Reddit Boots Hate Speech Subreddit

Photo: Lars Hallstrom / Alamy Stock Photo
Reddit made a great move when they banned the subreddit r/altright. The Daily Dot notes that it was a hard subreddit to fully get a read on because of artificially inflated follower counts. The move is the latest in a series that started in 2015, when Reddit stepped up its campaign against objectionable subreddits.

CEO Steve Huffman teased the move in an announcements post made a week ago.

"We want Reddit to be a welcoming place for all," he wrote. "We know we still have a long way to go, but I want to share with you some of the progress we have made. Our Anti-Evil and Trust & Safety teams reduced spam by over 90%, and we released the first version of our blocking tool, which made a nice dent in reported abuse. In the wake of Spezgiving, we increased actions taken against individual bad actors by nine times. Your continued engagement helps us make the site better for everyone, thank you for that feedback."

Other subreddits, like r/the_donald, seem like logical next steps if the site is seeking to rid itself of groups of harassers. A Gizmodo longform piece last year noted the fraught relationship of Reddit with r/the_donald. Members of the group engaged in practices designed to game the system and push news about their pet candidate onto the front page of Reddit. Their posts are often intensely bigoted, as one might expect.

But r/the_donald is still very much online. One wonders if the form is mainstream enough now to escape censorship, or if the banhammer will one day descend.
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