Yesterday Redditors noticed a strange error message when trying to submit content from a handful of major news sources, a message that indicated the sites were not allowing due to “spamming and/or cheating.” Reddit, the most popular social news aggregation site, has traditionally been a very open community, but this move is less apparent. No official blog post, no Tweets from Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian – just speculation.
It has been noted that the bans are only temporary as well. So far the list of banned domains include:
- It’s not strictly forbidden to submit a link to a site that you own or otherwise benefit from in some way, but you should sort of consider yourself on thin ice. So please pay careful attention to the rest of these bullet points.
- 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.
This is just bizarre. These are major sources of news — to ban the entire Reddit community from submitting links to them is to cut the community off from a major source of discussion occurring on the web. I understand banning individual users who work for The Atlantic or Businessweek who are spamming the system, but to cut off these destinations entirely?
Also, it’s just hypocritical. Reddit doesn’t care if you submit an infinite number of links to imgur or quickmeme, two sites where incidentally the content creators get no money for the labor they put into creating creative content, but god forbid those links go to a site that pays the content creators. And in many of those cases, especially with imgur, the content is simply being lifted without permission from the original content creator.
For more information follow along in the BannedDomains subreddit.