A popular Reddit forum that described itself as "a never-ending rally dedicated to the 45th President of the United States" has been banned as part of the site's crackdown on hate speech. The r/The_Donald subreddit, launched in the early days of President Trump's campaign in 2015, was banned for frequent rule-breaking, antagonizing the company, and "failing to meet our most basic expectations." Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said Monday, per Politico. The site "quarantined" the forum, which had more than 790,000 subscribers, behind a warning screen last year. More:
- The crackdown. The Trump subreddit was one of more than 2,000 communities removed Monday after Reddit updated its content policy to combat hate speech, the Verge reports. Some left-wing subreddits were also removed, including r/ChapoTrapHouse. Reddit says the vast majority of the forums removed were inactive or had fewer than 10 users.
- The new rules. Reddit said r/The_Donald was banned for violating three rules of its new content policy, including Rule 1: "Remember the human. Reddit is a place for creating community and belonging, not for attacking marginalized or vulnerable groups of people. Everyone has a right to use Reddit free of harassment, bullying, and threats of violence."
- Conservatives "not being targeted." Huffman said Monday that the banning was "absolutely not" an attempt to target conservative Reddit users, the New York Times reports. He said the company strongly supports free speech and everyone is welcome, as long as they obey the rules. "There’s a home on Reddit for conservatives, there’s a home on Reddit for liberals," said Reddit's general counsel, Benjamin Lee. "There’s a home on Reddit for Donald Trump."
- Twitch bans Trump. The Reddit subforum had no official connection to the president—but another social media platform booted an official Trump account Monday, CNBC reports. Twitch, Amazon's video streaming site, said Trump's channel was being temporarily suspended for "hateful content," including Trump's recent Tulsa rally, where he invented a story about a "very tough hombre" breaking into a woman's home.
- Most r/The_Donald users had already left. Most of the subreddit's active users—and its volunteer moderators—had already migrated to a forum with fewer rules, the Washington Post reports. In a post Monday, the new site celebrated the banning as a victory. "They censored us, the suppressed us, they silenced us. We beat them,” the site said. "With nothing but raw talent, and a patriotic drive to preserve our country, we escaped Silicon Valley censorship and created a new home out of nothing."
(Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said earlier this month that he is leaving the company and will use income from Reddit stock " to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate."