Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who recently sent a letter to Reddit CEO Steve Huffman urging the company to stop meddling in the 2020 election by censoring its largest pro-Trump community, “r/The_Donald”, responded to Reddit’s decision, reported earlier today, not to lift the sitewide “quarantine” of the community.
Rep. Banks drew attention to Reddit’s refusal to offer r/The_Donald, a user-created “subreddit” of over 700,000 Trump supporters, a clear methodology behind the site’s decision to censor them.
“Why can’t Reddit ‘share the methodology’ used to make their decision to quarantine r/The_Donald? Because they don’t have one,” said Rep. Banks in a statement, provided exclusively to Breitbart News.
“This is an admission of political prejudice. The world’s third-largest social media site should not make politically motivated publishing decisions.”
Reddit decided to “quarantine” r/The_Donald in June this year, citing violent threats made by users that were not removed with sufficient speed by the community’s moderators. Following the decision, users of r/The_Donald compiled a report showing that far-left communities on Reddit routinely feature even more extreme violent threats, sometimes failing to take them down altogether, without facing any top-down censorship from Reddit’s leadership.
Rep. Banks called out the site’s double standards earlier this week, in a letter provided exclusively to Breitbart News.
“The same content-policy violations that led to r/The_Donald’s quarantine take place regularly and egregiously in numerous left-wing subreddits,” wrote Banks.
“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.”
Rep. Banks cited a 2018 interview in which Huffman boasted of Reddit’s ability to “sway elections,” coupled with a promise not to do it. Reddit is one of the most popular websites on the internet, with a userbase approximating that of Twitter.
R/The_Donald is one of the web’s most active communities of Trump supporters, and played a crucial role as a center of pro-Trump online grassroots activity in the 2016 election. Censorship of the community represents a major attack on the Trump campaign’s online grassroots power in 2020.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.