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Removed as moderator of /r/Celebrities after over 14 years (reddit.com)
219 points by graeme 10 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 166 comments

It's interesting seeing this situation play out across different subreddits. There seems to be 2 kinds of subreddits - the "category" kind (simple, descriptive name) and the "community" kind (have a defined purpose, could exist under a whole range of names)

The moderators of all of them see themselves as somehow owning the community, but I think that's less clear to the users. To most users, r/Celebrities is a category of posts about celebrities. They don't really care who moderates it. It's a similar situation for things like region/city specific subreddits. The users don't really care about the culture, they just want someone to delete the spam. When the moderators start shutting it down, or threatening to move the community elsewhere, the users mostly end up thinking "who elected you anyway?"

The community subreddits are different - they often have a much more defined culture and purpose. Those are the ones which, if the moderators give up, will die. It seems like Reddit is betting that most subreddits are the category kind - and they're probably right. But the community subreddits are likely to be lost.

reddit has some of the worst mods I’ve ever seen in any capacity. And they’re frequently in control of massive subreddits.

I remember when hate speech was just discovered as a reason to ban people, and mods of major subreddits would find ways to use that either out of protest or complete incompetence to ban people. For example, banning users for disagreeing with a controversial decision because “I hate your take, thus it is hate speech.”

Or the constant other entitled drama like when a soccer subreddit started mass banning people discussing a major game because his team lost.

There’s also just constant nuking of entire threads and locking them with no reason other than a blanket accusatory pinned comment about how “everybody” can’t behave. Nothing better than opening a thread about a picture they took of their dog only to find thousands of deleted comments and a temper tantrum post from some mod. Or multiple pinned spam posts from mods advertising junk in like a 5000 character copy paste spam in every post that just adds to the useless scrolling you have to do to see legitimate content.

I was banned from /r/police for mentioning Philip Brailsford, a cop and murderer that gets a lifetime disability pension for PTSD from executing someone on their knees in a local hotel’s hallway.

I guess they probably hated my speech.

I was suspended from Reddit in its entirety because I said I wouldn't be offended if someone called me gay. I am not sure why think they I need to be offended by it. It does not seem like something to be ashamed of? But no big loss.

I'm sure they think they're being progressive. I was banned from /r/publicfreakout for mentioning racial inequality issues in the US in a video that starred a person of color. What's funny is that my comment was meant to spur progressive communication about the struggle for people of color. My comment on the video was highly upvoted and generated a ton of level-headed discussion about racial inequality. The mods, however, cited racism and banned me. I'm sure pretending like the issues don't exist is extremely productive for change.

Mods are arbitrary at the best of times, but in my case it came from an admin, banning me from the whole site. That seemed unusual. Particularly for something that seems so innocuous. The mods of the subreddit saw no reason to ban me.

I also made some silly quips about spez in the same timeframe. It is possible he was salty about it and arbitrarily chose a comment to reference in the banning, not being the true reason. It certainly would not be out of character.

People complain about the mods but theyre nothing compared to the admins...

Theres serious issues that far exceed those or the mods, not least of which being that they are even more prone to abuse of power without Any oversight of substance.

If you have a problem with an admin who banned you, your only recourse is to violate the TOS to make an alt to complain in a post in a sub where they will then immediately ban that alt account and remove the post "due to ban evasion"...

This is a core critical problem. I suspect reddit has significant automated processes on top of this.

In my original comment I mention mods banning for hate speech in an abusive / ironic manner (so nobody is truly worried for their safety for example).

I think reddit used to automatically forwards reports for this category for admin review probably due to a legal requirement. Due to the mass quantity of reports vs staff, I suspect they automatically flag mod reports as credible. As such they have automatic admin superbans.

Admin reviewed bans are a higher level of ban and super bans and use every possible privacy exploit to go far beyond basic account or cache banning. It’s far beyond even IP banning.

These seem to be intended for truly extreme, severe, violent actions such as credible acts of immediate impending mass violence, coordinating true terror, promoting actual adult offensive exploitive content, etc.

Instead, they map hate speech and some other serious reports to this category. Technically, it sounds like it makes sense on paper, but this is abused so heavily that essentially meme reports are nearly sending automatic SWAT raids to people’s homes.

I’m guessing these are only summarized in a broad category to staff as “Mod reported + Admin reviewed. User banned for performing or conspiring terrorism / active police verified death threats / extreme exploitative adult content / active police verified mass murder / hate speech”

That last one technically fitting the rest if it’s used correctly (or at least one could argue) but as a chain of OR listed reasons, someone who was ironically banned because the mod “hated that they disagreed with the mod’s decision to ban scumbag steve memes from the meme subreddit” is suddenly flagged in the same category of true terrorists, as if Bin Laden himself had his own subreddit and was posting live content of his active mass public attack.

This is one reason they want people to download their app. Any association such as unique app combinations installed or other accounts (including non-reddit accounts) can be linked to a user even when they opt out of traditional tracking. They can then sell this data or use it in a magnitude of ways.

This is a specific core problem I’ve been tracking but this is a general template example of many of Reddit’s problems I’ve strongly disagreed with that go beyond general debatable business choices or general preferences.

/r/publicfreakout is the opposite of progressive - the mods barely bother to disguise their posture in order to avoid the admin banhammer - the sub was amenable to a lot "race-realism" comments a few years back until there was a wave of bans that left the sub unscathed. I'm not surprised that you were banned for such a comment.

It's so weird what gets you banned. I'm a bit shocked by the gay thing though. In my experience they get weirdly defensive of big oppressive institutions. I got banned for a comment railing against the medical community. I don't recall exactly, but it wasn't really that bad.

HackerNews is no better. I've gotten feedback for calling out SV and the nation of Germany... I guess I could have been more "constructive", but what you find is these things are applied selectively.

I don't really agree that you need to be constructive when talking about big institutions; arguably this isn't even a good idea. There's no need to use kid gloves with bigoted nations or billionaires.

> I'm a bit shocked by the gay thing though.

Yeah. Of all the comments I have made, I least expected it to be that one. As it was a complete Reddit ban, not just a subreddit ban, it is possible that it was just Huffman doing his usual round of trolling and not really about the comment at all. I had participated in a discussion about the API changes earlier the same day said comment was made, so I was "on the radar".

Either way it was pretty funny.

I was banned at r/beer because I critize Bud Light marketing, also the mod told me he did not like my Reddit Avatar.

>ciriticize bud light marketing

Lol Yeah, I'm sure THAT'S what you were banned for. What particular aspect of their marketing did you take issue with? Maybe you let slip some of your obvious-to-everyone prejudice in your "criticism".

To be fair, their advertising was objectively bad. As can be seen by the results.

And I doubt that mulvany was the issue. People don’t want politics in their beer. I guarantee you that both a pro-choice and an anti-abortion marketing campaign would have negative effects on their sales.

Are the results due to the "quality" of the advertising or the campaign of rabid hate directed towards the lgbt that one of our two parties is concertedly fostering??

>both a pro-choice and an anti-abortion marketing campaign would have negative effects on their sales

Ok? I wasn't commenting on the efficacy of various political themed advertising campaigns, I was challenging the notion that benign lamentation of advertisement quality was what got him banned.

If I had to put money on it I'd put a 3-4 digit sum on what that guy actually got banned for. And it rhymes with ransphobia. Anyone who cares that much about an ad only cares about that ad for one reason. And I'd bet his phobia leaked out in his totally benign criticisms.

The results were due to the fact that people generally crack a beer open to relax and get away from the constant bombardment of politics and the other stresses in their life.

I don’t drink bud anyways since I don’t enjoy the taste of vodka spiked urine, but if my drink of choice started making their opinions on abortion known I’d stop drinking it too.

Make product. Sell product. I buy product. Fin.

The point politics enters the equation, I exit. I’m already so incredibly exhausted from hearing trump this Biden that hunter this Zelenskyy that day in day out.

I was a mod on a couple of subreddits that have more than a million subscribers. It's a thankless task. Most mods I've interacted with are absolutely fantastic, spending their free time volunteering for the community and genuinely making the community better. Filtering out spam, harassment is a daily, endless task. The only time people talk about the moderators is when something goes wrong.

The main reason I stopped doing it is because it was just too much work and having the community mainly shit on you doesn't make it more enticing to continue. Everyone assumes the worst about you, how you're somehow in it for the wrong reasons, when for 99% of mods I've interacted with that definitely wasn't the case.

Makes sense, though. There isn't much incentive to be a mod on a massive subreddit. The users don't care about you. Reddit doesn't care about you. About all you get in return is some laughs when you strike the ban hammer, which doesn't incentivize good faith moderating.

There's a lot more intangible incentives than you'd think. For example, general clout, influence peddling, an outlet for low power people to experience power, etc.. Many people don't care about those types of incentives, but there are some who do.

> For example, general clout, influence peddling, an outlet for low power people to experience power, etc.

Does that meaningfully differ from "some laughs when you strike the ban hammer"? One may not physically laugh out loud, but no doubt the appeal of which you speak stems from pleasurable emotions that stem from the entertainment in experiencing those things.

It is understandable why some people would be drawn to those incentives, but I am not sure those incentives align with good faith participation. Power and influence is best experienced when used in bad faith. When only used in good faith, one will not even recognize that they have it.

In the old owner/operator forum days there were other incentives to be a good faith mod. Financial gain being one possible incentive. But in the case of Reddit, they take all of those parts for themselves, leaving just the scraps for any would-be mods. As such, the earlier "reddit has some of the worst mods I’ve ever seen in any capacity" assertion is not surprising. There is nothing to attract "good" mods.

Yes. For example, I was a mod on a larger tech related subreddit (trying to keep it generic) that was a critical part of my tech stack and daily work at the time. The mods above me would regularly promote their POV on certain topics and do various things to demote/remove the things that they disagreed with. In this way, the community artificially seemed to be more in favor of particular directions on certain topics.

Did this have any material impact? I don't know. But its an example where a set of random people can at least try to leverage their position for more than just "some laughs". Its one example of what I mean about "influence peddling".

Perhaps I am missing some nuance, but that still seems like "some laughs" and, more importantly, not done in good faith. I get that they weren't audibly laughing, but it seems they were stroking some kind of emotional pleasure centre, choosing bad faith to feel it.

I can't really speak for the motivations of those people, but I don't consider potential direct financial gain to be "some laughs".

The words we typically use are "malfeasance," "corruption," and "conflict of interest."

I was just thinking about this today. This is how we can measure how exceptionally bad spez's handling has been: people are sympathizing with Reddit mods. Reddit mods have been almost universally despised for as long as I can remember.

The r/Australia mods are awful

I bet a lot of r/SomeCountry subreddits are cesspits of bad moderation and/or nationalism and other *isms.

I hate to use this word, but the entire subreddit is juvenile.

Try making a comment that maybe all Boomers arnt property owning rent seeking monsters…

Or having a nuanced debate around how renting out your property on AirBNB doesn’t make you responsible for the destruction of society…

The entire sub is overrun by zealots with an overly simplistic view of the world.

Still, they are doing news.com a massive favour by seemingly giving them endless material to reuse without credit!

Being banned from Reddit in 2023 is a blessing.

I still hang out on Aussie forums, notably OCAU which is still going strong!

I got banned from r/SanFrancisco for inciting violence asking why Chase Center attendees get tranquilized while aggressive people in the streets of the city don't.

Yeah! That locking threads feature is almost most of the times. Especially that auto lock after 6 months.

+that long a$$ auto mod pinned comment is also annoying to scroll

>The users don't really care about the culture, they just want someone to delete the spam

for larger subs, I think users underestimate how much trouble it is to do that job. And Reddit hasn't made it easier for mods to do that. On the contrary, this move will make it more time consuming to delete spam.

It's also misunderstanding of what culture/spam really is. Outside of the actual automated link spam which is obvious, it's an extremely fuzzy area with very subjective rules. What you delete as spam defines the culture.

/r/conservative is a shining example of moderators defining the culture of their subreddit by deleting comments and posts with an extremely heavy hand.

What one person defines as curating for culture, another person defines as oppressive censorship. Subjective of course, how much freedom do you want in a big sub vs some niche sub, etc.

Getting rid of mods like the one linked in this post is a net positive for Reddit imo. His plan was to disable the subreddit for 6 weeks while working on a bot? What? Reddit can just take over.

Mods like this are awful - way too much power has gone to their head just because they happened to be the first to create some subreddit.

> Reddit can just take over.

Can it? How many people with moderation experience can they find right now who can take over the larger subreddits? How many will be ok with doing it for free in this situation?

We'll see how well will the reopened communities work given the loss of the good mod tools.

> How many people with moderation experience can they find right now who can take over the larger subreddits?

There are a bunch of companies in low-cost-of-living countries who provide moderation services out of call-centre-like facilities. They also provide ML human labelling services.

They won't be providing thoughtful, nuanced guidance to guide the growth of the community - but if you just want to keep beheading videos and female nipples off the front page, there are companies that can provide the workforce faster than you can code the integration.

>The community subreddits are different - they often have a much more defined culture and purpose. Those are the ones which, if the moderators give up, will die.

I am in some "community" subreddits and moderators are just there to enforce the rules that they made up and not everybody necessarily agree with. As an example, it's very common to have vague rules that silence some flavour of on-topic conversations... and then they are arbitrarily enforced, depending on whether the mod likes or dislikes where the conversation is going.

In my opinion, if mods from small subs were gone, that would be a huge positive. I'm glad that this abusive relationship of mods who think they own the entire community (including the users) and treat it as their fiefdom is coming to an end. Just the fact that they are shutting down entire communities shows the level of entitlement they have over the community they moderate. Doing a lot of unpaid labour doesn't entitle you to anything, but it does indeed show the kind of person that you are.

Some of the smaller communities only exist because someone created and promoted them, set ground rules, etc.

In the olden days the subreddit would be their personal PHPBB forum.

Now they are just sharecroppers for Reddit, and guess what, Reddit isn't a better admin.

Most of the smaller communities only exist because someone was first to take the subreddit name, period. That doesn't say anything about the quality of their mods. And as I said most mods are power tripping and/or want to control the conversation. I am glad that they are getting removed for the good of the community.

>I am glad that they are getting removed for the good of the community.

And you trust the replacements, that in your words are "mostly power tripping and/or want to control the conversation?". Unless you yourself are taking over and trust yourself to not grow to be what you hate?

This sounds more like a revolving door in your eyes than cleaning out the trash. why bother if you haven't addressed the core problem?

Just the fact that the new mods don't think they have the right to keep the entire community hostage makes them better than the replaced ones, yes. Although it would be better not to have any mods at all.

It is incredibly naive and foolish to suggest that no mods is a good idea. That's how you get 4chan,or worse, 8chan, and if places like that are your goal, then you have no business making suggestions for anything.


> So you have no idea of what you're talking about, which means you have no business making suggestions for anything.

That's unnecessarily aggressive. I agree with the poster's point, which is that no (or very minimal) moderation gives you results that are very undesirable for most communities.

I copypasted what he said to me.

I liked the old /. system where everyone could be a moderator occasionally, but you couldn't go haywire because you were limited in how many mod actions you could take within a given time window. It wasn't perfect, but it was a nice take on the moderation problem.

Yeah, it's not nearly as clear cut as someone running their own forum. It's almost irrelevant that someone happened to register /r/politics or r/worldnews first - those are categories of discussion, and so their size is directly proportional to Reddit's size. The moderators don't own that community (even if they think they do). If the moderators declare that they're moving to Lemmy, let them. I think they'll quickly realise that people aren't on those subreddits because of them.

There's a real frustration when you join a new subreddit, and you think you're joining a category of discussion and quickly discover (by having a post removed) that this particular category has someone who enforces a huge list of arcane rules.

Obviously there are exceptions. Some subreddits have non-obvious names, and were built into focused communities by the efforts of the moderators. But not all subreddits are equal, and I think this situation has revealed the gulf between them.

>this particular category has someone who enforces a huge list of arcane rules.

and I think a few months with new eyes will show why those arcane rules exist. Losing that tribal knowledge just means the sub will re-experience the same growing pains until we come full circle back to the rules we deemed arcane.

Tech moves fast. Human nature, not so much. social media is a lot more about the latter.

>> this particular category has someone who enforces a huge list of arcane rules.

> [...] I think a few months with new eyes will show why those arcane rules exist. Losing that tribal knowledge just means the sub will re-experience the same growing pains [...]

I also predict that most people will not even recognize that what they are witnessing is a repetition of what happened before. I think the math of growing a community means most users have joined after the rules (that make the community a decent place to be) were established.

I'm curious, what is your experience modding subreddits?

I modded a small programming sub for a while (at least several years). Maybe a post per day type of sub.

It was basically no effort. Occasionally, someone would post spam, users would report it, and I’d go “yep, that sure is spam. Remove”. It was just another “mindless action” to take during Reddit time.

I’m sure larger subs are exponential harder to mod.

> small program lying sub

I'm struggling to parse this, maybe partly because of the other small sub that's in the news atm.

Sorry, I’m running iOS 17 Beta. Autocorrect is very good, but slightly different and I don’t notice some of my typos.

Meant to type “programming sub”

Where is this conversation going? "You don't know how hard mods have it ;( ?"

I think subreddits are better off without mods. Therefore, I have never modded one.

> I think subreddits are better off without mods. Therefore, I have never modded one.

You might enjoy /r/interesting as fuck. They removed all rules except the sitewide rules. It seems to be mostly porn and OF spam now.

I'd distinguish between small and large communities. For example, if the World of Warcraft subreddit implodes somehow it's basically guaranteed that another one will arise, although you do often get awkward userbase splits, eg. /r/gameofthrones vs. /r/freefolk. I'd say that basically any community with 100k members will continue onwards from a mod implosion.

For smaller communities (<10k members), it's probable that reformation would not happen in a clear way if a founding mod destroyed it, unless the community is booming.

For communities in the 10k-100k range, I could see things going either way.

There are also a plethora of Middle-earth communities, and they have very different feels. /r/tolkienfans is not at all the same as /r/silmarillionmemes.

I think you need to inflate your numbers these days. 100k back in the time admins stepped in for r/wow isn't 100k today.

I'd say the bar is more around 500k, with 300-500k being the uncertain range. I definitely can think of some 100-300k communities that will be irrevocably damaged if they tried to split (usually ones focused on specific genres, or subs focused on personalities or series). I can't think of any sub <100k that would survive in this decade if ruptured.

I think we will see effects in long run, if I would start new community 2016 I would have definitely picked Reddit now it is probably Discord or Slack.


You’re right that no mod owns a particular subreddit, but Reddit does not have a monopoly on communities either.

There are a bunch of forums online which will gladly accept an influx of refugees from reddit, and the world will move on. If there isn’t one, one will form, somewhere.

However, past behaviour also predicts future behaviour. The current actions of board of directors (and the silence of others) speaks volumes.

Reddit may go as far as salting the earth for communities that do end up successfully migrating. I wouldn’t put it past them to hire a troll farm to spam a niche community with low-quality content.

It’s been a nice break away from Reddit.

The alternatives are crap right now and they might move on but unless the masses jump onto Lemmy or Mastodon, Reddit will continue to dominate. I tried those two other sites and they are just terrible.

Do you really want an alternative? Everybody is different, but for me, the return on my time spent there was way too low. Rarely when I closed the window did I feel good about how I spent the previous 20-30 minutes.

And I say that as someone with a very low bar for when time is well spent. Like John Lennon, I believe that time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted. Reddit wasn’t clearing that bar for me. It felt like a slot machine. There was some compulsion to pull the handle again but ultimately I walked away less happy.

I do. Reddit - specifically old.reddit.com - is the pinnacle of discussion board UIs (which is less of a commendation of Reddit, and more a damnation of every other platform, especially those that came after). And quality-wise, it's what you make of it - it's not a single site, it's a universe of mostly independent discussion boards, connected by SSO and a shared interaction model. Whether you spend time on Reddit's equivalent of HN or of 9gag, that's up to you - both exist, and it's not fair to condemn one because of the other.

(Slot machine mechanics are, unfortunately, present to a degree in every discussion board, group chat and mailing list - other people posting potentially interesting content == variable-schedule reward, which is the way to get addicted fast.)

As a longtime (~15 year) user, I’m on the other side of the fence.

Reddit has been on a downward slide for quite some time, and the quality of discussions there has been getting consistently worse.

Many of the subs that used to bring me joy have been overtaken by the toxic sludge that you’ll find on other social media. There are still some pockets of goodness left, but it increasingly requires deliberate work to unsubscribe, apply keyword filters, etc. It has become increasingly difficult to justify my time spent there.

None of this has to do with the UI or apps, and I had already decided to trial some time away from Reddit because I could feel it pulling me in daily, and increasingly I’d find that my time there was not well spent, and often made me feel angry after I’d encounter the same bullshit again and again.

So this latest mess is not even the primary reason I’m leaving. It’s just a very very strong push over an edge I was already teetering over.

I know many people who are in the same boat, and I’d argue that this is Reddit’s future. The latest actions are like a poison pill. They won’t kill the site overnight, but more and more people will feel poorly about using the site and implicitly supporting Spez’s bullshit.

Reddit will survive like Twitter is surviving. It exists, but people don’t want to be there anymore, and the kinds of people who made it a compelling place to spend time are the kinds of users who are leaving in droves.

I envision my future Reddit use looking more like my current google use. Something that will happen in an incognito window while searching for something specific. I don’t see myself continuing to spend time contributing.

I really wish we could go back to forums again. The amount of knowledge lost to discord and mass account deletion is insane. For example, I was fixing a superautomatic espresso recently. I ended up finding the schematics I needed on an obscure Czech forum that didn’t come up on a google search. I found that forum by clicking through three other forums that were similarly obscure and that I have not been able to locate again.

If the information located within had been posted on discord, it would have been lost. Forums with their own file hosting are often the last documentation we have of something, as file hosters die off.

Ever noticed how google will say 600k results but only show you 1.5 pages? The mass knowledge of the internet is being lost.

TBH, I can't remember all the drama and controversy over the years. This just seems like normal Reddit to me. It fits their MO to a tee.

Sure things were different 2005, but for the last 5-10 years it's been pretty clear what direction reddit has been headed in. So, I can't agree more that past behavior predicts future behavior.

Reddit's been like this for a long, long time.

I don't think ownership is the right descriptor for how most mods feel about "their" subreddit.

I would hazard a guess that most mods feel more like stakeholders, having already done a large amount of unpaid labour should entitle them to have some say over the future direction of that subreddit.

Perhaps, but they should check what their contact says.

So because they did things voluntarily they are owed something? You describe the very mentality that is persistent among all corrosive human efforts that go by many different labels, but all share a common element of imposing demands through violation, i.e., “we freely agree on one thing, now you demand another under threat of violence.”

The status quo is if you don’t moderate for a month somebody can challenge you as moderator and take over. People who took over communities in this way, and now cannot be displaced because of their activity, literally are moderators because they did something voluntarily.

That’s just on the admin level, mod to mod, generally users who are active and willing to do the work are more likely to be promoted to mod and less likely to be kicked from the mods.

But in short, yes your willingness to do unpaid labor is absolutely part of what entitles you to be a mod. It’s not always sufficient but it’s often required.

Yes, people who do labor are owed things. If you don't want to owe someone for their labor, do it yourself.

People suck, especially Reddit moderators. They've been destroying communities for years. Honestly, the best thing Reddit could do is figure out how to shake these people off like a bad case of fleas. Maybe that is what they're doing?

You're 100% right - people want communities where the posts are largely relevant. Has AI advanced enough to make AI moderation possible? Can upvoting/downvoting posts help train an AI what a community values and what it doesn't? That's where I think things are eventually headed.

Yeah there’s a lot of problems with the moderation system, essentially pure seniority with appointments.

It's interesting observation. The early days of the web everyone owned their own websites. Services like tripod and later weblogs changed that dynamic.

I think mods are power tripping and starting to think they are the owners of Reddit.

Interestingly, each hit of Reddit drama like this does seem to be genuinely driving real migrations elsewhere - the ex-mod's corresponding post about this on KBin (https://kbin.social/m/RedditMigration/t/59559/Removed-as-mod...) now has more votes than this Reddit post, despite it being #1 in the obviously topical ModCoord subreddit, and on the front page of HN.

Not a perfect comparison in any sense obviously, and this doesn't refute any of the limitations & issues with Lemmy/KBin, but there is real traffic starting to move over there regardless.

Does enough users attention migrate to alternatives so those alternatives can build the minimum critical mass to survive longer term?

Reddit admin:mod ratio is 1:N, the fediverse changes that to M:N. Between that and the funding model (or lack of one), I'm curious to discover the many failure modes that will occur in the coming months. I suspect instance owners (who pay the bills from personal funds) will be even less willing to "negotiate" than the current Reddit leadership.

I'm a big fan of decentralization, but the naivete of Fedi-zealots and the lack of tooling/standards is shocking to me. The Fediverse needs machine-readable equivalent of Subreddit rules, and which instances are (de)federated. The clients need to surface this info in an easy-to-use UI, and will massively help with automation, there current levels of human-moderation cannot scale; though there are plenty of gatekeepers who don't want to scale.

So they just expelled one of the people that helped make Reddit what it is today? No loyalty at all is there.

Money trumps loyalty (family, friendship). "We thank you for your service." It's unpleasant, but completely in line with what's happened to the internet over the last 20+ years. It has to look good for the IPO. The ones with the shares don't care what happens after that.

There's a common saying: "Nothing Personal It's Strictly Busines".

I am more inclined to believe this is "a cabal of toxic moderators have revealed what they are, and Reddit is rightly removing them from the project".

When loyalty is a facade to keep malevolent people in power, it is no virtue.

The CEO of Reddit watched an interview with Elon Musk and decided that it was time to cut back on staff to save money? \s

And, like most people dissing Musk on the Internet, he saw Musk cutting back on Twitter staff to save money and somehow understood from it that he needs to drive away unpaid volunteers that generate money, instead of, ya know, cutting back on actual employees, of which Reddit apparently has way more than it should.

Yes, nothing like getting rid of high value employees that work for free.

Yes, he said he was inspired by Musk's handling of Twitter...


> by trying to damage the company

A lot of the voices and mods that are most prominent are saying that it is Spez that is actively damaging the company.

Christian, Apollo's author, gives a good write up of the recent developments:


One thing missing from this is that obviously reddit is seeing OpenAI and others training AIs on their data and taking the wrong lessons from it. They're hitting the wrong people with misplaced understanding of where the value lies and how to capture it.

Instead Spez seems to see Elon's taking the sword to Twitter as a role model, which I think misunderstands the structural damage that Elon has done to the Twitter community.

I presume these people have never had a job, where there just is someone else who decides what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. If they did they would see they signed up for a job but with no pay.

The community sees ‘the damage Elon has done to the community’. Corporate sees a company bleeding money being turned around. Regardless if it’s going to work out, investors aren’t going to be happy if their investments have turned into a great community and a monetary loss. It’s not a charity. So they appreciate someone coming in and putting a stop to the charity work and trying to start making money.

That’s why the people that matter, the people with a lot of money, put literal billions of dollars on the line so Musk could buy Twitter. While the people that don’t really matter, the people that block ads, the people that don’t pay, the people that don’t want to play along with the plan to make money, are ignored.

Money talks, bs walks.

They were expressing their loyalties by saying they want to keep working for free for the company … as long as their tools aren’t deliberately broken by the company. Moderators can’t moderate without the API.

Then clearly the only remaining option is to leave. The company doesn’t want them to keep working for free on the old terms, only on the new terms.

We’ll see if they are so irreplaceable as they claim.

>They were expressing their loyalties by saying they want to keep working for free for the company … as long as their tools aren’t deliberately broken by the company

Reddit is under no obligation to find these terms acceptable. Moderators absolutely can moderate without the API.

> Moderators absolutely can moderate without the API.

Practically, and literally impossible. There's CP and other illegal material being posted in these subs every second. Without API access, you have to have dozens of moderators at all times checking every single incoming post.

Not to mention spam. There's lots of bots posting just avalanches of garbage upvoted by click farms.

It's like these people are coming in driving cars and Reddit management is offering a sturdy pair of walking shoes to try to keep up with them.

Reddit found the one real solution for dealing with spam (human workers) for FREE and pissed it down the drain.

I think it's an exemplar of what's wrong with the modern firm.

C-level management seems to be an insular royal court far removed from the actual mechanics of what makes their company run and not familiar with where the hard work is done and what's the value lost in getting rid of it. It's destructively hierarchical and makes things undirected, disjointed and clashing.

Incoherent executions and incredulous decisions abound. The current practices are clearly idiotic.

Maybe exactly because of this. Every social media is battling spam, and Reddit hasn't to such an extent. They don't know the value of what they have

Except it wasn't actually free, that's the entire issue..

The labour was free - the tools required were not. That's a miniscule cost compared to the labour if they _actually_ had to pay for it.

Okay, but Reddit would sensibly prefer free labor + cheap tooling over free labor + costly tooling.

So you seriously expect that when June 30th rolls around, basically all major subs are going to be flooded with CP and moderators across the site will be overwhelmed, plunging everything into chaos? That's an amazing prediction - guess we'll see how it plays out.

I wonder whether Reddit C-suite are thinking exactly like this and that's what's causing these misguided decisions.

I mean, if moderating is going to become literally impossible than the moderators should provide more sober, detailed arguments for why this is the case. As far as I'm aware this just hasn't been done. It's just "we have these tools we like and we don't want to lose them", which is a far weaker argument. If there's a serious rationale for why moderating will suddenly require 10x the effort or whatever as before, I'd love to see it.

Fully agree

> There's CP and other illegal material being posted in these subs every second.

Oh well? That is a job for the police to deal with, not an unpaid moderator with a hobby. If you want to help out in your free time, cool, but beyond that, who cares?

What argument in response to "Moderators absolutely can moderate without the API." are you making here?

Of what purpose would getting into an argument serve? I ask, why would a mod care if someone else posts something illegal to a forum they don't own?

That is a great question, but not what is being discussed in this thread

It is what is being dicussed in this thread branch, stemming from a statement made closer to the root, contextually identified in earlier supplied quote. You don't have to participate in the topic if is not of interest to you, but given that you have shown interest in that topic by replying multiple times now, let's hear what you've got. Or not. Nobody cares. The comment was never for or about you. If you disappear we'll never notice.

You've lost me pal. The discussion was about whether or not subs can be moderated without API access.

What do you hope is gained from this information? The comment was never directed at you, so any difficulty you are having in understanding it is of little consequence.

nasty moderator who not only work for free to make money for reddit but also want to keep their tools to make their work easier

This statement is supported by you being a long-standing moderator of which subreddit again?

Subreddit was shut down while mod team worked on an anti-CSAM bot to help moderate after reddit announced the shutdown of existing tools.

Imagine there’s a bit more to the story: tools only shut down June 30th. But still notable. Shutdown obviously hurting Reddit still if they’re resorting to such measures and taking such risks.

there are mod tools that deleted their api keys in protest last week.

I don't even understand why they continue to work from free for people that do not even have the beginning of a care for them

I don't want to call it a cult, but there's a lot of stuff people will do, even to their objective personal cost, if it lets them benefit from a social perspective (be it real social value or perceived).

No one becomes a community manager because it pays well.

When I actively moderated Reddit I was long term unemployed and considered it community service (aware that Reddit is privately owned) and tried to organize information (faq/sticky/tags/sidebar/etc) and moderate to create something useful and helpful to the general public.

Looking back though, it’s odd to me how much I could personally benefit myself at this point if I abused moderation powers for self-promotion because of the sheer reach that Reddit has and the extraordinary powers Mods have. But that was never the intention.

The mindset is encapsulated in the phrase "Today you, tomorrow me."



wealth fame power? (or they just find joy in being of service to others)

Thank god this is happening. It cut down my reddit time and replaced it with actually doing some work.

The moderator’s supposed post at Lemmy has more details and replies from them, and indicates that they were expecting this outcome eventually:


> Edit 2: I’ll also add, that I was never going to re-open the sub because I knew Reddit wasn’t going to yield. Thus, I was prepared for the outcome. I did hope to string them along for a bit longer and waste resources, but you can’t win them all.

Mod has too much power. Give paying reddit user to have ability to vote out Mod. It is a public commercial space not a US constitutions. If I pay, then I should have power to demote Mod. Yes, this swing to those that can pay. But that is life. If you are dirt poor, living in the middle of deserts far from any voting booth, do you think you can vote even if you have rights to do so? Or, you slender anyone you like on the pretext of #1 do you think you get away scot free if you are dirt poor? Or how about #2? You can own guns, bullets and even trained like John Wick if you are dirt poor? Then how come being a Mod even if you are dirt poor get to have so much power over a squated reddit namespace you dont own or even pay anything.

Isn't it a good idea generally to remove someone in power position after certain amount of time, regardless of how good or bad they are? There is a reason Nature made everyone mortal.

What's with the mostly nsfw content? Was that part of the r/celebrities protest?

It is part of a campaign based on the fact that Reddit doesn't run ads against NSFW content, so high user count subs can mark everything NSFW (whether it is or not) and hurt Reddit in their cashflow.

For some of the subreddits this isn't as far fetched as for others; /r/videos is more of a work to rule to protest given they're now taking swearing very seriously. You have to think of the 14 year old kids that use reddit.

As 14 yo are very rarely at work, NSFW means that the content is for them, right?

Or they understood it mean something larger and, as every 14 yo on earth, they will happily comply and never open content which is marked "please do not open if you are not an adult".

Don't worry, 14 yo won't even get a chance to be exposed to this content - that's what age verification pages are good for, and Internet users are well-known for only ever submitting their actual date of birth on those pages.

Yes together with manipulating images to include the face of John Oliver

This is making me tremendously sad that the writer's strike[1] is blocking new episodes of Last Week Tonight because good lord, that would be AN EPISODE where he covers this.

[1] Which I fully support, mind.

Interesting pathetic response from the moderator immediately bringing up child porn as an excuse. I am beginning to think reddit moderation is some sort of destructive addiction

More reddit entertainment is available in the comments on these news from the subreddit's users


This may be the place to talk about alternatives to reddit since discourse about that is banned there.

So far I've heard only about Lemmy. Are there others sites redditors reading this could be redirected to?

Lemmy, kbin and mastodon instances can interact with each other via activitypub. People can migrate to literally any instance they want, then subscribe to any community they want regardless their origin instance.

My mind was blown the first time I watch this this interoperability happen. If twitter, reddit and hackernews support activitypub, it would goes like this: if someone post a tweet on twitter that mention a subreddit in the tweet, then that tweet is automatically visible in the mentioned subreddit as a post. The people on that subreddit can comment on the post, and it'll show up in the original author's tweet as reply to the tweet. Then in the middle of it, hackernews user somehow join the discussion because someone on the hackernews subscribe to the subreddit.

> Lemmy, kbin and mastodon instances can interact with each other via activitypub. People can migrate to literally any instance they want, then subscribe to any community they want regardless their origin instance.

> My mind was blown the first time I watch this this interoperability happen.

Usenet worked in a similar fashion decades ago. It's too bad we can't get the masses to go back to that.

I launched an alternative a few days ago you may want to check out: https://discuit.net/. We're still in the very early stages, however.

Let’s share the Lemmy Explorer page, to explore Lemmy communities: https://lemmyverse.net/communities

This site is very glitchy in Safari, instance images flicker, scroll too fast you get a blank screen. Might be an issue if they're hoping to get some of the less technical "phoneposter" Redditors on board with their cause.

apparently Lemmy and Kbin are the two big names popping up.

here's the same topic posted on Kbin for reference: https://kbin.social/m/RedditMigration/t/59559/Removed-as-mod...

The alternatives to subreddits are other subreddits

Just found this

Https communities dot win

Which is basically the migration point of /r/The_Donald, /r/fatpeoplehate, some QAnon boards and other unsavory communities.


Is there even value in 2023 in having a "subreddit" called /r/Celebrities ? (Or funny, pics, sports, all ... )

It feels like there should be a natural "cap" to a sub's "TAM" or a 100% conversion from catgeory to community subreddits, to limit the blast radius of spam, scams, etc and create clearer rules of engagement for the good faith participants.

Or maybe /r/Celebrities could just be a no-comment curation of top posts of actual celebrity subreddits, with a paid Redditor at the top.

Anyway just weird to me.

Why can't mods be completely replaced by AI or bots? I wonder if a GPT-enabled AI mod would be better at serving mods functions. At the very least, it makes sense for the Reddit suits to try.

Community subreddits are better off as cozy internet forums anyways, they don't need Reddit and vice versa.

I’m a moderator of a fairly good sized sub (3M) and bots help flag things early but sometimes it takes nuance to determine if it’s something that needs action, especially if it’s for a very specific community.

There are rules that have been set up through time by mods that facilitate discussion and avoid people karma farming.

Lastly, there are also communities (one of them ours) that host AMAs or other community events and it’s us who approach people to see if they want to interact with the community.

I’m not saying mods are perfect (I myself am annoyed at ones from other subreddits and sometimes disagree with fellow ones) but mods aren’t there just to ban people and remove posts.

What makes HN amazing for me is how people hear moderate discussions and that’s one thing I’m trying to emulate.

There are a bunch of natural human behaviours that because of the way society operates one has to suppress. You cannot hit people just because you are angry. You will have to move to pursue a better life and that means losing friends (even if you don't they will). One newer one is that if you spend time building someone else's product, that doesn't change the fact it is NOT yours. They can and will take it away the minute it suits them. So either don't do it or do it and know you will never be compensated, appreciated etc.

Probably a good thing.


> a segment of their website? It's not yours. It never was.

That's really not been the ethos advertised to moderators until now; it was more that unless you caused site instability (legal or otherwise) it was yours to run as you please.

You may be speaking a literal truth, but the emotive background is relevant here.

At the same time, Reddit entirely depends on these people to keep these segments of website safe and decent (not to mention ad-friendly). And these people depended on efficient 3rd party tools to carry out this form of free labor.

It is a much more delicate balance of power than what is found on most other social platforms. Some described (aptly in my view) this status quo as more akin to feudalism than to a nation state. Yeah the "land" may belong to you, but being nice to your stewards goes a long way if you want your head to remain attached to your neck.

And at the same time, reddit has the balls to advertise itself as s great place to build a community for your product or company. How can anyone trust them not to take over your community when they feel like it?

Yeah, the dude politely asked for 4-6 weeks of closure time.. hard to believe that he expected Reddit to find this reasonable. Unfortunately, the admins probably lack bandwidth to go back and forth on these things and so they just yeeted the top mod rather than tell him that's unacceptable.


Haha no shit, but it's mean to say it I guess.

I have no clue what moderates really do and I have not seen any difference yet on reddit.

Good moderation is mostly invisible. Nonexistent or poor moderation becomes obvious very quickly.

That's what I've come to appreciate about HN. I'm further reminded of this by the volume of (largely negative) interactions I've had with Reddit mods over the years.

For many subreddits, poor moderation is very obvious and have basically become echo chambers

Not much. Plenty of nonsense posts/comments are ignored by moderators but the community just downvotes them mostly out of sight. I would say the community itself does most of the work and always has been the case.

You could not be more wrong. The work is mostly invisible to end users.

Not really. Sort by new and take a look yourself. Nonsense posts get downvoted before a moderator has to do anything. People who sort by top or whatever never see it.

>Sort by new and take a look yourself.

ignoring the autoamted tools mods created, distribtued, and customized themselves to capture certain keywords or websites before it even hit /new

>People who sort by top or whatever never see it.

nope, just low effort memes, reposts, and unhinged rants,depending on the community. Or just porn.

If mods have rules against those, then there's your moderator work right there. Congrats.

I’ve never understood moderators who are big enough busy bodies to spend their lives removing memes that they dislike so much that they proceed to view every single one submitted to a subreddit so they can remove them.

I moderated a subreddit that went from 50k to 200k subscribers and a lot of automation makes it easier to handle standard spam, but 5-6 mods still spent a few hours every day to make it work. This doesn't show up in any sorting.

That's why I left.

I babysit a small sub and have removed around 150 pornbots this month. Maybe I should just leave them since votes are sufficient? It would represent over three quarters of the submissions though.

Posts get filtered by automod rules and anti-spam before they hit the new queue. So this isn’t really sound logic.

The general point you are making IS correct though, upvotes/downvotes are the primary moderation mechanism on Reddit. Moderators are the second layer of moderation, and admins are the third. In my experience the users did an absolute majority of the moderation work except on weird heavily modded communities.

Most sort by top so it is in fact mostly invisible

Most large subreddits use AutoModerator and bots that remove posts or filter them for moderator review. Filtered posts are visible to the poster, from the poster's profile, or by moderators. Also, Reddit's spam filter automatically quarantines posts/comments which contain link shorteners and some other sites. None of these systems are apparent to end users unless your post is filtered or removed.

Here are some concrete examples of automatic post removals from my sub.

• Autoplaying Videos - e.g. TikTok

• Short Posts - e.g. discussions under 10 characters in length

• Vague Bodies - e.g. all emojis or punctuation, "lol", "see title", "this", "ty"

• Vague Titles - e.g. all emojis or punctuation, "Looking for...", "THIS", etc.

What is so insidious about moderation is you could have a moderator removing posts for whatever reason they like and you will simply never see that content or even be aware it was removed. I’d love dual versions of subs - moderated and unmoderated so these people could be regularly audited.

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