The Kremlin funded news organization Russia Today (RT) was banned from online-forum Reddit’s popular news section on Thursday for alleged spamming.
One of Reddit’s leading moderators “douglasmacarthur” announced the ban in a post saying “RT.com has been banned for spam and vote manipulation.”
RT responded to the ban in a post on Friday, alleging it was based on “absurd allegations” and saying they had appealed to the moderators of the news section for an explanation.
However, according to RT “in more than 24 hours no details that could clarify what may have led to the ban have been provided to RT by Reddit.”
Instead, Reddit’s press office reportedly released a statement noting “it is the prerogative of each individual subreddit’s moderators to allow or ban domains from being submitted.”
“You would need to appeal to the moderators of /r/news about their decision and address their concerns individually,” Reddit Spokeswoman Victoria Taylor told RT in a statement.
Some Reddit users decried the move to ban RT, calling it censorship.
“Is there any way to reverse the effects of such spam rather than simply banning a source?” a user identifying as “humanthought” reportedly asked. “We all know that RT can be ridiculously biased, but if you ban this source, you are pretty much banning a huge portion of the ‘other side of the story.’ There has to be a better way than censorship.”
But the moderator who implemented the ban has said he had good reason to believe RT was spamming their forum to garner traffic.
“One example is plain domain frequency,” r/news moderator dougalsmacarthur said in a comment. “The rule-of-thumb is 10 percent. If you submit a lot, and the proportion coming from a certain domain is way higher than that, you’re probably a spammer. If there’s a lot of users doing that a lot for one domain, you should investigate further to see if it’s people working for that domain.”
According to The Daily Dot, Reddit drives roughly 1.8 percent of total traffic to RT’s website.
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