So, I have been a long term reddit user and I think the tales of the moderators God complex reaches far beyond the platform.
Now I had stopped using reddit in between and only returned around some months ago. I could immediately notice that moderation had become more biased. During this time I would note that several comments or posts I made which seemed fine had no interaction with them. Upon opening the same page in another browser I discovered the content was not visible to other users and there was no notification sent about removal. When I mailed the mods there would be no reply (one came almost a month later saying we can do whatever we want).
At this same time there was some trouble in my country with some separatists creating problems and they were quite active on reddit spreading propaganda. I found moderators would have no issue with this, so I decided to investigate. I started following all links I thought were suspicious and then stumbled upon a subreddit where posts were being pulled from subreddits related to India and a bot would run Sentiment Analysis on the comments on the posts and catalogue them in that subreddit. There was no one else active on that sub. The comments were usually ones which were more emotionally charged.
I suspected something and a few google searches later I found several papers about Sentiment Analysis being used in Social Media Intelligence. I also noted several interesting things like:
Agenda Setting: Certain topic is kept in the highlight to increase it's perceived importance in the public
Amplification: Posts or comments conforming to an agenda are allowed to be posted and are pushed to the top.
Deranking: Posts or comments against the agenda are removed or suppressed.
Echo Chamber Creation: By using above methods an echo chamber can be created and this can be used to push ideologies, cause apathy or even radicalization.
Sentiment Analysis: This analyzes the comments and gauges the public reaction to the content. AI then recommends possible actions to obtain the desired reaction.
By this method the moderators can manipulate the users psychologically. This can be used to influence elections, create general apathy, promote civil unrest, promote certain ideologies, also radicalization.
Another thing I noticed recently is that they have enforced a karma requirement which they are forcing on to the users.
The interesting thing here is that no one is allowed to know how much karma each sub requires before you can post there. Then they provide the users with a list of subs where they can post with low karma and periodically go and check if they can now post on their desired sub. If they can't their post stays invisible and if a moderator likes it and deems it "high-quality" it is allowed to be posted and user gains karma.
So what we now have is a human bot army which goes around reddit posting content and these people are told that don't expect your post will show up. This easily gives the moderators an excuse to pick content posted which lines up with the agenda and keep posts which they consider "low-effort" invisible. Reddit mods want to make propaganda and they've put the users on the hamster wheel.
In the end any removal of any post is justified by saying that moderators have absolute authority over their sub. I finally told them then let the moderators themselves post why do you even need users?