|What is my age:||I'm 37 years old|
|Tone of my eyes:||Bright gray-green|
|What is my figure type:||I'm skinny|
The post was simple: a screenshot of a table, listing popular subreddits in one column and moderators in another. It was titled "92 of top subreddits are controlled by just 4 people.
But that fact paled next to the post's ominous subtext: These are the people who run Reddit. And they have reddit hard fuck too much power. Over the next several weeks, the list rocketed around Reddit. The post promptly went viral — at one point it was among the most popular posts on Reddit. That was May 12, which was approximately when things went haywire. A pattern took hold: The list gets posted and then deleted — sometimes because it doesn't follow subreddit rules, other times because it causes uncivil conversations, or for no stated reason at all — and then gets posted somewhere else.
The dispute, both about the post itself and the way the post has been handled all over Reddit, has turned into a brawl between the platform's users and its moderators. One of the most popular versions of the PowerMods list that's been passed around Reddit in recent weeks. Screenshot: David Pierce.
Nsfw subreddits you need to see
At its core, what's happening on Reddit feels evocative of this moment on the internet — and society — as a whole: a deep mistrust of authority yields a relentless and potentially destabilizing search for the secretly powerful hand keeping people down. In this case, some users say they've identified a cabal of "PowerMods" who control everything that happens on Reddit and manipulate the platform to their advantage.
Moderators say they're receiving death threats because of a misleading list and for simply trying to do their part to make Reddit better. When Reddit's corporate team steps in, it only seems to make things worse. Reddit's approach to content moderation has always been both unusual and central to its building of community.
It gives users the right to set their own rules and the tools to enforce them. This kind of drama is hardly new to the platform, but something about this instance feels different. And more than one person I spoke to believes the ordeal has proven that something about Reddit is fundamentally broken.
Most social platforms have an established set of rules and a three-pronged approach to enforcing them. There are the automated tools, deed to catch most bad reddit hard fuck before anyone sees it. There are the reporting tools, meant to make it easy for users to report rule-breaking.
And there are the teams of contractors, reviewing everything and making decisions.
They decide what stays, what goes, what gets buried. Reddit isn't like that. Reddit is less a single platform and more a loose confederation of platforms, each with its own user-created norms. Evan Hamilton, who runs Reddit's community team, described it as similar to the United States. Beyond that? Hamilton said Reddit's goal is to "allow people to really build and curate the experience they want to have on the platform, and have some ownership, right? Practically every subreddit, once it hits a certain size, develops its own rulebook.
No two are alike: You can have a "Game of Thrones" subreddit that doesn't allow memes, serious discussion only, and a competing one where memes flow like Dornish reds.
How a screenshot started a fight that took over reddit
Some are ruthless about formatting and style, others couldn't care less. The users responsible for enforcing these rules and getting the best out of their subreddit are the moderators, or mods. By default, the creator of a subreddit becomes its moderator, and from there it's easy to add and remove new mods and control their permissions.
Moderators can have widely varying capabilities, from total authority over the subreddit to something like a backstage pass to watch others perform. Some subreddits have one or two, others have dozens. The first thing you reddit hard fuck to understand about moderating, he said, is that nobody does it alone.
Pretty quickly, Allam started ing more communities, posting more stuff, and discovered he had a knack for knowing what people might like on Reddit. He started seeing things he posted make it into news stories and onto TV shows. Meanwhile, Reddit started to consume his life. You could call him the most popular person on Reddit.
Even before he started modding, Allam saw first hand how immersed in suspicion Reddit can be. He'd subreddits, he said, and moderators would instinctively throw him out: He was posting so much they assumed he was a bot or a corporation masquerading as a single person.
After a time, though, he got to know some of the moderators personally, and they brought him on board. He started in smaller communities, eventually building to bigger and bigger ones.
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At his peak, Allam guessed, he was moderating about communities. What does it mean to moderate a community? It depends. Some moderators are active, taking down posts, enforcing the rules, guiding the community. Others are more hands off. For the most part, Allam said, modding is thankless and often horrific.
He said he's talked with suicidal users, woken up to an inbox full of child pornography. And it's all done on a volunteer basis. He's not always sure why he keeps coming back. Much of the work of moderating a subreddit doesn't actually happen on Reddit.
Browse nsfw videos (mostly porn)
It happens in and Discord but mostly in Slack, where the moderators can discuss policies and specific decisions. Sometimes a subreddit will get its own Slack workspace, but more recently mods have been ing a single space for all moderators and creating private channels for each community. In most cases, even the Slack is run by mods. The mods do have frequent contact with Hamilton's staffers at Reddit, who are known as "admins" and function sort of as the grown-ups in a kids show: They don't show up often, but when they do, you know someone's in trouble.
Knowing all this, consider the implication of a list that says five moderators essentially control Reddit.
These five people are surely running the show in Slack, telling others how to run their communities, making everyone play by their rules and adhere to their values. One not-unpopular theory held that there's no way one person could be this active — some of these mods must be run by corporations or governments. Maybe from Russia or China. In the same thread, a user named notevengonnatryffs neatly summed up a broad feeling on Reddit right now.
Any wizard behind the curtain must be dragged out into the open.
This, maybe more than anything, is what differentiates Reddit from so many other social platforms. All have similar moderation issues — just this week, YouTube was criticized for automatically censoring comments deemed anti-China, as was Twitter for leaving up tweets by President Trump about Joe Scarborough that seemingly violate the rules. But in most cases, there's no one to rage at other than a faceless corporation or an unreachable CEO. On Reddit, the boogeyman has a name and an inbox. Users, mods and admins have been arguing since Reddit's earliest days, of course.
As Gallowboob, Allam has been accused of deleting and reposting other users' content, just for the karma. He denies doing so. Once, Allam said, he posted an animation of a new Netflix logo he thought was cool, and instantly the community assumed he was a paid shill for the company. The response got so bad that Allam ed Netflix, begging the company to acknowledge he hadn't been reddit hard fuck.
There have been cases in which prominent users were being compensated, of course — and Reddit never forgets. The PowerMods list first crossed Allam's radar when a long-term Gallowboob troll posted it. Then it began to show up on other subreddits, Discords and 4Chan boards, where users would encourage others to post it themselves. They figured eventually moderators wouldn't be able to keep up.
And with every deleted post or suspended user, the vitriol got worse.
Then, Allam said, his friend Cyxie made a crucial mistake. Cyxie didn't respond to multiple requests for comment. He used one of Reddit's automatic moderation bots, a tool deed to combat spam — people selling T-shirts or posting the same link over and over — that can be used to quickly ban someone from all of a mod's communities.