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Debate, dissent, and protest on Reddit


Hey everyone–

The pandemic has been extremely hard on many of us. We believe the best way forward for everyone is to get vaccinated and continue to follow CDC guidance on masking. Throughout the pandemic, we have also provided COVID-related resources to support our volunteer moderators, users, and communities, including a dedicated AMA series connecting users with authoritative experts on coronavirus and vaccines, as well as deploying homepage and search page banners directing users to the CDC and r/Coronavirus.

We appreciate that not everyone agrees with the current approach to getting us all through the pandemic, and some are still wary of vaccinations. Dissent is a part of Reddit and the foundation of democracy. Reddit is a place for open and authentic discussion and debate. This includes conversations that question or disagree with popular consensus. This includes conversations that criticize those that disagree with the majority opinion. This includes protests that criticize or object to our decisions on which communities to ban from the platform.

While we appreciate the sentiment of those demanding that we ban more communities that challenge consensus views on the pandemic, we continue to believe in the good of our communities and hope that we collectively approach the challenges of the pandemic with empathy, compassion, and a willingness to understand what others are going through, even when their viewpoint on the pandemic is different from yours.

When it comes to COVID-19 specifically, what we know and what are the current best practices from authoritative sources, like the CDC, evolve continuously with new learnings. Given the rapid state of change, we believe it is best to enable communities to engage in debate and dissent, and for us to link to the CDC wherever appropriate. While we believe the CDC is the best and most up to date source of information regarding COVID-19, disagreeing with them is not against our policies.

However, manipulating or cheating Reddit to amplify any particular viewpoint is against our policies, and we will continue to action communities that do so or that violate any of our other rules, including those dedicated to fraud (e.g. fake vaccine cards) or encouraging harm (e.g. consuming bleach); and we will continue to use our quarantine tool to link to authoritative sources and warn people they may encounter unsound advice. We humbly ask and encourage everyone to report content that may violate our policies.

*We are using our political ads system to facilitate discussion of this post within the context of your own communities.

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