Pokemon Go Reddit reopens after admins meet ‘fake news’ ban demands

Andrew Amos
pokemon go background

The Pokemon Go subreddit has gone public again, days after announcing a Reddit boycott over ‘fake news’ and misinformation spreading on the forum site. The community is one of the site’s biggest, with over three million members.

Pokemon Go’s subreddit is back.

After a 48-hour blackout, the three million member community is open to all after a boycott of Reddit’s misinformation policy wrapped up.

The Pokemon Go subreddit was one of over 100 communities to “go dark” and close down until Reddit took action on ‘fake news’ on the platform. This included the shutting down of fringe subreddits pushing misinformation on the global health crisis.

The combined member count of the 130-odd subreddits was in the millions.

Pokemon Go subreddit goes dark
Reddit: r/PokemonGo
The /r/pokemongo subreddit closed temporarily on August 30 as part of a Reddit-wide protest.

“Whether you agree or not with the measure, it cannot be said that it did not work,” /r/pokemongo’s moderators said after lifting the ban on September 1. “Voices are always stronger together, and as we were directly impacted by the actions of these bad acting communities, we decided to help lead the charge.”

The Pokemon Go subreddit joined the boycott to ensure Reddit “take visible and immediate action against subs that are dedicated to spreading misinformation around COVID.”

Given Pokemon Go required users to go outside to get the most out of the game, playing it during the global health crisis was hard.

Niantic implemented changes to make it easier to play from home, but lifted some of them early to much criticism.

Pokemon Go
Niantic / The Pokemon Company
Players can now access Pokemon Go gyms from an increased distance, one of the safety measures introduced during the global health crisis.

Reddit admins took action by banning /r/NoNewNormal, one of the biggest “health misinformation” subreddits according to the website. They also “quarantined 54 additional COVID denial subreddits” over brigading and harassment claims.

These “high signal” subreddits accounted for over 3% of posts about the global health crisis in the last month, according to Reddit admins.

This led to a significant amount of reports for misinformation and ‘fake news’, which more than tripled in a matter of days.

Niantic has not flagged if they’ll reverse the safety measures introduced in 2020 again.

Niantic have reversed some of the exploration bonus changes flagged first in August, promising to better communicate changes to these safety measures.