Why Banning Kotaku from Reddit is Stupid

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Today it was brought to my attention that several subreddits are in the process of mass-banning all websites that fall under the Gawker Media banner. Naturally, these include Gizmondo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Deadspin, io9 and Jezebel. Why, you ask? Because Reddit mods have been resentful toward Gawker sites since their father site Gawker.com unmasked Reddit user “Violenacrez” for his involvement in the creation and moderation of literally 1000’s of subreddits – most notably /r/jailbait, a playground for pedophiles that gained worldwide negative attention to Reddit for hosting such content.

Moderator Deimorz of /r/games explained to Kotaku’s editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo about why he feels the ban is justified. You can read the full exchange here.

The ban has absolutely nothing to do with Kotaku’s quality. There’s actually been some really good stuff coming out of Kotaku recently. To be completely honest, there have even been a few articles that I’ve wanted to submit here myself, and I was mildly annoyed that I couldn’t.

You’re basically banned because of who you hang out with. It’s like if you’re part of a group of kids that sits around outside a store every day after school, and the owner doesn’t mind that you’re there. You all come in to buy some stuff sometimes, and you’re generally well-behaved and don’t disturb any of the other customers.

But then one day, one of your friends decides to throw a brick through the front store window for some reason. He’s certainly not allowed anywhere near the place after that, but the rest of you aren’t allowed to hang out there any more either. You didn’t actually do anything, but you’re kicked out based on your association.

That’s why you’re banned. A couple of your friends started throwing bricks at reddit.

Such bullshit. What kind of childish moderators think acting this way is acceptable? Even the way he explains it pisses me off. He actually admits to banning an entire blog network just because they don’t care for some of the websites under the Gawker banner.

Scumbag RedditNow, I’ve had some problems with Gawker websites in the past. The Gizmondo stunt where they turned off hundreds of TVs and were banned from a convention center over had me furious and to this day I do not forget those responsible. The same can be said about the unethical purchase of an illegal iPhone. That’s horrid and I’m ashamed they were allowed to get way with what they did. With that said, they still supply quality content and I find myself reading their website all the time. The same goes for Kotaku. When I started reading Kotaku, it was a gaming blog with the occasional geek-centric post about something not related to games. That was fine, but as the years went by their content ended up all over the place. Cosplay, food and other weird posts certainly overshadowed their game content for the longest time. But more recently, they have really been stepping up their game and I’ve found myself enjoying the majority of content on their site.

Interestingly enough, Polygon and The Verge are still allowed on Reddit, despite ex-Kotaku staff working for them. When asked about why there’s no hostility toward those sites, Redditor “fishingcat” replied with the following response.

They’re given credibility because it appears they’re putting out quality content. Until they start making terrible articles they’ll be considered reputable.

Computer Baby

Keep in mind Reddit is the same site that’s known for stealing memes and uploading the same crap to the front page every other week. Reddit never has and never will be known for quality or original content. Regardless, the lynch mob is in full swing and pulling no punches – even going as far as to bring up irrelevant and potentially slanderous information about Gawker in an attempt to gain precious karma.

Reddit user “dottylemon” posted the following in a /r/politics thread.

Fun fact: Gawker requires its interns (or at least required when I interned there) create reddit accounts to promote Gawker links.

I’m not sure if this is true or not, but let’s assume it is. Who gives a shit? Seriously? Since when did websites promoting their own content turn into a cardinal sin? The only “rule” about self promotion is on Reddit’s rules page, but even that is half-assed and doesn’t necessarily say it’s against the rules. It just syas that it’s not okay to only post links to your blog or website. In theory, being an active community member who also shares his own content should be okay. But that’s not enough for some people. Everything has to be controversy in the world of cats.

Regardless of the website you visit, there will always be content you don’t agree with or have a desire to view. I don’t care if it’s Kotaku, Reddit, Facebook or Geekenstein, that’s how both the Internet and real life works. You, as a human, have the ability to choose what content you want to immerse yourself in. When sites like Reddit have voting algorithms in place that prevent unpopular content from gaining ranks on the site, there’s no reason to resort to measures as drastic as banning entire networks of blogs. It goes against the very principles the site was built on.