Do you know Reddit? It is this thing. It is a glorious place of Internet freedom where users (“Redditors”) post stories they have found from other places, and then other users (“Redditors”) vote up and down on whether it is “hot” or “not.” In that regard, it is much like our own Wonkville, where we send our readers to slave in the story mines and then bitch about how their headlines were better. A hot post on Reddit’s main politics “subreddit,” /r/politics, will flood the original site from which it was linked with masses of lovely, beautiful,
$$$ traffic. This can be quite important, when you are trying to pay people and also eat food and also not be homeless, despite making your “living” on the internet. (Please send money.)
But a thing has happened at /r/politics, and that is that some “moderators” went full Al Haig and had themselves a teeny-weeny little attack of I’M IN CHARGE HERE. They decreed that henceforth they would ban all stories from about a thousand million different websites completely (scroll down for the banned domains), for the crimes of being “sensational” (headlines that oversell their stories), “blogspam” (basically, any aggregator of news from around the web, which every blog is), or “bad journalism” (undefined). Among those sites? Just some total nonentities you’ve never heard of, like Mother Jones, the National Review, Media Matters, Right Wing Watch, Salon, Think Progress, and Huffington Post.
(Also, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, which despite being insane and coming from the brain of Glenn Beck, but we repeat ourselves, has been known to debunk rightwing myths and even be intellectually honest??? Which, we don’t know, might be of some sort of benefit to society sometimes?) All of those have original reporting, you say? All of them are well-respected, even National Review sometimes, you claim? Everybody oversells their stories in headlines, because blogs are not the fucking New York Times, you think? And Wonkette, which actually is guilty of all those crimes up to 12 times each and every day, is not even on this list of banned sites? That’s fucked up, right? Unless we actually are on the banned list, under the heading “Gawker and all its affiliates,” because perhaps the fucking idiots moderating /r/politics think Wonkette is still “Gawker and all its affiliates,” because of how they are fucking idiots?
Well, all the redditors went apeshit, as you can imagine, and the mods started weaseling like “oh, maybe we can reconsider some on a case-by-case basis, like, you know maaaaaybe Mother Jones can stay.” At the time we looked at the /r/politics page, the top story was a Talking Points Memo “blogspam” (aggregation) of
Media Matters’ Mother Jones’s original reporting. Which, of course, was banned outright.
Also, many of the redditors pointed out that applying a “good journalism” rule, which presumably means “lack of bias, as if that is fucking possible,” to a subreddit about politics, is stupid idiotic nonsense of bullshit. Moderators have since claimed it’s not about “bias,” but haven’t explained what then separates good journalism from bad. (Hint: your Editrix — that’s me, for anyone hopping over here from Reddit for the first time — has taught journalism at the University of California, and can state with all conviction that SHE HAS MARSHALL MCLUHAN RIGHT HERE, AND THE MODS KNOW NOTHING OF HOW JOURNALISM WORKS.)
Anyway, if you wanna spend about seven hours of your life reading pissed off comments about /r/politics’s new policy, and many accusations that the new mods, including one “theredditpope,” are fronting for libertarians and that the conservative sites that were banned were just a smokescreen to get rid of the most popular liberal sites, and the moderators’ sniffy disavowals and strawman arguments (and many invocations of the term “strawman”), do by all means hit up the post. It’s fun!
And if you are a redditor, please post our cordial invitation to all the pissed-off unsubscribers to make Wonkville their new home away from /r/politics.
At Wonkville, they can bitch about how Wonkette is wrote bad and ungrammatical and how every story sounds like it was written by a 12-year-old girl, to their hearts’ content!
We would do it ourself, but we got shadowbanned for posting four stories from Wonkette over a period of eight months, because /r/politics has some dumb bullshit law about that. Because it sucks.