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29 Jun, 2020 17:48

Twitch suspends Donald Trump's account as Reddit bans his supporters' biggest community

Twitch suspends Donald Trump's account as Reddit bans his supporters' biggest community

On the same day streaming platform Twitch suspended Donald Trump's account for violating their hateful conduct policy, social networking site Reddit has shut down its largest group supportive of the president.

The subreddit 'The_Donald' was the most popular community devoted to supporters of the president and included more than 790,000 users, who often used the space to post political memes and videos. Reddit executives have accused the group of targeting and harassing individuals and consistently breaking its conduct rules.“Reddit is a place for community and belonging, not for attacking people,” the company’s Chief Executive Steve Huffman told reporters on Monday.

Reddit also banned multiple other accounts for violating their policies, though some have accused the company of using a mass ban to cover up a bias against the Trump community. "Reddit's ban [of] a bunch of mostly irrelevant subreddits (apart from ChapoTrapHouse) is just cover to ban r/The_Donald, which was the largest pro-MAGA community on the Internet," tweeted YouTuber and Human Events Managing Editor Ian Miles Cheong.

Twitch flagged and removed multiple pieces of content from the president as hateful – some of which is incredibly old, including a rebroadcast of Trump's kickoff rally, in which he infamously claimed that many illegal immigrants are the "worst" Mexico has to offer, like rapists. 

“Like anyone else, politicians on Twitch must adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. We do not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content, and will take action on content reported to us that violates our rules,” a Twitch spokesperson said.

Twitch promised last week to be more active in policing accounts, following numerous allegations of harassment against streamers.

Unlike the subreddit 'The_Donald', the Twitch account, which was launched in October, was officially connected to the president and used to stream campaign events and rallies.

Twitch sold to Amazon in 2014, making it a subsidiary of a company owned by Jeff Bezos, a frequent critic of Trump who has clashed with the president multiple times on Twitter. Bezos’ connection to Twitch has only fueled accusations of “censorship.”

The community of supporters on Reddit had also already accused that site of censorship, with many members ditching the site months ago. 

The website targeted the ‘The_Donald’ subreddit group last year and “quarantined” it for “significant issues with reporting and addressing violations” of the content policy. This “quarantine” meant users visiting the forum were given warning signs before entering and needed to opt-in to actually view the content. 

Reddit claimed the “violations” were threats made against public officials. 

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“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,” the company said at the time. 

Two years earlier, members had complained Reddit was “underreporting” how many subscribers there were to the community. Reddit acknowledged the error, but chalked it up to a labeling mistake brought on system changes at the site. 

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