Reddit politics site bans Gawker links

New Statesman | Betabeat | The Awl

Moderators on Reddit's highly trafficked politics site r/politics have banned links from Gawker Media properties. Gawker journalist Adrian Chen is reportedly planning to expose the identity of a Reddit moderator named violentacrez who organized Reddit pages "dedicated to, respectively, sexualised pictures of under-18s and sexualised pictures of women – frequently also under-age – taken in public without their knowledge or consent," Alex Hern writes.

"Reddit's attitude to free speech is a complex one," Hern writes:

The ability of any redditor to create any subreddit they want, without the site's administration getting involved, is fiercely protected by the community, and that has led to subreddits focused on topics ranging from marijuana use and My-Little-Pony-themed pornography to beating women (also moderated by violentacrez) and, until yesterday, creepshots.

On r/politics, the moderators write Chen's pursuit of violentacrez's personal information "is completely intolerable."

We volunteer our time on Reddit to make it a better place for the users, and should not be harassed and threatened for that. We should all be afraid of the threat of having our personal information investigated and spread around the internet if someone disagrees with you. Reddit prides itself on having a subreddit for everything, and no matter how much anyone may disapprove of what another user subscribes to, that is never a reason to threaten them.

“Moderators are free to moderate their subreddits as they see fit,” Reddit GM Erik Martin wrote in an email to Betabeat reporter Jessica Roy. “They can ban all usernames that start with the letter g if they want.”

Roy has a good primer on the "bad blood between Gawker and Reddit."

Choire Sicha compiles a guide to Internet privacy for Redditors who may feel society should not attempt to "take reddit outside of reddit," as one user puts it. One example:

Are you on a website, message board, network or other web-based purveyor of images and words? You are on the Internet, which is in public. Everything you type there can be found, through the magic of "having eyeballs" and "scrolling fingers." And it can be assembled.

Related: A journalist’s quick guide to Reddit, the next thing you have to learn | With Reddit chat, Obama goes around press directly to voters | Why Reddit is banning links from

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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