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Sounds reasonable to me. Reddit is not and never was a democracy; at best it’s a benevolent dictatorship - just like every other social media platform.

It costs nothing to start a new subreddit if you want different rules. And if lots of Redditors agree with you, they’ll happily follow you.




> benevolent dictatorship

Regardless, it's still frustrating. Especially when they cannot tell you which "rule" you broke, so they resort to telling you they can use their discretion to ban you for any reason (which is usually some sort of agenda that becomes apparent after you've tried to have a civil discussion about why you were banned). It's what drove me away from that platform, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, so I guess not telling users also prevents future issues, in a way.


In my experience, what often happens is that telling them the reason often results in a repeat of the same behavior, but modified only minimally in an attempt to avoid violating the letter of the rules, but not necessarily the spirit of them. This leads to a constant back and forth and is exhausting to the community and moderators.

Sometimes you just have to show boorish guests the door.


Well, you sorta posted this on a submission about a paper that indicates the opposite; telling people why something was removed leads to less content being removed and other issues, so I think that might be more of a perceptual bias rather than reality.


Good point. :)


Then you've encountered much nicer mods than I have. My initial questions into my banning were more often than not met by a boorish mod hurling insults, even though I always kept it civil. There's plenty of subreddits putting this type of bad mod behavior on display, so I know I wasn't the only one. In fact, bad mods were so prevalent when I left, it was a daily running joke in a lot of communities.


Write a bot that has the max power, run it on a cloud server, let it change its own password and have its own paypal account so no one can turn it off, just requires donations to keep running.

Let it run on a set of rules, and count votes to change rules. Now you have DemocracyBot


You have sort of reinvented Nomic. I've not seen it applied to moderation before, but it'd definitely be interesting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomic


Bitcoin, would be easy to get a paypal account shut down.


Makes me chuckle. Democrats most times are against "at-will" situations, except when it benefits them.

(Just like every other group: self-serving.)


It's not about democracy or ideology at all. If we have the ability to design a better place for people to share ideas and discuss what's on their mind, we ought to make it as good as we can. One of the strengths of Reddit's "subreddit stewardship design" is how it allows the site to scale while still having people take ownership of each subreddit, allowing them to give it a more personal touch and better able to respond to specific community needs.

One of the weaknesses of this is how, at least on some subs, mods are able to censor discussion largely unnoticed, without being held accountable to the community. See r/declineintocensorship, r/watchredditdie, and r/yallcantbehave for several examples of egotistical mods overextending their role with no real benefit to the community.

I can't help but think that there's a way to hold mods more accountable to their communities. For example, if the modded comment wasn't spam, it could say "this post was removed for breaking rule x which states y. Click here to see the comment," with the mod's username attached.

I would also like to see statistics on removed posts, where a subreddit gets some sort of penalty for censoring too much, such as not appearing on /r/all, or becoming downweighted in some way.


> It costs nothing to start a new subreddit if you want different rules. And if lots of Redditors agree with you, they’ll happily follow you.

Which certainly doesn't violate any laws.

The unintended consequence, however, is more isolation and less engagement with ideas you don't already subscribe to or people you don't normally encounter.

This is not a Reddit specific problem of course, it applies to Twitter and Facebook or any other social media platform. But it's concerning and difficult to find any easy and obvious solutions.




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