Leaked Communications Show Reddit Admin Bias Sarjan Narwan November 24, 2016 25 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Recent admin action and abuse has made redditors, especially those in /r/the_donald (a pro Donald Trump subreddit) very angry. This includes shutting down /r/pizzagate and editing user comments. The community of /r/the_donald has always had suspicions about the political agenda of the administrative team and top subreddits, however recent leaks from their slack server have confirmed this. This exchange shows a clear grudge towards the community of /r/the_donald which has been highly critical of the moderation team, specifically /u/spez who is the CEO of Reddit. They seem to justify the actions of Spez which involved editing user posts by highlighting the ‘trouble’ the subreddit caused them. The most worrying of these messages, however, is that from mattythedog saying ‘next time he snaps can he accidentally ban them’. What this implies is that the actions taken would not be due to the breaking of site-wide rules, instead, it would prove the notion Reddit has a malicious bias against /r/the_donald. This bias is the fact that they don’t like the community of /r/the_donald as well possibly being politically against them. Further along, there is a discussion relating to the banning of the /r/pizzagate subreddit which investigated a possible paedophilia ring that involved John Podesta. The moderators seem to find quite a lot of humour in the theory labelling it ‘pizzahoax’. Spez then comes in with the words ‘bring back pao’ (a previous CEO of Reddit). Upon Spez joining the conversation we have several people making light of the situation and finding humour in the act of editing other’s comments and abusing permissions. What’s most insidious is the recurring theme of calling for action to be taken against /r/the_donald. What is most surprising about this is just how flippantly they discuss censoring a community of 300k+ users, as well as this they don’t seem to quote any subreddit rules that have been broken or any precedent apart from the fact that they annoy the administrative team. The admin team has already changed the Reddit algorithm to reduce the amount of exposure this community has on the front page and it is not too far fetched to think they will do something like that again. Especially with discussion about changing the vote weights. Even after the clear abuse by Spez they still seem to treat /r/the_donald as the problem as opposed to the inappropriate us of administrator power. This private opinion doesn’t seem to match up with Spez’s public statements such as stating that he was politically ‘neutral’. The Reddit team seems to have a vexation of this large community and seems to be incapable of impartiality. If Reddit is to remain a place of open discourse it has to stop acting upon its bias. Statements from /r/the_donald can be found on their subreddit. Disclosure: I regularly frequent /r/the_donald and am an active member of the community. I also moderate on their discord server. Correction – I incorrectly described the conversation as being between admins, what I meant to say was it was a discussion between Reddit Admins and Top Mods, edits have been made to reflect this.