After issuing a warning last week, saying that it would block links from certain domains for misuse of the service, popular link-sharing website Reddit announced Wednesday that it had indeed banned a number of domains that included leading publications like The Atlantic and Businessweek.
Redditors are currently pulling together the blacklisted websites at a new subreddit called r/BannedDomains. So far, the subreddit has listed popular sites like The Atlantic,Phys.org, Businessweek, ScienceDaily and GlobalPost among others.
Some domains are not allowed on any part of reddit because they are spammy, malicious, or involved in cheating shenanigans, read the Reddit announcement.
Users attempting to submit links to any of the aforementioned sites are prevented from doing so. Instead, they get an error message saying, this domain has been banned for spamming and/or cheating.
According to Daily Dot, this is not the first time The Atlantic has come under Reddit's scrutiny. In April, the website encountered a similar issue, with its social media editor Jared Keller being kicked off Reddit for posting large numbers of articles under a pseudonym.
Forbes noted that it's not necessarily someone who employs questionable tactics to violate Reddit's guidelines and gets himself banned from the service. Even a newcomer, who's used to the anything-goes ethic of other social media gathering places, can come under Reddit's fury.
Posting too frequently, posting multiple articles from the same site, posting stories other uses ignore or dislike - all of these things can quickly land a Redditor in dutch, said the report.
Although Reddit considers spamming a gray area in its FAQ page, the site says that accounts that mainly use the service to endorse a particular publication without actively participating in discussion are guilty of spamming, The Verge has reported. Here's what Reddit explains regarding spamming:
It's a gray area, but some rules of thumb:
- It's not strictly forbidden to submit a link to a site that you own or otherwise benefit from in some way, but you should sort of consider yourself on thin ice. So please pay careful attention to the rest of these bullet points.
- If you spend more time submitting to reddit than reading it, you're almost certainly a spammer.
- If your contribution to Reddit consists mostly of submitting links to a site(s) that you own or otherwise benefit from in some way, and additionally if you do not participate in discussion, or reply to peoples questions, regardless of how many upvotes your submissions get, you are a spammer.
- If people historically downvote your links or ones similar to yours, and you feel the need to keep submitting them anyway, they're probably spam.
- If people historically upvote your links or ones like them -- and we're talking about real people here, not sockpuppets or people you asked to go vote for you -- congratulations! It's almost certainly not spam. But we're serious about the not people you asked to go vote for you part.
- If nobody's submitted a link like yours before, give it a shot. But don't flood the new queue; submit one or two times and see what happens.
Forbes reached out to both The Atlantic and Bloomberg Businessweek to receive their responses over the issue. Here's what an Atlantic spokesperson said:
Reddit contacted us earlier this year with concerns that a member of our staff was submitting Atlantic stories in violation of Reddit's guidelines for content promotion. We took steps to address the problem. Reddit informed us Tuesday that some irregularities have recurred and that, as a result, the site is temporarily banning submissions with The Atlantic's domain. We take this issue very seriously and are looking into it further.
We at The Atlantic remain big fans of Reddit and the kind of Internet it represents.
From Bloomberg Businessweek:
Our social media policy prohibits spamming. It dictates best practices to ensure we're using any social media sites, including Reddit, responsibly and within each individual site's user policies.