Reddit bans pro-Trump forum r/The_Donald in content crackdown

Clay Curtis
June 29, 2020

Reddit, an online comment forum that is one of the internet's most popular websites, on Monday banned a forum that supported President-Donald Trump as part of a crackdown on hate speech.

Reddit also banned r/chapotraphouse, a community based around a political podcast of the same name. Reddit said it was "initially banning about 2,000 subreddits", though just 200 of them had more than 10 daily active users.

Reddit banned its largest pro-Trump message board (known as a subreddit), r/The_Donald, saying that it had "consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average" while refusing to cooperate with the company's efforts to bring it into compliance.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman announced in a post that the r/The_Donald forum, which boasted over 790,000 subscribers as of earlier Monday, has been shuttered for frequent rule-breaking, antagonizing the company and other communities and for failing to "meet our most basic expectations".

Twitch, the gaming platform owned by Amazon, said Trump's channel was suspended over rules violations and that the offending content was removed.

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On Monday the company said there had been confusion over whether hate speech was "allowed or even protected on Reddit".

"All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith", Huffman wrote.

Reddit past year "quarantined" the pro-Trump forum for promoting violence and on Monday removed it.

"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", Huffman said, adding that views "across the political spectrum" are permitted as long as people work within the platform's policies in good faith. The other was from a 2015 campaign rally that was recently reposted on Twitch, in which Trump said Mexico sends people to the US that are rapists and bring drugs to the country.

The incidents have created an inflection point for Facebook and other social media giants, which are also under pressure to address racial inequities amid the recent wave of protests against police violence in the wake of George Floyd's killing while in police custody in Minnesota.

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