• On May 3, just one day after launching a new chat room feature, the company reversed course and pulled it entirely following an outcry from the site’s moderators. “Start Chatting” was designed to serve as “a new avenue to connect with each other during these difficult times”. However, moderators flooded the comments of the announcement post, worried that the feature, which moderators would have no control or visibility into, would draw the kind of abuse they work hard to keep out of their online communities. Other moderators overseeing subreddits that reach vulnerable groups, such as survivors of abuse, were concerned their groups would be targeted by trolls or scammers.[1]

  • On April 28, updated the report flow for moderators to include “misinformation.” This allows subreddit moderators to track misinformation within their subreddit community and report users that post misinformation to Reddit’s investigations team.[2]

  • Launched an AMA Series on Coronavirus. Reddit communities will host AMA sessions with medical professionals, health organizations, and authoritative voices on coronavirus and its impact.[3]

  • Along with Twitter, removed links to a post from The Federalist suggesting “controlled voluntary infection” to the virus.[4]

  • Relative to other platforms, it has faced considerable criticism for its lax approach to fighting coronavirus misinformation, appearing to leave most moderation activities in the hands of unpaid moderators. The platform does not have any explicit policy against health misinformation.[5]

  • Featured a banner on its front page for a week directing users to an r/AskScience Megathread where they could find appropriate resources and authoritative content.

  • Allows posts on the science behind the virus to be tagged as peer-reviewed or not on the message board related to the virus.

  • Featured a homepage banner promoting the r/Coronavirus community as a source of timely discussion and the Centers for Disease Control as a source for authoritative resources.

  • Users see a pinned message on search results for terms related to Coronavirus that directs them to for the latest information

  • May apply a quarantine to communities that contain hoax or misinformation content; quarantine removes the community from search results, warns the user that it may contain misinformation, and requires an explicit opt-in[6]

Public Knowledge

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