Concerning Recent Changes in Allowed Domains (self.politics)

21 ups - 12 downs = 9 votes

Hi everyone!

We've noticed some confusion recently over our decision in the past couple weeks to expand our list of disallowed domains. This post is intended to explain our rationale for this decision.

What Led to This Change?

The impetus for this branch of our policy came from the feedback you gave us back in August. At that time, members of the community told us about several issues that they would like to see addressed within the community. We have since been working on ways to address these issues.

The spirit of this change is to address two of the common complaints we saw in that community outreach thread. By implementing this policy, we hope to reduce the number of blogspam submissions and sensationalist titles.

What Criteria Led to a Domain Ban?

We have identified one of three recurring problems with the newly disallowed domains:

  1. Blogspam

  2. Sensationalism

  3. Low Quality Posts

First, much of the content from some of these domains constitutes blogspam. In other words, the content of these posts is nothing more than quoting other articles to get pageviews. They are either direct copy-pastas of other articles or include large block-quotes with zero synthesis on the part of the person quoting. We do not allow blogspam in this subreddit.

The second major problem with a lot of these domains is that they regularly provide sensationalist coverage of real news and debates. By "sensationalist" what we mean here is over-hyping information with the purpose of gaining greater attention. This over-hyping often happens through appeals to emotion, appeals to partisan ideology, and misrepresented or exaggerated coverage. Sensationalism is a problem primarily because the behavior tends to stop the thoughtful exchange of ideas. It does so often by encouraging "us vs. them" partisan bickering. We want to encourage people to explore the diverse ideas that exist in this subreddit rather than attack people for believing differently.

The third major problem is pretty simple to understand, though it is easily the most subjective: the domain provides lots of bad journalism to the sub. Bad journalism most regularly happens when the verification of claims made by a particular article is almost impossible. Bad journalism, especially when not critically evaluated, leads to lots of circlejerking and low-quality content that we want to discourage. Domains with a history of producing a lot of bad journalism, then, are no longer allowed.

In each case, rather than cutting through all the weeds to find one out of a hundred posts from a domain that happens to be a solid piece of work, we've decided to just disallow the domains entirely. Not every domain suffers from all three problems, but all of the disallowed domains suffer from at least one problem in this list.

Where Can I Find a List of Banned Domains?

You can find the complete list of all our disallowed domains here. We will be periodically re-evaluating the impact that these domains are having on the subreddit.

Questions or Feedback? Contact us!

If you have any questions or constructive feedback regarding this policy or how to improve the subreddit generally, please feel free to comment below or message us directly by clicking this link.

Concerning Feedback In This Thread

If you do choose to comment below please read on.

Emotions tend to run high whenever there is any change. We highly value your feedback, but we want to be able to talk with you, not at you. Please keep the following guidelines in mind when you respond to this thread.

  • Serious posts only. Joking, trolling, or otherwise non-serious posts will be removed.

  • Keep it civil. Feedback is encouraged, and we expect reasonable people to disagree! However, no form of abuse is tolerated against anyone.

  • Keep in mind that we're reading your posts carefully. Thoughtfully presented ideas will be discussed internally.

With that in mind, let's continue to work together to improve the experience of this subreddit for as many people as we can! Thanks for reading!

191 comments submitted at 17:31:56 on Oct 28, 2013 by PoliticsMod

  • [-]
  • Perram
  • 1 Points
  • 18:33:16, 28 October

I feel that these changes are contrary to the very nature of Reddit. By banning these additional sites, such as MJ and HuffPo, you are taking the choice away from the audience.

The very purpose of the up down voting is to let the community filter itself, and you are vastly influencing the nature of this discussion and its ability to help the public discussion by doing so.

I feel this is a violation of the social contract here at reddit.

  • [-]
  • TodaysIllusion
  • 1 Points
  • 18:40:38, 28 October

Yes! when the reddit politics users chose the content, it was far more diversified.

Our current moderator team responded to those constant conservative cries that reddit politics was too liberal dominated.

They have "fixed it" by destroying it.

  • [-]
  • MillenniumFalc0n
  • 1 Points
  • 19:02:56, 28 October

I think you might be a bit misinformed about the nature of reddit. See this. Individual subreddits exist specifically so that they can be run differently. The voting mechanism is an excellent tool and does have it's purpose, but that mechanism is only meant to be used on things that fit within the guidelines of each subreddit.

  • [-]
  • GhostOfMaynard
  • 1 Points
  • 19:09:29, 28 October

> The fix is for the /r/scuba moderators to remove the offtopic links, and ideally to teach the submitters about the more appropriate /r/swimming subreddit.

Are you comparing off-topic submissions in these hypothetical subreddits, where confusion between swimming and scuba-diving articles requires some moderation, with blacklisting award winning sites that publish journalism about US politics?

Would you please explain in detail how that Reddit document relates to this situation?