Tech

Reddit politics moderators ban posts from Drudge Report, political sites

Josh Peterson Tech Editor

The moderators of the politics section of Reddit have banned users from posting articles from the Drudge Report and other prominent political news sites and blogs.

In a recent post regarding a change to the politics section of Reddit, /r/Politics, the section’s moderators explained last week that they banned the listed sites ‘to reduce the number of blogspam submissions and sensationalist titles” and “low quality posts.”

Posts on Reddit are submitted and voted on by its users, who are called redditors. A system of volunteer moderators manages the discussions for each section, or subreddit.

The banned sites for /r/Politics include, among others: americanthinker.com, breitbart.com, dailycaller.com, dailykos.com, drudgereport.com, huffingtonpost.com, infowars.com, motherjones.com, nationalreview.com, salon.com, theblaze.com, and vice.com.

Despite the number of high-profile investigative news stories — from both left and right — produced by the banned sites, the moderators of the /r/Politics subreddit — which has 3,114,397 followers as of Nov. 1 —  chose instead to whitelist primarily mainstream media or left-leaning media sources.

The whitelisted domains include, among others: abcnews.go.com, aclu.org, bloomberg.com, cnn.com, dailymail.co.uk, newyorker.com, npr.org, nytimes,com, pbs.org, politico.com, reuters.com, rollingstone.com, rt.com, slate.com, The Atlantic, thedailybeast.com, theguardian.com, thenation.com, and washingtonpost.com.

The /r/Politics subreddit and the /r/Atheism subreddits were removed from the front page verticals at the top of the site in July, according to a Reddit blog post, because the sections did not continue to “grow and evolve” like other subreddits.

“We could give you a canned corporate answer or a diplomatic answer that is carefully crafted for the situation,” said Reddit.

“But since this is reddit, we’re going to try things a bit differently and give you the real answer: they just weren’t up to snuff,” said the company.

The /r/Politics moderators explained on Monday that the changes were inspired by redditor feedback collected in August in order to reform the subreddit.

While several redditors who openly expressed their outrage with the moderators’ decision agreed with the decision to ban posts from center-right publications, one redditor named TorDrowae claiming to be an editor at the progressive news site Mother Jones defended the journalism produced by the banned sites.

“More broadly, more and more news is being produced by outlets—HuffPo, National Review, MoJo, the Nation, the Daily Caller—with ideological identities. r/politics users will be missing a big part of the political conversation if they don’t have access to those sites,” said TorDrowae.

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