Reddit bans alt-right forum for violating content policy

2 Feb 2017

Reddit. Image: GongTo/Shutterstock

One of Reddit’s more infamous forums, r/altright, has been banned from the service for violating content policy.

Reddit’s battle with extremist views has been pretty public in recent years, with former CEO Ellen Pao’s plans to crack down on things like revenge porn resulting in a period of distinct and fast evolution for the company.

That evolution has brought it face to face with the alt-right community, the flavour of the month in political circles.

Reddit banned the controversial subreddit yesterday (1 February), citing a “violation of our content policy, specifically, the proliferation of personal and confidential information”.

That sent its subscribers – reported to be anything between 7,000 and 7m, though probably closer to the former – in search of a forum elsewhere.

“Reddit is the proud home to some of the most authentic conversations online,” the company said in a statement.

“We strive to be a welcoming, open platform for all by trusting our users to maintain an environment that cultivates genuine conversation and adheres to our content policy.

“We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting of personal information can get users banned from Reddit and we ask our communities not to post content that harasses or invites harassment.

“We have banned r/altright due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy. There is no single solution to these issues and we are actively engaging with the Reddit community to improve everyone’s experience.”

In r/SubredditDrama, theories are being shared as to what exactly caused the ban. A former moderator of r/altright said that it has come as no surprise.

“This banned subreddit is merely one of many in a long history of political suppression on Reddit,” said user /u/MortalSisyphus.

In a post last week, current CEO Steve Huffman lauded the company’s 2016 efforts to clean up some of the more controversial elements of its service.

Last year, Huffman said his company was disappointed that the r/altright was chosen as a subreddit of the day.

Reddit. Image: GongTo/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic