Bitcoin and free speech should go hand in hand, but not all internet-based platforms are planning to let just anything slip by without repercussions. While there is a certain need to tone down user comments and discussions at times, publicly censoring Bitcoin discussions because “moderators can”, is taking things a few steps too far. By the look of things, the Bitcoin subReddit is undergoing some moderator changes for the umpteenth time.
Censorship Controls in Full Force For Now
It is a public secret that the level of free speech over at the Bitcoin subReddit is only extending to a select few posters, whereas everyone else will regularly see posts downvoted or deleted without obvious reason. These shenanigans have been going on for quite some time, and despite public outrage from the Reddit community, things are getting progressively worse.
Users are being shadowbanned left, right, and center on the Bitcoin subReddit, simply because their opinions do not match those of the moderators in charge. Furthermore, the recent heated debate on Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin XT development caused more shadowbans in a week compared to the total amount of bans issued for as long as the subReddit exists.
While there is a clear need for moderation on the Bitcoin subReddit at certain times, restricting free speech altogether is not the right course of action. Several moderators, who are often labeled as “Theymos’ lackies” or even “Theymos’ cronies” are always at the forefront of controversial bans, post removals and downvoted comments.
There was a sliver of light at the end of this long and dark tunnel, as some of the older moderators started being more active on the Bitcoin subReddit. Unfortunately, not all of them are being kept around for too long, depending on how well they “behave” in terms of siding with other moderators. Some people like to kiss ass, whereas others do not, this is simply the way the world works today.
Should an /r/Bitcoin moderator find himself in the latter category, chances are very real to see moderator status being taken away by Theymos himself. A recent post on Reddit, started by user hardleft121, details how his moderator privileges were taken away by Theymos. Admittedly, hardleft121 also indicates this wasn’t exactly what he had expected, as he felt he did not pull his weight. But what is most important: hardleft121 clearly states being a moderator on this subReddit is far from fun.
First-hand Report By a Former /r/Bitcoin Mod
In a clear show of disrespect, Theymos decided to remove moderator privileges from a loyal Reddit contributor who even donated Bitcoins to clean up this mess in the first place. This is not the first time Bitcoin funds is being poorly managed by Theymos and his “group of thugs”, as he is sitting on a lot of Bitcoins originally contributed to the Bitcointalk forums for upgrades and expansion. Neither of those has happened in an effective manner, despite minor tweaks over the years.
A large part of the Bitcoin Reddit community recognizes hardleft121 as one of the “true spirits” of what this subReddit should have been. However, the reality is a far cry away from what /r/Bitcoin should be all about, as moderators enforce people to push the agenda of Theymos, rather than creating an open platform where free speech reigns supreme.
The worst part about this whole ordeal is how moderators are removed without prior warning. One day, a /r/Bitcoin moderator wakes up, logs into Reddit, and sees a message saying they have been removed from the team. No warnings, no further explanation, nothing at all. Being kicked to the curb is a saying that comes to mind rather quickly.
This is not the first time the Bitcoin subReddit is under scrutiny by the Bitcoin community. Just a few weeks ago, censorship started rearing its ugly head once again, as Theymos and consorts started removing any posts related to Bitcoin XT. While the /r/Bitcoin moderators are entitled to their opinion, they should by no means enforce it upon the entire Reddit community.
What are your thoughts on the “old guard” of /r/Bitcoin moderators being removed from power? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Reddit, Shutterstock, Theplanetd