Why Reddit is banning links from Reason.com


Reason.com links are not currently welcome at Reddit.

Reached by telephone, Reddit General Manager Erik Martin confirms the ban; he said "most of" the site's previously reported bans, which snagged domains like Atlantic.com and Businessweek.com, had been lifted. "Those bans were for a week or two at most," Martin said, noting that Reddit had been in touch with Reason and that "we still have more investigating to do."

Reddit bans sites "after a long period of coordinated spam activity from that domain, and often after admins contact the domain in question," Reddit user MrDubious, who seems to know a lot about the site's anti-spam activities, writes. "For a while, Reason.com spam reports were showing up daily."

On the phone, Reason.com Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie said Reddit is consistently one of Reason's "top 3 or 4 traffic referrers." Reddit, he said, "has been the site that puts stuff through the roof. When a piece goes big on Reddit it goes gigantic on Reason."

Gillespie said he'd been in touch with Martin and talked about what might have gotten his site marked as spam. "We had a couple of people, including myself, who would link to Reason stuff" when they thought they had something that would click with Redditors, he said. "We'd sent notes to people on staff saying, 'We just posted this; vote it up.' I told him that we will cease doing that."

Reddit's libertarian and politics sections are especially fertile ground for Reason pieces, Gillespie said. "We weren’t trying to rig the system or anything, we were just trying to get our stuff to an audience that would be interested in it."

Gillespie praised Reddit's libertarian base: It's "I hesitate to say it, one of the most attractive audiences; they're good looking, they smell clean."

Related: A journalist’s quick guide to Reddit, the next thing you have to learn

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com 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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