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For Your Edification* is a weekly Slice of Culture series where staff writer Ed Daniel takes on topics — Hudson County or national news related — and provides social commentary.
So the gossip in this week’s Reddit discourse has been the embarrassing bad press subreddit “Antiwork” received during a Fox News Segment this week.
Let’s get you up to date with this subreddit drama that may reflect the frustrating and complicated relationship America has with work.
“Antiwork” is a subreddit on the popular content and discussion website Reddit.
For those who are not fluent in nerdom and like to spend time outside of the house, a subreddit is a subsidiary discussion board within the website that focuses on a specific interest or topic.
“Antiwork” was a popular subreddit that discusses the desires, possibility, and the curiosity of ending work. It’s also a forum for people to share job related struggles and anti-work ideas.
The reddit was gaining huge popularity in conjunction with the mass resignation due to the lack of quality jobs U.S. that has been accelerated by the pandemic. The subreddit has over 1.7 million users.
The subreddit went private on Wednesday after an embarrassing Fox News interview with moderator Doreen Ford.
Ford, who went on “Jesse Waters Primetime” to discuss worker rights, compensation and hours dedicated to the job, the interview according to many did not go well.
Ford went on to the conservative talk show and by many accounts looked unprepared. The appearance was disheveled. The room in which they were broadcasting was visibly disorganized. The camera lighting they used was dim and irritating.
When it came to questions, at one point, Ford talked about how laziness is a virtue and spoke about her somewhat vague desire to become a philosophy teacher.
Watters at no point interrupted or talked over his guest, this is a strong indication that Ford was not providing a strong debate on behalf of her movement.
Instead of framing the discussion around the eroding labor conditions of the average American worker, Ford’s inability to articulate her argument has allowed her and the movement to be framed as a compository of unmotivated and lazy individuals who are entitled.
Ford embodied the negative stereotypes of a Reddit moderator and a representative of the anti-work movement.
The consensus in the subreddit was that the interview went poorly.
Users have complained that the movement has been derailed because of Ford’s lack of preparation and media training.
Many users said that Ford was requested by Fox News to derail the movement and it worked. Users questioned why did Ford do an interview with an antagonistic media company in the first place? Especially seeing as the majority of the subreddit didn’t want to engage in media in the first place.
Most members expressed Ford does not represent them or the anti-work movement and should be banned from being a moderator.
The subreddit has distanced itself from Ford. And now a movement that represents a bunch of different ideas on how to improve working conditions, stop worker exploitation, and improve wages, has to redefine itself and finds the correct representation.
Like all movements finding the correct power dynamics that help the whole and not the individual is difficult. It’s why many of them die.
Figuring out the core of a movement’s ethos and how it wants to move forward is essential, that hard to do with a movement starting behind a screen.
It will be interesting to see how this subreddit evolves and defines itself as it figures out what kind of influence it wants to have in the future.
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