Reddit CEO Admits to Editing User Comments

Ugicywapih

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May 15, 2014
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The action itself is certainly wrong and unprofessional. Given the explanation behind it, it also seems understandable though and somehow I have a rather hard time finding any sympathy for the "victims".

Kinda funny too, seeing how quickly the trolls start whining if someone goes messing with them for a change.
 

Barbas

ExQQxv1D1ns
Oct 28, 2013
33,804
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Isn't there a way to stick a post saying "Back atcha" at the top of a sub-reddit? Seems easier.
 

Kameburger

Turtle king
Apr 7, 2012
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You know, I understand why he did it. I do. Reddit is one of those sites that has long since abandoned a real feeling of unhindered freedom of expression along time ago. And I don't really think it's wrong of them in a sense. In the scheme of things, fair on him. I wouldn't want to be called a pedophile on the internet either. The thing is, this election has brought to light one big fucking problem which is that no one feels they can trust the other side to even be slightly decent anymore. This only plays into that. Like Clinton herself, to his supporters what he did is not really that big a deal and understandable given the circumstances, but to his detractors it is symbolic of a broken system that constantly puts its finger on the scale to ensure it's own interests at the expense of anyone who stands in the way.
 

InsanityRequiem

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Nov 9, 2009
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Barbas said:
Isn't there a way to stick a post saying "Back atcha" at the top of a sub-reddit? Seems easier.
There is. It?s called Announcement posts and they?re stickied at the top of the subreddit in ugly bright green. And since admin names are an ugly bright red, you know who wrote it.
 

DaWaffledude

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Apr 23, 2011
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I really don't understand why they've decided to freak out about this now. I mean, he was already able to do this. They must have known he was already able to do this. All he's used it for is to retaliate their own childishness back at them (which I find endlessly amusing, by the way). If he was editing their comments into something really incriminating he probably wouldn't admit to editing comments in the first place. Besides which, what could he possibly come up with that /r/the_donald hasn't already topped by itself?
 

Chareater

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Aug 12, 2010
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Lur-King said:
Back when GamerGate just started being a thing, I remember the day that all the gaming outlets reported negatively on their communities. Within the week after, The Escapist had purged those people from their staff, had formally apologized, and promised to rectify/report unbias content. I'm really glad The Escapist did the right thing, because when you look at Reddit, the New York Times, all these "respected" outlets, you see that they really aren't respectable. They aren't upstanding cornerstones of journalism or community standard. They're agenda pushing, corrupted, and colluding piles of garbage.

Escapist Staff, thanks for not taking the easy road and being like Twitter or Facebook's CEOs and censoring content. Thanks for being genuinely awesome to the community.
100% This. We love you Escapist Staff
 

Arnoxthe1

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Dec 25, 2010
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Meh. I only use reddit for the more obscure sub-forums a lot of people don't care about like the Project M sub-forum.

You know, there was a forum once, back in the golden age of the internet. Dedicated to free speech and free information of all kinds and it was called &TOTSE. But no one knows about it anymore it seems. Only true internet veterans know of it, and all we have now is Reddit which censors stuff like crazy so that's great.
 

aceman67

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Jan 14, 2010
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1. He's the Cheif Executive Officer of the website, a privately owned subsidiary of Advance Publications, a privately owned company. They have the right to do with the site as they see fit, as it isn't a publicly owned site.

2. There's nothing in the Reddit Terms of Use that specifically prohibit what he did, although there may be internal guidelines that Reddit employees must follow, but given that section 18 of the Reddit TOU [https://www.reddit.com/help/useragreement/] is as follows:
By submitting user content to Reddit, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform, or publicly display your user content in any medium and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, and to authorize others to do so.
They pretty much have free reign to do as they please with what you post on Reddit, short of breaking the law.

3. The posts in question that he edited were one's throwing him in with a group of paedophiles, which I'm pretty sure he's not, therefore calling him a paedophile, very likely a falsehood, is a Libellous claim (since the claims are in print on a website), and is illegal.

No, he didn't go far enough. He should have swung the ban hammer around. Section 4 of the TOU gives him the authority
Without advance notice and at any time, we may, for violations of this agreement or for any other reason we choose: (1) suspend your access to reddit, (2) suspend or terminate Your Account or reddit gold membership, and/or (3) remove any of your User Content from reddit.
Arnoxthe1 said:
>>Internet
>>freedom of speech
Wow, that's an extremely naive statement. When it comes to privately run websites, like Reddit, The Escapist, et al; THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Period. End of discussion. The owners of those sites can do whatever they want with the site short of breaking the laws that they governed by (In Reddit's case, since their servers are located in California, they are bound by Californian state laws and USA laws).

They have ZERO obligation to afford you any kind of freedom of speech whatsoever.

The First Amendment of the United States only protects you against the GOVERNMENT censoring you. A private citizen can censor you till the pigs fly and the cows come home, laughing the entire time.
 

DaWaffledude

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Apr 23, 2011
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Houseman said:
DaWaffledude said:
I really don't understand why they've decided to freak out about this now. I mean, he was already able to do this.
Anybody who has database access is able to do this. That goes for The Escapist too. That goes for almost every forum in existence. If you can manually edit the database, then you can make anyone look like they've said anything.

The issue isn't that spez has the power.
The issue is that spez abused that power.
To make fun of the mods of a subreddit that everyone hates. Oh the humanity.
 

Nimcha

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Dec 6, 2010
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Reddit is hilarious. It can be quite nice for your niche interest or it can be a place where everybody lives under a grand illusion that they somehow have an influence on the real world.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Apr 12, 2020
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...right. So, if the dipshits that we're getting their posts edited had been posting similar shit around these parts, they'd have been banned in a heartbeat, but getting their posts edited instead is the death of free speech.
 

MerlinCross

New member
Apr 22, 2011
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altnameJag said:
...right. So, if the dipshits that we're getting their posts edited had been posting similar shit around these parts, they'd have been banned in a heartbeat, but getting their posts edited instead is the death of free speech.
One robs you of making speech unless you try to get around it.
One can be abused to actually put words into someone's mouth.

Now I'm not say thing it's the death of Freedom of speech but the fact the owner has admitted to doing it, how are others going to handle this info? We've seen bans for different reasons and arguements, how and will this affect how that is handled?
 

maninahat

New member
Nov 8, 2007
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Lur-King said:
Back when GamerGate just started being a thing, I remember the day that all the gaming outlets reported negatively on their communities. Within the week after, The Escapist had purged those people from their staff, had formally apologized, and promised to rectify/report unbias content. I'm really glad The Escapist did the right thing, because when you look at Reddit, the New York Times, all these "respected" outlets, you see that they really aren't respectable. They aren't upstanding cornerstones of journalism or community standard. They're agenda pushing, corrupted, and colluding piles of garbage.

Escapist Staff, thanks for not taking the easy road and being like Twitter or Facebook's CEOs and censoring content. Thanks for being genuinely awesome to the community.
To me, there is something cynical about kicking out the boat rocking staff, especially if the aim is to protect the readership from any criticism. That says to me that a publisher is willing to compromise on social commentary and its moral standpoint for the sake of keeping up the view count.

Also, The escapist has its own biases and over the last nine years I've seen it strike out in a very specific direction. It's been very clear on its position, and I'm surprised you haven't seen it when you are so quick to call out other media outlets.
 

RedDeadFred

Illusions, Michael!
May 13, 2009
4,896
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Well if I was being called a pedophile by hundreds of people for getting rid of something that was spewing hatred on rather flimsy "evidence", I'd probably have done the same thing. Not saying it's right (it's not), but I do find it hilarious how indignant people are acting about it.

And for the damage to Reddit's credibility.... what credibility? It's a bunch of forums. If you are legitimately using peoples' comments to form your opinion on important issues without bothering to look into them yourself, then I don't really care if your illusion of Reddit as some safe haven of neutrality was shattered. You were naive to think so in the first place.

Sorry if that sounds harsh (for anyone who fell into the above type of person), but it's a message board. Of course there are people who can edit comments without any notice. It could have happened many times before without anyone besides the person on the receiving end of the edit. I suppose this shines light on how it was always a possibility, but I don't really see how that should change anything.

Again, not trying to piss anyone off, but maybe this is the wake up some people needed. Though I'm sure it'll be forgotten fairly quickly. Maybe I'm overly cynical.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Aug 28, 2008
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What I don't get is why did he needed to politicize this by making it a trump thing, surely he could aim it to all the mods in general lol. Also, thanks to this now I know of all this pizza nonsence. Rule 1 with conspiracy theories, do not give them the attention that comes with censorship. Just let them die out. I'm glad I never bothered with reddit, it sounds worse than the atari forums from back when they had the dbz game license.
 

ToastyMozart

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Mar 13, 2012
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HomuraDidNothinWrong said:
The big issue with the dummy editing comments is it strips reddit of its fair harbor protections. Now if someone has a lawsuit against them based on comments they made, reddit as a company can be liable instead of the person making the comments. Its a MASSIVE blunder from a legal perspective, and I expect Advance Publications is going to be looking for a new CEO in the coming weeks.
Putting in a precedent that lets people claim "I didn't write that, the admins surreptitiously edited my post to say it" sure seems like a really bad idea long-term.

I mean I can get behind the guy wanting to use his powers to fuck with the people being dicks to him, but this was a really poor approach.
 

ToastyMozart

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Mar 13, 2012
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Dreiko said:
Also, thanks to this now I know of all this pizza nonsence. Rule 1 with conspiracy theories, do not give them the attention that comes with censorship. Just let them die out. I'm glad I never bothered with reddit, it sounds worse than the atari forums from back when they had the dbz game license.
I don't disagree, but since the Pizza nonsense sub was being used as a staging ground for harassment campaigns (which goes against Reddit TOS, in addition to general liability) the administration was pretty much obligated to shut them down.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Aug 28, 2008
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ToastyMozart said:
Dreiko said:
Also, thanks to this now I know of all this pizza nonsence. Rule 1 with conspiracy theories, do not give them the attention that comes with censorship. Just let them die out. I'm glad I never bothered with reddit, it sounds worse than the atari forums from back when they had the dbz game license.
I don't disagree, but since the Pizza nonsense sub was being used as a staging ground for harassment campaigns (which goes against Reddit TOS, in addition to general liability) the administration was pretty much obligated to shut them down.
So if we start doing that here should this topic be closed? Is that a thing now where if you want something closed all you gotta do is infiltrate it and start causing trouble? How about just banning individual posters and letting the topic open for the well-behaved to use.
 

EyeReaper

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Aug 17, 2011
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I'm going to guess this soundbyte played every time he edited someone else's comments. Otherwise I'll have to assume reddit isn't programmed properly.