Bonum Certa Men Certa

Detecting and Undoing/Reversing Censorship of Microsoft Critics at Reddit

Assuming one wishes not to simply boycott the whole of Reddit

Some (wo)men @ work
Luddites defending same 'ol Microsoft by muzzling Microsoft critics



Summary: David from Ottawa suggests ways to track censored comments and restore them for readers to assess (in spite of overzealous and/or biased moderators)

The Rust/Reddit censorship of Microsoft critics was mentioned here the other day, both in IRC and in a short post. We lacked some background information and context, for it was removed. The censored person urged a developer to produce a "WATCHDOG WEB BROWSER PLUGIN and REDDIT-WATCHDOG WAYBACK MACHINE" for situations such as these, explaining that this developer had been "creating an app to capture video and send it to web sites to specifically help capture abuse by Police officers. Quite relevant now, but he wrote this years ago."



The person told me of the "Reddit censorship/moderation being biased and being controlled/supported by BIGTECH." Other readers previously reported the same to us; they also took screenshots, which we in turn published. A very long time ago we explained why Reddit as social control media was particularly bad if not malicious and censorious. I personally found it far too 'Microsoft-infested' (literal agents or employees of Microsoft burying stories).

"I personally found it far too 'Microsoft-infested' (literal agents or employees of Microsoft burying stories)."We now have the context of the latest incident: "To remind you of the context that brought about this idea, I will re-explain what happened this past week. I followed old.reddit.com/r/rust/. In it there was an entry posted mentioning this article. I posted some entries stating we shouldn't deem Microsoft in high regard because of their past behaviour and their history of legal suits against them. I said a few other not so nice words, but nothing inciting violence against them.

"BOTTOM LINE: My entries were at first downvoted, then deleted afterwards. I also received a follow-up mail stating my entries were breaking the rule of zealotry and were warning I was going to be banned. Afterwards I decided to de-activate my account, reason being too much censorship. I now suspect Reddit forums might be strongly influenced by Microserfs/"BIGTECH" and downvoting/deleting entries placing them in low regard.

"This kind of censorship is so subtle and difficult to identify as such. The way it is worded seems and feels as though the blame should be on the individual that posted some out-of-mainstream thought in the forum. Others would probably let it slide and follow the suggested advice. That's not in my nature having a free-spirit and a lucid mind."

The "rationale" of the technical response to such censorship was explained as follows: "As you know, there are no tools/services that track/log all entries within Reddit. When entries are posted, they may appear for a brief period of time, but once moderated, they may disappear/be deleted. We need more tools to: 1) detect and defeat censorship/corrupted moderation; 2) keep a watchful eye on those Web sites claiming to provide forums for free speech yet crushing their voices. This "WATCHDOG" tool may be an instrument for proving such events happened. 3) to store/capturing all Reddit is too costly, but could be achievable for smaller set of forums focused on Microsoft/"BIGTECH" like Linux, Golang, Rust, Zig and others one deems relevant matter."

The suggestion was put forth as follows: "The means to achieve this... "REDDIT-WATCHDOG" capability is to 1) have all Reddit users install a Reddit-watchdog Web browser plugin; 2) the Reddit-watchdog plugin would simply act like a front-end to Reddit, reading all entries to specific Teddit forum the user is interested in, then relaying all those entries to the Reddit-watchdog Wayback Machine server, recording all current entries viewed. If entries already exist within the Reddit-watchdog Wayback Machine, they simply will be ignored and not recorded."

"Resulting benefit" of this "REDDIT-WATCHDOG WAYBACK MACHINE," the person continued, "would allow: 1) searching for specific Reddit user history; 2) surfacing deleted entries; 3) surfacing extremely downvoted entries. Blocking the watchdog plugin would be unachievable because the signature of the Web client requests are the same as the Web browser itself. The unique IPs from the different Web browsers would also be difficult to block. Thank you for listening."

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