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Reddit defends against accusations of ad fraud and Trump censorship

Reddit defends against accusations of ad fraud and Trump censorship

Maxim Lott | Fox News -- 

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.

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