Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has sent a letter to Steve Huffman, CEO of Reddit, highlighting political bias on his platform and demanding Reddit end censorship of “The_Donald,” a user-created pro-Trump community of over 750,000 members.
Reddit is one of the most influential sites on the web, with as many monthly active users as Twitter and a better level of engagement than either Facebook or Twitter.
The_Donald has been “quarantined” by Reddit, meaning posts in the massive pro-Trump community will not appear on the site’s highly popular front page for users who aren’t already subscribed to the community, effectively cutting off the ability of 750,000-plus Trump supporters to reach an audience of over 5 million monthly unique visitors.
In a letter to the CEO of Reddit, Republican congressman Jim Banks has called on the site to reverse its censorship of Trump supporters, and called out the website for holding The_Donald to far higher standards than far-left Reddit communities.
“Although the initial imposition of the quarantine may have been justified, its continuation in the face of r/The_Donald’s compliance with sitewide content policies and ahead of the 2020 election amounts to ideologically motivated election interference,” wrote Rep. Banks.
“To this point, the same content-policy violations that led to r/The_Donald’s quarantine take place regularly and egregiously in numerous left-wing subreddits.”
Rep. Banks’ letter doesn’t merely accuse Reddit of failing to hold left-wing subreddits to the same standards as The_Donald — it provides a number of examples to prove it.
“After the controversy in Oregon, a commenter in the liberal subreddit r/Politics had the following to say about Republican legislators: ‘Shoot these f*ckers. In the knees. For running like pieces of sh*t.’ Not one of the comments that led to r/The_Donald’s ban reached such a staggering level of vitriol.”
“r/The_Donald has its share of bad apples, but the larger r/The_Donald community appears ill-disposed towards violent and hateful speech. This is made clear by the low vote scores of the comments that led to its quarantine.”
“The same cannot be said for certain subreddits that your administrative team has allowed to flourish. Last Friday, the second highest rated comment on the most popular post on the anti-police subreddit, r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut, read, “F*ck the police, ACAB 1312, Build your guillotones.’ As of right now, it remains undeleted.”
“I’m not going to beleaguer my point and list the thousands of unaddressed, rule-breaking comments from left-wing subreddits, but they are easy to find,” concluded Rep. Banks.
Rep. Banks closed his letter by accusing Reddit of election interference.
“Mr. Huffman, during a 2018 interview … you said ‘I’m confident that Reddit could sway elections,’ followed by ‘We wouldn’t do it, of course.'”
“I’m less certain. I can’t think of a more obvious and effective way to ‘sway elections’ than to hide the largest conservative forum on your site a year ahead of the 2020 elections.”
Read Rep. Banks’ full letter below.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.