Reddit bans major publications for allegedly spamming and/or cheating

The popular social link-sharing site has begun temporarily blocking entire domains

Reddit, a popular link-sharing and discussion site, announced this week that it has begun blocking content from entire domains - including some belonging to the Atlantic, Business Week, Phys.org, Science Daily, and Discover Magazine - for "spamming and/or cheating."

ELSEWHERE IN SPAM REDUCTION: Twitter spam campaign infects users with fake antivirus programs

It's unclear exactly what the banned domains had been doing to provoke the move, and the site's administrators have not publicly commented on the specifics of any given case.

"There's not a public list because we felt that'd be too much of a 'wall of shame' for the domains involved. That said, it's completely transparent in that you know we don't allow the domain rather than silently spamfiltering," lead programmer Neil Williams wrote in a discussion on the site.

Reddit implemented the domain-level ban functionality a week ago, saying at the time that "we're initially rolling this out for link-shorteners which have long been discouraged on Reddit as they conceal the true destination of the link."

While general manager Erik Martin confirmed in another discussion that the bans are temporary, no information has been forthcoming on their exact length. Systems administrator Jason Harvey added that Reddit has been in direct communication with the owners of the affected domains.

Although Reddit does not bar publications from submitting their own content, the site's FAQ states that "if your contribution to Reddit consists mostly of submitting links to a site(s) that you own or otherwise benefit from in some way, and additionally if you do not participate in discussion, or reply to peoples questions, regardless of how many upvotes your submissions get, you are a spammer."

In addition, the site strictly forbids any collusion among users in the interest of artificially boosting the apparent popularity of submissions.

The recent wave of bans, however, has rubbed many in the site's user base the wrong way. Complaints about a lack of transparency in the process and questions over the decision to ban well-regarded sources like the Atlantic and Business Week were common.

"I am failing to see the logic here. Seems like it just neuters the content on reddit, and could be used to censor opposing viewpoints," wrote one Reddit user.

However, others applauded Reddit's move.

"Reddit is essentially saying, 'We don't care how big you are - play by the rules or [expletive] off,'" said one.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about lans and routers in Network World's LANs & Routers section.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Jon Gold

Jon Gold

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?