I’ve recently discovered that all the comments I’ve made on Reddit.com for over a month have been invisible to the rest of the world. I had no idea, though, because reddit makes it look like they’re visible by displaying them to me while I’m logged in.

Reddit Deceived Me 2

If you click through to Zooomr, I’ve set up some portals on the picture that illustrate what I’m talking about. On the left browser, I’m logged in as “xiaoma”, and my comment is visible. On the right side, I’m not logged in, and my comment is mysteriously missing.

I knew I’d been spending a bit much time reading and “participating” in reddit comment threads recently… but when I found out that all that time was spent in vain, it felt like I’d been punched in the gut. All this time I thought I was engaging with a discussion with netizens the world over, but instead, I’ve been typing in a vacuum.

Reddit, I used to be your biggest fan, but now I feel unclean even linking to you. Either your code is buggy, or you banned my account (except for my submission that hit #1). I can’t even fathom why my account would have been gagged, either. I’ve been reading through my comment history and both less profane and more thought out than most of what I see in the comment threads. You need look no further than the profane comment right below mine that wasn’t censored to see what I’m talking about.

Update 10/13/2007: It appears that Reddit is up to some other kinds of “covert” censorship.

Update 10/14/2007: My comments have mysteriously re-appeared, and this story has equally mysteriously been deleted from Reddit.

Update 10/21/2007: Now, reddit shows all my comments as “deleted”… unless I’m logged in, in which case it looks like nothing’s wrong. This whole business of trying to deceive the user is ridiculous.

Update 10/31/2007: The comments are visible again.