Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Reddit and a forum on its site that supports Donald Trump.
Reddit shut down its popular and controversial forum devoted to supporting President Trump on Monday, following years in which the social media company tried but often failed to control the racism, misogyny, anti Semitism, glorification of violence and conspiracy theories that flourished there. According to The Washington Post;
The move against r/The_Donald, as the forum was known by, came after its volunteer moderators and much of the community had left in recent months, moving to a website that mimics Reddit’s system of conversation and user voting on content as it also appears to have fewer rules. It is just one of many alternative social media sites, such as Gab and Parler, that have emerged in recent years, portraying themselves as freewheeling alternatives to more mainstream platforms.
This move by Reddit comes as broader crackdown by technology companies, including Twitter and Facebook, to try to rein in hateful, deceptive and other problematic content on their platforms, typically after high profile scandals prompted action. Reddit also implemented its first policy banning hate speech on Monday and closed about 2,000 individual forums, what the company calls “subreddits.” The company already had a policy against “divisive language” in advertising.
Chief executive Steve Huffman who also is a co founder of the site, said in announcing the move against r/The_Donald: “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.”
He added that the decision to close r/The_Donald and other politically themed subreddits was “absolutely not” related to the views aired on them. Numerous conservative forums remain active, and some liberal ones also were closed on Monday for policy violations.
The story to this; Reddit’s r/The_Donald was born in June 2015 as Trump began what was widely seen then as a long-shot bid for the presidency. Over the years, it was subjected to escalating disciplinary actions for violating Reddit content policies. Last year, the platform imposed a ‘quarantine’ that made the forum harder for Reddit users to access after what the company said at the time was months of rule breaking behavior. Those violations included the “encouragement of violence toward police officers and public officials in Oregon” during a legislative dispute over climate legislation.
Earlier this month, cofounder and former Reddit CEO Alexis Ohanian quit the company’s board, saying that he would use his Reddit stock to serve the black community and curb racial hate. He said he would start by donating $1 million to an organization founded by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. He asked that Reddit fill his seat with a black board member.
In his decision, Ohanian, who is married to tennis superstar Serena Williams, appeared to reference Reddit’s hosting of hateful commentary. “I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?’,” he said on Twitter.
The removal of the subreddit Monday seems likely to revive complaints by Trump and his supporters that Silicon Valley’s leading companies are biased against them and seek to limit the dissemination of their views.
The company is facing a growing advertiser boycott over its refusal to remove a Trump post that many saw as encouraging violence during the George Floyd protests. Twitter hid the post with a warning label, noting that the post broke the company’s policies against encouraging violence.