Perhaps it’s best to start with some context so anybody reading this has the right background for the discussion.
How the rule was made
This rule was partially created and rendered controversial when stake pools were added to Cardano. Many posts on Reddit were just “Delegate to my new stake pool!” and that’s it, which was very spammy.
A decision was made to disallow all pool advertisements. However, this didn’t fix the situation because many projects decided to hide their stake pool advertisements inside sloppy educational content. They would make a factually incorrect “educational” piece in 5 minutes and slap their stake pool at the bottom.
To fix this, it was decided that stake pool mentioned (even if educational content) was not allowed. This, of course, hurt genuine creators who made very helpful content just because they wanted to mention their stake pool in their hard work, leading to some being upset
However, since not everybody on the moderator team can reasonably be technical enough to decide if something is technically accurate or not, the rule stuck
How it extended to NFTs
During the NFT bull run, many people would make post saying “My NFT is minting starting today!” which again, is not super noteworthy because there were collections being minted basically every day. Now, of course, some collections are more notable than others but this is hard for the moderator team to evaluate. Since now NFTs are also often embedded in games, the rule was extended to games as well
Do we even need this rule? Aren’t Reddit upvotes meant to solve this?
Reddit is itself a curation platform, so you could definitely argue that the moderation of the quality of the content should be left to the users if the goal is purely to differentiate between real content and spam. However, Reddit is not perfect at this. To know if a new post (which starts at 1 upvote) is good, it has to show it to at least part of the community to give it a shot and see what users think. So if a subreddit is 90% garbage and 10% quality, the algorithm has no choice but to show a bunch of garbage to regular users to try and filter out the 10% quality content that it should push out to the larger user base. That means basic moderation can help improve subreddit quality (and thus user retention) a lot
Note that this also means you need to prune these posts as soon as possible. That’s why there is a Cardano auto-moderator tool that looks for key words like “NFT” and “Stake pool” and automatically deletes these posts. The algorithm strongly encourages you to delete first, ask questions later (instead of being permissive and deleting if found to be poor quality)
As a side note, this auto-moderation also applies to comments which are often auto-deleted as well.
So why some quality posts kept in a deleted state?
A few factors come into this:
- Not every moderator may have the technical ability to know if you content is good
- Not every moderator may feel empowered to act (they have an incentive not to risk it)
- There are not that many moderators especially after CF did a moderator purge earlier this year. Some of the people removed were actively approving posts and comments, but things have gotten worse after their removal