Reddit has banned hundreds of subreddits after a major revision of its content rules, the website said on Monday. The newly banned subreddits include / r / The_Donald, a leading forum for fans of the President. Reddit also banned / r / ChapoTrapHouse – a subreddit dedicated to the popular left podcast.
The bans are the latest indication of how much Reddit’s content moderation policy has evolved. Until 2015, openly racist subreddits could be seen on the website. But like Twitter and other social media sites, Reddit has introduced increasingly strict guidelines against hosting hate speech.
The new version of Reddit's content guidelines makes Reddit's opposition to hate speech more open. "Reddit is a place to create community and belonging, not to attack marginalized or vulnerable groups of people," the company says in the first of its eight new rules.
"All communities on Reddit must follow our content guidelines in good faith," Reddit CEO Steve Huffman wrote on Monday. "We banned / The_Donald because, despite all possibilities, this didn't happen. The community has consistently hosted and rated more illegal content than average, annoyed us and other communities, and their mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations. "
For example, last year, Reddit / r / The_Donald "quarantined" – by suppressing it from search results and warning users before they could see it – for comments that appeared to be violently threatening law enforcement in Oregon. At that time, Republican members of the Oregon Legislature were hiding to stop the adoption of climate change legislation. Oregon's democratic governor Kate Brown considered sending the police to track down the unruly lawmakers and achieve a quorum. Members of / r / The_Donald discussed taking up arms to stop the arrest of GOP lawmakers.
Reddit is being revised as social media websites on the Internet are under increasing pressure to remove hate speech from their platforms. Twitch has temporarily blocked President Trump's account for "hateful behavior". Twitch pointed to a replay of Trump's infamous 2016 speech, saying Mexico was sending "rapists" to the US – as well as part of Trump's recent rally in Tulsa, where he described a hypothetical burglar as a "hard hombre." .
In the meantime, Facebook has tried to address the concerns of well-known advertisers such as Coca-Cola, Unilever and Verizon about hate speech on its platform. Some advertisers have also viewed Twitter ads due to similar concerns.