Reddit repost bots are spam, and that needs to be stopped.

Ok, imagine this, you are on reddit (say, a slow hobby focused subreddit), everybody there is nice and knowledgeable, and one day, the mods there announced that since there is not enough "content" on the sub, they are going to use a bot to repost content from 9gag in order to "bolster engagement" and "grow the community".

How would you feel about that?

If you feel upset and grossed out, you're exactly right.

I don't think there is a single non-spam subreddit where that kind of behavior would be tolerated without being called out for blatant mod abuse. No community in the world would ever tolerate automated reposting from another website, not reddit, not 4chan, not any forums of any size, even 9gag, I repeat, BLOODY 9GAG, was tired of being called out for reddit reposting and started making original content.

So why exactly should this kind of behavior be tolerated here?

Now, I'm sure some mods here did it with good intentions, but again, the road to the hell that is modern reddit is PAVED with good intentions. Content for the sake of content is bad, and we already knew it is bad, which is why Gallowboob was so thoroughly disliked, he generates """"""content"""""", in other words, spam that drowns out the normal people who can't compete with a professional marketer, much less a bot, which is exactly the reason why "Just block the bots" doesn't work, because it ruins the genuine engagements on a forum by drawing people to the lowest common denominator of """""""""""content""""""""""""".

Reddit, over the years, has turned into a platform for "bolstering engagement" for advertisers, and it does that by algorithmically stoking conflicts between people so they would endlessly argue and doomscroll. Why would we want that here? Now, I think most of us like the Lemmy/kbin right now because of the lack of bots here, and the conversations happen naturally and genuinely. I've even seen people here try to engage the bots, not realizing that they would never get a response out of them, because it felt normal to just talk about things.

(Eat your robot hearts out, @L4s and @BotIt)

Suppose then, if this repost bot situation was indeed temporary, why would people want to make original content if they are just going to be drowned out by bots? What's to stop someone from turning on bots from /r/dankmemes or /r/tiktokcringe? The bots are not members of the community, because they are not people (save the /r/botsright joke for more appropriate times), and over time, we will just become dependent on the bots hosing us down directly from that burning dumpster fire and become doomscrolling addicts again.

That's the number two lesson from the failure of Voat: that repost bots, like hate, should also not be tolerated, and Reddit will never die if we keep feeding it.

Everybody here are still currently all "Oh fuck reddit, fuck spez, I deleted my reddit account and all of my comments and will never go back again", but after finally getting away from reddit, why are you so insistent on trying to turn this place back to the worst part of reddit again?

And if the reddit migration on July 1st does indeed occur, do you think they would be ecstatic to see a place that's mostly reddit reposts, but with less """""""""""""""""""content"""""""""""""""""""? If they wanted reddit, why wouldn't they just go back to reddit?

When will we finally be rid of reddit, if we are the ones keeping it on life support?

I will say, if I sound frustrated, it's because I am frustrated, because I actually can't believe I even had to say this. Judging from the comments on this thread yesterday, I think a majority of people here would agree with me. We have something good here, and I'd like to keep it that way a bit longer.

Now, I very much appreciate that our admins here at lemmy.world and their amazing job of preemptively blocking suspicious bot infested instances, so I'm asking politely for @ruud, @antik and the rest of our good admin team here to put their foot down on not allowing reddit repost spambots and nip this problem in the bud before it takes root, so I can get back to shitposting in peace.

Be better than reddit.

Burn reddit down.

dismalnow,
dismalnow avatar

Beware.. borderline elitist thought below.

There's a group of well-meaning folks (more than I am comfortable with) who want EVERYONE to come over from reddit. A subset of those have decided that the best way to do this is by mirroring content.

THAT IS THE LAST THING I WANT ON ANY TIMELINE.

I came here to GTFO of a forum aggregator that became a corpo-coopted hellscape of shitposts, bots, and shouting into the void; and I sure as hell don't want anyone to bring that shit over here.

A miniscule fraction of users on reddit post, comment, or even help to rank content in any valuable way. The rest detract from any sense of community, clutter conversations.

They need not be placated, invited, or made to feel at home here.

They still have reddit.

Let them use it.

They LIKE it.

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

Exactly. They can choose to come here, but if they want to go down with the ship, let them.

But I don't want them to drag us down with them.

dismalnow,
dismalnow avatar

Don't get me wrong, I want reddit to feel the pain for saying the quiet part loud, and clear. I hope there's something/somewhere else people can go to do it.

Most people just want a place to shout at one or two other people over bot posted, polarizing ragebait. I don't, but they have several other places that are already established.

They don't need threaded discussion because no longform/non-topical discussion is happening:

They typically don't reply to others (or even a second time) unless they've gone full tilt. Even then, the opinions they don't like are usually blocked forever after that single exchange .

My personal feelings about musk aside - twitter (if it increased the character limits) would be PERFECT for the overwhelming majority of reddit users. Mayyyybe mastodon.

NecoArcKbinAccount,
NecoArcKbinAccount avatar

Ban those repost bots, keep the karmawhore spam confined to Reddit. Kbin is an alternative, not a Reddit clone.

lixus98,
lixus98 avatar

This is why I stopped development of BotIt, if people don't want it then I won't continue making it

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

And I appreciate you for that. Now let's fix it together.

dismalnow,
dismalnow avatar

I don't think you should hang it all up yet.

All I want to avoid is duplicating reddit. If I wanted reddit content, I'd go there. It's basically a bot driven link aggregator at this point.

Thinking aloud - I have a few ideas where bots would be beneficial with targeted criteria from a handful of reasonably decent sources.

It's not necessarily a bad thing to snatch and dump news from their sources for news mags...

Webcomics, podcasts.. there's probably a ton of reasons it wouldnt be spam. Digests instead of multiple posts?

As long as the bot(s) discriminate and segregate, they could really do some good work.

livus,
livus avatar

I am really opposed to using bots to take popular news from Reddit and dump it in our main news subs. It's a poisoned chalice.

In the 8 years I was on Reddit the quality of world news in the main worldnews sub dropped. In the last year I stopped contributing because there was no point.

It used to be news from around the world. Sometime during the Trump/Anti Trump era it slowly got drowned out by the political agendas of various factions of paid shills and bots.

If you look at it now, most of it is Ukraine war news. Basically the facebook crowd vote up what they feel comfortable with from the US news cycle, and the propaganda bots vote up anything that meets their agenda.

I don't think we should let them set the agenda here too. Reproducing their selections would have that effect.

dismalnow,
dismalnow avatar

Apologies. I thought I was pretty clear about direct links to sources that were specifically targeted for their audiences.

Full agreement on leaving reddit with reddit.

livus,
livus avatar

Sorry for the misundertanding. Now that I read it again I can see what you were saying.

I'm fediversing with my morning coffee, and should probably drink more of it before hitting the reply button!

dismalnow,
dismalnow avatar

Don't even worry about it. I'm in the same boat right now, sans coffee.

This is no way to live.

livus,
livus avatar

Right now I'm about to go to sleep and wondering if I've had too much coffee.

dismalnow,
dismalnow avatar

Coffee is a fickle beast, indeed.

lixus98,
lixus98 avatar

I pretty much lost motivation when I saw 3 posts a day saying they hated bots /s.
But honestly, at this point the bot is usable, if someone needs more functionality they can fork it if they want.

BarbecueCowboy,

Weird part is we've had better solutions than that for a long time.

If automatically fetching content from reddit is something someone is set on, the best solution in my opinion is something like a digest bot. I.e., here's your daily/weekly/monthly post with the top threads from other communities (like reddit, or other non-federated systems). If you want to talk about any of those threads, you can talk about it in the digest post.

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

And Lemmit.online is that for the fediverse. But lemmy.world is not that, and should not be that.

BarbecueCowboy,

To my understanding, Lemmit does every individual comment. A digest is usually more like a single post per day (or whatever time period) fetching a limited amount of the most popular content. So, instead of every single comment on the steamdeck subreddit federating over on lemmit, you'd have say... links and titles for the top 5 that day show up as a singular text post.

rcmaehl,
@rcmaehl@lemmy.world avatar

It would also fix the issue of spam/junk posts that get brought over automatically by those bots.

BarbecueCowboy,

Yeah, would solve most of the problems people have with the lemmit system. I'm honestly kind of surprised someone hasn't ran with the concept. Kind of like a variation on sneakpeekbot from reddit but posting it's details automatically on a schedule instead of in response to a mention and filtering it's searches to a time period.

Hmm, I wonder who maintains that bot.

antik, (edited )
@antik@lemmy.world avatar

Hi @MargotRobbie - you already saw my post on this in the l4s thread but I thought it would be good to post it here too.

We agree that we don’t want bots blindly importing from other news sources, be it reddit or others.

Bots in general should be allowed, as long as:

  • they follow the lemmy.world guidelines on content moderation
  • they have the approval from the community moderator/owner they post in
  • they are clearly identifying as a bot
  • they are not "spammy"
  • they are not used for advertisement

Malicious bots and bots going against these rules should be reported and they will be banned.

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

Hey, appreciate your thoughts on this topic, I think that’s a considerate and measured approach.

To a majority of us, I think we’re all figuring this out as we go. Let’s just see how this works out, and I really do hope this works.

Again, thanks.

antik, (edited )
@antik@lemmy.world avatar

Yes, same for us @MargotRobbie (the real one btw). Sometimes we need a bit of time to decide where to draw the line. Example: I just had to ban a bot who’s only post was an ad. So let’s add “no advertisements” to the list, even though it’s in the general server rules.

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

So let’s add “no advertisements” to the list

Unless it’s for “Barbie”, right? :)

Hey, that gag expires in 10 days, I need to milk it for as much as I can.

antik,
@antik@lemmy.world avatar
MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

Oh bugger.

Korne127,
@Korne127@lemmy.world avatar

I understand this perspective, but it is very biased and might just not be true for every case.
E.g. imagine someone wanting to migrate their community to Lemmy, but there are very few people following. Even if they post there, most people might stay in the origin community because there is just so much more content and they can engage with many other people. This is a vicious cycle, because no-one is there, no-one will go there.
Now, bring a repost bot in the game: Suddenly the alternative becomes viable, because the content is also available there. People are much easier able to switch because the difference is minimal. After a while, the original content increases and the necessarity for the repost bot decreases until it can be turned off. Much easier to get people away from Reddit and build a community.

Of course, this is also a specific example. And if there are existing communities with people that suddenly get spammed, that's a problem. But my point is, it's just not black and white, there can be different situations in which something can make sense or not.

Therefore I'd be clearly against blocking something like that sidewide because it can be helpful for single communities. Its totally reasonable for a community mod to block them if they personally conceive the bot to be spam for them, but yeah, I wouldn't agree with the statement that they need to be spam in general.

2dollarsim,

I think it's a very good idea to seed new communities with some content so it's not a dead space. Just after 20 posts or whatever, turn off the bot. I want to do this to some communities I'm trying to start, any tips on doing this?

firipu,

I started blocking the bots. They're annoying AF.

greenmarty,

I think bots can be used for news etc. I don't see anything wrong with that. It's basically like blog post with discussion. Give you topic to talk about. Obviously bots commenting makes little to sense.

Stuka,

What I think might be helpful for this is making sure it is very clear by the username that it's a bot post.

MiddleWeigh,
@MiddleWeigh@lemmy.world avatar

I agree, I personally don't want them, I like talking to people. I brought it up when they first started spamming, and I blocked lemmit. It was actually the first time i ever blocked anything lol. Out of my control after that, but it's definitely important to talk about it. I don't think we need them. Been having fun so far.

Fwiw, if the posts rolled in way slower, with no bot tags, it probably would have flown under the radar lol.

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

I'm glad you are having fun here, we all are, and I feel free after being away from the awfulness there, and I'd like to keep this place feeling fun for a while.

MiddleWeigh,
@MiddleWeigh@lemmy.world avatar

I went back today for a last hurrah, and it's pretty terrible, diffrrent energy. I couldnt tell if it was always like that or just a perspective change for me...and the best/worst part is I can see this easily devolving. But there are baked in work arounds...I imagine a lot of settling and splintering into smaller instances/communities as everyone blocks/subs over time. I personally like smaller communities, but am unsure where I'd settle to, because I largely avoid people. I'm quite new to social media tbh. I could even see lemmy being the reason that I stop coming on the internet altogether(in a good way). I can dream, right? Can I have my Vo5 back before I go, though? (:

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

But serious talk, you are just used to have humanity here at Lemmy, and you only saw how awful that place was from the outside after you've experienced something better.

MiddleWeigh,
@MiddleWeigh@lemmy.world avatar

Yea I think what happend at reddit is just inevitable with enough people, in most situations ime..yes your mostly right. My comments are usually heartfelt at least, but it was easier than I like to admit to find myself, even today, reducing my words down to some hot take, self depreciating, short tempered jab at nothing. Which is why I prefer smaller communities (: I kind of started my whole life over a year ago, and that's when I started using reddit more than as google search. I quickly began ignoring my inbox completely out of anxiety. I am only a baby 1 year old, with a shit load of trauma, and lots of learning to do. You like to write, don't you? Me too.

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

I was NOT wine-drunk in the shower last night, nobody saw anything, and I will deny it if you ask me about it in person.

MiddleWeigh,
@MiddleWeigh@lemmy.world avatar

The actor (actress) agrees to conduct himself (herself) with due regard to public conventions and morals and agrees that he (she) will return Vo5 Shampoo™️ and not commit anything tending to degrade him (her) in society or bring him (her) into public hatred, contempt, scorn ...

-Morals Clause

I'll see you in court.

MargotRobbie,
@MargotRobbie@lemmy.world avatar

Oh bugger.

Prasaedonium,

I agree, they are annoying to see and there is more content coming from local users now

Dane,

Im split on this. I don’t want a ton of bots spamming memes all over Lemmy but I really do want all the articles that are posted from the news subs to make their way over here. The only thing I find useful from Reddit is that. If one bot reposting all the news means thousands of actual users don’t have to engage with Reddit then I think that’s a net positive.

Since joining lemmy I’ve mostly avoided Reddit but during that 24-48hr period where Wagner was revolting against Putin i had to go back to Reddit because their up to minute news feed was posting updates faster than what we have here. If a bot brought all those posts over here I’d be over the moon.

L3s,
@L3s@lemmy.world avatar

I agree with all of this, but some people like reddit for other reasons, say, /r/videos for example. Lemmy is currently lacking that, and if we can fill that piece it would mean a lot less users even thinking about reddit. That’s mine and a few other’s goals here, make it so nobody even considers going to reddit.

tal,
tal avatar

Strongly disagree. And I don"t think that this has anything to do with Reddit in particular.

The Fediverse is designed to host many different types of content. Some content is going to be content that one person or another doesn't like.

And that is fine. Those people don't need to consume that content. They don't have to look at that content.

But they should not be trying to prevent other people from looking at that content.

In your case, it sounds like you got into a disagreement with the moderators of a Fediverse community over what content should be in that community. End of the day, their role is to make that call. You don't like it and cannot convince them, go make another community, and if users generally agree with you, they'll come to your community instead.

LongSausage,

memes are reposts though tbh

Flemmy,

Totally agree - when the server was quiet and empty it was one thing, but the server isn't quiet or empty anymore.

It's annoying seeing memes reposted by bots (people can do that just fine all on their own), but I've seen stuff like AITA threads - the OP isn't even here to read it... Is the idea to judge people behind their backs?

I found it extra upsetting because I'm hoping the Lemmy version will be more like AITA using to be - it turned from "who is the problem here" to "did you have the right to do this"

JdW,

We're not on reddit here, we can just call out AITA for the cesspool of lazy creative writing and the absurdly judgemental responses it always was. Nothing like that sub that embodies the worst of reddit should make it over here.

Dettweiler42,

It's going to come to a grinding halt when those bots lose API access July 1st

sam,
@sam@lemmy.ca avatar

Most of them don’t use the API afaik

hydra,

Good, I hope they die.

roy_mustang76,

Just another way Reddit decisions will help Lemmy grow - can't get drowned in repost bots if they're cut off at the knees :)

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