Criticism of Reddit
Reddit is the largest general purpose Internet discussion platform which consists of so-called subreddits that are communities of interest to specific topics.
This article documents criticism, incidents and scandals within Reddit.
Article under construction. Contributions are welcome.
On Reddit, subreddit moderators have significant leeway for abusive behaviour and tyranny.
Subreddit moderators can get away with unreasonable deletions, bannings and hostility against innocent users, and tend to neglect[note 1] user inquiries and critiques.
Abusive conduct also includes the enforcement of |hidden and unwritten policies, inconsistent enforcement of policies, and pessimism (highlighting a user's mistakes, even if marginal compared to positive contributions).
Moderators who have heavily abused their moderative powers include users Ani625 and DrinkMoreCodeMore.
The former is a long-term Reddit user from India who registered in October 2006, with over 4 million so-called karma points[note 2] as of 2020 and moderator of over 190 communities including /r/AskReddit, making him a so-called power moderator. As a very long-term user with millions of so-called karma points, he presumably is in direct contact with administrators, thus receives preferential treatment.
He repeatedly unpredictably deleted legitimate posts in an Apple criticism subreddit moderated by him, /r/AppleSucks.[note 3] Several users have reported their posts being deleted and having been banished from /r/AppleSucks, in the alternative subreddit /r/AppleHate, which is not moderated by him.
In one case, Ani625 re-posted a link to a video by Louis Rossman immediately after deleting the same link posted by another user hours earlier, shadowbanning said user, and then neglecting said user's moderator mail inquiry asking for a deletion explanation.
Said users account has been suspended shortly after for criticizing Ani625's behaviour inside /r/ReportTheBadModerator.
This behaviour suggests that many Reddit moderators are poor at handling criticism.
According to a user report, so-called power moderators on Reddit, those who hold a moderator position in hundreds of subreddits, conspire inside Discord servers against individual users (not just disruptive ones, but also legitimate users who exerted valid criticism) by running an automated script through their accounts to mass-banish said user from as many communities as possible, which is against the site-wide policies. However, any criticism of such behaviour gets encountered with the weaponized criticism-terminating buzz word “nazi”.
A tactic used by Reddit administration to usurp a subreddit is first exiling the moderators and then banning that subreddit for being unmoderated, which is a condition created deliberately.
On other sites in comparison, such as Voat.co and 'Poal.co, unmoderated subverses can continue to operate, and be claimed by an active poster in that community.
Comment editing scandal
In November 2016, Steve Huffman, the CEO of Reddit, whose user name is spez, has been caught editing critical user comments, using his buearocratic technical abilities on Reddit.
Although he has apologized afterwards and promised never to do put words into user's mouths again, trust in Reddit has permanently suffered.
Banning for harmless interactions
Since early 2020, users merely voting or commenting inside communities may be site-banned if the community is deemed to be serving the purpose of a previously banned community, even if the previous ban was not reasonable in first place.
While Reddit bans controversial subreddits in the name of being family friendly, subreddits containing pornography are being allowed.
Events and incidents
June 2020 ban wave
In June 2020, dozens of major communities on Reddit have been banished.
- A popular excuse of abusive moderators to evade criticism is claiming to have no time.
- Karma points are the scoring system used by Reddit. Each upvote to a post or comment increases the poster's karma score by one, while downvotes decrease it by one.
- For an alternative Apple criticism community with sane moderation, see /s/crApple on Poal.co.
User posts and comments
- /s/MeanwhileOnReddit – Community documenting and discussing recent happenings, news, incidents and history of Reddit.
- Criticism of Reddit by Eric Barbour
- Reddit June 2020 ban wave
- Downfall of Reddit – by Overlord gaming (2020-04-01): 35-minute video criticizing Reddit for inconsistent policy enforcements, poor transparency, leeway for moderative tyranny, aggressive censorship and hidden policies.
- Video: Downfall of Reddit – by Overlord gaming (2020-04-01): 35-minute video criticizing Reddit for inconsistent policy enforcements, poor transparency, leeway for moderative tyranny, aggressive censorship and hidden policies.
- Poal.co post: Instantly site-banned for criticizing subreddit moderator /u/ani625.
- Comment by Saidit.net user AnotherClosetAtheist: “Powermods run a Discord server enabled with a bot that runs a script to mass-ban users wherever that moderator is on a team, which could be as high as 1000 communities. This is against site-wide guidelines for moderators, but they argue that "the admins don't enforce it," and then reverse the blame, "well that user was a Nazi anyway, why are you defending Nazis?"”
- “Reddit’s CEO edited comments that criticized him” – TheVerge article from 2016-11-23.
- Big Tech War on Free Speech: Reddit Starts Banning Users For Their Upvotes - InformationLiberation
- Screenshot of Reddit user earning a three-day ban for upvoting.