Reddit has banned hundreds of subreddits after a major rewrite of its content rules, the site announced on Monday. The newly banned subreddits include /r/The_Donald, a leading forum for fans of the president. Reddit also banned /r/ChapoTrapHouse—a subreddit dedicated to the popular left-wing podcast.
The bans are the latest signs of how much Reddit’s content-moderation policy has evolved. Until 2015, the site hosted openly racist subreddits. But like Twitter and other social media sites, Reddit has adopted increasingly strict policies against hosting hate speech.
The new version of Reddit’s content policies makes Reddit’s opposition to hate speech more overt. “Reddit is a place for creating community and belonging, not for attacking marginalized or vulnerable groups of people,” the company says in the first of its eight new rules.
“All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith,” Reddit CEO Steve Huffman wrote on Monday. “We banned /r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity. The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average, antagonized us and other communities, and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations.”
For example, last year Reddit “quarantined” /r/The_Donald—suppressing it from search results and warning users before they could view it—for comments that appeared to threaten Oregon law enforcement with violence. At the time, Republican members of Oregon legislature were in hiding in an effort to stop the passage of climate change legislation. Oregon’s Democratic Gov. Kate Brown was considering sending the police to track down the recalcitrant legislators to achieve a quorum. Members of /r/The_Donald discussed taking up arms to stop the arrest of GOP lawmakers.
Reddit’s revamp comes as social media sites across the Internet come under growing pressure to eradicate hate speech from their platforms. Twitch temporarily suspended President Trump’s account for “hateful conduct.” Twitch pointed to a rebroadcast of Trump’s infamous 2016 speech where he said that Mexico was sending “rapists” to the United States—as well as a segment of Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa where he referred to a hypothetical burglar as a “tough hombre.”
Meanwhile, Facebook has scrambled to address the concerns of big-name advertisers like Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Verizon over hate speech on its platform. Some advertisers have also pulled ads from Twitter based on similar concerns.