Reddit announced on Monday that it has permanently blacklisted the pro-Donald Trump community “The_Donald.”
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman announced on Monday that the company has banned “The_Donald,” which had at one point over 790,000 subscribers, over allegedly failing to meet “basic expectations” regarding content moderation.
Huffman said that the crackdown was part of “closing the gap between our values and our policies to explicitly address hate.”
“All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith,” Huffman wrote. “We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity.”
“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,” Huffman claimed.
Huffman’s decision to permanently ban the The_Donald follows Reddit “quarantining” the community, meaning that posts in the popular pro-Trump forum would not appear on the site’s front page making them less visible for those that do not subscribe to the community.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a vocal opponent of big tech censorship, has called on Reddit to end Reddit’s censorship of The_Donald.
Banks told Breitbart News in a statement on Monday that Reddit has continued Silicon Valley’s practice of censoring conservative and pro-Trump voices on the Internet.
He said, “R/The_Donald played an outsized role in helping Trump win in the 2016 election. With 2020 fast approaching, they just can’t help themselves. Reddit has long targeted r/the_Donald–harshly enforcing its content policy there while ignoring more egregious rule-breaking in left-wing communities. It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on.”
After Reddit quarantined The_Donald, many community moderators and users moved to TheDonald.Win, a website that mimics Reddit’s forum style on voting and conversation. Others have moved to other free speech alternatives such as Gab and Parler.
Ultraviolet, a feminist women’s advocacy organization, claims it spoke with Huffman last week, urging the Reddit CEO to address alleged hate speech and racism on the platform. The group petitioned Reddit to ban hate speech.
After Huffman’s banning of The_Donald, Ultraviolet spokesperson Bidget Todd cheered the move, saying in a statement on Monday:
Reddit has taken a big step in the right direction today by implementing and truly enforcing their updated, more robust hate speech policy. By defining who marginalized and vulnerable identity groups are, and what type of language will not be tolerated on their platform, Reddit is making more of an effort than other social media platforms to curb toxicity on the Internet. We applaud their decision to take a stand against violence, racism, misogyny, antisemitism and homophobia.
… the reality is that ‘The_Donald’ and other groups like it should have been banned a long time ago.
The_Donald moderators told Breitbart News that Reddit’s censorship of the community is election interference, and luckily The_Donald had already moved to become independent from the Silicon Valley company.
“Reddit has been looking for a made-up reason to ban The_Donald for years that looks like anything other than what it is – election interference. They finally saw their opportunity with the BLM riots, to ban us under the false guise of racism,” the moderators said. “The_Donald on Reddit has been effectively shut down for months, to ban it now makes no sense. In the end, the Chinese government got what they wanted, while The_Donald was smart enough to become independent of them before they had their excuse to finish silencing us.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.