Reddit bans several of its most racist communities after content policy update

By midian182
Aug 6, 2015
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  1. New Reddit CEO Steve Huffman announced today that the site has updated its content policy, which introduces a change that will hide subreddits with “objectionable content” to anyone who doesn’t explicitly opt-in to view them. The updated policy has also put an outright ban on a number of communities, including several racist subreddits.

    The “Quarantine” policy will be used on communities that “would be considered extremely offensive to the average redditor,” according to Huffman. It’s not yet clear which subreddits will be affected, but the CEO said that the moderators would be notified. Quarantined sections of the site will generate no revenue, either through ads or through Reddit Gold, its premium membership service.

    The Reddit co-founder said that those communities banned completely were chosen because they “exist solely to annoy other redditors, prevent us from improving Reddit, and generally make Reddit worse for everyone else.” Six racist discussion forums, including the notorious /r/CoonTown, along with a community dedicated to posting and discussing animations of child pornography, have been shut down.

    Huffman said the racist communities were banned for their behavior, not their content. “We didn’t ban them for being racist. We banned them because we have to spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with them. If we want to improve Reddit, we need more people, but [Coontown]’s existence and popularity has also made recruiting here more difficult.”

    Some redditors see the updated policy as the platform clamping down on free speech, while others claim the new measures don’t go far enough, and that while certain subreddits are being banned, other controversial communities continue to exist.

    This is not the first time Reddit has banned sections of the site following policy changes. Former CEO Ellen Pao implemented an anti-harassment policy in May after a company survey found that some users shied away from the site and wouldn't recommend it to other people because of abusive posts and content. This led to the shutting down of five communities, resulting in certain redditors turning their ire towards Pao. She resigned as CEO last month amid criticism over the way she was running the company.

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    This is exactly why facebook and youtube and others have moderators checking every single video and pic that gets posted to their site. They want their site to be used by everyone, and if their site if full of terrible stuff, then people won't forward links to family members etc.

    Free speech is only guaranteed by the govt. Sites are also free to decide what gets posted on their site because it affects their image. Not to mention that whole legal grey area where a site can get sued for having offensive material that they never posted, nor agreed with.
    SirGCal likes this.
  3. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 315   +114

    There are other sites to visit if you want to be a douchebag of society (I.e., 4chan).
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,378   +2,167

    Rumor has it 4chan has succumb to policing as well.
  5. Hexic

    Hexic TS Addict Posts: 272   +127

    4chan has been the original internet forum for everything. Reddit came along and copied alot of what 4chan did with better makeup, and a better PR strategy in getting the average internet user to participate.

    It wouldn't surprise me if 4chan has increased policing, I haven't been there in years. Ya know what to expect when you access one of these sites..
  6. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 77   +38

    IIRC, it has, since Moot stepped down
  7. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    Ya, it amazes me people think free speech applies to public electronic forums under someone else's control. Nope. It only applies to you, personally, standing in public shouting whatever you want.

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