Hello, r/politics users! Thank you for joining us for this “meta”thread. The purpose of this thread is for users to be able to present suggestions and discuss any issues with the mod team, and also for us to keep you informed with any recent changes. We will be monitoring the thread and responding to as much as we can get to.
We have recently instituted a change wherein users with young account ages are now able to only submit content from wire services listed on our whitelist.
We have recently enacted a change wherein users are required to have more than the starting score of 1 post karma to submit content. We believe this will give users a chance to familiarize themselves with the reddit ecosystem and good posting practices before contributing submissions to our subreddit.
Why have you made these changes?
Due to the partisan nature of political discussion and the vigor with which people tend to approach these conversations, we have seen a marked increase in young accounts generally not posting within our rules. Limiting new accounts to wire services while not allowing secondary discussion/opinion services lets new accounts contribute to the subreddit while keeping the rule breaking behavior at bay by allowing users a chance to become accustomed to our rules. It allows new accounts to join in rather than be excluded due to the actions of other potential bad faith actors.
In the past, megathreads would be sorted by “new” for the entire duration of the thread, which is typically 24 hours unless sticky space is needed for other threads. We have changed this so after 8 hours, the threads will be automatically shifted to “best”.
If you take a look at the relevant portion of our wiki here you will see the wording of this rule has been elaborated on to hopefully make our standards more clear.
The Importance Of Accurate Reporting
Please refrain from using the report function as a “super downvote” for posts you may not like or you may disagree with. We lean on our users to report things for us but when there’s an abundance of false reporting, it makes our jobs very difficult and diverts our attention from legitimate rule-breaking content.
Reporting something will not cause something to be removed, it still needs to be reviewed by someone first.
Looking For New Moderators
We are always looking for new moderators to join our team, especially now as we enter into the 2020 campaign season. If you’re interested, submit an application here and we’ll get back to you if we think you’re a good fit.
Generally we want people who can really devote time to moderating each week, who can moderate and enforce the rules objectively, and who have a long and healthy post history in this sub.
A Quick Note On Civility:
Political tension seems to be at an all-time high, and the rhetoric is getting more heated by the day. Our goal at r/politics has not changed, however: We have always sought to provide a space for users of all political stripes to participate, and the most important component of that is civility.
We want to remind everyone that no matter what side of the aisle you are on, no matter your specific political beliefs, the ability to have civil and reasoned debate with another person is the cornerstone of our subreddit.
It’s a lofty goal, especially in our current climate, and that is why we need and are humbly asking for your help, because we can’t do it on our own! As our subreddit grows, as we bring more and more people together under our roof, please help us with our mission to make and keep this a truly special place, where everyone is welcome to debate and discuss politics in a welcoming environment, because not only do you, the users deserve no less, but our discourse as a whole deserves and needs it as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. ”I see rule-breaking comments all the time, why aren’t they removed?”
Simple, comments that break the rules often go unreported. We receive thousands and thousands of comments a day and we rely on automation and our users to report comments that break our rules. If a rule-breaking comment is not reported, a moderator will almost certainly never see it.
Additionally, we are dealing with a large volume of reports each day so it takes us time to review everything. To put things into perspective, we receive about 7,000 reports each and every day.
The best thing to do to a comment that is clearly rule-breaking is to report and move on; especially in cases of trolling.
Q. “Why aren’t you mods doing more to combat the bots that troll this subreddit?”
Bots are something the team is constantly dealing with and we are always trying to automate ways to identify them more quickly, but truthfully our tools are quite limited and most of the work is done manually. We are a small team doing the best we can with our limited set of tools. If you think a user is a bot or troll, please report and move on.
Q. “There are websites on the domain whitelist that I don’t think should be there. Why can’t we remove them?”
In August of 2017 we moved from a domain blacklist – which targeted rule breaking domains – to a domain whitelist – that approved generally rule compliant domains. At that time, we were very sensitive to the impact of making this change, and were determined to make certain that the whitelist was not a round-about way of trying to curate our front page, or push submissions in a different ideological direction than what users were interested in submitting. To guide us, we created a ‘domain notability’ requirement, which would ensure that any domain that was sufficiently influential or remarkable would be permitted.
Over two years later, we’re extremely happy with the impact of the whitelist system. It has dramatically reduced the amount of spam and obvious rule breaking content that we have submitted to us. Things that were once incredibly commonplace – advertising spam, Macedonian fake news / click-bait websites, blogs, Youtube promoters etc – are now made instantly irrelevant. This has made r/politics/new much easier to browse, and has let the moderator team focus our efforts elsewhere – on enforcing comment guidelines, removing trolls, removing off topic content etc etc. There are many domains that we receive regular complaints about – their content may be inflammatory, controversial, or spurious. The fact is that we were very actively trying not to target those domains when moving to this system. We want to make user voting – the core mechanic that all of reddit is based around – the primary method of curation on our page. We still feel confident that our approach is sound – but of course we will discuss further below.
Please try to remember – inclusion on the whitelist is not an endorsement by the mod team or r/politics, or a reflection of reputability. Is is solely reflective of whether the domain is notable.
Q: How do you decide what gets a megathread?
We use an objective metric based on volume of posts, we do not initiate megathreads based on perceived importance of overall stories. If a certain amount of submissions based on a topic are threatening to overwhelm the subreddit, at that point it will get a megathread.
We want to hear from you!
What can we do differently?
How can we make this a more inclusive community?
What would you like to see from us during the 2020 election in terms of weekly or monthly threads?
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