gawker writer adrian chen versus redditSo as it turns out, Gawker's Adrian Chen did not pretend to have cancer to prove that Reddit is sexist or unreasonably skeptical, as I claimed earlier today. Earlier this week Adrian tweeted that he was Lucidending, the guy who claimed to be dying of cancer on Reddit. He was joking. He also thinks Lucidending is a fraud:

A report by the Oregonian burst the Lucidending bubble on Monday. On Reddit, Lucidending claimed he would be taking a lethal dose of a medication through an IV in his arm. In reality, Oregon's Death with Dignity law only allows doctors to prescribe orally ingested medication to patients who want to end their own lives. In all probability, Lucidending was a troll.

So in order to prove his point, Chen "jokingly" claimed to be Lucidending. After all, what better way to prove Reddit's gender bias than to trick them into thinking that a prankster had epically trolled them posing as a dying male while Maya Gilsey, a girl who genuinely wanted to raise money for cancer research, was thoroughly investigated. Reddit took Chen's word for it when he claimed to be Lucidending and was understandably upset.

I don't understand how Reddit's skepticism regarding the girl who shaved her head for cancer charity is somehow more ignoble than Chen's own skepticism about Lucidending's story. Chen just happened to be right, in the end, which I guess makes him some sort of white knight.

Adrian had days to deny his "joke," but instead baited thousands of people who had every right to feel deeply hurt by his hoax. Instead he sat on the story until it reached critical mass on the web, then blew the doors off the whole thing with today's tell-all post for maximum traffic. I suppose I'm supposed to feel like there's egg on my face, but I did contact Chen twice to confirm whether his tweet was for real, and he declined to answer.

I guess I could have tweeted a retraction to my confession. But it seemed like they were having such a good time, and I didn't want to burst Reddit's bubble again.

Sure, dude. And we're all supposed to feel dumb for taking his word for it.

Adrian claims that it's all about sexism:

There are plenty of reasons for this differential, but chief among them is Reddit's female problem. The board, with it's ridiculous "Men's Rights" forum, often displays what one twitter user calls "loony anti-woman rage." Lucidending was a dude.

This reasoning is absurd. The structure of the site is designed to allow for thousands of forums on subjects as diverse as home brewing to uh, feminism. Saying that Reddit is sexist because it has a "Men's Right's" forum is like saying the internet is sexist because this guy exists (an argument for another day). The differential Adrian ignores is the money. The chick asked for cash, the dude didn't. Shouldn't anyone raise an eyebrow when a stranger asks them for money? On the internet? Chen completely glosses over this distinction because without the sexism angle his argument falls apart.

TL;DR: Area bro criticizes community's skepticism and then makes fun when community accepts his words as truth.