Reddit defends against accusations of ad fraud and Trump censorship
The influential social media site Reddit.com, which has hundreds of millions of users, came under fresh fire today for allegedly discriminating against users of the pro-Trump section of the site called /r/The_Donald. Critics accused Reddit of under-reporting how many "subscribers" the section has while telling advertisers that the section has a much higher number of users.
But Reddit tells Fox News that the flap was caused by a simple labelling error that Reddit made when it rolled out a new system for advertisers Thursday.
Reddit.com has a live counter available to the public that says the pro-Trump section of the site has 385,000 subscribers. Reddit users closely follow such counters to gauge popularity. But between Thursday and Friday afternoon, if a user went to Reddit's advertising platform, ads.reddit.com, and expressed interest in advertising in the Trump subreddit, the user was shown a dramatically higher number of subscribers: more than 6 million.
The discrepancy was first reported by the blog Right Side Politics. Fox News confirmed the two differing Reddit counts.
Users of /r/The_Donald say this is just the latest example of Reddit discriminating against them. Reddit has taken other censorship measures in the past and blocks most posts from the pro-Trump section of the site from appearing on the "front page" of Reddit.
A post in the Trump section Friday afternoon reads: "385,000 subscribers? TRY 6 MILLION... STOP LYING TO US."
Users also said that Reddit could be guilty of advertising fraud if it were to turn out that the 385,000 number were correct and the 6 million number were wrong.