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174 points · 21 days ago

There are also a bunch of examples of users guessing wrong, which created all sorts of hilarious confusion.

The first version of text posts required the user to type “self” in the url field to create it automatically.

These days, text posts make up about half Reddit’s submissions. Beyond subreddits and comments, it was probably the most significant feature we built.

Reddit admin, speaking officially240 points · 1 month ago

You might be right. We noticed this too and have been looking into it. We will have more to share soon.

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263 points · 1 month agoGilded1

Dang I was just writing a reply to this as well. Guess we got the same push notif.

Reddit admin, speaking officially178 points · 1 month ago

Our accounts are 13 years old today, but I believe Reddit itself didn't launch for another two weeks or so. Thank you nevertheless!

Can you please ban r/funny ? They aren't as funny as they think they are!

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Reddit admin, speaking officially233 points · 1 month ago

We investigate this community often but have not found it to be in violation of our content policy. We will reach out to the mods as needed about enforcing their own rules (specifically Rule 0: All posts must make an attempt at humor).

29 points · 1 month ago

I was just about the tell the team about this one as well. Underlining markdown links would be nice. For some themes, the color choices make links in comments and posts basically invisible.

Reddit admin, speaking officially59 points · 1 month ago

The ads will change. While they will stay inline, we are going to try a few more versions. The trade off of course is that if they stand out too much, they’re distracting, if they are too subtle, they’re deceptive. We’re trying to find the right balance.

I'll spare you our excuses for while we haven't been more responsive on this particular topic, but suffice to say we can do better on the communication, and I'll work on that as well.

126 points · 1 month ago

I’ve given that sort of feedback to newbies many times. If you put the code online somewhere or PM it to me, I’d be happy to take a look.

22 points · 1 month ago

hi Boss. meta question: do reddit engineers go on reddit during work hours?

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69 points · 1 month ago

You mean QA-ing our product?

Reddit admin, speaking officially46 points · 2 months ago

I left a longer explanation in that thread, but the gist of it is r/science isn't a default anymore and their tactic of removing more popular posts to promote AMAs is not allowed.

The "best" sort should actually help communities like r/science get more visibility. That's the whole point. Though it's not really relevant right now since their AMA shenanigans predate any algorithm changes.

17.0k points · 2 months ago

Wonder if u/spez cares that Reddit is losing a well loved feature.

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Reddit admin, speaking officially1.6k points · 2 months agoGilded4 · edited 2 months ago

The decision for r/science to no longer host AMAs is disappointing, and blaming us at Reddit is counterproductive.

u/nallen, having met you personally a number of times and after personally trying to work through this issue with you over the past months, I'm disappointed you've taken this approach to mislead your community about what's going on.

So here's what's really going on:

How it used to work

r/science used to be a default community, which means it was one of one hundred communities that made up the front page of Reddit for most of 2011–2016. As a result, r/science and the other defaults had high visibility at the expense of non-default communities.

r/science used to promote AMAs by removing other more popular posts so that the AMA could be top of r/science without the votes. This, combined with being a default community, sent a lot of traffic to these AMAs.

How it works today

We replaced the defaults with r/popular, which is basically a SFW version of r/all. This puts all communities on an equal footing.

We don't allow the post manipulation for obvious reasons. Here is a discussion we had with u/nallen on this topic months ago.

We are indeed testing new sorting algorithms, but if anything they should help communities like r/science get more visibility. One of our engineers recently wrote a pretty good post about it.

Going forward

Regardless of u/nallen's decision, we will continue to work to improve our onboarding and sorting so that users get to see more of what they love, and we have in mind some specific features that will help promote "event" posts (AMAs, game threads, episode threads) in the future.

Reddit admin, speaking officially56 points · 2 months ago

You can use the old layout indefinitely. Go to http://goedhartvoordieren.nl/?page=prefs/ and uncheck "use the redesign as my default experience." I know the prefs page is a bit of a mess. It's one of the things we're rebuilding in the redesign. We have no plans to turn off old.reddit.com.

As for why:

  1. New tech stack. The existing codebase is nearly impossible to build in. The redesign gives us a modern platform in which to develop. In the redesign we're able to ship lots of stuff every week. Here's our most recent update.
  2. Easier to use. r2, our name for the legacy site, is quite difficult to grok. We see and lose a lot of potential users every day because they don't know wtf Reddit is. Engagement in our native apps is 2–5x higher even though the content is identical. Part of this is due to the phone form factor, but part of this is do to a more visceral UI.
  3. Adapt Reddit to its content. When r2 was built, Reddit was 100% outbound links and self-posts. Today, we have a lot more media and have plans to add more post types. The UI should support that.
  4. Ads. In-feed ads are what advertisers want to buy. Yes, they're in-feed, which I know isn't popular, but it also means our top post is an organic post now instead of an ad. We will continue to iterate on the styling.
  5. Perception. We will no longer have to explain our ancient UI to potential partners, which really was quite a hurdle. Reddit being synonymous with "old and difficult to use" isn't good for business.
  6. Portable styles. I know there's a lot of heat around this one as well, but structured styles allow community styling to work across platforms, which is important given the majority of our traffic today is mobile. It also makes community styling easier and therefore more accessible to more communities.

We've still got a lot to do, but we started rolling it out because we decided it was good enough to get going, and if we waited until it was perfect, we'd never ship. Plus, having the user base providing constant "feedback" is highly motivating to the team.

Personally, I've switched my desktop Reddit-ing to the redesign and am pretty happy. I'd encourage folks to give it a try. If you don't like it, opt-out and hopefully check back in in a month. It's updating rapidly.

88 points · 2 months ago

Yes. The "Best" sort on your home feed is the new version of the algorithm(s). We're constantly running tests here with the goal of surfacing content from your subscriptions that you're more likely to engage with. It also removes content you've already seen, which creates the appearance of much faster turnover.

The old algorithm, which was effectively a random selection of top posts from your subscriptions, is still accessible under "Hot."

Is there going to be an effort to communicate these changes with the wider user base? Additionally I find on social media websites with similar ways of filtering content it creates a sort of feedback loop where one page or group ends up dominating your timeline and crowding everything else out, hopefully you guys have come up with some ways of mitigating this effect.

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15 points · 2 months ago

Here's one of the discussions from when we first started rolling it out.

As for creating a feedback loop, Reddit is different from other sites in that your Home feed is comprised of communities to which you've explicitly subscribed, which makes that effect less likely to happen unless a user intentionally does it to themselves. That said, we do look at others online as cautionary tales.

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Oh boy! Can't wait to say all the positive things about the Reddit Redesign directly to u/spez's face

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112 points · 2 months ago

If you’re not being sarcastic, I’m looking forward to it!

But if you are being sarcastic, I’m looking forward to it!

66 points · 2 months ago

We don't actually know. There are a handful of testing accounts that predate both of them, but we didn't store timestamps back then so all we know is that both were created on the same day.

[deleted]
17 points · 2 months ago

Honest question, did you run the design visually past anyone other than the admins? Is anybody actually telling you that the new design looks good?

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Reddit admin, speaking officially3 points · 2 months ago

We've had thousands of testers over the past year of pretty much every variety: users, non-users, in-person, remote, prototypes, real code, quantitative, and qualitative. This in addition to the long-running alpha with thousands of users for the past six months, and now the slow roll out to real users and optional opt-in for many more.

Wired wrote a really good piece about the whole process, and we wrote a couple posts about it as well.

[deleted]
30 points · 2 months ago

Again though, did people actually like it? Like from a business standpoint, it's obvious why y'all are doing this - and I know /r/redesign is going to be biased as fuck, and perhaps all the positive sentiments about it are getting downvoted, but I don't think I've seen any regular reddit users actually being a fan of the new look.

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-2 points · 2 months ago

Lots. r/redesign is hot right now with the sports stuff, but we've received lots of positive sentiment over the months as we've progressed. Still a long way to go, but I think we're on the right track.

Speaking as one of the oldest Redditors and the creator of a lot of the current Reddit, I love the redesign. I have my gripes, of course (performance, mostly), but I know we'll get there.

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Reddit admin, speaking officially12 points · 2 months ago

Should be fixed now. Will dig in and see what happened. I think there was a miscommunication of what the problem actually was.

I had a disturbing thought a while ago and was hoping you could answer a question. Chris Wylie told investigators that CA shared its FB data with Palantir (Peter Thiel's company). He also said that there was no official contract.

I can't help but wonder if there was no official contract because it was part of a trade. Thiel is a major investor in Reddit. Perhaps he traded Facebook data in exchange for Reddit data? I bet CA or companies like it are dying to get their hands on what makes the base excited and the opposition depressed.

Has Reddit given its data to Thiel or to any other known political actor?

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30 points · 2 months ago

No. That's nonsense.

Do you have a bot or something that replies with this to everything I write? If so, turn it off.

27 points · 2 months ago

The funny thing is I'm not actually a prepper. It's true, I do own a couple guns, have had eye surgery, and am into motorcycles, and it's true those things would come in handy if society collapsed, but really what happened with that article is I thought I was talking on background about people I know who are actually preppers and gave a bunch of colorful (and cringey) quotes, which is an unfortunate habit I have.

In reality, the only thing I'm qualified to shoot are empty Bud Light cans; I wanted to be able to see the toilet at night when I pee; and, motorcycles are cool.

Reddit admin, speaking officially30 points · 3 months ago

Yes. Since we banned CT in 2015, we’ve updated our policies against harassment, bullying, and violence, all of which would be grounds for dismissal for that community.

Furthermore, the teams who make and enforce these decisions are much more robust.

CT was frustrating as the time because we didn’t have the policies and processes in place, but they wouldn’t last long today.

18.9k

Reddit’s 2017 transparency report and suspect account findings

Hi all,

Each year around this time, we share Reddit’s latest transparency report and a few highlights from our Legal team’s efforts to protect user privacy. This year, our annual post happens to coincide with one of the biggest national discussions of privacy online and the integrity of the platforms we use, so I wanted to share a more in-depth update in an effort to be as transparent with you all as possible.

First, here is our 2017 Transparency Report. This details government and law-enforcement requests for private information about our users. The types of requests we receive most often are subpoenas, court orders, search warrants, and emergency requests. We require all of these requests to be legally valid, and we push back against those we don’t consider legally justified. In 2017, we received significantly more requests to produce or preserve user account information. The percentage of requests we deemed to be legally valid, however, decreased slightly for both types of requests. (You’ll find a full breakdown of these stats, as well as non-governmental requests and DMCA takedown notices, in the report. You can find our transparency reports from previous years here.)

We also participated in a number of amicus briefs, joining other tech companies in support of issues we care about. In Hassell v. Bird and Yelp v. Superior Court (Montagna), we argued for the right to defend a user's speech and anonymity if the user is sued. And this year, we've advocated for upholding the net neutrality rules (County of Santa Clara v. FCC) and defending user anonymity against unmasking prior to a lawsuit (Glassdoor v. Andra Group, LP).

I’d also like to give an update to my last post about the investigation into Russian attempts to exploit Reddit. I’ve mentioned before that we’re cooperating with Congressional inquiries. In the spirit of transparency, we’re going to share with you what we shared with them earlier today:

In my post last month, I described that we had found and removed a few hundred accounts that were of suspected Russian Internet Research Agency origin. I’d like to share with you more fully what that means. At this point in our investigation, we have found 944 suspicious accounts, few of which had a visible impact on the site:

  • 70% (662) had zero karma
  • 1% (8) had negative karma
  • 22% (203) had 1-999 karma
  • 6% (58) had 1,000-9,999 karma
  • 1% (13) had a karma score of 10,000+

Of the 282 accounts with non-zero karma, more than half (145) were banned prior to the start of this investigation through our routine Trust & Safety practices. All of these bans took place before the 2016 election and in fact, all but 8 of them took place back in 2015. This general pattern also held for the accounts with significant karma: of the 13 accounts with 10,000+ karma, 6 had already been banned prior to our investigation—all of them before the 2016 election. Ultimately, we have seven accounts with significant karma scores that made it past our defenses.

And as I mentioned last time, our investigation did not find any election-related advertisements of the nature found on other platforms, through either our self-serve or managed advertisements. I also want to be very clear that none of the 944 users placed any ads on Reddit. We also did not detect any effective use of these accounts to engage in vote manipulation.

To give you more insight into our findings, here is a link to all 944 accounts. We have decided to keep them visible for now, but after a period of time the accounts and their content will be removed from Reddit. We are doing this to allow moderators, investigators, and all of you to see their account histories for yourselves.

We still have a lot of room to improve, and we intend to remain vigilant. Over the past several months, our teams have evaluated our site-wide protections against fraud and abuse to see where we can make those improvements. But I am pleased to say that these investigations have shown that the efforts of our Trust & Safety and Anti-Evil teams are working. It’s also a tremendous testament to the work of our moderators and the healthy skepticism of our communities, which make Reddit a difficult platform to manipulate.

We know the success of Reddit is dependent on your trust. We hope continue to build on that by communicating openly with you about these subjects, now and in the future. Thanks for reading. I’ll stick around for a bit to answer questions.

—Steve (spez)

update: I'm off for now. Thanks for the questions!

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8.3k comments
6.4k points · 3 months agoGilded2 · edited 3 months ago

Speaking as a moderator of both /r/Funny and /r/GIFs, I'd like to offer a bit of clarification here.

When illicit accounts are created, they usually go through a period of posting low-effort content that's intended to quickly garner a lot of karma. These accounts generally aren't registered by the people who wind up using them for propaganda purposes, though. In fact, they're often "farmed" by call-center-like environments overseas – popular locations are India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, and Russia – then sold to firms that specialize in spinning information (whether for advertising, pushing political agendas, or anything else).

If you're interested, this brief guide can give you a primer on how to spot spammers.

Now, the reason I bring this up is because for every shill account that actually takes off, there are quite literally a hundred more that get stopped in their tracks. A banned account is of very little use to the people who would employ it for nefarious purposes... but the simple truth of the matter is that moderators still need to rely on their subscribers for help. If you see a repost, a low-effort (or poorly written) comment, or something else that just doesn't sit right with you, it's often a good idea to look at the user who submitted it. A surprising amount of the time, you'll discover that the submitter is a karma-farmer; a spammer or a propagandist in the making.

When you spot one, please report it to the moderators of that subReddit.

Reddit has gotten a lot better at cracking down on these accounts behind the scenes, but there's still a long way to go... and as users, every one of us can make a difference, even if it sometimes doesn't seem like it.

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Reddit admin, speaking officiallyOriginal Poster3.0k points · 3 months ago

It's not clear from the banned users pages, but mods banned more than half of the users and a majority of the posts before they got any traction at all. That was heartening to see. Thank you for all that you and your mod cabal do for Reddit.

Comment deleted3 months ago
Reddit admin, speaking officiallyOriginal Poster387 points · 3 months ago

Thank you for restoring balance.

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Original Poster211 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

The pw is my most commonly received PM.

update: Lame! To the betrayer, I returned the favor.

proof: https://i.redd.it/rv1xlcnlayp01.png

594 points · 3 months agoGilded1

If anyone's interested, I found a hard drive in my garage with the original Reddit Lisp code from 2005. Been looking for it for years. Enjoy.

Original Poster33 points · 4 months ago

Not really. In fact I'm a little surprised that no one is trolling me right now. Low energy.

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32 points · 4 months ago

Allow me to assist... the trolls should be here any minute.

(And, Hi! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your team. I’m still working up the courage the read the piece myself.)

293 points · 4 months ago

Hey spezbag! Gonna ban /r/the_donald yet? You know, after letting russia interfere with the election and spread misinformation, i'm wondering why you think its alright for this to occur while the subreddit also radicalizes people to violence.

Just curious. I know you won't answer.

Ban /r/the_donald . Do it.

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162 points · 4 months agoGilded2

There it is.

31.0k

In response to recent reports about the integrity of Reddit, I’d like to share our thinking.

In the past couple of weeks, Reddit has been mentioned as one of the platforms used to promote Russian propaganda. As it’s an ongoing investigation, we have been relatively quiet on the topic publicly, which I know can be frustrating. While transparency is important, we also want to be careful to not tip our hand too much while we are investigating. We take the integrity of Reddit extremely seriously, both as the stewards of the site and as Americans.

Given the recent news, we’d like to share some of what we’ve learned:

When it comes to Russian influence on Reddit, there are three broad areas to discuss: ads, direct propaganda from Russians, indirect propaganda promoted by our users.

On the first topic, ads, there is not much to share. We don’t see a lot of ads from Russia, either before or after the 2016 election, and what we do see are mostly ads promoting spam and ICOs. Presently, ads from Russia are blocked entirely, and all ads on Reddit are reviewed by humans. Moreover, our ad policies prohibit content that depicts intolerant or overly contentious political or cultural views.

As for direct propaganda, that is, content from accounts we suspect are of Russian origin or content linking directly to known propaganda domains, we are doing our best to identify and remove it. We have found and removed a few hundred accounts, and of course, every account we find expands our search a little more. The vast majority of suspicious accounts we have found in the past months were banned back in 2015–2016 through our enhanced efforts to prevent abuse of the site generally.

The final case, indirect propaganda, is the most complex. For example, the Twitter account @TEN_GOP is now known to be a Russian agent. @TEN_GOP’s Tweets were amplified by thousands of Reddit users, and sadly, from everything we can tell, these users are mostly American, and appear to be unwittingly promoting Russian propaganda. I believe the biggest risk we face as Americans is our own ability to discern reality from nonsense, and this is a burden we all bear.

I wish there was a solution as simple as banning all propaganda, but it’s not that easy. Between truth and fiction are a thousand shades of grey. It’s up to all of us—Redditors, citizens, journalists—to work through these issues. It’s somewhat ironic, but I actually believe what we’re going through right now will actually reinvigorate Americans to be more vigilant, hold ourselves to higher standards of discourse, and fight back against propaganda, whether foreign or not.

Thank you for reading. While I know it’s frustrating that we don’t share everything we know publicly, I want to reiterate that we take these matters very seriously, and we are cooperating with congressional inquiries. We are growing more sophisticated by the day, and we remain open to suggestions and feedback for how we can improve.

31.0k
22.8k comments

A lot of words were used, but very little was said. Most of this has been said and discussed in many a thread before. This post is completely reactionary due to recent articles in the news. This type of post is better for your media relations, not the users. You've told us nothing about the current atmosphere. Why you will ban certain havens, but not others. This post is anything but transparent. It's basically 'yeah, yeah, shit's happening, please don't leave us because we're not doing anything about it'.

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Reddit admin, speaking officiallyOriginal Poster-851 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

This post is really the first time we've said anything of consequence regarding Russia, and we wanted to share it with you, the community, first.

A lot of words were used, but very little was said.

Let me try again, with at least fewer words, but hopefully a little more clearly as well.

  1. In regards to ads, we haven't seen much on Reddit. It's been an issue elsewhere online, but not a factor on Reddit. We'll stay vigilant going forward.

  2. As it relates to actual Russia accounts on Reddit. We have found a few hundred accounts through a variety of means. The vast majority of these accounts were rejected by our communities back in 2015–2016 before Russia was even a topic of conversation. Our spam filters, community rules against self-promotion, and moderators banned nearly all of them. I don't want to give the impression the work stops there. That's what we've seen so far, and we're still looking deeply.

  3. As for propaganda (Russian or otherwise, and there was plenty of American propaganda to go around) hosted elsewhere that was amplified by real organic users, we’ve seen a lot of that, both on Reddit and elsewhere. Reddit is a huge place with thousands of communities and opinions. That's both what makes us special and what creates conflict. That's not to say there isn't plenty of work for us: we will continue to invest in better tooling, both for our internal teams and for moderators; we'll continue to ensure our voting systems aren't being manipulated; and we'll continue grow our teams so we can enforce our policies at scale.

625 points · 4 months ago

I don't think their gripe was literally word count.

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Original Poster-277 points · 4 months ago

I didn't succeed in making it much shorter, either.

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4.2k points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

I am more irritated that Matrix7531 was the 9th user to make an account, with no competition for an original name at all, and still litters it with a spiel of random numbers.

Edit: Spez replied to me, does that make me a mod now

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2.3k points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

Matrix is my cousin. That’s the name he used to use all over.

pg is Paul Graham, our first investor. Bugbear and connman were buddies.

I don’t remember who meegan was.

Update: matrix forgot his password. I’ll fix when I get home, and he can explain for himself...

spez

u/spez
Reddit CEO
Karma
743,133
Cake day
June 6, 2005
Moderator of these communities
r/announcements

27,258,557 subscribers

r/blog

16,541,512 subscribers

r/programming

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Spared

Alpha Tester

Inciteful Comment

2018-03-05

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