Reddit Shuts Down Supporters Forum For Donald Trump Due to 'Hateful Conduct'

Published June 30th, 2020 - 09:28 GMT
Reddit is banning some 2,000 subreddits — including "The_Donald"  (Twitter)
Reddit is banning some 2,000 subreddits — including "The_Donald" (Twitter)
Highlights
The site's new content policy said communities and users that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability would be banned. 

Reddit said Monday that it had shut down a forum for supporters of Donald Trump amid an overhaul of its content policies as Amazon's live-streaming platform, Twitch, also announced that it had temporarily banned the president's channel for 'hateful conduct'.

According to Reddit, it has banned about 2,000 subreddits, the majority of which were inactive. 

The list included The_Donald and the left-wing forum ChapoTrapHouse. The_Donald forum housed more than 790,000 users who share content in support of Trump. The ChapoTrapHouse has more than 160,000 users.

'All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity,' Chief executive Steve Huffman said in a post on the site. 

The site's new content policy said communities and users that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability would be banned. 

And according to Reddit, The_Donald forum has consistently broken the site's rules by allowing people to harass others with hate speech.

'The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average, antagonized us and other communities, and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations. 

'Until now, we’ve worked in good faith to help them preserve the community as a space for its users—through warnings, mod changes, quarantining, and more. 

'To be clear, views across the political spectrum are allowed on Reddit—but all communities must work within our policies and do so in good faith, without exception,' the statement reads.

Though most of the accounts that are being banned have been inactive for some time, The_Donald forum is the most active and prominent community that Reddit shut down, according to the New York Times.

The most viral Trump memes that appeared on Facebook and Twitter could be traced back to The_Donald. 

According to the Times, The Trump Effect video originated in the The_Donald forum in 2016 before making its way to the president who then tweeted it to his followers. 

Also on Monday, Twitch said it had temporarily banned Trump's channel over its hateful conduct policy. 

'Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump's channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed,' a Twitch spokeswoman said,

One of the streams identified by the spokeswoman was a rebroadcast of a 2016 Trump rally in which the president said Mexico was sending rapists to the US.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Social-media companies have long struggled to deal with hate speech on their platforms. 

A growing number of companies have said they are pausing social-media spending after a campaign by a group of civil-rights and other groups called for an ad boycott of Facebook, saying it has failed to curb racist and violent content and misinformation. 

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was launched after the death of George Floyd in police custody triggered widespread protests against racial discrimination in the US.

Starbucks was among the first to pause advertising on all social media platforms. In a statement, the company said it will continue discussions internally, with media partners and civil rights organizations.   

Unilever said it will stop advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the US for the rest of the year, citing 'divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the US'.

Verizon also jumped on board, saying in a statement: 'Our brand safety standards have not changed. We're pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we've done with YouTube and other partners.'

Ben & Jerry's said the company will be pausing all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US as of July 1. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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