Reddit adds appeals process to offensive-subreddit Quarantine policy

The goal is to "incentivize positive behavior," apparently.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
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Lori Grunin
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It's been a few years since Reddit instituted its Quarantine policy, which added an opt-in click to view subreddits deemed offensive. Now the company has added a major update to it: an appeals process for the flagged-subreddit moderators.

"This is another step in how we're thinking about enforcement on Reddit and how we can best incentivize positive behavior," the company said in a post in r/Announcements, the subreddit for official posts from team Reddit.

The purpose of quarantining a community is to prevent someone from accidentally viewing highly offensive or upsetting content, Reddit said in its post. People who visit a subreddit that's been quarantined are greeted with a pop-up message that asks "Are you sure you want to view this community?" They then have to click "continue" to view the page. Quarantined subreddits also aren't included in search or recommendations, and don't appear in some feeds such as Popular.

To appeal a quarantine, moderators must show "changes to community moderation practices." They're able to submit a form to appeal that details "evidence of sustained, consistent enforcement of these changes over a period of at least one month, demonstrating meaningful reform of the community," according to a help page for quarantined subreddits.

"As of September 27, we have revised our existing quarantine policy to improve consistency in its application, as well as to add a comprehensive appeals process," said a Reddit spokesperson in an emailed statement. "We will continue to evolve our site-wide policies, enforcement tools, and community support resources to ensure that Reddit is a welcoming place for all users."

To see which communities have been quarantined, you can go to r/reclassified, which tracks them.

This is part of a growing trend of large online communities and services attempting to manage potentially objectionable content -- and the ads that appear against that content.YouTube has rolled out parental controls and guidelines and Spotify added a policy of burying hateful music and artists within the past year.

First published Sept. 28, 7:42 a.m. PT.
Update, 9:19 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Reddit spokesperson.