An attempt to use a site I had heard of but never tried, Reddit.com, resulted in a ban within hours of my first post. It took me a little more than a day to realize I had been banned, or “shadowbanned” as they call it, where I can see my posts but no one else can. The FAQs on the website encouraged me to send a message to moderators to ask if my posts had inadvertently ended up in the spam filter. My inquiry was met with sarcastic replies from moderators asking me if “I felt humorous today” and that I needed to have a “heart to heart with the admins.”
After a couple messages to moderators of different subreddits, I found a moderator who offered some honest help, including revealing what had really happened–that I had been shadowbanned. He told me to avoid speaking to moderators (because “they are d*cks”) and to contact an admin directly. He also sent me a link to a post on a subreddit, /r/reportthespammers, frequented by moderators–a link to my profile overview.
I took the advice and contacted the admins. I was told, “Your account was banned because too many redditors reported your links as spam…” The interesting thing about this was that it was true but deceptive. One specific Reddit moderator who goes by the handle davidreiss666 had posted a link to my overview on a subreddit specifically designed to solicit spam reports from a variety of reddit users on whichever account member is posted on that form. The admins then send a message insinuating that you have randomly incited the wrath of multiple Reddit users, when in fact the only reason various reports were made was because they were solicited from the reportthespammers subreddit by one moderator.
DavidReiss666 has submitted well over 100 of these spam report solicitations in the 48 HOURS PRECEDING THIS POST! Meanwhile, the admins at Reddit respond with “There actually were multiple reports on your account and the domain you were submitting,” pretending they are not aware that perhaps ONE (or more) of their moderators is out of control…