Reddit bans pro-Trump forum r/The_Donald, angry users ask why Antifa subreddits are still allowed
Last year, Reddit 'quarantined' r/The_Donald, placing it behind a warning screen after it was found to host content that incited violence
Reddit will ban r/The_Donald, r/ChapoTrapHouse and about 2,000 other communities today after updating its content policy to more explicitly ban hate speech. The move comes as other social media platforms, including Google's YouTube and Amazon's Twitch, took similar actions to tackle toxic content as more companies join an advertising boycott.
The community forum, known as subreddit The_Donald had nearly 800,000 users. Trump himself has been known to share memes posted to The_Donald and other parts of Reddit. "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," Reddit said in a statement, adding that its users and group moderators had consistently promoted rule-breaking content and "antagonized us and other communities".
"Reddit is a place for creating community and belonging, not for attacking marginalized or vulnerable groups of people. Everyone has a right to use Reddit free of harassment, bullying, and threats of violence," the company added. Reddit has introduced eight additional rules for its content, including measures intended to prevent harassment and respect personal privacy.
Examples of the type of content Reddit will ban include "mocking people with physical disabilities" and "describing a racial minority as sub-human and inferior to the racial majority," according to Reddit's statement. "Communities and users that incite violence or that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned," they added.
Last year, Reddit "quarantined" r/The_Donald, placing it behind a warning screen after it was found to host content that incited violence. The company had previously prevented posts on the forum from reaching Reddit’s front page. Former users of the forum began moving to a new site off Reddit last year.
Many pro-Trump supporters took to Twitter to ask why Reddit had not banned pro-antifascist groups on the company's page. A user tweeted, "Why did Reddit ban r/TheDonald but not r/AntiFascistsOfReddit — a massive subreddit devoted to organizing illegal ANTIFA terrorism?" Another wrote, "It should come as absolutely no surprise that the collaborators at Reddit banned @thedonaldreddit while leaving r/communism and /Marxism untouched."
One user wrote, "I'm sure Reddit’s new policy prohibiting 'hate speech' will be enforced totally neutrally and apolitically, and the fact that it was instituted in the middle of a national nervous breakdown will have no bearing on the soundness of the policy."
A user tweeted, "How about [email protected]? You said an effort against hateful conduct. You also mentioned you 'are taking stronger stances against controversial content' and I’m pretty sure antifa was designated a terrorist group. So, are they not 'controversial' enough?" Another user pointed out, "Reddit is banning subs, mainly political ones such as r/The_Donald. But they have not done anything to the various porn/antifa subs that exist to this day."
However, many also took to Twitter to applaud Reddit's move. One user tweeted, "Well done Reddit, about time! Hope other social media giants follow suit including Facebook." Another shared, "Good move Reddit! This community has caused so much pain through their abject cruelty, I'm glad they're gone."