I'm sure a lot of you all noticed this weekend that the admin of reddit went on a banning rampage, shadow banning tons of accounts and shutting down a huge number of subreddits related to the "niggers" subreddit.
I have contacted the reddit admin for clarification of what the rules moderators need to enforce to ensure we are in good standing. I'm sure nobody here is surprised when I say the admin were not forthcoming with any useful information, leaving a glaring loophole in their policies that allow a direct banhammer target on any group they dislike.
I messaged the admins:
Can you give me a definitive list of guidelines for moderating subs that can protect our users from potential shadowbans and protect us from possibly breaking the rules?
To which I got a curt and useless response:
Don't break site rules. That's a pretty definitive list.
The site rules are here: http://www.reddit.com/rules/
A brief look over the rules are, don't spam, no personal information, no child porn, don't break the site.. and finally, this overly broad and impossible to understand rule:
- Don't ask for votes or engage in vote manipulation.
I was, of course, looking for specifics on this, so I responded to the admin with follow up questions, which have been unanswered as of this posting.
The main problem here is how much room they leave open for interpretation. We do not "manipulate" votes, nor encourage vote brigading- which is why we have instituted the "no participation" rules. But there are problems:
- No-participation is entirely voluntary and was made-up by redditors, not officially endorsed by reddit admin.
- No-participation does not guarantee that admin will see our posts as non-brigading.
- The nature of reddit is participation across multiple subs. At what point does user participation across multiple subs become "manipulation" and how responsible will we be held for the individuals' actions?
- If individuals decide to vote or comment in threads because they're linked here- or in spite of the link here, will our sub be held accountable for their actions?
- Can the admin actually discern between participation and brigading? Is there a discrete difference?
It is clear that if this behavior was not desired, the staff at reddit would put an official stance together and potentially program limitations into the software to stop brigading from happening. But they haven't. There is no way to tell if you're brigading or participating. There is literally no difference. And the admin know that. This is how they maintain the prerogative to ban any sub they disagree with.
Making inconsistent rules that cannot be followed, or no rules at all, to ensure that everybody is breaking them but only the ones they hate will be removed.
If linking to other posts was discouraged, /r/bestof would be taken down.
If brigading other threads was discouraged, SRS network would be taken down.
If participation in other subs was discouraged, the software would not have vote and reply buttons.
There you have it folks, no guidelines, no rules, just a precarious line to walk of not breaking "our rules." Whatever they may be.
Of course the moderators of multiple subreddits have already taken action - including our sub- of making rules like "you must use NP links" or off-sub linking is entirely against the rules. These are desperate pleas to be seen in a good light by the admin, since they are there to appease them without any real knowledge if that's what they want, if that will help, or if the impending bans are coming no matter what we do. We are as mere mortals attempting to appease the gods.
It's obvious that moderators such as myself are set up for failure, how could I possibly enforce the rules of "don't leave our sub and comment elsewhere" when it is specifically that behavior we have no control over? To give us the requirement to enforce rules we cannot enforce is telling, sheds light on the clear practices of the admin on this site. Unless, of course, we don't have to enforce that. But you see, I have no goddamned clue.
To the reddit staff, if you manage to stumble across this post, I implore you to clarify. My guess is that you won't seeing as you've been largely silent up until now. At this point, we can only assume your tolerance of some subs and not of others shows your intention of controlling the message and is implicitly endorsing some views while attempting to silence others. If I'm wrong, please let me know.
In the mean time: my advice to the subscribers of /r/theredpill.
- Do not participate on any thread that is off our sub. Do not downvote, do not upvote. You will be shadowbanned, maybe. Get a new account for going elsewhere.
We cannot enforce this, but as a tip, I recommend it. Become mere observers.
EDIT If things ever do go south, I will post announcements on http://www.feministvictims.com