Recently, Breitbart Tech reported on a reddit board’s censorship of a Rubin Report video about campus censorship. Following our story, the Reddit board that removed the video has clarified their rules and created a new subreddit dedicated solely to political videos.
In a public announcement, moderators of the /r/videos subreddit said:
Following an unprecedented level of user-feedback, as well as multiple discussion threads in this subreddit, we’ve decided to address head-on the recent ramp-up in the politicisation of /r/videos and have started this discussion thread so that we can, you know, discuss the changes we’ve made.
Today, we’re introducing /r/PoliticalVideo—the Rule 1 free, go-to place for political videos.
We’ll be promoting this new subreddit on our front-page as a supplement to /r/videos, and redirecting all political submissions in its direction.
(“Rule 1” is the rule on /r/videos that bans political content. This was the rule used to remove The Rubin Report‘s video.)
The creation of a new subreddit will require the cultivation of a new base of subscribers. Given that /r/videos already has several million subscribers, the moderators addressed the question of why Rule 1 wasn’t simply abandoned.
Firstly, we have. In order to prevent overlap between /r/videos and /r/PoliticalVideo, the scope of Rule 1 has been re-written as follows:
>Political videos—including content relating to social issues which have a clear political element—should be submitted to /r/PoliticalVideo. This includes submissions of current or recent political figures in any context, satire/political-comedy, and posts on political topics from within the last 10 years
As alluded to already—and as seen in the last few months—, political content has a tendency to dominate the front-page, stagnating variety as it does so. This might not affect the relatively small amount of /r/videos regulars who come here every day precisely to submit and upvote these kinds of threads, but it does affect the much larger group of people who do not.
The issue of content quality has already been addressed also, but the summary is that good content should speak for itself. Upvoting a video because it supports your political worldview, or downvoting it because it does not is not the way to cultivate a high-quality front-page.
On occasions when they have slipped past moderators, political videos have thus far been highly popular with /r/videos subscribers. The Rubin Report‘s video had been voted to the top of the subreddit’s front page by users when it was removed by mods.
Many users now wonder if /r/PoliticalVideo will be a “containment” board, a content graveyard that no-one knows about or bothers to visit. In a highly-upvoted post on the anti-censorship subreddit KotakuInAction, a user accused /r/videos of “creating a containment board that nobody will use, because ‘moving’ a video sounds better than “removing” it.
However, /r/videos moderators insist that they will make an effort to grow the new subreddit and ensure users are aware of it. They also stated their intention to create an environment with fewer restrictions on political content than other sections of Reddit.
As far as we can see, the reason /r/videos gets as much political content as it does is that there just aren’t that many places to post certain kinds of videos. /r/Politics is pretty strict about video content, and it makes sense that they should be.
We’re starting /r/PoliticalVideo to be a viable, independent community which we will promote from the main subreddit, and which, we hope, will thrive with a level of no holds barred political video content that simply isn’t feasible on /r/videos, and doesn’t seem to have a home elsewhere on the site.