Reddit shuts down The_Donald under new policies against hate speech


Reddit has shut down the subreddit called The_Donald after years of it violating content policies. Reddit cited new rules that aim to push hate speech out of the online community.

“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,” said Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman in the announcement of the platform’s updated content policy.

Huffman clarified that the shutdown of The_Donald was “absolutely not” about the political views that were discussed in the subreddit, as one of Reddit’s founding principles is to foster political discussion, according to The Washington Post.

“There’s a home on Reddit for supporters of Donald Trump. … We’re not the ones who shut down the community. The moderators are the ones who shut down that community,” said Benjamin Lee, the company’s general counsel.

Reddit placed The_Donald under quarantine last year, which resulted in a warning being shown when people tried to access the subreddit, after it was found to feature content that supported violence. Moderators and most of the community have since moved to another, less restrictive website, so there was relatively little activity on the subreddit as it was banned.

The_Donald is just one of about 2,000 subreddits that are being banned alongside the rollout of Reddit’s new content policy. While most of the affected subreddits were inactive, the most active ones included r/darkhumorandmemes, r/chapotraphouse, r/consumeproduct, r/darkjokecentral, and r/gendercritical.

The new content policy that resulted in the shutdown of The_Donald follows the resignation of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian from the company’s board earlier this month, amid the social unrest caused by the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Ohanian, who pledged $1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, urged for his seat to be filled by a Black candidate. He was replaced by Twitch co-founder Michael Seibel, who has a track record of promoting diversity and inclusion inside startups.

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