The hugely popular news link site Reddit is taking steps to make sure that the third party links that that show up as being popular are truly as a result of reader interest. VentureBeat reports that Reddit has now restricted its users from posting links from a handful of sites that Reddit believes was using artificial means to boost up their link popularity.
The sites, some of which are listed on one of Reddit's pages, include some high profile pages such as BusinessWeek, The Atlantic, Phys.org, GlobalPost, ScienceDaily and Discover Magazine's blog. Reddit General Manager Erik Martin said that while Reddit has always had a ban list, this week the site changed its policies on how it handles submissions from banned sites.
Before this week, a Reddit user could submit a link from a banned site and it would show up. However, that submission could only be seen by that user. Now, when a Reddit user tries to post a link from a banned site, that user cannot complete his or her submission. Martin said, "We want to show that this behavior isn’t OK instead of keeping the banned domains secret.”
Martin would not say what the sites on Reddit's banned list did to get them blacklisted because revealing such information could allow other sites to figure out ways to get around Reddit's policies. He did say that some sites were given warnings well in advance. He added, "Banning is not something we take lightly. It’s really a last resort."