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Is Social Media Site Reddit 'Fair' to PR?
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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A recent piece appearing in BusinessInsider.com spoke of advertisers who “sabotage the brand names of rival clients by getting them banned from Reddit. Jim Edwards, who authored the Business Insider article, noted:
 
“Reddit is of intense interest to advertisers because of its huge audience — 70 million unique visitors monthly. But Reddit's self-policing system prevents PR people from "upvoting" their own content on the site, by banning the entire web domain of anyone caught promoting their "own" content. Publishers and brands live in fear of their web site never being seen on the forum again.”

Edwards also noted, “Black hat Reddit operations are not a secret. Reddit and its Redditor users have been battling them for years. ... Sometimes companies try to pay influential redditors to upvote their material. ...But all these methods are about trying to create positive buzz for your own brand.”

Of course, as us flacks all know, part of PR work is crafting and pitching positive buzz for your organization’s brand or services. From a PR viewpoint, attempts by a social media site such as Reddit to stop spammers are praiseworthy. Banning web domains simply because the domain “might” be posting spam is not.
 
This flack, while agreeing with Reddit’s main idea, thinks the entire approach is just wrong. What do you think?
 
(Note: For the entire Edwards piece on Business Insider, click here.)


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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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