This post is about my recent (unexpected) confrontation with the mod team of the Reddit /r/HardwareSwap community. For those that are unaware, /r/hardwareswap is labeled as a place where Reddit users can sell, trade, and/or buy used hardware from other Reddit users. Payment services such as PayPal are often used here to help secure transactions, and handle disputes when people get scammed.
In addition to sending sponsorship inquiries to companies and the like, I've also reached out to a few select members of the /r/hardwareswap community about their interest in sponsoring project Redshift. In hindsight, I never thought that this would develop into some kind of problem, but it has.
Unfortunately for me, apparently sponsorship requests is the same thing as begging. I've been permanently banned from participating in /r/hardwareswap activities (at least via subreddit posts and comments).
Here's what I think is wrong about the actions of the moderator team, though: there's nothing in their rules that explicitly states that a user can't make sponsorship requests to others, nor "beg" users for hardware, since that is how they wish to describe my actions.
As evidence, here is an archived version of their rules page, to guarantee my argument in case they edit the rules page after-the-fact. In their rules, they even have an infraction system that they failed to follow.
In all honesty, how does the moderation team at /r/hardwareswap expect their users to follow the set rules, when they can't follow them themselves?
An Informal Discussion
In their ban reasoning, they've cited a previous discussion that I've had with a fellow moderator about the idea of sponsorships. That lone moderator personally advised me against the idea of reaching out to sponsors, citing a possible rule violation on /r/hardwareswap. I then proceeded to check the rules of /r/hardwareswap, and again there was nothing listed. I then proceeded on with my quest to reach out to sponsors.
The community wants me gone, over making sponsorship inquiries? I asked the mod team to produce evidence of these alleged people requesting me to be dismissed, and they have ignored this request.
During this episode of what is effectively internet drama, the mods also took some time to completely smear manure all over the entire Redshift project. Particularly, they questioned the viability of getting a sponsorship at all. As already noted on the Redshift information article, I've already dispelled some misconceptions.
It's clear that they haven't really looked into my sponsorship inquiries with other users and and other companies, because I've listed a few ways sponsors will get rewarded for contributing to the project.
- Sponsors get a segment in the final build article when the project is finished
- Sponsors get advertising space (time slots, location, etc. is up for discussion)
- Sponsors get referrals via social media
- (Anything else I may add)
Yep, the definitely didn't read the misconceptions post. Why is it so hard to break the tunnel vision that internet users have? They all assume that I'm out to just grab hardware and then do nothing with it. I've already established the principles behind Redshift, multiple times. Yet, it seems like those posts that I make just escape their eyes or their ears.
And, what have I gained from having a useless (and certainly fruitless) conversation these authoritarian moderators? Nothing. In fact, despite arguing my case to them over the course of a little over an hour, they muted me in the thread. For those unaware, that means that I can't actually plead my case to the moderators for the next 3 days.
Really, that's the end for this post. Effectively, I've wasted my time dealing with authoritarian moderators who don't care to listen to the counter arguments of the people they ban, without giving them a second thought.
After the actions that I've had to deal with today, I recommend that folks simply sell their products somewhere else. Be it something like Ebay or Craigslist. I find it rather petty that a user can just get completely shut out over the accusations of others, especially when the mods won't produce evidence of these "people" reaching out to them. For all I know, this can be could have been some kind of elaborate plot to make an example out of me.
The people of /r/hardwareswap might be good, but the mods certainly aren't.