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posted by n1 on Thursday November 12 2015, @10:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the shiny-new-ban-hammer dept.

In a move that isn't particularly surprising given their lack of support for intellectual diversity to date, Reddit has introduced outright bans to replace its shadow banning policy.

Reddit has introduced an "Account Suspension" feature that will replace Shadowbanning for non-spammers, though previously shadowbanned accounts are not going to be automatically unbanned.

A post on July 28, 2015 by Reddit admin /u/krispykrackers explains the basics of Shadowbanning, a tool initially created to counteract spammers by hiding their content without letting them know their account had been shadowbanned. However, this was Reddit's only tool for an account-wide ban, and it has since been used on people other than spammers as well.

Account Suspension will be more straightforward and transparent than a Shadowban. An F.A.Q. page (sic) linked in the announcement post states that only Reddit administrators will be able to apply suspensions, which can be temporary or permanent. Permanent suspensions will result in a message about the account's status being added to that account's userpage.

See, I'm a veteran. This means I was willing to take a bullet for the right of my countrymen to speak their minds. On this at least I have not mellowed as I've aged. My personal line in the sand is that we will never site ban for anything but over-the-top spamming or gross/repeated illegal activity while I am on staff. See my journal if you feel the need for that last statement to be expounded upon.

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  • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Thursday November 12 2015, @01:18PM

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Thursday November 12 2015, @01:18PM (#262127)

    I must agree. There does seem to be a trend of "ban untidy comments to keep the front page pretty" from the likes of reddit. Essentially, we all know that occasionally(!) there are some unwise things said online...

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday November 12 2015, @03:20PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Thursday November 12 2015, @03:20PM (#262170) Homepage

    I recently saw an example of how a video critical of European anti-immigration was removed from r/videos for being "political," but a video about the SJW academic nonsense was not, and how the mod said with a straight face that one was political and one wasn't.

    Of course, Reddit's been on my shit-list since I heard about r/news removing the Snowden news and, apparently, more recently The Drone Papers. It's a perfect example of how censorship becomes a slippery-slope and a perfect example of what happens when cabals of hysterical moderators dominate your forum under the guise of "political correctness." When your forum becomes a "safe space," it becomes intellectually dishonest.

    About bans themselves, I think Reddit is headed in the right direction with suspensions, but too-little-too-late. Any organization who engaged in chickenshit tactics like shadowbanning would never again earn my trust, and the only thing that's making them more honest is the (perceived or actual) threat of users leaving. Not to mention that techniques like shadowbanning are an insult to the intelligence of the forum's readership, as if they couldn't figure shit like that out. Let Reddit be a lesson to be learned. If you're going to ban somebody, in my opinion, the least you can do is let them know and why.

    Slashdot used to tout itself as a bastion of free speech, and we all saw what happened with that. I'm not complaining about my ban there, because I know damn well why I was banned and never even asked about it. However, when it happened, I thought it was pretty peculiar how they had plenty of spam rotting in the firehose, and yet my submission about being banned was culled within a minute.

    • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Thursday November 12 2015, @03:56PM

      by opinionated_science (4031) on Thursday November 12 2015, @03:56PM (#262190)

      well banning for speech is entirely down to the platform's politics and greed. In principle, we could have a peer-to-peer comment system, where individuals could "ban" seeing another, but the infrastructure could not. If you know why you were banned, the question is , would you do it again?

      I am concerned that the fact that comments are under the control of corporate and political interests, that the whole idea of the internet is at risk.

      Add to this the fact that "news" on websites is ephemeral and changes are made with no edit history. And occasionally puff pieces with no date!!!!

      All these together are the long game - the continual ability to massage the speech that is seen, heard and ultimately the message that is delivered.

      I wish it was paranoia!
      but you see the same stories make the rounds and see the patterns.
      Reading peer reviewed journals makes you paranoid, because "new" stuff has some inbuilt dependencies that are hard to predict...