As long as I have been online, I have never been banned from anything.
Well today I broke my banning cherry when I was banned from the Hawaii Subreddit /r/Hawaii.
Now I join William Shatner, Zach Braff, CNN and a long list of other distinguished people who hate Reddit.
The whole thing was really very stupid. I asked the mods for help because a user was calling me a spammer after I made my first posts. The Rediquette rules tell you to reach out to the mods in these situations because they will appreciate it and it will help show you have good intentions. So I reached out to the mods. And he responded rudely and banned me.
I was ” clearly a spammer” he said he “had proof” and that my username WebGirl was spammy.
This made me giggle not only because anyone who knows me and what I do, I am far from a spammer. But also because the names on Reddit are pretty ridiculous and offensive. I mean one of the guys attacked me was named “dumbassthenes”. Also spammers make a great deal of effort to try to stay under the radar, so they don’t choose obvious names or contact mods for help and draw attention to themselves.
So what was my major offense? I posted a story from my own site. (my story warning Hawaii businesses about DNS scams)
It was a newbie mistake and hardly a capital offense. I admit I know little about Reddit. I was on it years ago but not in a long time, and I was curious about it since I have some friends there.
I am part of a lot of very large online communities from social networks to gaming forums, and it is just weird for a mod to ban someone when they come to you for help. I guess it is because they see so much REAL abuse, that this sort of thing is considered very minor and they don’t have time for it. I am a mod myself for several websites, groups and social networks with a lot of traffic. (From celebrities to grant funded news sources like Hawaii Reporter to government sites) We are very careful about removing posts or blocking for legal and ethical reasons.
Plus it is just not nice.
As a rule, you want to give people a warning first unless they are being overly abusive or offensive. Allow them the chance to fix it ore remove the content in question and let them know why. You will know very quickly if they are spammers because they will either do it right, leave or try again in which case you know they are spammers and can act accordingly.People are contributing to their community so rudeness and making snap judgements just gets the community a bad rep. Mods should always BE RESPECTFUL. A moderators job is to put his personal feelings aside and do what is in the best interest of the community. BANNING people because you personally don’t like them or don’t like their message is just an abuse of power and not what BANNING is for.
Reddit tells you that when you encounter an issue like this with a rude Redditor, try introducing yourself, showing them who you are and what your intentions really were and if that doesn’t work, reach out to the lower level mods and ask for their help and lastly to post publicly about it and call them out.
You can see the results of that conversation here.
I have since done some research because I wanted to know how common this was and found that it is a known issue. According to a lot of people out there, Reddit is not a friendly place, mods are rude and don’t like to be challenged and will never admit they are wrong and that people just have to delete their accounts and try again. One writer from Mashable said it took her 10 tries! If the folks at Mashable are having issues then I don’t feel bad at all.
The Hawaii Reddit community only has 1200 people so I can only guess its lack of experience. This mod clearly hasn’t done a lot of moderating to be able to tell the difference and the community is much too small for him to be suffering mod burnout.Or they just don’t have a lot to do.
I kind of equate this to when police are bored and things are slow, 35 cars show up to issue a speeding ticket.
I conclude that the Reddit community is unlike any other. The rules are inconsistent, the people are confrontational and the enforcement of the rules changes from person to person. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, you can be banned if they don’t like you. And it is not newbie friendly. People come to Reddit , thinking it is like other social networks and they see people posting links and sharing their own content so they think it is ok.
This is where Reddit needs to learn to lighten up. MORE SUPPORT LESS LYNCHINGS!
So here is what I learned. If you decide to join a Reddit community, be sure to read all the rules before posting (not that they really do you any good lol). Introduce yourself to the mod and the users first and tell them you are new and need help. Comment a lot and try and help people asking questions that you have answers for first, before trying to post any links.
Especially Hawaii Reddit. Because they don’t give second chances and are quick to pounce. You won’t get any warnings and users will be abusive. I am still getting posts from a surfer, calling me an SEO scumbag.
Reddit wants you to earn your place. So if you think Reddit is worth the groveling and game playing, then go for it. I personally don’t think it is worth that effort.
Dear /r/Hawaii, I hope my comic might help you see that not everyone is bad, and a little more patience and Aloha is a much better way to run a Hawaii community.
***Jason Skjonsby – Hawaii Reddit Redditor and fastest banning finger in the Pacific, Mahalo for the experience!