Reddit, the popular social platform of user-created message boards, has censored /r/ChapoTrapHouse, a community for fans of the popular far-left “Chapo Trap House” podcast, shortly after Breitbart News published a document that compiled numerous violent threats from its subscribers.
The community (known as a “subreddit”) has been “quarantined,” meaning that content posted on it by its subscribers can only be viewed if you sign up for a Reddit account and manually navigate and subscribe to the subreddit. If a post from ChapoTrapHouse is particularly popular, it will not appear on the Reddit front page, unlike popular posts from other subreddits.
Reddit’s decision to quarantine the far-left subreddit came shortly after Breitbart News published a document created by supporters of /r/The_Donald, the largest Trump-supporting subreddit on the site, which was also recently quarantined by Reddit.
In the dossier, Trump supporters documented numerous threats of violence from subscribers of ChapoTrapHouse and other far-left subreddits, which had not at that time been treated as harshly as /r/The_Donald
Some of the violent threats posted on /r/ChapoTrapHouse included “Merry Christmas kill all cops and their families,” and “Socialist Rifle Association, Pink Pistols, Redneck Revolt unite! Time for some Nazi and GOP head hunting!.”
Although the violent threats had been going on for some time, Reddit only took action against the subreddit when it received media attention.
Currently, visitors to /r/ChapoTrapHouse are met with the following message, like other quarantined subreddits:
In a post, a moderator of /r/ChapoTrapHouse called the Reddit administrators who decided to quarantine the subreddit “disingenuous lib nerds” and blamed “alt-right brigaders masquerading as regular users” for the violent threats.
In the ensuing discussion, /r/ChapoTrapHouse subscribers complained that their subreddit had been unfairly censored.
“It really feels that ‘violent content’ is a super fluid, nebulous thing that they’re just picking out at random. Criticize cops? Violent, remove it. Gulag posts? You know it. John Brown memes? They gotta go too,” said one.
“But posts about sterilizing undesirables, advocating vigilante justice on immigrants, or urging trans members to kill themselves? No, that’s just passionate discussion by voices that all need to be heard,” he continued.
Another user speculated that the Reddit admins were cracking down on the far-left subreddit as a smokescreen for further censorship against /r/The_Donald, which has over 700,000 subscribers and is one of the most influential centers of Trump support on the internet.
“Calling it: they’re gonna kill chapo so when they nuke TD they can be like ‘both sides epic style kickflip emoji'” deduced the user.
A spokesperson for The_Donald commented as well, saying: “It’s pretty clear that Reddit is planning to ban The_Donald and “balancing” it by banning an extremist violence-loving communist subreddit with us, while leaving at least dozens of just as violent left-wing subreddits. It’s just cover.”
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.