Reddit reveals new anti-hate policy targeting Nazi, white-supremacist groups
The popular discussion site announced in a statement on Wednesday that it had updated its rules regarding violent content, noting that its previous policy on inciting violence had been "too vague."
"Going forward, we will take action against any content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people..." the statement reads.
"This applies to ALL content on Reddit, including memes, CSS/community styling, flair, subreddit names, and usernames," it continues.
Following the announcement, Reddit users pointed out that at least 10 ‘alt-right’ and Nazism subreddits had been removed. Others including "racoons are ni**ers" and "whites are criminals" were also deleted.
However, some highlighted what they viewed as inconsistencies in the website's new policy, noting that the subreddit "watch people die" had been allowed to remain.
"R/watchpeopledie has been reviewed, no plans to remove it for now. However, there are posts within the sub that are borderline, so we'll be reaching out to the mod team to clarify the policy with them," Reddit administrator landoflobsters wrote. The decision appears to be a U-turn on the vision of former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, who previously vowed not to "ban questionable subreddits."
“You choose what to post. You choose what to read. You choose what kind of subreddit to create,” he wrote in 2014. However, the company cracked down on toxic material after Ellen Pao took over as CEO, adding new rules that would remove or quarantine rooms deemed inappropriate for most users.
Reddit previously made policy changes in 2015, which forced several subreddits to clean up content that promoted anti-Semitism and white supremacy. Two subreddits - "coontown" and "fatpeoplehate" - were shut down at that time. Created in 2005, Reddit was designed as a platform for people to discuss and share anything they wanted without interference from moderators.