On Monday, popular social media site Reddit banned ‘r/The_Donald,’ a subreddit thread dedicated to discussing Donald Trump, as part of a sitewide purge of over 2,000 groups that were in violation of the site’s rules.
This move marks a stark change in the discussion-based site’s policy. The site has previously given more leeway to groups and individuals in regards to censoring content. Announced on Monday, an amended Reddit content policy explicitly states that groups or individuals that “incite violence or that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability” are forbidden. “Everyone has a right to use Reddit free of harassment, bullying, and threats of violence,” the new policy states.
The r/The_Donald forum is infamous for having users post racist, misogynistic, Islamaphobic, and anti-Semitic content. At one point, the group had nearly 800,000 active users. The group had already been ‘quarantined’ by the site in 2019 before receiving an official ban.
In a post regarding the new policy, Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman acknowledged that he had fallen short in supporting Reddit users by not having a comprehensive anti-hate policy. Huffman added, “We are committed to working with you to combat the bad actors, abusive behaviors, and toxic communities that undermine our mission and exist solely to get in the way of the creativity, discussions, and communities that bring us all to Reddit in the first place.”
“All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith,” Huffman continued. He also explained that The_Donald was banned “because it has not done so, despite every opportunity. The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average” and “antagonized us and other communities.”
As of 2020, the site is the 19th-most-visited website in the world, according to Alexa Internet.