The Big Reddit Quarantine Begins

Since new CEO Steve Huffman took the reins at reddit, its community has been bracing itself for a promised purge of the site’s “dark side”, where users engage in discussion and activity related to, let’s say, ‘taboo’ subjects. And so, it has begun, but in a far more humane manner than was anticipated. Rather than ban the edgier subreddits, they have instead been ‘quarantined’; effectively, groups such as /r/gore, /r/CuteFemaleCorpses, and /r/SpaceDicks are now locked away as subscription entities.

So, what does that mean? We’ll let reddit itself explain:

Reddit’s content policy update was implemented two weeks ago with the censoring of a handful of violence-inciting racist groups. The policy has been increasing in magnitude over the last two weeks, and is set to continue indefinitely.

The quarantined subreddits will continue to exist, but reddit will essentially pretend that they don’t, so that new users don’t accidentally stumble upon them.

Quelle surprise, some users are not happy:

While others are happy to compromise:

While most of reddit’s “dark side” has been sent to the naughty step, there are a handful of truly offensive subreddits that have been ejected from the premises entirely. The hateful subreddits /r/GasTheKikes and /r/KillingWomen – amongst a number of other aggressively racist, misogynistic, and homophobic groups – are now subject to outright bans.

Thank you NMR for providing us with this information.

Subreddit Wants to Make a Random Person a Millionaire

A novel reddit group wants to make a randomly chosen subscriber a millionaire. The subreddit, r/millionairemakers, asks members to agree to donate a dollar each to form a prize pot, with the winner randomly drawn from a lot of all entrants.

The subreddit has made previous attempts to raise and award a million dollars to a redditor, but after eight tries, the highest prize pot accrued was $11,400. The hope is that its popularity – and its egalitarian approach, with no one but the draw winner taking any money – will soar to the point that it can offer prizes closer to seven-figure sums.

To enter, simply post a comment in the latest prize draw thread, by which you will be agreeing to donate a dollar to the winner; effectively, an entry fee. Only users with accounts older than 30 days, and with a history of activity, are eligible. Draws take place every third Friday of the month. at 06:30 EST.

“Remember, this is about generosity, about making history, and about coming together to make someone’s life better,” reads an admin post on MillionaireMakers. “So take 3 minutes to donate a bit to the winner, whether you’re well off and want to donate a few bucks, or going through tough times and can only donate a few cents. Every cent counts.”

The latest MillionaireMakers draw thread can be found here.

Thank you Business Insider for providing us with this information.

Former reddit CEO Prepares Users For the Great Purge

Following new CEO Steve Huffman’s announcement that reddit is to implement a cull of the social news site’s “dark side”, a former Chief Executive has warned that it will be a systematic “purge”. Yishan Wong, who ran reddit between 2012 and 2014, has decided to “declassify a lot of things” now that he’s free of his “executive privilege,” giving us a glimpse behind reddit’s curtain in the process.

In a post on reddit, Wong wrote:

“The free speech policy was something I formalized because it seemed like the wiser course at the time. It’s worth stating that in that era, we were talking about whether it was ok for people to post creepy pictures of women taken legally in public. That’s s***ty, but it’s a far cry from the extremes of hate that some parts of the site host today. It seemed that allowing creepers to post (anonymized) pictures of women taken in public, in a relatively small subreddit that never showed up on the front page, was a small price to pay for making it clear that we were a place welcoming of all opinions and discourse.

Having made that decision – much of reddit’s current condition is on me. I didn’t anticipate what (some) redditors would decide to do with freedom. reddit has become a lot bigger – yes, a lot better – AND a lot worse. I have to take responsibility.”

Wong accepts his share of the blame for some of the seedier sides of reddit, noting his discovery of r/creepshots as a pivotal moment. He says that he decided not to censor the subreddit, which revolved around “creepy pictures of women,” since it was a “relatively small subreddit that never showed up on the front page.” Wong decided that allowing it to exist was “a small price to pay for making it clear that we were a place welcoming of all opinions and discourse.”

Wong also dispelled the myth that recently deposed CEO Ellen Pao was in favour of large-scale censorship. According to Wong, Pao “upholds free speech and tolerates the ugly side of humanity because it is so important,” and only sanctioned the banning of r/fatpeoplehate because it incited “off-site harassment, not discussing fat-shaming.”

Wong added:

“What all the white-power racist-sexist neckbeards don’t understand is that with her at the head of the company, the company would be immune to accusations of promoting sexism and racism: she is literally Silicon Valley’s #1 Feminist Hero, so any “SJWs” would have a hard time attacking the company for intentionally creating a bastion (heh) of sexist/racist content.”

The users of reddit have made their own bed, thinks Wong, and not before time. “We tried to let you govern yourselves and you failed, so now The Man is going to set some Rules,” he says. “Admittedly, I can’t say I’m terribly upset.”

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Reddit to Start Cull of “Dark Side” Communities

Steve Huffman, the new CEO of reddit following the resignation of maligned former chief executive Ellen Pao, has announced that, under his watch, the news and social networking site will begin exorcising any subreddits that support or promote offensive and obscene content.

Huffman, a returning co-founder of reddit, said that he helped create the site not “to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen.”

Pao was forced out of her position as CEO of reddit following an online petition that attracted 213,000 signatures. She was blamed for the firing of Victoria Taylor, reddit’s former Director of Talent. However, after Pao’s departure, it was revealed that co-founder Alexis Ohanian was the person responsible for Taylor’s dismissal. Pao was also considered to be leading reddit into “new age of censorship,” which again turned out to be not entirely true, with a statement from former reddit executive Yishan Wong revealing, “On at least two separate occasions, the board pressed [Ms Pao] to outright ban all the hate subreddits in a sweeping purge. She resisted.”

“She probably would have tolerated your existence so long as you didn’t cause any problems. I know that her long-term strategies were to find ways to surface and publicise Reddit’s good parts – allowing the bad parts to exist but keeping them out of the spotlight,” Wong added.

Now, Huffman has outlined plans to develop a “comprehensive content policy” to control the more distasteful parts of reddit. “The overwhelming majority of content on Reddit comes from wonderful, creative, funny, smart, and silly communities. That is what makes Reddit great,” he wrote.

“There is also a dark side, communities whose purpose is reprehensible, and we don’t have any obligation to support them. And we also believe that some communities currently on the platform should not be here at all.”

“We as a community need to decide together what our values are. To that end, I’ll be hosting an AMA [Ask Me Anything session] on Thursday.”

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Slight Chaos Within Reddit Inner Circles Following Staff Departure

Reddit is an immensely popular social media site that one has to handle with care, it is very easy to get addicted and spend hours on end on the site. There is however some trouble steering from within after the sudden departure of a significant staff member.

Victoria Taylor was Reddit’s director of talent, and she has now been dismissed from the company. In response to this, moderators are setting subreddits to private, including /r/Books, /r/Science, /r/Music and /r/Tech. These are all currently blocked from access.

Victoria Taylor was the coordinator of Reddit’s popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) where many celebrities already took part and hosted question and answer sessions. The reasons behind the departure are currently unknown as both Reddit and Taylor are keeping a tight lit on the situation and aren’t commenting on the matter.

“We have not gone private because our team has chosen to keep the subreddit open for our readers, but instead stating our disapproval of how events have been handled currently as well as the past,” a statement said on the Science subreddit.

There were several AMAs scheduled that all have been put on hold or cancelled now due to the subreddits all being private. Co-founder and executive chairman Alexis Ohanian told Reddit that he would be dealing with AMA requests for now and that the AMAs would continue to thrive even after Victoria Taylor’s departure.

Thank You TechRadar for providing us with this information

Reddit Launches New Harassment Rules

Reddit is banning a handful of its worst communities. “Our goal is to enable as many people as possible to have authentic conversations and share ideas and content on an open platform,” “We want as little involvement as possible in managing these interactions but will be involved when needed to protect privacy and free expression, and to prevent harassment.”

One of the bans will include the only subreddit with more than 5,000 subscribers — is r/fatpeoplehate, a forum devoted to posting pictures of overweight people for ridicule. Also, four more subreddits have been names.as r/

  1. r/hamplanethatred
  2.  r/transfags
  3. r/neofag
  4.  r/shitniggerssay

They’ve all now been shut down, with a message stating:  “for violating the Reddit rules to keep everyone safe.” According to reddit these last four ranged from 149 to 3071 subscribers, although in r/fatpeoplehate’s case, “more than 5,000” is a bit of an understatement; the last Reddit metrics (and a Google cached page) put it at around 151,000 subscribers.

The changes have been made by Reddit this morning, there is approx 650,000 subreddits on the website, each one requires moderating and looking after. Over the past few years, Reddit has restricted the anything goes rule, to exclude sexual photos of minors, leaks of celeb nudes and more.

Deciding on what is banned and what is not could be a difficult problem for Reddit, especially because it’s hard to agree what harassment is actually constituted of.

Thank you to TheVerge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Reddit

Reddit Launches Their Own CrowdFunding Service

Redditmade, a new crowd funding website from Reddit is finally here! Taking inspiration from sites like Kickstarter, the new service was designed primarily to give support to Subreddits, giving them an easy way to offer official merchandise for their respective communities.

In a similar fashion to Kickstarter, each campaign has a limit of 30 days. If the funding goal isn’t met, then no money is exchanged and the campaign ends.

If the campaign is successful, then Reddit will help project creators almost every step of the way. They’ll help with finding quality manufacturing partners, campaign promotion and those that do particularly well will even get free ads on Reddit. Campaign creators can also donate profits from their project to a charity of their choice.

Campaigns are already sparking into life, with T-shirts, headphones, stickers and more filling up the ranks. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find some /r/PCMasterRace attire.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechSpot.

Reddit Launches its Live-Blogging Platform, Reddit Live

Reddit has officially launched its own live-blogging platform by the named of Reddit Live. The platform was previously in ‘open beta’ for a few months, having covered Twitch Plays Pokemon and the conflict in Ukraine up until now.

It is said that only Reddit employees were able to create live streams and authorize trusted users to contribute to them during its beta stage. However, now anyone can user Reddit Live and submit their own threads to a dedicated subreddit. Compared to normal Reddit posts, these Live posts are said to automatically update in your browser in real-time. The Reddit Live feeds are said to feature embedded support for tweets, which can eventually host images, YouTube videos and article links.

While Reddit is not a traditional publisher, the new addition could become the default platform for user-credited live blogs. The Reddit platform has proven to be an effective crowdsource of online information, but with some difficulties since April 2013 when the website received some harsh reactions to the Boston Marathon bombings. Reddit should be careful in future endeavors if it wants its latest Live platform to steer away from such incidents in the future.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TheNextWeb

Reddit’s Technology Community Takes A Beating

Reddit is a huge community made up of thousands upon thousands of subreddits, and given that the website often claims the (self-given) title of being “the front page of the internet”, drawing around 110 million unique visits last month alone. So when something rocks that community, it can make a pretty big wave for its users and those who rely on those communities as a source of traffic and / or as a source of entertainment.

Out of the default subreddits there are but a few dozen default subreddits, this honour is bestowed on the best and most popular sections of the site, meaning that you’re automatically subscribed when you open a new account, or that the content from that sub is shown in the front page news feed for users who are not logged in, casual visitors if you will. However, due to recent actions of the moderators, Reddit.com have stepped in and removed /r/technology from the list of default subreddits. A similar action was taken against /r/politics a while back and visitor figures plummeted and any sites linked there also saw a big reduction in traffic, so this is a pretty big deal given that /r/technology is one of the most popular subs around.

Some of the moderators of the sub were using software to filter our keywords and remove stories, a common thing on many websites and especially on Reddit, but it’s the lack of transparency on the matter that raised some eyebrows. The AutoModerator bot was culling any content that contained the words anti-piracy, SOPA, NSA, Snowden, Bitcoin, CEO and more, meaning huge amounts of content were being filtered away, despite the obvious technology related nature of the topics.

“The mods directly responsible for this system are no longer part of the team and the new team is committed to maintaining a transparent style of moderation.” said Pharnaces_II, one of the subs community moderators.

“If you (/r/technology) can manage to look past your petty squabbles, add new moderators (there needs to be a significant increase in active mods), and function as a team we might consider adding you back.” added Reddit in relation to the banning.

The tool has been tweaked, the configuration page has been made publicly viewable and most of the moderators have been given the boot, with the ones remaining posting “We messed up, and we are sorry”. Unfortunately the whole situation seems too little too late and the community has been dealt a massive blow by the owners of Reddit. It’s going to take a lot of effort to repair.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.