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Reddit demotes technology subthread after posts were deleted

Posts containing Bitcoin, Obama and other terms were censored by moderators, Reddit says

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Reddit has removed from its front page the popular r/technology subreddit after what it called bad editorial choices by the page's moderators.

"The subreddit was not effectively moderated," Erik Martin, general manager at Reddit, said by telephone Tuesday. Posts containing certain keywords, including Bitcoin, FCC and Obama, were deleted from the site, he said.

The issue may have been happening for as long as a couple months, Martin said. He couldn't say why those posts in particular had been targeted.

Reddit puts a list of subreddits on its front page, which gets them more exposure and promotes them to new members. The site removed the r/technology subreddit from its front page on Friday. It may be returned there at a later date.

"We messed up, and we are sorry," community moderator Pharnaces_II said in a post. The problems were caused by a bot that deleted submissions from a wide variety of topics, Pharnaces_II wrote.

The mods responsible for that system are no longer part of the subreddit's team, and the new team is committed to a more transparent style of moderating, the moderator wrote.

Meanwhile, users are opting for alternative technology-oriented subreddits that have sprung up on Reddit. These include r/tech and r/technews.

"We are committed to transparency in moderation at this subreddit," reads a welcome note from the r/tech subreddit. "We know you've been burned before."

Reddit says it had over 114 million unique visitors last month.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com



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