Reddit Bans Racist Subreddits

Photo: Courtesy Reddit.
Today, Reddit updated its content policy and removed a bunch of awful, racist subreddits.

In an announcement on the site, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman wrote about the welcome change. Among the subreddits that got the ax are (warning: offensive slurs ahead) /r/CoonTown, /r/bestofcoontown, and /r/koontown. Reddit promises stronger regulation of "involuntary pornography" (so hopefully, you won't have to worry about nudes sent to an ex popping up here) and has removed all child-pornography-related subreddits as well.

Huffman also outlined the concept of "quarantining" a community. Subreddits that are quarantined will be subject to a set of restrictions, so their content is only viewable to those who opt in. This is basically a band-aid solution. Reddit isn't taking this offensive content off the platform; it's simply giving you a warning that it is offensive before you click it.

Over the past few months, Reddit has been in turmoil as its leaders have tried to reign in hate-filled users and communities. On the one hand, it exists as a place for free speech. On the other, that so-called "freedom" is enabling online abuse and harassment.

Reddit banned fat-shaming subreddits and some other offensive sections earlier this year. Co-founder Huffman resumed the role of CEO in July after moderator Victoria Taylor was dismissed and interim CEO Ellen Pao stepped down.

As social networks and public platforms like Reddit take a tougher stance against hate speech and harassment, hopefully we'll see members of those groups come to the realization that what they are doing is not okay, and is not welcome. Anywhere.

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