What happened in Orlando this weekend was a national tragedy. Let’s remember that first and foremost, this was a devastating and visceral human experience that many individuals and whole communities were, and continue to be, affected by. In the grand scheme of things, this is what is most important today.
I would like to address what happened on Reddit this past weekend. Many of you use Reddit as your primary source of news, and we have a duty to provide access to timely information during a crisis. This is a responsibility we take seriously.
The story broke on r/news, as is common. In such situations, their community is flooded with all manners of posts. Their policy includes removing duplicate posts to focus the conversation in one place, and removing speculative posts until facts are established. A few posts were removed incorrectly, which have now been restored. One moderator did cross the line with their behavior, and is no longer a part of the team. We have seen the accusations of censorship. We have investigated, and beyond the posts that are now restored, have not found evidence to support these claims.
Whether you agree with r/news’ policies or not, it is never acceptable to harass users or moderators. Expressing your anger is fine. Sending death threats is not. We will be taking action against users, moderators, posts, and communities that encourage such behavior.
We are working with r/news to understand the challenges faced and their actions taken throughout, and we will work more closely with moderators of large communities in future times of crisis. We–Reddit Inc, moderators, and users–all have a duty to ensure access to timely information is available.
In the wake of this weekend, we will be making a handful of technology and process changes:
- Live threads are the best place for news to break and for the community to stay updated on the events. We are working to make this more timely, evident, and organized.
- We’re introducing a change to Sticky Posts: They’ll now be called Announcement Posts, which better captures their intended purpose; they will only be able to be created by moderators; and they must be text posts. Votes will continue to count. We are making this change to prevent the use of Sticky Posts to organize bad behavior.
- We are working on a change to the r/all algorithm to promote more diversity in the feed, which will help provide more variety of viewpoints and prevent vote manipulation.
- We are nearly fully staffed on our Community team, and will continue increasing support for moderator teams of major communities.
Again, what happened in Orlando is horrible, and above all, we need to keep things in perspective. We’ve all been set back by the events, but we will move forward together to do better next time.