Pro-Trump forum 'quarantined' by Reddit over threats
Reddit on Wednesday “quarantined” one of the largest pro-Trump online communities on the web, saying its users threatened police and public officials.
When users try to enter the social media platform’s r/The_Donald subreddit, they are now met with a warning asking, “Are you sure you want to view this community? This community is quarantined.”
“It is restricted due to significant issues with reporting and addressing violations of the Reddit Content Policy,” the warning reads. “Most recently the violations have included threats of violence against police and public officials.”
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Administrators in a note posted to the subreddit wrote that they have “observed repeated rule-breaking behavior in your community” over the past several months, citing content that encourages violence.
“Most recently, we have observed this behavior in the form of encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon,” the note reads. “This is not only in violation of our site-wide policies, but also your own community rules.”
The administrators are calling for r/The_Donald user moderators to emphasize that violent content is “unacceptable” and encourage users to report posts that violate Reddit’s policies.
Reddit said it will consider an appeal to lift the quarantine after changes are made.
“We are clear in our site-wide policies that posting content that encourages or threatens violence is not allowed on Reddit,” a Reddit spokesperson said in a statement. “As we have shared, we are sensitive to what could be considered political speech, however, recent behaviors including threats against the police and public figures is content that is prohibited by our violence policy. As a result, we have actioned individual users and quarantined the subreddit.”
Users have been encouraging one another to tweet at President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House ‘Teflon Don’ avoids the scorn of the ‘family values’ GOP — again MORE about the quarantine.
Reddit has long avoided taking action against the forum, which has 754,000 subscribers and is known for hosting bigoted and often threatening posts about minorities and women, in particular immigrants.
The company’s CEO, Steve Huffman, has publicly and repeatedly defended r/The_Donald, saying he does not agree with what its users say but does not believe they violate Reddit’s lenient speech policies.
Reddit has branded itself as a “free speech” platform with policies that are less stringent than companies like Facebook and Twitter.
Updated at 3:02 p.m.