I’ve been hearing about this from a few different places this week. Much as us Tumblrfolk are loathe to admit it, Reddit is another source where stories that aren’t getting much attention from the media can go mainstream. Part of the success of Mother Jones’ breaking story on Romney’s 47% comment last year was due to it going viral on Reddit. But today, that wouldn’t be possible, because Mother Jones is one of the sites r/politics has now banned.
This Slate article discusses why banning these sites is both wrong and hypocritical. Many of the whitelisted sites are barely news sources (The Daily Mail) and others are as biased as some of the banned ones. Specifically, they’re biased toward Libertarianism.
The Libertarian bent of the story is a point that doesn’t come up in this article. I’ve seen posts from former r/politics participants that explained how this all happened: Libertarian-minded folks who spent time on the forum didn’t like how most of the top posts were from “liberal” sources. Recently, new moderators have been appointed, and most of them are vocal Libertarians. Not necessarily a problem in and of itself. But they’re banning sites that generally get lots of upvotes, not because the stories aren’t true, but because they want to see more Libertarian news.
IN OTHER WORDS: The “free market” of upvoting popular stories said what the people wanted was liberal news. So the free-market loving Libertarians decided to make a new regulation that would prevent the majority of commenters from doing something that disagreed with their ideology. They didn’t agree with the outcome of the free market, and since they were in a privileged position of power, they changed things in a way that would benefit them at the detriment of others.
If that isn’t the problem with Libertarianism in a nutshell, I don’t know what is.
Bolding is mine.
Also I recommend this interview with Mother Jones editor Clara Jeffery on the banning.
I’m sure most of them also scream “Freedom of speech!” after someone asks them to stop slinging slurs and hate mongering…
Well, we know they scream and do thinly-veiled reboots when you try to get them to stop posting creepshots.
Also, an update on this story: r/politics has unbanned Mother Jones, but none of the other sites.
Most of these selections are abhorrent, but I don’t think that all of you are keeping track of HuffPo’s journalistic endeavors. Take a little time to get to know what content scraping is, y’all