Story at a glance

  • Reddit will remove a prominent forum supporting Donald Trump, alleging years of misconduct.
  • This follows mounting pressure for social media sites to regulate content with hate speech.

Reddit on Monday confirmed it is banning a political subreddit group that supported President Trump, as well as 2,000 subreddit groups associated with the account, for violating the site's policies against hate speech.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said the company worked to avoid banning the subreddit r/The_Donald for years, but had no choice when the group consistently violated the website’s user content policies.

"It was becoming clear that the company's values and the way discourse was playing out on the platform was one of the main things we wanted to fix in our content policy update," Huffman reportedly said.

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Established in 2005, Reddit is a discussion website where forums can be opened on select topics.

The Verge reported that the ban follows multiple popular Reddit discussion forums that temporarily ceased activity to protest the site's relatively lenient policies regarding racist content.

“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 continued.

r/The_Donald and its user have violated Reddit's site rules for years, including hosting and upvoting more rule-breaking content than other forums and antagonized Reddit company officials and other subreddits.

This comes as technology and social media companies are becoming increasingly pressured to take punitive measures against hate speech and content that may mislead or offend site users. Recently, brands have pulled advertising from similar sites like Facebook and Instagram in protest over their perceived inaction of misinformation. This will result in substantial advertising revenue losses for these websites. 

Published on Jun 29, 2020