Following the backlash over Reddit censoring the coverage on the Orlando shooting and its aftermath, Reddit mods have responded to concerns raised, acknowledging that they "did a poor job reacting to the brigades and ultimately chose to lock several threads". The mods also highlighted that "threads being filled with hate speech, vitriol, and vote manipulation" had led them to squelch some of the coverage about the incident.
They also specified: "One moderator did cross the line with their behavior, and is no longer a part of the team. We have seen the accusations of censorship. We have investigated, and beyond the posts that are now restored, have not found evidence to support these claims."
The Orlando nightclub shooting that took the lives of 50 people, has seen a furious outbreak on the popular online forum Reddit, with numerous users accusing the moderators of the forum of censoring the news coverage of the incident. Over 15,000 users have already unsubscribed from the subreddit, which has around 9 million subscribers.
According to a report by Voactiv, thousands of Reddit users have bid adieu to the online forum's largest channel — the r/news subreddit, alleging that Reddit moderators removed several posts that contained vital information about the shooting and the aftermath. The police later identified the gunman as Omar Mateen after which the Islamic State (Isis) claimed responsibility for the attack, calling the shooter "one of the soldiers of the Caliphate in America."
The deleted content of the Orlando shooting on Reddit includes posts that mentioned Mateen having been identified, besides posts that provided links to news outlets reporting on a connection with IS (Daesh), as well as other such news, which despite not having violated the rules of Reddit, were still removed from the thread. However, the last straw for most users was the discovery that moderators even deleted links that provided information on where volunteers could donate blood for the victims in Orlando.
Moderators pushed back against the allegations by writing: "Only comments breaking our rules are being deleted. If you think its more productive to cry about censorship then it is to discuss this horrifying event, we suggest you try another subreddit."
It appears that users took the moderators' suggestions to heart as over 15,000 have already unsubscribed from the r/news subreddit, with numbers plummeting at the alarming rate of 130 per minute.
Coincidentally, Donald Trump's subreddit appeared to have gained more users following the incident in Orlando, which showed that the number of subscribers surged from 144,270 to 152,370 over the weekend – an over 5% increase.