By Laura Barron-Lopez - 12/18/13 02:35 PM EST
The social news site Reddit is banning climate change deniers from its science forum, a moderator for the site said.
Nathan Allen, the moderator for the forum /r/science — which provides a digital space for people to discuss recent, peer-reviewed science publications — wrote about the move to ban skeptics of climate science on Grist. A representative for Reddit confirmed the decision with The Hill.
While the science forum is a small section of Reddit, it has 4 million subscribers, Allen noted, which is nearly twice the circulation of The New York Times.
"After some time interacting with the regular denier posters, it became clear that they could not or would not improve their demeanor," Allen said in his post for Grist.
Allen said that while some commenters did object to the move, given Reddit's claim to preserve free speech at all costs, most users have welcomed the change.
He said the news industry should follow suit.
"As moderators responsible for what millions of people see, we felt that to allow a handful of commenters to so purposefully mislead our audience was simply immoral." Allen wrote.
"So if a half-dozen volunteers can keep a page with more than 4 million users from being a microphone for the antiscientific, is it too much to ask for newspapers to police their own editorial pages as proficiently," he added.
The Los Angeles Times received heavy backlash for its decision in October to stop printing letters sent in from "climate change deniers." The outlet did not go so far as to block commenters, however.