Multiple subreddits go black as criticism of Reddit’s approach to misinformation

Dozens of major subreddits have been shut down since Monday because Reddit wouldn’t do enough to combat covid-related misinformation. These are large subreddits of tens of millions of users and smaller subreddits.

Subreddit N8theGr8 keeps track of which subreddits have gone private. Major subreddits such as r/futurology and r/tifu have gone black; both subreddits have over ten million members. Other major subreddits such as r/Holup, r/instant_regret and r/PokemonGo have also been unavailable since Monday.

When a subreddit goes private, only approved members can see posts and comment. If unapproved members go to such a private subreddit, they will be notified that the subreddit has decided to “protest Reddit’s lack of action around covid-19 disinformation.” The subreddit moderators write that Reddit doesn’t enforce its own policy against disinformation enough.

Subreddits like r/NoNewNormal and r/conspiracy should be taken offline, according to the moderators. NoNewNormal contains criticism and disinformation surrounding the corona pandemic. According to the moderators, people would die because of disinformation. NoNewNormal has been quarantined by Reddit for several weeks, warning users, among other things, about the content of the subreddit. The messages can be read with a logged in account.

Making the subreddits private follows after a call last week. Then several subreddits, including the now privately made subreddits, said that Reddit needed to do more to combat coronavirus misinformation. More subreddits joined that call than are now made private; according to DailyDot, more subreddits want to go private on Thursday.