Reddit Bans Pro-Trump Group in Latest Attack on Conservative Speech


Reddit, one of the top internet sites in the world, on Monday banned a major pro-President Donald Trump group that had about 800,000 members, citing “hate speech.”

Intelligence analyst Jack Posobiec tweeted, “BREAKING: Reddit has officially banned The_Donald, an online community of 800,000 Trump supporters.”

Reddit, an old-school forum for people to make comments, issued the announcement on its content policy page, available here.

A few weeks ago, we committed to closing the gap between our values and our policies to explicitly address hate. After talking extensively with mods, outside organizations, and our own teams, we’re updating our content policy today and enforcing it (with your help).

Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to support our communities by taking stronger action against those who try to weaponize parts of Reddit against other people. In the near term, this support will translate into some of the product work we discussed with mods. But it starts with dealing squarely with the hate we can mitigate today through our policies and enforcement.

Alongside the change to the content policy, we are initially banning about 2000 subreddits, the vast majority of which are inactive. Of these communities, about 200 have more than 10 daily users. Both r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse were included.

All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity. The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average (Rule 1), antagonized us and other communities (Rules 2 and 8), and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations. Until now, we’ve worked in good faith to help them preserve the community as a space for its users—through warnings, mod changes, quarantining, and more.

This is not the first time Reddit has gone after the pro-Trump group, The Tennessee Star reported. In June last year, the site “quarantined” the group, meaning it restricted access to the subreddit that describes itself as “a never-ending rally dedicated to the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

Reddit was not the only organization to censor conservatives on Monday, including the president, the Associated Press said.

Ford Motor Co. stopped all national social media advertising for the next 30 days, saying hate speech and violent and racial injustice content need to be eradicated, the AP said.

And, Twitch, a live-streaming site owned by Amazon, temporarily banned the president’s account for allegedly violating hateful conduct rules, the AP said. They did not say how long the ban would be in effect.

Twitch pointed to comments made in two rallies that were posted on the site. One was at a recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Trump mentioned “a very tough hombre” breaking into someone’s home.

Trump’s Twitch channel was one of only a few on the platform that can make money through subscriptions and had approximately 125,000 followers, Wired said.

Meanwhile, members of r/The_Donald have made a new home for themselves at another site since the subreddit had been inactive.

The new location is called “The Donald.” The members had a lot to say about Reddit in a number of forums, including this one.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes. Tali Arbel and Joseph Pisani, Associated Press technology writer and business writer, contributed to this report.





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