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Reddit mods accused of censoring Snowden, Wikileaks and Bitcoin posts

More transparency needed at /r/ technology
Tue Apr 22 2014, 11:42

reddit-alienNEWS WEBSITE Reddit has downgraded the /r/ technology stream following reports of censorship.

A statement from Reddit administrators said that some users have been overzealous, and have exerted too much control over the thread and its content and broken it as a news source.

"A few days ago it came to the attention of some of the moderators of /r/technology that certain other moderators of the team who are no longer with us had, over the course of many months, implemented several Automoderator conditions that we, and a large portion of the community, found to be far too broad in scope for their purpose," said the statement.

There followed a list of keywords that fell victim to the hard lines of the departed Redditors, and Reddit said that posts with titles that included any of the keywords would have been removed.

The list included some high profile topics including National Security Agency, FBI, Snowden, Manning, Time Warner, US government, Bitcoin, Net neutrality, EU court ACLU, Condoleezza and cake day.

The list and the debate about it played out over a couple of days and in a post, Reddit's main moderators said that in some instances the technology thread and its management failed, and it added that Reddit had "messed up" and apologised.

"As many of you are aware the moderators of this subreddit have failed you. The lack of transparency in our moderation resulted in a system where submissions from a wide variety of topics were automatically deleted by /u/Automoderator. While the intent of this system was, to the extent of my knowledge, not malicious it ended up being a disaster. We messed up, and we are sorry," it wrote.

"The mods directly responsible for this system are no longer a part of the team and the new team is committed to maintaining a transparent style of moderation where the community and mods work together to make the subreddit the best that it can be. To that end we are beginning to roll out a number of reforms that will give the users of this subreddit the ability to keep their moderators honest."

Reddit promised more transparency, and said that the block list has been removed. Users seem unmoved by the promises, though, and have asked for more transparency. µ


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