On Monday, the social networking site said subreddits [or forums] and users promoting hate based on "identity or vulnerability" will be banned. As part of the policy change, Reddit is initially banning some 2,000 subreddits, including "The_Donald," a popular community that supports President Donald Trump, where users often share racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and conspiracy content.
Reddit said the "The_Donald" forum has consistently broken its rules, antagonized other communities, and moderators have refused to meet Reddit's "most basic expectations". The company also said it gave warnings to the community and changed its moderators. In 2019, you "quarantined" the forum, which means that people visiting the subreddit will see a warning message before accessing it, and forum posts won't appear in the search.
"All communities on Reddit must adhere to our content policy in good faith. We ban r / The_Donald because he has not, despite all opportunities," Reddit said Monday.
Reddit said the vast majority of accounts it is banning are inactive, and of these, only about 200 have more than 10 daily users.
The decision to ban "The_Donald" comes at a time when social media platforms are taking stronger positions against controversial content published by Trump, or in the case of Reddit, by his apparent supporters. Twitter has been increasingly marking Trump's tweets, Snapchat said it would no longer promote the Trump account on its platform, and Twitch said Monday it would suspend an account belonging to the Trump campaign.
The bans were part of a broader update to Reddit's content policy announced Monday. Reddit released a series of rules that prohibit spam and malicious attempts to interfere with other communities.
For social media, announcing new policies is the easy part, but applying them is the biggest challenge. Reddit said its application will include "kindly asking you to cancel it," temporarily or permanently suspending accounts, adding restrictions to communities, and removing content.
Reddit, which calls itself the first page on the Internet, has long struggled to tackle hateful and racist content on its platform. Steve Huffman, co-founder and CEO of Reddit, has been criticized in the past for failing to take action in site communities where racist opinions and language are frequently thrown. In 2018, he said racial slurs are allowed on the site.
As much of Silicon Valley has faced renewed scrutiny of how it handles race and diversity, both in its products and in its boardrooms, Reddit has begun taking some steps to improve.
Earlier this month, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigned from the company's board and urged that he be replaced by a black candidate. Since then, the company has named Michael Seibel, CEO of Silicon Valley startup accelerator, Y Combinator, as the first black board member in Reddit history.
An open letter, signed by more than 800 communities on Reddit earlier this month, urged Huffman to take six steps to combat racism and hate, including creating a policy against racism, name calling and hate speech. targeting protected groups as well as "being proactive" in banning hateful users and hate-based communities. The letter also said that Reddit needs to recruit more women and minorities, especially in leadership roles.