Facebook and Reddit accused of censorship after pages discussing Orlando carnage are deleted in wake of terrorist attack
- Reddit users said site’s moderators blocked discussions of terrorist attack
- The main news forum on the site became overwhelmed with posts Sunday
- Users said moderators responded by deleting comments related to carnage
- Facebook also accused of censorship by political pundit Pamela Geller
- She said her page ‘Stop the Islamization of America’ was deleted Sunday
- Said ban showed Facebook wants ‘people to remain ignorant of jihadism’
A screenshot of the ‘Orlando Nightclub Shooting – Megathread’ – a consolidated discussion thread -showed the majority of comments were marked as ‘[deleted].’
By Sunday evening, moderators began opening threads back up and responded to criticism that they were ‘censoring’ discussion of the terrorist attack.
In an explanatory post, a moderator said that Orlando-related threads were heavily edited because they were ‘being filled with hate speech, vitriol, and vote manipulation.’
Reddit content is displayed based on a voting system by which the most ‘upvoted’ posts and comments become the most visible. R/news is a ‘default subreddit,’ which means it’s one of 49 topical forums that appear on every new user’s front page.
Reddit users can customize their front pages based on their personal interests. There are over 800,000 forums, known as ‘subreddits,’ from which to choose.
The moderator also said Orlando threads were being ‘brigaded’ – a process by which users band together to down or upvote a given topic or opinion (‘It’s the Reddit form of a lynch mob,’ according to one user’s explanation).
‘We did a poor job reacting to the brigades and ultimately chose to lock several threads and then consolidate other big threads into a megathread,’ the r/News moderator wrote.
‘While we understand that there is a lot of disdain for our mod team right now, please try to keep your messages and comments civil. We are only human after all.’
But some users were not satisfied with that explanation.
Multiple users reported they were banned from the forum after pointing out that the shooter had suspected ties to Islamic terrorism.
One user said that a post containing information about where to donate blood was deleted in the wake of the attack.
And an individual moderator came under fire for writing ‘kill yourself’ in response to criticism related to the editing of Orlando
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