Reddit’s DataIsBeautiful is sick of bar chart races — so it’s banning them

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You can forget about reveling in dramatic bar chart races on Reddit‘s DataIsBeautiful community for the time being.

The subreddit’s moderator team has announced it’s temporarily banning all race charts until the hype has cooled off. “The subreddit is currently experiencing a large surge in racing bar charts,” moderator AskLubich said. “To make matters more transparent, we are now announcing a moratorium on racing bar charts.”

“Unfortunately, some users took this as far as borderlining [sic] spam,” the moderator added. “Others took it beyond.”

The announcement stresses this is only a temporary measure, which will be revoked once the trend slows down. The moderators further noted they had been wiping an average of 20 posts per day over the past week or so.

We implemented a moratorium on racing bar charts, due to persistent spam-issues and because they have become too prolific in this subreddit,” reads a moderator remark left on one of the bar chart race threads posted after the announcement.

Naturally, Redditors have wondered if announcing the moratorium on race charts with a race chart charting the race charts posted and removed from the subreddit might be a good way to visualize the move. According to AskLubich, though, “the data is not easy to get.”

Too bad. I’d have clicked on that, to be honest.

The good news is someone else has already made a similar chart. It’s not specific to Reddit, but hey, it’s still cool to look at:

Our contribution to bar chart races

We’ve also tried stimulating the bar chart race economy in the past.

Not so long ago, we made a bar chart race on 40 years of gaming console sales. Naturally, the chart went viral. Someone even ripped it and posted it on Reddit — twice. It performed well both times, so people must really love those charts.

Anyways, you can check it out here — it’s got a very dramatic sound track too.

We’ve reached out to DataIsBeautiful’s AskLubich for comment on when we can expect to see the moratorium lifted, and will update this piece accordingly if we hear back.

For now, though, you’ll have to find another place to distract yourself with bar chart races. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of that on Twitter. And Facebook. And Instagram. And YouTube. You catch my drift.

Update December 3, 13:45 UTC: The DataIsBeautiful moderator team has since explained its decision in more detail to TNW.

“The frequency of new submissions simply got too large. Occasionally, certain types of visualizations become very popular, resulting in a large influx of submissions, sometimes to the extent that they could take over the majority of posts on the subreddit,” AskLubich told TNW.

“On /r/dataisbeautiful, this recently happened with Tinder-sankey diagrams and it happened again with racing bars,” he continued. “We generally try to not interfere with those trends, but if it gets too much, the negative feedback, mainly by the /r/dataisbautiful-regulars, accumulates, urging us to step in. In this case, the posts usually don’t add much new information.”

The moderators won’t commit to a date for lifting the moratorium, but they assure us “it’s a temporary measure.”

“Lifting it will mainly depend on how the influx of racing bars decreases in the future,” AskLubich says.

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