Acting against hate speech, Reddit bans pro-Trump subreddit
As Facebook continues to reel from a massive advertisers' protest against its mishandling of racism, violence, and hate speech, Reddit, which has long been criticized over these issues, has started taking corrective measures. The social media company has modified its content policy to take stricter action against abusive content. It started by banning 2,000 communities, including 'The_Donald' pro-Trump subreddit. Here's more about it.
For years, 'The_Donald' remained active as a dedicated community of US President Trump's die-hard fans. The subreddit had over 800,000 members, who shared memes, posts, and abusive material promoting conspiracy theories or launching offensive attacks against Trump's critics. It was not officially linked to the President, but he did share its memes and had hosted an AMA there as a candidate in 2016.
The subreddit's content spreading hate and encouraging violence made it a subject of widespread criticism. Now, in response to those posts, Reddit has banned the community, noting the repeated violation of its rules against harassment, hate speech, and content manipulation. The company's CEO Steve Huffman also acknowledged the same in a blog post that cites the company's new content policy.
"The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average (Rule 1), antagonized us and other communities (Rules 2 and 8), and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations," Huffman said in his post.
Along with 'The_Donald,' Reddit's new content policing rules will also ban about 2,000 other communities that have been spreading hate or amplifying racism or violence on the platform. This includes left-leaning subreddit Chapo Trap House as well as forums like Dark Humor And Memes, Consume Product, Gender Critical, ImGoingtoHellforThis2, Wojak, and Soy boys.
"Reddit is a place for creating community and belonging, not for attacking marginalized or vulnerable groups of people. Everyone has a right to use Reddit free of harassment, bullying, and threats of violence. Communities and people that incite violence or that promote hate...will be banned."
Reddit says most of the banned subreddits were inactive and only 200 of them had over 10 daily users. Still, it is a start for the company which has long faced criticism over its lax policies around policing dangerous and violence-inciting content. "All communities have to abide by our policies," Huffman said. "If they fail in doing so they are not allowed on Reddit."
Reddit's action comes weeks after former CEO Ellen Pao criticized the company for allowing hate, racism, and violence to proliferate freely. Pao had slammed Huffman as being a hypocrite after he shared a #BlackLivesMatter post following the killing of George Floyd in the US. The matter also prompted Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian to step down from the company's board in a push for diversity.
I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence. So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long https://t.co/VN5XCiYp5g— Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) June 2, 2020