An online Mormon story can be an interesting read in some circumstances, but the stories that are posted to Reddit often come across as either shallow or sensationalistic, according to two former moderators of the site.
Many Redditors have posted stories that contain factual errors or misleading information, or stories that omit crucial details or make statements that may seem questionable, according and former moderator of the Mormon Stories forum, Josh Waddell.
In one example, a Reddit user posted a story that claimed the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith was not actually the last person to die in the American Civil War, Waddel said.
The story did not state that Joseph Smith died on April 26, 1844, but instead claimed he died on May 11, 1845, according the site’s guidelines.
Reddit banned the story after complaints were raised.
“There’s no way to find the truth on Reddit, so you’re looking for information that makes your own opinion or the opinion of your friends, and that’s not a very good idea,” Waddesell said.
Another example was posted by a user who claimed that a Mormon church member claimed to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and death, and said the church leader, Orson Pratt, “wasn’t a big fan of him” because of his “very strong views on polygamy.”
But Pratt was not a Mormon leader, and he had no role in the death of Jesus, Wadelsell said, and the account is a common misconception about Mormons.
Another common misconception is that Mormon church members often claim to be ex-gay or have lost their virginity to other people, Wadsell said in an interview.
In fact, many Mormons are not interested in losing their virginity, but rather have had sex with other men, and some have even experienced sexual abuse, he said.
Wadsell and others also warned against posting fake stories, as they were often used as a way to promote the idea that Mormons were less religious than other Christians.
“People will post a story and they’ll go, ‘Wow, that’s great!
I think this is a good story,'” Wadselsell recalled.
“That’s great, but they’ll use it to promote a false idea.
It’s very easy to get that kind of story out there.
I wouldn’t want that kind and I wouldn, honestly, never use it.”
Reddit is the world’s largest online forum for discussions of all kinds, but it is also home to a community of Mormon apologists who believe their faith has been restored.
Redditors who post about Mormon apologetics can expect to be banned from the site, but those who try to share Mormon stories may find themselves in the same position as those who were banned for not posting stories with accurate information, Wadhell said: they may not have a voice, but Reddit does.
The subreddit is not without its own challenges.
Wadsells own experience as a moderator on the forum left him frustrated and frustrated with the lack of information, and also angered some members of the subreddit, Wada said.
“It was really frustrating for a lot of people because they were getting such an avalanche of negative posts,” Wads, who quit Reddit in 2016, said.
“I mean, it was so overwhelming, it felt like I was going to be fired for the next two weeks.
That was a really frustrating experience for a bunch of people.”
Wads was eventually banned from Reddit, but Wada was allowed to continue moderating the subreddit.
Reddit was not immediately available for comment.