Reddit doesn’t appear to like conservatives, Donald Trump supporters, or anyone who is sufficiently outside the leftist consensus.
The website’s repeated allegations of censorship against those it disagrees with have caused one of the site’s biggest communities, “The_Donald”, to repeatedly call for CEO Steve Huffman’s resignation.
But just how bad is it? Below are seven examples of Reddit censoring and allegedly censoring Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, and other political opponents on its site within the past year.
Reddit CEO Admits Changing Comments to Direct Users’ Insults at Pro-Trump Moderators
In November, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted to editing negative user comments about him, redirecting insults towards moderators of Reddit’s “The_Donald” Donald Trump fan community.
As Breitbart’s Lucas Nolan reported, one Reddit user “linked to an archived page of the post in question where multiple mentions of Reddit CEO Steve Huffman can be seen with users referring to him by his Reddit username of /u/Spez.”
“The thread the next day had been edited to remove all mention of Huffman, instead replacing the /u/Spez username with the usernames of /r/The_Donald moderators” Nolan explained, before adding that “Many of the comments about Huffman were derogatory, accusing him of censoring content on Reddit” and “Huffman himself admitted to editing the comments.”
“Yep. I messed with the ‘fuck u/spez‘ comments,” Huffman wrote. “As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly. As the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now. Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again.”
Reddit Moderators Censor Poll Showing Trump Leading over Clinton
In September, Reddit moderators removed a poll from /r/Politics that showed Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton by two per cent.
The poll was removed from the subreddit for allegedly breaking a rule that claims all posts must have the exact same title as the link, however the link did not have a title.
“When /u/G_petronius asked the moderator what would be an acceptable title, the moderator said that he should simply have titled it “CNN ORC International Poll”.” reported Nolan in September. “However, when the user re-submitted the poll with the newly suggested title, it was removed from the subreddit yet again under the rule that it was a “repost,” despite the original post having been deleted.”
Trump Supporting Moderator Temporarily Banned From Reddit After Demodding
Jeffrey Minter, a moderator for Reddit’s politics community, was stripped of his moderator status and given a three-day temporary suspension from the site after he became a vocal Donald Trump supporter during the 2016 US presidential election.
Minter was also attacked on another Reddit community for his contact with Breitbart News, and eventually logged onto his account only to see that he had been suspended from the entire website.
Reddit claimed that his temporary suspension was due to Minter engaging in Reddit post “vote manipulation”, an allegation which Minter denied.
Reddit Mods Delete Orlando Shooting Posts Because Attacker Was Muslim
In June, numerous users reported of mass censorship on Reddit following the Orlando terrorist attack, with moderators even deleting a post that offered blood donation advice to citizens in the area.
“One user reported that he was banned from the /r/News subreddit after he posted a link to a news story detailing the FBI’s suspicions that the Muslim shooter, who attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando, had ties to Islamic extremism” wrote Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari in June. “Another user reported that comments had been locked in a thread about the shootings as soon as the FBI confirmed that it was indeed a Muslim terrorist attack.”
“A commenter underneath the post also claimed that he was banned from /r/News for merely asking if there was an alternative location to discuss the story, after comments on the original link had been locked” he continued, adding that “Extraordinarily, Reddit archive sites show that moderators deleted a post offering advice to Orlando residents about how to donate blood to survivors.”
When Bokhari reached out to Reddit moderators in a request for comment on the allegations, his account on the website was muted.
Reddit Thread on France Firebomb Attack Closed over Anti-Islam “Hate Speech”
In August, a Reddit thread reporting on the then-recent firebomb bus attack in France was shut down after users allegedly made “too many violations” of the subreddit’s “hate speech” rule.
“This thread has been locked due to too many Rule 8 violations,” stated a moderator on the popular /r/videos subreddit shortly after it went viral. The thread, which had received nearly 5,000 upvotes, was shut down just two hours after being published.
The majority of the comments in general criticized Islam and the negative effects of the recent influx of Middle-Eastern refugees into Europe.
After being heavily criticized for their decision to close the thread, the subreddit changed the reason for closure to “misleading title,” claiming that there was no proof the attack was committed by Muslims.
Reddit Moderators Censor Refugee Rape Stories
In July, Reddit’s World News moderators censored a story about a German rape victim who claimed not to report the crime for fear of inciting “racism against refugees”.
“The story of the German activist and leader of left wing German youth movement Solid lying about the identities of the men who raped her was reported on by The Washington Times” wrote Lucas Nolan. “The article was removed from /r/WorldNews under the belief that it did not constitute worldwide news and was marked as “local news”.”
“However, a story about police claiming a young 13 year old girl lied about her sexual assault at a swimming pool in Austria, which resulted in a ban on asylum seekers, apparently constitutes world news and has been allowed to remain on the subreddit” he continued.
Reddit Admins Accused Of Censoring Donald Trump AMA
During Donald Trump’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit in July, many users claimed that the upvotes, downvotes, and overall “points” of the thread were being manipulated by administrators.
As Nolan reported:
According to research done by Reddit user /u/AntonioOfVenice, over the course of approximately eight hours, the upvote numbers on Trump’s AMA fell by 10,000 votes while the “total vote number” remained constant. In the first hour the total upvotes on the AMA rose to 11,789. These votes made up 63% of the overall votes on the post, which could possibly be attributed to thread being downvoted as it gained popularity.
After midnight, the 63% of upvotes remained the same even as the net amount of upvotes rose. Within 15 minutes the post dropped from 11,789 votes to 11,020 votes. After an hour the upvotes had dropped all the way to 8,633 with the final amount of upvotes dropping to a minuscule 1,752 in the last post archive while the upvote percentage still remained at 63%. This suggests that some form of vote manipulation was in effect. Even if the post had been downvoted constantly that should not have affected the amount of upvotes. The only way upvotes could have disappeared from the post would be if someone with access to the Reddit backend had removed them.