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Reddit Banned A Ton Of Subreddits Including r/The_Donald And r/ChapoTrapHouse

The move is intended as a crackdown on online communities that "promote hate," Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said.

Last updated on June 29, 2020, at 6:14 p.m. ET

Posted on June 29, 2020, at 3:15 p.m. ET

Jerod Harris

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian.

Reddit banned about 2,000 subreddits on Monday, most notably r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse, in a move the platform said was intended to crack down on online communities that "promote hate."

In a Reddit post, CEO Steve Huffman said the decision comes after discussions about how the platform can "[close] the gap between our values and our policies to explicitly address hate."

"Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to support our communities by taking stronger action against those who try to weaponize parts of Reddit against other people," Huffman said.

The highest-profile ban hits r/The_Donald, a pro-Trump subreddit that trafficked in right-wing memes, hate speech, and conspiracy theories and which had nearly 800,000 members, according to the Daily Beast. While not officially affiliated with Trump, the then–presidential candidate hosted an AMA there in July 2016.

Despite Monday's ban, r/The_Donald had been pretty quiet for months, its users having migrated to a clone site due to restrictions the platform had already placed on the subreddit for frequent rule violations, Axios reported.

Huffman said r/The_Donald was banned because they have "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."

"All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity," he said.

Huffman said r/ChapoTrapHouse, a subreddit based on the leftist podcast of the same name, was banned because they "consistently host rule-breaking content and their mods have demonstrated no intention of reining in their community."

"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 said.

Reddit's wave of subreddit bans comes weeks after cofounder Alexis Ohanian resigned from the board of directors, urging the company to fill his seat at the table with a Black candidate.

"I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now," Ohanian said about his decision in a tweet. "To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop."

The Reddit board complied with Ohanian's wishes, announcing earlier in June that Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel would join the board.

Reddit wasn't the only tech platform to take steps in cleaning up hate speech on Monday.

YouTube banned several channels belonging to white supremacists, including Richard Spencer, David Duke, and Stefan Molyneux, the company told BuzzFeed News. The channels repeatedly claimed particular groups of people were inferior, or linked to hateful content in violation of the platform's policies.

"We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies. After updating our guidelines to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.

And Trump himself was temporarily suspended by the streaming platform Twitch for "hateful conduct," a spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

Two streams of Trump's campaign rallies were cited as grounds for the suspension, both for his racist vilification of Mexican immigrants. In one from 2015, which was recently rebroadcast on the platform, Trump accused Mexicans of "bringing drugs...bringing crime, [and being] rapists." In the other, from Trump's recent Tulsa rally, he described an imagined scenario of a "very tough hombre...breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away."

“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” a Twitch spokesperson said. “In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed.”

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