After updating their content policies, Reddit – a social bookmarking website – banned thousands of hate speech related sites, after the protests of Black Live Matter were presented three weeks ago. Among the pages it removed include r / The_Donald and r / ChapoTrapHouse, among 2,000 other communities, according to a report by The Verge.
This decision marks an important change for the platform, whose commitment has always been freedom of expression in any of its variants and whatever it may mean for some. Let’s say that sometimes it is too permissive a space in the name of freedom.
Steve Huffman, CEO of Reddit, explained at a press conference:
“I have to admit that I have struggled to balance my values as an American, and around freedom of expression, with my values and company values for common human decency.”
The introduction of the new policies has resulted in the removal of some 2,000 subreddits so far, and the company says that “the vast majority” were inactive. Only about 200 of them had more than 10 daily users, the company said.
Deleted sites include:
r / DarkHumorAndMemes r / ConsumeProduct r / DarkJokeCentral r / GenderCritical r / Cumtown r / imgoingtohellforthis2 r / Wojak r / soyboys
Last year Reddit quarantined r / The_Donald, by placing a warning notice after it was discovered to host content that incited violence. The company had previously prevented forum posts from reaching the Reddit home page. Former forum users started moving to a new site outside of Reddit last year.
It was certainly time for Reddit to make a pronouncement, even Ellen Pao, former Reddit CEO, has come to criticize hate speech on the platform, ensuring it monetizes and nurtures white supremacy and hatred all day.