Reddit bans Donald Trump’s fan page and thousands of other communities on the move against hate speech | The Independent


Reddit has banned an online message board dedicated to supporting Donald Trump – along with thousands of other online communities – in sweeping new measures designed to tackle hate speech.

The company said in a statement that it banned “The_Donald,” a community with nearly 800,000 users, due to repeated rule violations.

The ban came as the popular social media site announced new rules aimed at removing hate speech from its community message boards, or “subreddits”.

“All communities on Reddit must abide by our Good Faith Content Policy. We banned r/The_Donald because he didn’t, despite every opportunity. The community has consistently hosted and voted for more rule-breaking content than average (rule 1), upset us and other communities (rules 2 and 8), and its mods have failed to live up to our highest expectations. basics,” the company said in a statement. .

“So far, we have worked in good faith to help them preserve the community as a space for its users, through warnings, mod changes, quarantines, etc.”

Reddit’s decision comes amid heightened scrutiny of hate speech moderation by social media sites on their platforms following mass protests calling for racial justice.

Facebook is currently facing a backlash from advertisers over its perceived lax approach to the issue. Twitter, meanwhile, has drawn the president’s ire in recent weeks for adding disclaimers to Mr. Trump’s tweets that violated his policies on misinformation and promoting violence.

Also on Monday, live-streaming platform Twitch suspended an account associated with the Trump campaign for “comments made live.”

“In accordance with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been temporarily suspended from Twitch for comments made live, and offensive content has been removed,” Twitch spokesperson Brielle Villablanca said in a statement to CNN. The offensive content included a 2016 campaign video in which Mr. Trump called Mexicans rapists and criminals.

Reddit, which describes itself as “the front page of the Internet”, allows users to create community pages and vote for their favorite content at the top of those pages. Message boards are moderated by community volunteers.

The_Donald was among the most popular pages devoted to supporting Donald Trump. Mr Trump took part in a Q&A when he was running for president in 2016. But the page has in recent years become a hub for white nationalist and racist content.

In one 2018 report on the subreddit, the Southern Poverty Law Center said The_Donald acts as “a bridge between fringe online communities and the wider internet”.

“And in addition to finding a wider audience among The_Donald’s more than half a million subscribers, white nationalist ideas gain some legitimacy when promoted on a subreddit that once hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything ) with the president himself,” the SPLC said.

Reddit said on Monday that it had banned about 2,000 subreddits alongside its policy change, adding “the majority of which are inactive.”

Among the new rules announced by Reddit was one that “explicitly states that communities and users that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned.”

The statement adds, “To be clear, opinions from all political backgrounds are allowed on Reddit, but all communities must abide by our policies and do so in good faith, without exception.”

Also on the list of banned subreddits was one dedicated to Chapo Trap House, an ostensibly left-wing podcast. Reddit said the community was banned for similar reasons to “The_Donald”: “They consistently host rule-breaking content and their mods have demonstrated no intention of curtailing their community.”

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