U.S. markets open in 7 hours 12 minutes

Reddit bans r/the_donald for a pattern of inciting hate speech

Marc DeAngelis
Contributor
Reddit bans hate speech communities

Earlier this month, several high-profile Reddit pages took a hiatus in protest of the company’s refusal to ban racist content. This seems to have finally caused Reddit to redefine its policies around hate speech and how it enforces them. Today, the company announced that it has banned about 2,000 subreddits, including one of the most notorious pro-Trump forums, r/the_donald. According to Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman, “The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average, antagonized us and other communities and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations.”

The r/the_donald subreddit is not directly connected to the Trump administration, though Donald Trump -- whose account was suspended from Twitch today -- did use it to participate in an Ask Me Anything event as a candidate in 2016. The forum spun off into its own website a few months ago after a number of moderators had their accounts banned, and according to reports had been been largely abandoned in the weeks since.

Reddit also banned r/chapotraphouse, a community based around a political podcast of the same name. Some users are self-proclaimed members of “the dirtbag left,” a sort of anti-alt-right group that uses vulgarity and aggression to get its points across.

Reddit says that it has banned about 2,000 subreddits for violating the more stringent rules regarding hate speech and racism, but only about 200 of them have more than 10 daily users. So while some high-profile communities have been removed from the platform, this move may not be as drastic as it seems at first glance. Hopefully this level of enforcement will help to make Reddit a more inclusive website, and will help prevent the company itself from profiting off of hate speech.