The front page of reddit is a good place to catch up on the latest internets, or so an increasing number of users think. To broaden the appeal of the site to lurkers and first-time visitors, the company is making some small but significant changes to the front page that gets presented to anyone who isn’t logged in.
Usually what a visitor would see is r/all, dominated by a set of 50 default high-traffic subreddits that the team selected a while back. Now they’ll be sent to r/popular, which will supposedly come from more sources, with a few restrictions: no NSFW content, no subreddits that have opted out of appearing on the front page and no “subreddits that users consistently filter out of their r/all page,” as administrator simbawulf wrote in the announcement.
What does that last one mean? Users were quick to ask, and quick to cry censorship when it was found that in addition to game-specific subreddits like r/overwatch, “narrowly focused politically related subreddits” like r/The_Donald — and plenty of other political subreddits on both sides of the aisle.
Some commenters saw it as a way for the redditorial team to block speech they don’t approve of under the guise of user friendliness, while others saw it as just a way to kick content off the front page that isn’t a good match for casual visitors. Which is it? You be the judge.
Nothing should change for logged-in users who have their own subscribed subreddits, but randoms who drop by the site will supposedly see both a more diverse and less NSFW front page. It’s a work in progress, of course, so expect more changes as admins figure stuff out and users revolt.