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Reddit’s UFO subreddit was auto-censoring phrases ‘Brazil,’ ‘Navy,’ and ‘Pentagon”

Rogue moderators have now been removed.
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The /r/UFOs subreddit have suffered several cases of censorship by moderators who have blocked keywords for recent topics such as “Brazil”, “Pentagon,” or “Navy”.

2020 has been a strange year even for UFO fans. During this quarantine period, both the Pentagon and the U.S. Navy revealed material that points to the possible existence of aliens. Those who want to discuss these events can do so in places like the /r/UFOs Subreddit, or at least you would think so.

It turns out that some of the moderators on the subreddit blocked a series of keywords that referred to recent events, so posts that included “Pentagon” or “Navy” were immediately rejected.

This ban was not limited to revelations offered by the United States government almost a month ago, but also more recent publications that spoke about the alleged alien sightings that occurred in Magé, Brazil, were being censored.

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A user named monaizin began to question the disappearance of posts and comments about the sightings in Brazil as this was, for a short while, a hot topic on the subreddit. But out of nowhere, people simply stopped mentioning it. Even for some of the moderators, the censorship cases were unexpected.

VICE reports:

“When axolotl_peyotl checked the automod, he found that ‘Brazil’ had recently been added to the list of restricted words. “I could also see the history of the edits on the spam filter. And not only that, one of the /r/ufos mods had been ‘tweaking’ the automod on a daily basis for a very long time,” axolotl_peyotl said. “Even more surprisingly, included in the spam filter were words like ‘moon’, ‘pentagon’ and ‘navy,’ with the latter two having been added 17 days ago…when the Navy admits to having and then actually releases UFO footage, a healthy UFO forum does not then add the word ‘navy’ to the spam filter.””

One of the subreddit’s moderators known as axolotl_peyotl admitted not knowing what was happening when he started receiving many private messages where users informed him that posts about Brazil were being deleted.

This motivated him to investigate the cause of the censorship, which led him to discover that the word Brazil had been blocked in all threads. His discovery did not end there, as he also found words that had been important in recent days, such as “Navy,” “Pentagon,” or “Moon” on the restricted word list.

According to axolotl_peyotl, it makes no sense for a moderator to block these words that would necessarily appear among the most relevant posts. Additionally, axolotl_peyotl found a post where a moderator said that the community was being stupid and that this was the supposed cause for the bans.

Faced with all the complaints from the community, axolotl_peyotl, backed by other moderators, decided to remove the privileges of those who were censoring the posts and calling the community stupid.

He also restored the words that were once blocked. To compensate for the lack of staff, the subreddit is now on the lookout for new moderators willing to uphold community standards and not censor any theory related to UFOs.

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