I’m serious. According to exceptionally in–depth reporting on The Daily Dot, a publication that tries to monitor the heartbeat of the social web, three powerful, karma-rich Redditors have been booted from their coveted roles as bosses of a number of NSFW-themed subreddits over allegations of bribery.

Redditing, in case you are some sort of square, is serious business. If you thought Techmeme had high mindshare among the technosexuals, you’ve never sat behind a keyboard-strapped young nerd. Reddit wins.

Here’s Dot’s words on the shenanigans:

The three accused moderators are DARTH_ANUS, youregonnaloveme, and Scopolamina. The latter, whom the Daily Dot profiled in October 2012, rose through the Reddit ranks quickly just last year, filling in the shoes of legendary Reddit provocateur Violentacrez as the site’s top moderator of NSFW content (erotic communities liker/nsfwr/nsfw_nospam, and r/passionsex) after he unceremoniously stepped away due to a condemning Gawker exposé.

Zing. All that lovely, faux power, gone in an instant. That’s actually not true: If you read The Daily Dot’s post on the matter, it’s actually something of a process to get busted for such things.

Why does all this matter? Reddit has become more than a simple water cooler for people afraid of going outside: it’s one of the few essential hubs of the larger Internet, a place where taste is determined, and jokes originate. Its ballooning size has changed the site, but its core mechanics remain the same: good shit goes up, bad shit goes down.

Faking support – astroturfing, if you will – was a key issue on Digg before its fall. If Reddit becomes a place where such activity is common enough to cause consistent scandal, it will be worse for it. Thus this episode is unsettling as it is perhaps positive: being booted for taking cash is good, but that it needed to happen isn’t.

You might ask why there are bribes available for mods of subreddits focusing on porn. Well, I hate to break it to you, but you are several decades behind by now. Get with the program.

For now, hold onto your mice, and downvote liberally.

Top Image Credit: hansol