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Reddit downgrades technology community after censorship Vide
PostSubject: Reddit downgrades technology community after censorship   Reddit downgrades technology community after censorship Icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2014 10:13 pm

Social news site Reddit has downgraded the status of its "technology" section after a censorship row.

The category is no longer a "default subreddit", meaning it stops being one of two dozen communities promoted to new account holders.

It follows a report by the Daily Dot that revealed headlines posted to the area had been secretly deleted if they featured certain words.

The subreddit's own moderators now acknowledge that this was a "disaster".

After a similar action was taken against Reddit's "politics" community last year it experienced a steep decline in activity.

Reddit said that it had acted because the technology community's moderators had become distracted by "petty squabbles".

"We decided to remove /r/technology from the default list because the moderation team lost focus of what they were there to do: moderate effectively," the site's director of communications Victoria Taylor told the BBC.

"We're giving them time to see if we feel they can work together to resolve the issue.

"We might consider adding them back in the future if they can show us and the community that they can overcome these issues."

Banned words

The issue was brought to light by a Reddit user nicknamed Creq who posted a message to the site a week ago suggesting that 20 terms had been banned.

He said the list of censored words included: "National Security Agency", "GCHQ", "Anonymous", "anti-piracy", "Bitcoin", "Snowden" and "net neutrality".

It later became clear that other terms, including "EU Court", "startup" and "Assange" had also been blocked.

When the Daily Dot questioned one of the section's volunteer moderators about this, he confirmed that software was being used to automatically delete posts that featured "politicised" words in order to avoid the links making it to the core list of most popular topics.

The Daily Dot subsequently reflected that: "Many would argue those terms have an essential value to readers interested in technology, but the ban was never put up for discussion among the subreddit's millions of subscribers."

The news caused controversy with those users, prompting a U-turn.

"As many of you are aware the moderators of this subreddit have failed you," the volunteers wrote in a message to Reddit visitors over the weekend.

"While the intent of this system was, to the extent of my knowledge, not malicious it ended up being a disaster. We messed up, and we are sorry.

"The mods directly responsible for this system are no longer a part of the team and the new team is committed to maintaining a transparent style of moderation."

One of the changes taken, they added, was to allow the general population to view a configuration page that listed banned materials.

While links to pornography and petitions remain blocked, it reveals that most of the censored headline words can now be used again.

However, the move has failed to placate several of the subreddit's visitors who are now calling for a further two of the section's surviving moderators to resign.

"Please note that it's not the censorship the [Reddit] admins worry about," added the moderator of a censorship-themed subreddit.

"They've never spoken out against it.

"The problem is that there's zero transparency, zero accountability. That's the real story here."
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Reddit downgrades technology community after censorship Vide
PostSubject: Re: Reddit downgrades technology community after censorship   Reddit downgrades technology community after censorship Icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2014 10:25 pm

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