Enlarge /. The picture is currently on top of r / donaldtrump.
Original story: On Friday, Reddit joined this week's response to violent online rhetoric led by President Donald Trump and removed its "r / donaldtrump" community, the site's largest existing community dedicated specifically to Trump. Visiting one of the pages of this community now leads to a simple message referring to Reddit's rules on inciting violence. The first thing to say is, "Don't post violent content."
Without specifying specific Reddit threads or a formal announcement from Reddit administrators clarifying the move, users may wonder about the exact reason for the removal. For example, it is possible that the community site was fined for republishing Trump's speeches and statements earlier this week, alternating between making false claims about election fraud, calls to action by his followers in response to his allegations of fraud, or sympathetic statements about the insurgents who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
While searching r / donaldtrump archives is a bit unwieldy (due to the way such archives are managed on sites like archive.is), fleeting searches point to the community where pre-protest talks about the Sept. January are run, usually with titles that reference Trump's direct request that his supporters from across the nation attend. The problem could also be due to several allegations at r / donaldtrump shortly before its closure that the Seditionists were disguised as "Antifa" on Wednesday, even though the majority of the invaders in the Capitol were identified with clear links to white nationalist organizations and a violent 6 January calls for protest.
At the time of the ban, r / donaldtrump, which was founded in 2011, had approximately 52,800 "members" (i.e. the logged-in users who have added the channel to their standard homepage interface). That number pales in comparison to the nearly 800,000 members r / the_donald subscribed to before it closed in August 2020 – and shows that closing the latter community works in terms of reducing visibility for hateful, "deplatforming" ways seems to have. illegal content.
Other online platforms are still trying to catch up in handling hosted and sponsored conspiracy theories and calls to action from Trump supporters ahead of the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol. In the hours following the siege, critics piled up responses to straightforward, week-long calls for violent action posted publicly on platforms such as TikTok, Parler, Facebook and Twitter.
Update, 8:11 p.m. EST: Later on Friday, the game-oriented chat app Discord took an action very similar to Reddits: It closed its text and voice chat channel "The_Donald". This group had been targeted in part because of clear connections to the former Reddit community of the same name (along with a spin-off site launched after the Reddit ban) and was previously moderated for violations of ToS until 2020.
In a statement addressed to Ars Technica, Discord cited its "zero tolerance policy against hatred and violence of any kind on the platform or the use of Discord to support or organize violent extremism". Although the company found that there was no direct link between the January 6 riots mentioned above, it decided to ban the channel in question "because it was openly linked to an online forum designed to incite violence, to plan and deleteriously spread an armed insurrection in the United States. " Misinformation related to US 2020 election fraud, "the statement said.