Reddit Exodus - The Word Cloud Tarot Show - 19 Jun 2023

This week everyone has been leaving #reddit in the latest wave of the #digital #migration. does a 5 minute #tarot reading to find out what’s up with the #redditExodus, and finds it’s about the tension between capital and moderation.

Past - 5 Of Wands, Strife

5 - Wands - Strife

Reddit has strife and conflict.

In an advertising supported website, The owners need quarrels and revulsion and sex and violence and hostility in order to keep users online and show them adverts. There’s an inherent tension between the needs of the Users and the needs of Capital.

And now there is an uprising, a challenge, the users striking to defend their forums against the admins. The users are at battle with the owners, Trying to put pressure on the admins to concede.

Hidden Influence - 5 Of Pentacles, Worry

5 - Pentacles - Worry

This card describes the moderators who are the backbone of Reddit. employees without income who do the hopeless and wretched job of curating the site. They see the stagnant bleakness and the alienation, and yet turn up to turf out the trouble-makers and keep the conversation flowing.

They take the strain of running the community, and get little but sorrow in return.

External Influence - 8 Of Pentacles, Prudence

8 - Pentacles - Prudence

The main external pressure on the site is of course money, and the debt taken on to build the site, the frugal requirement to consolidate the finances and make the owner’s investment into gold.

The website needs money.

Even if that means the moderating tools must suck.

Present - 3 Of Trumps, Empress

3 - Trump - Empress

So lots of people are leaving for the alternative, Lemmy and KBin, the whole innovative plethora of diverse and ingenious systems that make up the Fediverse.

There are new and inspiring ways to organize ownership and potential in the network.

There’s also the achievement of the richness of responses, turning forums into shrines to Jon Oliver, or shutting down the existing forums. Great creative protests everyone.

Reddit’s users are rebelling, and many are leaving for their own little empires on the networks that nobody can own.

Outcome - 14 Of Pentacles, King

14 - Pentacles - King

The outcome though, at Reddit at least, will be that the King will reign. The financial and corporate side must win because they are fundamental to the conservative and corporate nature of the institution.

It is Reddit’s website, and they can ruin it for money if they want to. Indeed, they actually must do so, that is the enduring and effective truth of a reputable advertiser-dependable network in a capitalist economy


All online discussion places are places of conflict and strife, but if given ownership, the moderators can bring a peace to make it worthwhile.

Sadly, the economic really is that the moderators do not own Reddit, the capital does, and they demand a return, which is against the moderators interest.

Some are leaving to start their own empires, run by the mods for the mods on federated open-source software. Which is good, because on Reddit itself, indeed in all capital-owned advertiser-friendly enterprise, the money is king and the users and moderators do not own their own space.

We at Wordcloud Tarot do own our own space, you’ll find us on Peertube and the Fediverse, and our own website, though also mirrored on these capital owned enshitified hell-sites:

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