be the punching bag.
IMO this approach is really efficient at exposing and segregating bad-faith actors. There’s nothing quite like seeing a person state “I’m sick and tired of being labeled a Nazi, I’m starting my own forum”, and then a month later that new forum is a Nazi sanctuary.
Freedom clarifies. Civility obfuscates.