Reddit bans hundreds of hate speech subreddits, including the Trump community

Reddit said Monday it was banning some 2,000 subreddits, including r / The_Donald, where supporters of President Donald Trump had gathered, in an offensive the tech company said was aimed at hate-promoting communities.

“All communities on Reddit must adhere to our content policy in good faith. We ban r / The_Donald because it hasn’t, despite all opportunities, “Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said in a post on the site.

The announcement came the same day that Twitch, a live streaming service, temporarily banned Trump for “hateful conduct.” The Amazon-owned company said in a statement that politicians had to follow the same rules to use its site like anyone else, and cited Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants.

Reddit had previously placed ar / The_Donald behind an additional page that required users to click, a restriction the company called “quarantine.” But even after that limited punishment, subreddit moderators “have refused to meet our most basic expectations,” the company said.

Many of the other 2,000 banned subreddits were inactive or had few daily users, Reddit said. Only around 200 had more than 10 daily users.

“Ultimately, it is our responsibility to support our communities by cracking down on those trying to turn parts of Reddit into arms against other people,” wrote Huffman, also a company co-founder.

The San Francisco-based Reddit announcement comes four months before the presidential election, and tech companies are increasingly at the center of political debates, often those that anger politicians and spark discussion about the government regulation.

Last month, Twitter placed fact-check notices in Trump’s tweets, prompting the president days later to issue an executive order that increases the chance that social media companies may lose certain legal protections.

Overall, Facebook has been more accommodating to Trump, but two weeks ago it removed some of its ads for featuring a symbol used by the Nazi party in World War II.

Twitch said Monday that two comments made by Trump about his service violated his rules against hateful behavior: a retransmission of Trump’s previous comments when he called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” and a video of a rally in which Trump spoke. on the breakup of “tough men.” -In itself.

Like any other person, politicians on Twitch must abide by our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. We make no exceptions for political or newsworthy content, and we will take action on content that we are informed violates our rules, “Twitch said in a statement. Any hateful behavior is considered a violation of zero tolerance, the company added.

The Trump-focused Reddit community had been almost completely abandoned in recent months. Only one new post has appeared in the past 100 days, as users were told to flee to a pro-Trump site that cloned Reddit’s functionality and design, but promised more lax moderation.

The community was a notorious rallying point for conspiracy theories before the 2016 election and was embraced by the Trump campaign. Then-candidate Donald Trump held a question-and-answer session on the subreddit in the run-up to the 2016 election. The subreddit moderators banned more than 2,000 accounts for asking questions deemed negative about the future president. Trump’s chief digital officer Dan Scavino said on Twitter in 2016 that he monitored the subreddit “on a daily basis.”

While many tech platforms started with a non-intervention approach, Reddit stood out as a platform where hate speech flourished in numerous communities, some of which actively antagonized communities of color.

The company made some changes to its rules to limit bullying, but was reluctant to crack down on hate speech. In 2018, when asked if the site would allow racial slurs and hate speech, Huffman said, “There will be people on Reddit with beliefs different from their own, sometimes extremely.”

Now a new page in the Reddit help section includes an expanded definition of hate activities and examples that would violate your rules.

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