I avoid using reddit, mostly because it has a bad layout, a bad userbase, and bad mods (the cyberpunk subreddit is cool though). Today, upon hearing about the recent New Year’s mass sexual assault and other lawbreaking by migrants in Germany. I decided to wander over to the news subreddits to see if the mods were squelching facts that they didn’t like. It turns out that they were, and my bias was confirmed.
Major subreddits were deleting all reports of the sex attacks. Despite it occurring to perhaps thousands of people in the major cities of Hamburg, Cologne and Stuttgart, mods on /r/new and /r/worldnews all said that it wasn’t allowed, using obviously bullshit excuses like “Wrong subreddit” or “local crime story.” Both of these subreddits regularly break 10,000 users reading at any given time.
Their narrative broke down it was clear that the incidents were so bad that Angela Merkel publicly condemned them. So I notify the mods that the Chancellor of Germany commented on this crisis that other officials had already called “unprecedented.” This forced them to allow one heavily-buried thread in the subreddit after about 24 hours of total censorship.
Wait, commentary from a head of state is required for such a submission? I immediately know that’s bullshit from links that other “local crime” stories (that coincidentally painted migrants in a positive light) compiled by a user in another thread, and so I send them this message containing these links to point out how the argument clearly doesn’t hold up. Posted in text form so the links can be clicked:
It’s obvious that you don’t like the political implications, since these stories were not removed.
Local crime story: https://np.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/3vn1w3/gay_refugees_placed_in_separate_accommodation/
Local crime story: https://np.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/3wsr9a/french_teacher_invented_school_attack/
Local crime story: https://np.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/3x3mmy/two_paris_attack_link_suspects_arrested_in/
Local crime story: https://np.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/3vk68q/germany_ablaze_over_200_attacks_on_refugee_homes/
Local crime story: https://np.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/3xbvaq/violence_erupts_between_police_and_demonstrators/
Local crime story: https://np.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/3jlmmi/five_people_have_been_injured_in_a_fire_in_a/
Local crime story: https://np.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/3s342w/berlin_protesters_clash_with_police_near/
Here’s the only response I got from the not-at-all ideological moderators:
Why the sudden stonewalling after a reasonable question is brought up during a reasonable exchange?
Update: The censorship on Reddit is a microcosm of how leaders in the real world are reacting — they are mostly concerned with this hurting their narrative.
Every story written about it takes as its primary concern “How do leaders prevent this from weakening the pro-immigration consensus?”
— Michael B Dougherty (@michaelbd) January 6, 2016
Update 2: I was suspended from Reddit by the employees of the site (administrators) for what they call “vote manipulation.” I am guessing because I upvoted all the links concerning mod censorship and links to this blog post, but the actual motivation for the suspension is pretty obvious.
This makes me think that the site’s top brass are indeed the ones who are supporting censorship, not just mods, who are power users.