We’ve long known that the news moderators at Reddit, the 14th most visited website in the United States, were biased, blocking on their news pages any link to Jihad Watch and many other sites critical of Islam. The idea of Reddit is that it would be fairly unmoderated, with users voting for or against submissions using an upvote/downvote system. The moderators were there to moderate in the simplest sense, but more recently, it looks as if they are just blocking or deleting anything that goes against the mainstream narrative.
That said, we are not alone: the moderators have decided among themselves to ban a large number of news sources, from The Huffington Post to Breitbart, and the Reddit users seem to be happy to live with it. Jihad Watch has seen a large drop in the number of visits from Reddit, probably less than a tenth compared to three years ago, as links from here are only allowed on Reddit’s “conservative” pages, and even when those links are put up, they often disappear soon after they were posted.
With just referrals showing in my logs, I am able to see a few short visits to Jihad Watch from Reddit before the Reddit moderators remove any evidence that someone dared share a post from this site.
But they have really outdone themselves this time: early on following the attack killing 50 people at the gay bar in Florida Saturday night, Reddit decided to ban all news posts regarding the attack. This already had Reddit users up in arms, but later in the day, when requests for blood donors to come forward were made, the Reddit moderators also censored those posts. That was a bridge too far: they started seeing their numbers drop. You can read more about that here at vocativ.com.
I was still holding out hope for Reddit. Many of my peers in infosec use it as much as they do any other social media site, but I’ve removed my own subscription, and will be removing the Reddit share button here at Jihad Watch as soon as I finish this post.
This is not the same issue as the one regarding Facebook. There is unacceptable bias and censorship at Facebook for sure, but this site as well as many other Islamocritical sites still see a large amount of traffic from Facebook. I was monitoring Facebook’s newsfeed myself today, and saw that they were fairly well balanced. They did not block calls for blood donors. The pages we are seeing being taken down are mostly due to mass reporting by organized groups of users, leveraging (that is, abusing) Facebook’s reporting system.
Since this has all broken at Reddit, they are seeing some backlash. Currently 20 users per minute are unsubscribing.