SAN FRANCISCO— On Monday, June 29, Reddit banned its most popular pro-Trump forum on the basis that it violates the platform’s hate speech policies.
Reddit is a social networking website that allows users to upload links, text posts, and images to be voted up or down by others. These posts are categorized into “subreddits” which range broadly in topics like news, politics, science, film, music, sports, etc. As of May 2020, Reddit ranks as the 19th most visited website in the United States.
The pro-Trump subreddit is called “The_Donald,” and had around 800,000 users, 7,780 of which were active daily. Many viral Trump memes that crossed into Facebook and Twitter originated on the subreddit. The video “The Trump Effect” did in mid-2016 and garnered a lot of attention, it was even tweeted by President Trump himself. The subreddit was banned for allegedly allowing harassment and hate speech within it.
“Reddit is a place for community and belonging, not for attacking people. ‘The_Donald’ has been in violation of that,” said Steve Huffman, Reddit’s chief executive.
Reddit is also banning around 2,000 subreddits, one is a forum devoted to the leftist podcasting group “Chapo Trap House.”
Though it already had rules to restrict certain content, an additional eight were laid out. In addressing hate speech it states: “Communities and users that incite violence or that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned.”
Other social media sites have also taken action on these issues. On Monday, June 29, the streaming platform Twitch temporarily suspended President Trump’s campaign account for violating their hate speech policies. Additionally, it took down certain videos. One was a re-upload from Trump’s 2016 campaign where he notably said: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
In late May, Twitter added warning labels to some of President Trump’s tweets for “glorifying violence.” Snapchat has also stopped promoting President Trump’s account.
However, Facebook, the world’s largest social network, is not restraining content. It has said that it will allow all speech from political leaders.
President Trump and many Republican lawmakers have previously accused social media of stifling conservative views. On May 16, Trump tweeted: “The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google. The Administration is working to remedy this illegal situation.”