Reddit moderator Blair Erickson has unveiled a project that spent two years in the metaphorical oven — a Reddit twin that shows what he imagines the site will look like in 1,000 years. Reddit3016 is a fairly intricate project, as it's covered in links to fake YouTube, Imgur, and Huffington Post spin-offs (MindTube, Hologer, and The Huffington Planet) that Erickson made himself.
One of the best jokes is a link to a "Holoflix" (3016's Netflix, presumably) trailer for the next three chapters in the Bible — "everything after Mormonism no longer canon. Boba Fett crossover in works." Another links to a photo of SpaceX's Dragon crew capsule with the caption "check out my vintage ride!"
More biting jokes take aim at some of the "scourge of the internet" stereotypes that linger around Reddit's largely male user base, including a post reading, "Please help! Nice Centurians trapped inside Friend Zone on the moon of Fedora," and "How to lower defense grids of uppity Taursus Omegas that won't let you inject your neural cord into their cerebral cortex chambers."
The fake posts poke fun largely at tech and internet culture, as well as future paranoia, but the stylization of the homepage itself takes Reddit to task as well. The "controversial" tab is relabeled "hivemind uncertainty," which could be read as a simple joke about a dystopian future or commentary on how Redditors can get carried away with groupthink and jump to insane conclusions (like when they picked out their own suspect for the Boston Marathon bombing). In the bar that usually lists Reddit's most popular subreddits, Erickson has replaced standard fare like "Today I Learned" and "GIFs" with "ArticialLifeProTips," "ShameCollective," and "ConsciousnessPool."
Throwback to the Ancient American Empire of the 2030's!
This could explain why Reddit doesn't seem to be happy about the project, and has removed all links to it across various subreddits. Erickson (gonzoblair) posted a statement on his site condemning Reddit's action:
The authoritarian censorship spreading over large populations on this mass social media community of 231 million people a month should and must be resisted for obvious rational reasons. These censors were not elected by us. They do not represent us ... Reddit is too large a media outlet to pretend to be a community and then secretly manipulate what people are allowed to see. Reddit needs transparency and democracy. Or the dustbin of history.
A representative from Reddit responded to our request to comment and said that there was no effort by the company to have the links removed, rather that "dedicated moderators are trusted to create and run communities as they see fit to best support each subreddit's subscribed users." The representative also said that the company "is impressed with the creativity and thought behind Reddit3016 and looks forward to the continued conversation around its content."
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanion also seems to have enjoyed the project:
I don't think there is one single living person who wants to think about Reddit's "censorship" issues any longer, so I'm glad this seems to have worked out.
Updated March 1st, 2015, 3:27 PM ET: Updated to include statement from Reddit.