The Brief: A Reddit Quarantine occurs when a subreddit has been flagged for questionable content.
A Reddit quarantine is somewhere between completely banning a subreddit and giving it complete free reign. It allows a subreddit to stay up and running, with some protocols in place so that no one accidentally stumbles upon questionable content. Reddit describes quarantinable subs as “communities that, while not prohibited, average Redditors may nevertheless find highly offensive or upsetting.”
Quarantined subreddits do not appear in non-subscription-based feeds such as Popular or All. They do not generate ad revenue for the site. This is similar to the NSFW Reddit function, which requires users to opt-in to access certain subs. A Reddit quarantine can be appealed through a process of demonstrating that a community has reformed. The URL must be specifically typed in and then users must click “continue” after receiving a warning about the quarantine.
According to Reddit, “the purpose of quarantining a community is to prevent its content from being accidentally viewed by those who do not knowingly wish to do so, or viewed without appropriate context.” They claim that “quarantining a community may have a positive effect on the behavior of its subscribers by publicly signaling that there is a problem.”
Reddit quarantines serve a similar purpose to social media shadowbans, but are different in that the platform is upfront about the fact that a sub has been quarantined, notifying moderators and visitors.