Confessions of an /r/bitcoin moderator / John W. Ratcliff / August 19th, 2015

It’s Not What You Think

I apologize for the title of this article because it is pure unadulterated click-bait. You started reading this because you thought you were going to to hear the dirty details of the inner sanctum of the bitcoin moderators; asecret cabal of initiates who conduct ceremonies and rituals under the cover of darkness to control the bitcoin community.

Sadly, that is not the case.

The vast bulk of our time and energy is devoted to removing duplicate posts and endless spam.

When moderation is working correctly, the average user never sees it. On a daily basis the /r/bitcoin sub-reddit is spammed with posts promoting gambling websites, scams, alt-coins, off-topic posts having nothing to do with bitcoin. Those of us working dutifully in the moderator mines delete this noise so that the 150,000 or so subscribers don’t have to deal with it.

The Life of a Mod

It is a largely thankless job. It is on a volunteer basis. No one is being paid. Most of the current moderators were nominated by the community. At least that is how I came to be a moderator.

About a year ago the owner of the /r/bitcoin sub-reddit, a user who goes by the handle of /u/theymos, received a lot of criticism regarding the lack of effective moderation on the forum. The forum was being deluged with spam and noise. In response to the complaints, /u/theymos asked the community to make nominations for forum moderators. Since I had a long time posting history and reasonably decent karma, I was one of the ones nominated. I was spending a fair amount of time on the /r/bitcoin sub-reddit anyway, so I accepted and tried to contribute a little bit towards the cause.