Major Reddit Communities Are Protesting Against COVID-19 Misinformation On The Site

August 25th, 2021 - 6:40 PM EDT by Philipp Kachalin

43 comments | Contact Newsroom

title of a reddit post calling for curbing coronavirus misinformation superimposed over reddit logo

Over 240 subreddits have signed an open letter to Reddit admin team to voice their protest against coronavirus misinformation on the site, with some communities also going into lockdown.

The subreddits, including heavyweights such as /r/aww, /r/pics, /r/showerthoughts and /r/tifu, have signed an open letter to Reddit administration demanding to curb the spread of COVID-19 misinformation on the platform and asking to ban communities that exist solely to spread medical disinformation and undermine efforts to combat the global pandemic.

Lies are repeated so frequently that misinformed people begin to believe them wholeheartedly, trusting that they can't be incorrect because they're surrounded by people who believe it also. […]
There is a good chance that the disinformation that reddit is currently inundated with will necessitate people a stay at the toxicology department in the hospital or even cost them their lives. There can be no room for leniency when people are dying as a result of misinformation on this platform. Reddit as a global platform needs to take responsibility here.

The letter, posted by moderator of /r/aww, /r/pics, /r/gifs and other major communities, was submitted to /r/vaxxhappened and currently sits at over 81,000 upvotes.

In addition to signing the letter, some subreddit, such as popular meme community /r/196, also went into lockdown to bring attention to the issue.

In April 2020, Reddit admins addressed the issue of COVID-19-related misinformation on the website, promising to investigate claims of coordinated attempts to spread misinformation and cooperate with other social media platforms to curb false information.

Top Comments


Considering how utterly politicized the information regarding COVID has been for the last 18 months, considering how the information and data surrounding COVID has been for the last 18 months, I do not believe any social site, such as reddit, facebook, twitter, etc, should have the ability to be gatekeepers of what is factual and what is not. Lest they themselves become the vectors of misinformation themselves.


in reply to Panuru

No. I do not. There is of course a degree, absurd statements like the one you mentioned is one thing. But if I am putting a post on Facebook quoting a study, such as this study here by the NCIB about the efficacy of cloth masks, which an overwhelming majority of people are using, saying that they are practically useless, should Facebook flag and delete my post because it goes against current mask-mandates? And what basis does Facebook have to determine whether something is true? Should they use the CDC which, despite overwhelming evidence, that COVID is spread through small aerosols, will not change it's definition of exposure due to large droplets and surfaces. Whom exactly should Facebook trust then? Political expediency over scientific evidence has erroded trust in any and all of our institutions and we are expecting social media of all places to police what people can talk about and not? If 8 months ago I was talking about the Lab Leak Theory people would say that it is absolutely misinformation, even racism, and today that is a real theory that has a ton of more legs and is actively being investigated.


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