I like Reddit. I’ve already posted here about Reddit and promoting content on Reddit. I also know Reddit doesn’t work for everyone, especially at the community-level where commentary can get volatile and discussion stunted by way of sarcasm and reactionary responses.
I want to speak of ill I’ve encountered, but not a malicious incident. No, no, it’s posting restrictions that thwart participation. Subreddit’s having rules are a necessity or everything goes chaotic (or spam-laden), so I’m not trying to frown on rules here. It’s when they go too far and are over-reactive in an effort to… what, exactly?
If you’ve monitored my articles of the past few months here at Johnny Fonts (and by web traffic stats, I know you likely haven’t) you’ll know I’m into music lately. Indie music. Tampa Bay indie musicians and bands have pushed me to promote them on Reddit because I want to see them thrive and go national and beyond. The more exposure, the more people who hear them and like what they hear, and the further they go. That’s a degree that pushes anyone to post a local band’s music on /r/indie_rock. Yet, there’s a bigger sub-group that… well, it’s huge; /r/listentothis has 11 million subscribers, which means that drawing attention to a song posted on the group can draw an explosion of attention with one simple click-thru and an upvote. Here’s a summary from the group:
A place to discover music by new or overlooked artists. Not a place to bury music you don’t like. Keep an open mind, try something new, and you will discover something great.
All genres are welcome, but bots will remove mainstream music submissions and frequently reposted artists. All self-promotion and personal association go in the melting pot!
One band I’ve gotten an interest in as of the past few months is the Trigger City Trio, who I discovered with my Music Tampa Bay Top 100 post. Saturday evening, I listened to their song Movin’ On which is currently in the Top 40 on Music Tampa Bay. It was released in 2015 and at the time I found it on YouTube it had been listened to / viewed all of 28 times (the song is easier to find on Bandcamp and on the group’s own web site and it’s certainly been heard more often through other avenues):
I liked what I heard. I damn well liked what I heard and I thought to take a chance. While /r/indie_rock is the base that will find appeal easier, I wanted to give the group I’ll reference as T3, a bigger bump. I’ve successfully done that with Gypsy Star on the song I Feel Love but I haven’t had luck with the Pretty Voices. To have posted many times about a group on Reddit and then post on /r/listenothis sets off automated bots that will remove your post because you are tied to the group (maybe).
And ridiculous bot-antics deemed T3 as unreal and non-worthy of the group. A band that’s been around longer than I know, that has 1600+ likes on Facebook and 367 followers on Twitter, a band with a released album on Bandcamp, music videos, and its own website, doesn’t exist. Fake. Made up. Not real. It’s not like Donald Trump’s bullshit cries of “fake news”, there’s some info source that seems to have driven the reaction, but it sure reminded me of it.
After contacting moderation of the subreddit about the issue, the post was approved and made public (with some kvetching that I linked to a playlist and I need to find better links next time). Still, it irks me that there was an info aspect that’s unstated about the group (and the fact this info wasn’t in plain sight set off the bot). The bot antics give off numerous reasons to be concerned about posting in that subreddit. While /r/llistentothis doesn’t want promotion antics employed in the group, it defeats the idea of the group whatsoever. Any fan posting a little known/overlooked song is doing promo work, as is anyone writing a review, or tweeting. Negative or positive remarks, it’s exposure and name-dropping of a group or act that needs exposure or they never get defined for what they have accomplished in their body of work.
EDIT: One thing not included here was the bot statement saying the band isn’t real. Mod staff at /r/listentothis deleted the remark (which was posted in comments of the Movin’ On post). The bot suggested that the post may feature a typo with regard to the and name or some other error. A side-point to the awkward nature of posting on the group is how title-format to the post is monitored so closely by automation. You make a formatting error and your post will be removed outright. Persnickety, ain’t it?