RT.com has been banned on Reddit’s /r/news section, with moderators accusing it of spamming. Puzzled with absurd allegations, RT views the sanctions as an act of censorship with many redditors expressing the same concern.
The announcement of the ban appeared on Reddit at around 12:30 GMT Thursday, with the forum’s leading moderator posting: “RT.com has been banned for spam and vote manipulation.” It was soon followed by another message, saying that “brigading the thread, downvoting, and crying aren’t going to change it, sorry.”
RT immediately contacted the moderators of the /r/news section, as well as Reddit’s press office, to request an explanation. But in more than 24 hours no details that could clarify what may have led to the ban have been provided to RT by Reddit.
Reddit’s press office instead replied that it is not consulted by subreddits about their decisions.
“To clarify, it is the prerogative of each individual subreddit’s moderators to allow or ban domains from being submitted to their subreddits,” Victoria Taylor, of Reddit’s press service, said. “As we are not moderators of /r/news, we were not involved or consulted on this decision. You would need to appeal to the moderators of /r/news about their decision and address their concerns individually.”
RT has received no reply yet from douglasmacarthur, the moderator of Reddit’s /r/news section.
But later another redditor, BipolarBear0, listed as one of the moderators for the section, said in a comment on the website that there was “no vote manipulation,” calling it “an oversight there, but an honest mistake” by a moderator.
Responding to Michael Reed, co-founder of the Restore the Fourth movement, BipolarBear0 said he had nothing do with the decision to ban RT.com, but added he had in general been advocating that, “Simply because… It’s the Kremlin.”
RT’s leading web analyst, Aleksey Naumov, said there were no grounds for the moderator to accuse RT.com of spamming.
“Over the last two years, RT’s traffic has increased four- or five-fold,” Naumov said. “Quite naturally, during this period the number of submissions of our materials to Reddit.com, as well as the number of referrals from Reddit to our website, has increased. It’s not difficult to check that it’s not the same people, but different people, who are submitting our stories to Reddit.”