Reddit will ban r/The_Donald, r/ChapoTrapHouse, and about 2,000 other communities on Monday after updating its content policy to target hate speech.
The policy changes come just a few weeks after several popular Reddit forums went silent in protest of the site's free-flowing guidelines that allow racist content to thrive. During a call with the media, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted that his dedication to the First Amendment has made an environment that isn't as tolerant as he envisioned.
"I have to admit that I’ve struggled with balancing my values as an American, and around free speech and free expression, with my values and the company’s values around common human decency," Huffman said per The Verge.
Huffman claims that r/The_Donald has been violating site policies since before the updated guidelines. Last year, Reddit put the community behind a warning screen after it found out that the content promoted violence. It also has prevented the forum from reaching the front page, prompting users to move to a new site off of Reddit. Additionally, it should be noted that the community has no connection to The President. But he did host an "Ask Me Anything" session in the forum as a candidate in 2016.
"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," Huffman explains.
Similar actions have happened in r/ChapoTrapHouse subreddit which is filled with fans of the left-wing podcast, Chapo Trap House.
"Reddit’s mission is to bring community and belonging to everybody in the world, and there is speech in the world and on Reddit that prevents other people from doing so," Huffman continued. "Harassing speech or hateful speech prevents people from coming to Reddit and feeling safe and sharing their vulnerabilities ... So if we have speech on Reddit that’s preventing people from using Reddit the way that we intend it to be used, or that prevents us from achieving our mission, then it’s actually a very easy decision."
Of the near 2,000 subreddits to be banned, most of the forums were already inactive and only about 200 had more than 10 daily users. This includes r/DarkHumorAndMemes, r/ConsumeProduct, r/DarkJokeCentral, r/GenderCritical, and others.
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