[Update: The thread has now been marked as April Fools on reddit… so either it was the most tasteless April Fools yet or they are covering themselves.. pass me my tinfoil hat back] [Warning it is the 1st of April so take this with a pinch of salt. But it’s not the first time something like this has come to light and it is personally naming and shamng so if it is a fool it’s a tasteless one]
A startling new post has appeared on the games sub section of Reddit, the self proclaimed home page of the Internet. The damning claims state that Sony approached all of the moderators behind the sub-reddit and offered to pay them to remove negative PlayStation news and any positive Xbox news.
Just in case this thread disappears here’s the entire posting:
I’m posting this on a throwaway because I don’t want reddit to know it’s me just yet. For a while now I’ve been a moderator here at /r/Games because I liked the community and am heavily involved in the gaming scene. I love this place, but something has completely destroyed my faith in it. We delete comments all the time to the effect of “X is paid off by Y” or “you’re a shill for Z”. They’re fake and dumb and get deleted.
But over the course of the last month or so, I’ve found that that’s not true. The truth is, someone is being paid off. Someone sent us a modmail last month asking why a moderator had deleted his thread with some negative news regarding the PS4, so since it was late I decided to investigate a bit. The moderator, /u/IceBreak, had deleted the thread. I thought nothing of it until identical threads with the news got deleted by the same moderator each time.
I knew that IceBreak was a moderator of /r/PS4 and /r/XboxOne, and when he was added to the team I definitely had my concerns. I decided to look into some of his other deletions and found something jarring. Over the past 3 months he’s been solely deleting negative PS4 news and positive Xbox news. I decided to take it up with him personally before doing anything else, but he kept deflecting and I got nowhere.
Nothing happened until a few days later, when this wound up in modmail. Granted, this screenshot’s a little vague so let me give some background. The user had posted a news story giving positive light to the Xbox One a bit earlier, which had been deleted a few minutes after by IceBreak. This language isn’t acceptable, so I confronted him again, this time in IRC. Here’s a log of that conversation. Pt1 – Pt2
After this conversation I considered talking to Deimorz, our top mod and reddit admin, but decided against it. I felt like him knowing someone knew would dissuade him from doing it further. Unfortunately I was wrong. Two days ago (as of this posting) I started checking up on his moderation log again to find that he’d still been removing negative PS4 news and discussions. This was the last straw.
I was the only one to see this in however long he’d been a mod, and nothing has been done about it. /r/Games has completely changed from what I remember, so I see no reason to fix it internally. Instead I’m leaving it up to the users to decide. Sony had approached us months ago but I didn’t think it was a serious thing, now I’m more sure than ever that corporations are controlling mods and subreddits. I want no part of it. As for why I haven’t officially resigned, I’d rather find myself another subreddit to call a home first, maybe /r/GamerNews or /r/TrueGaming. Once I’ve done that I’m gone.
This thread will probably be deleted but I’ll do everything I can to keep it up, even if it means clicking approve every 5 seconds (or making a bot to do so for me). This must be known and I’m willing to do everything in my power to make sure everyone sees this. Thank you for reading.
tl;dr /u/IceBreak is being paid off and should be banned from reddit
The most incriminating thing here, is the second image from their personal chat:
What gets me here is there is still this massive belief that gaming websites and journalists are paid off and the community driven things like reddit and YouTube are the most honest places. I’ve been doing this for coming on 6 years now and never once has anyone approached me to give me money to talk about anything. Yes we take advertising and I think it’s quite clear to see what is an advertisement on the site and what isn’t.
But yet again a community is being rocked with claims that they are on the payroll of the gaming giants. Now IceBreak hasn’t responded yet and it is a little strange that this anonymous mod didn’t go straight to the top guys. But then again if he feels the rot goes all the way to the top this may be the best way to bring about change.
I’ve seen some moderators over at N4G also showing a strong bias towards PlayStation previously. Added to this, and you may be forgiven for thinking that the huge amount of positive PlayStation news may not be as real as previously thought.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, don’t blindly trust community people. They don’t have to hold the burden of proof and integrity that journalists do. Find some sites that you trust and who appear honest and get your news from them.
Last Updated: April 1, 2014