Women-hating MRAs and Incels, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 Truthers, and snuff video fetishists on Reddit got harder to find today. An update of Reddit's “quarantine” policy was announced on Thursday, and by Friday new content disclaimers appeared a number of the sketchier “subreddits,” including four with over 100,000 subscribers each.
“This is another step in how we’re thinking about enforcement on Reddit and how we can best incentivize positive behavior,” landoflobsters writes on the Reddit thread announcing the news.
The quarantine affected an extremist Left group, R/FullCommunism, and grossout subreddits where you can find video, images, and audio of human beings dying.
Here's an excerpt from the official post where Reddit announced the updated policy and a new implementation that wiped out access to a bunch of hate content:
While Reddit has had a quarantine function for almost three years now, we have learned in the process. Today, we are updating our quarantining policy to reflect those learnings, including adding an appeals process where none existed before.
On a platform as open and diverse as Reddit, there will sometimes be communities that, while not prohibited by the Content Policy, average redditors may nevertheless find highly offensive or upsetting. In other cases, communities may be dedicated to promoting hoaxes (yes we used that word) that warrant additional scrutiny, as there are some things that are either verifiable or falsifiable and not seriously up for debate (eg, the Holocaust did happen and the number of people who died is well documented). In these circumstances, Reddit administrators may apply a quarantine.
The purpose of quarantining a community is to prevent its content from being accidentally viewed by those who do not knowingly wish to do so, or viewed without appropriate context. We’ve also learned that quarantining a community may have a positive effect on the behavior of its subscribers by publicly signaling that there is a problem. This both forces subscribers to reconsider their behavior and incentivizes moderators to make changes.
Quarantined communities display a warning that requires users to explicitly opt-in to viewing the content (similar to how the NSFW community warning works). Quarantined communities generate no revenue, do not appear in non-subscription-based feeds (eg Popular), and are not included in search or recommendations. Other restrictions, such as limits on community styling, crossposting, the share function, etc. may also be applied. Quarantined subreddits and their subscribers are still fully obliged to abide by Reddit’s Content Policy and remain subject to enforcement measures in cases of violation.
Moderators will be notified via modmail if their community has been placed in quarantine. To be removed from quarantine, subreddit moderators may present an appeal here. The appeal should include a detailed accounting of changes to community moderation practices. (Appropriate changes may vary from community to community and could include techniques such as adding more moderators, creating new rules, employing more aggressive auto-moderation tools, adjusting community styling, etc.) The appeal should also offer evidence of sustained, consistent enforcement of these changes over a period of at least one month, demonstrating meaningful reform of the community.
You can find more detailed information on the quarantine appeal and review process here.
Related coverage at The Daily Beast.
[PHOTO: Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California in this April 15, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith]