It looks like an incident from about a year ago has made a surprise reappearance on reddit.com. Last year, a user named georedd was posting dozens of stories pertaining to health insurance and other assorted political issues, and insisting that his submissions were being targeted for down-voting by networks of insurance lobbyists operating on reddit. Once he started claiming this in his posts, they were frequently voted up into the high thousands by people who, understandably, wanted to counteract what they believed to be an attempt at censorship.
The problem is that there was never any evidence that this was actually happening. None of the voting patterns in any of his posts were out of the norm or unusual in a way that would suggest some kind of coordinated suppression. He specifically claimed that it was “statistically impossible” for some of his posts to have 0 points (an equal number of upvotes and downvotes). Yet this happens often with controversial or unpopular submissions – sometimes, there really are just a roughly equal number of people who like and dislike something. This occurs anywhere on reddit, not just on posts about healthcare and politics.
Similarly, the voting patterns on his posts with less than zero points (more downvotes than upvotes) didn’t appear to be abnormal, either. It is possible for posts to just be voted down a lot; this is pretty common on reddit. His posts often had irritating titles which could easily be construed as spam, and were cross-posted to multiple sections of reddit that they weren’t always relevant to. It’s not surprising that people would vote him down – none of this was excessive or odd, and it was nothing that would require the coordinated efforts of insurance lobbyists.
Once I noticed what georedd was doing on reddit, I posted a video explaining that he was most likely just claiming to be systematically censored so that more people would vote on his submissions, and suggested that reddit users vote his stories down in response to discourage this. After a few weeks, he mostly faded into the background and people stopped caring.
Until now. Yesterday, georedd made a post titled: “A year ago a reddit moderator made a video which told redditors to downvote my posts categorically because the moderator thought my claims of right wing suppression groups operating on social networks like reddit was ridiculous.”
Guess this goes in the category of “I told you so.”
I again recently ran across the youtube video made by a reddit moderator who told redditors to downvote me categorically because the moderator thought my claims of right wing suppression groups operating on social networks like reddit was ridiculous in 2009. ( did you get that? The reddit moderator told people to downvote me enmasse because my claims of groups of people voting down my comments enmasse was not real… sigh. )
here’s that video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfrfyszQdJE
(please note since then it has been widely proven via this story at alternet.org http://blogs.alternet.org/oleoleolson/2010/08/05/massive-censorship-of-digg-uncovered/
That huge right wing groups called “bury groups” indeed were operating on social networks doing exactly what I said – they were massively downvoting stories in organized efforts that didn’t agree with their conservative outlook on Digg and they do the same thing on Reddit although they haven’t been tracked as closely on reddit yet. (I documented some of them in some of my own posts years ago including some redditors who pointed people to bots to manipulate reddit.)
This was interesting. It seems he hasn’t given up trying to mislead reddit users. To call me a “reddit moderator” isn’t quite accurate, since it has no relevance here. Anyone can be a moderator on reddit, and it isn’t administratively assigned – all you have to do is start your own section, which anyone can do, or be added as a moderator for a section. I’m only a moderator of the WTF and LGBT sections; I’ve never had anything to do with georedd’s submissions. So when I posted my video, it’s not like I was acting in any official capacity as part of reddit – I’m just another user.
More importantly, georedd seems to think he’s been vindicated here when he actually hasn’t. Stating that there are “right wing suppression groups operating on social networks like reddit” suggests that such groups actually were systematically suppressing his posts as he claimed. And yet there’s still no proof of that, or even any evidence vaguely pointing to it. The story he referenced was about a large network of right-wing Digg users who would organize to bury specific submissions that they disagreed with. From this, he seems to think it can automatically be assumed that his own posts were being subjected to the same treatment, and that similar networks are operating on reddit. Such an assumption is unfounded, and even he admits this – he just says they “haven’t been tracked as closely on reddit yet.” In other words, either evidence of this is eventually found, and he was right, or we should just have faith that it will be found, meaning he’s still right. Regardless of whether there’s anything to support his claims, he ends up being right either way – the total lack of evidence means nothing here.
And, just like what happened last year, his deceptive post convinced hundreds of reddit users to vote it onto the front page. He misled them into believing he was being censored when he wasn’t, and now he’s misleading them into thinking he was right when he wasn’t. He lied last year, and he’s lying again. And reddit took the bait: the truth lost, and the lie won.
By the way, would you like to see what reddit thinks of gay people, trans people and women?
Good fucking luck if you’re expecting an apology from this bitch.