How organizations should handle false, defamatory Reddit posts

When a customer, a competitor, or a disgruntled employee goes to Reddit with a complaint, true or not, it can gain traction. Here’s how to head off a disaster.

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Reddit, self-branded as “a source for what’s new and popular on the Web,” rarely removes defamatory content. The highly pro-free speech/largely user-governed website admits to it in its frequently asked questions page.

Thanks to the protections afforded in the United States to websites such as Reddit, including the Communications Decency Act, businesses and individuals can be harmed online and there is often little the websites will (or must) do about it.

Reddit posts have a tendency to go viral. Thus, false and defamatory content posted on Reddit about a business or brand (especially a large one) can quickly generate popularity on the website, as well as through third party websites such as Twitter. The good news is that the popularity of Reddit content is typically rather short-lived. Negative or otherwise harmful content can largely disappear from the public eye in a small period of time.

How Reddit works

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