Reddit Mods Censoring Posts They Don’t Want You To See

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Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been more and more evidence coming to the surface to suggest that some of the mods over at some of Reddit’s top subs are censoring what their users can and can’t see.

This all goes back to the end of February, when Glen Greenwald’s Report on how US and UK Government Agencies infiltrate and manipulate online activity in order to destroy reputations or swing public opinion was banned from being posted to Reddit’s /r/News and /r/WorldNews.

All links to Greenwald’s report were removed, Articles discussing the report including Washingtons Blog’s and Examiner’s were removed.

Redditors were pretty quick to hit on that something wasn’t quite right here with a few raising the alarm.

One of the Mods, BipolarBear0 responded to the onslaught of public criticism by revealing that yes, they do filter links submitted to their subreddit, but it’s only to keep it ‘factual’:

We do indeed run a filter list of domains. They are categorized in a few ways, and every single domain listed violates one/all of our stated rules in some regard:

Opinion/Analysis. This section includes domains such as Alternet, DemandProgress, and OpposingViews – basically any domain which predominantly purports misleading or analytic content, or opinionated content (such as op-eds), or content which intends to promote one cause over another. /r/news is for strictly factual news reporting, and as such opinion posts and analysis posts are removed.

Not news. This section includes domains such as change.org, facebook.com and kickstarter.com. While these may be mostly self-evident, the section is added to filter out any non-news stories, something which to an extent goes hand in hand with our limitation on opinion and advocacy posts as described above.

Satire. The reasoning behind the filtering of these domains is pretty self-evident.

Unreliable source. Basically any source which has proven to be highly unreliable or misleading. Included are a few conspiracy domains, as well as any other unreliable outlet – like self-reporting services or personal blogs.

Rebloggers. Basically any domain which engages heavily/solely in the copying and pasting of other journalists’ work in an attempt to pass it off as their own.

Spam. Almost entirely consisting of domains which are submitted by the spammers which you’ll sometimes see plaguing the ‘new’ queue at night in the United States, with titles like “bus service Delhi” or “best SEO marketing”.

Now I know that each subreddit is it’s own independent board, with it’s own independent rules. The mods aren’t obliged to take a neutral position, they can (and do) remove links they just don’t like.

But in a default subreddit that is promoted by Reddit themselves we would (and should) expect the subreddit to be trustworthy and neutral.

But this kind of behaviour isn’t just confined to /r/News and /r/WorldNews, /r/Technology, one of Reddit’s largest subs has also been guilty of removing content that the moderators just don’t like.

Over the past couple of weeks more and more people have been asking just why are all posts and discussion related to Tesla Motors banned?

Those who dare to speak out against the mods find themselves banned and their thread deleted.

The guys over at /r/Undelete have compiled a list of all the keyword terms that appear to be banned from /r/Technology:

  • NSA
  • Comcast
  • Anonymous
  • Time Warner
  • CISPA
  • SOPA
  • TPP
  • Swartz
  • FCC
  • Flappy
  • net neutrality
  • Bitcoin
  • GHCQ
  • Snowden
  • spying
  • Clapper
  • Congress
  • Obama
  • Feinstein
  • Wyden
  • anti-piracy
  • FBI
  • CIA
  • DEA
  • Condoleezza
  • EFF
  • ACLU
  • National Security Agency

Now I don’t know about you, but a lot of those keywords seem to be related to a lot of political pressure recently, most notably the NSA and GCHQ Surveillance schemes.

5 Hurdles Amazon Needs To Overcome With Prime Air

an amazon prime air drone landing

There’s been quite a lot of hype over Amazon’s latest announcement, Prime Air. And to be perfectly honest it sounds pretty damn awesome.

Amazon is planning to give customers the option to have packages weighing less than 5 pounds (~2.25kg) delivered to their doorstep by automated drones. And if you think that doesn’t sound crazy enough, they claim Prime Air will deliver your package, from webpage to doorstep, in less than 30 minutes.

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Write Your Blog Posts For Humans, Not Robots

write for humans not robots

When it comes to SEO, many people get into the habit of writing for Google, not their readers. They stuff their posts with meaningless keywords, and they rarely provide any value to their readers. As a result, not many people engage with their content and the webmaster is left wondering what they’re doing with their failing site.

Does this sounds like your site? Well, I’ll be showing you how to write stunning content for your readers, and not just machines.

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Open Data: Why The Heck Aren’t We Using It?

Over the past year or so Big Data has really taken off. Big Data is just more of a jargon buzzword. It’s an idea that just makes sense; taking the huge amounts of data that we produce, and then using that data to get insights into how to further innovate.

I don’t really like the term ‘Big Data’ I much prefer Open Data. The idea of taking huge amounts of anonymous data, and then releasing it for free, without any restrictions on who or how it can be used.

Open Data is really powerful. When the vast troves of data that is locked up in Governments, Councils, Hospitals and Schools is released and freely available to use, there’s a huge area for people to use that data to make awesome new apps, products and ideas.

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The Rebirth of My Site

I know, I know. The amount of times that I’ve rebuilt, redesigned and rewritten this site is probably more times than Noel Edmonds has featured on Deal or No Deal.

Celebrity_Deal_or_No_Deal

So this time I’m back. I’m writing articles and I’m (hopefully) producing some decent content.

I’ve setup the blog with multiple categories, so i can blog on all the topics that interest me, as well as run a personal blog. I’m not expecting people to be particularly interested in my curent affairs, but this site serves as a archive to look back on in the future, where I can put all of my wiriting and interest in one place to look back on.

How to Disable Windows Defender in Windows 8

For those just getting to grips with Windows 8, one of Microsoft’s latest features is to include their free anti-virus software, Windows Defender as standard. This may be great for the average user, as it means not having to install a third party anti-virus. But for people like myself, Window defender is more of a hindrance, automatically removing files it deems as a threat with seemingly no way to disable or remove it. But alas, I shall be showing you exactly how to disable Windows Defender in Windows 8.1.

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Long Exposure Photography with Free iPhone App

This gallery contains 29 photos.

This week I went along to the long exposure photography evening at Chelmsford Makerspace. Over the course of the evening we experimented with different lights, lasers and effects to produce some stunning long exposure photographs. Before the evening we were asked to bring either an iPhone with a free long exposure app, Slow Shutter Cam, […]

How to use Google Authorship on Your Blog

As a blogger, Google authorship is one of the best tools you have in your arsenal to boost your ranking in Google, as well as also increase your click through rate from search results.

Google Authorship

Google authorship is part of Google’s rich snippets update. It takes structure data from a webpage and then displays it alongside the search results.

Google Author in the Search Results

Apart from looking pretty nifty, it serves as a really good way to get more traffic to your site. Visual content on the results page really stands out, and instantly catches the eye.

Google Authorship SERP Click Map

This click map, courtesy of Google’s own research, shows exactly how much authorship can affect the click through rate on the search results page. You can see that the site that is using authorship, is actually getting more traffic than the top two ranking sites. If this isn’t enough to convince you to intergrated Google Authorship into your blog right now, I’m not sure what will.

Link Google+ to your content

If you don’t have a Google+ account, then you’re going to need to sign up for one. Authorship uses information from your Google+ profile to aid ranking and display information on the search results page.

One you’re in Google+, go to your profile’s about tab, and then click on the edit button under ‘Links’.

Google plus contributer

Under the ‘Contributor to’ settings, add your Blog’s name and URL as a Current contributor. Make sure to set this to ‘Public’ otherwise it will not appear in the search results.

Adding Rel Author to your blog

Now that we’ve let Google know that you write for your blog, we can move on to implementing the rich snippets markup into your blog template.

<a href="***Author Google+ Profile Link Here***" rel="author">Joe Bloggs</a>

This code will make a hyperlink to your Google+ profile. You can put that into either your theme, or your blog posts. Simply replace the url with that of your Google+ profile, and change your name in the link.

You can also add the markup in the header of your theme. Since it’s hidden in the header of the page, it’s only read by the browser, so the link is invisible to the user, but Google can still read it without a problem.

<link href="***Author Google+ Profile Link Here***" rel="author" />

Test the results

We should now be almost finished. All there is to do now is to see if it worked. Google has made a brilliant rich snippets testing tool for getting at least a rough idea of what your webpage will look like in the search results.

authorship working in the search results