Reddit blocked about two thousand subreddits for “hostile language.” Users criticize the decision and demand transparency

The Great Ban has also affected innocent meme communities. And users have questions about the rule, which protects everyone from “hate speech” except representatives of the “majority”.

Reddit introduced updated rules and based on them blocked for “hate speech” about two thousand subreddits, including a community dedicated to Donald Trump and meme pages. Users of the “main page of the Internet” demanded transparency, criticized the leadership for the lack of logic in the new requirements for content and prepared to leave for competitors.

Steve Hoffman, CEO of the company, spoke about the new rules in a post on Reddit: “We commit ourselves to narrowing the gap between our values ​​and our policy regarding hate speech. After a dialogue with moderators, external organizations and our team, today we update the community rules and apply them. ”

I tried to find a balance between freedom of speech, company values ​​and universal decency.

Steve hoffman

head of reddit

Under the new rules, users and communities are prohibited from inciting hatred based on personality traits, spamming, manipulating pros and cons, evading bans, doing harassment or docking (publishing confidential information about a person without his consent). Know Your Meme notes that some of the rules were simply rewritten, while others were redone – so the company took a tougher stance against hateful remarks.

The most controversial rule was the first prohibiting “incite hatred based on personality traits.” Management indicated that this rule does not apply to “majority groups of people”. The company did not specify what it means by “majority”, therefore, they began to irony over the rule in social networks. Users suggested that women can be persecuted because they make up the majority in America — in fact, there are more than men.


Reddit says it’s allowed to persecute people for being women

Reddit’s new hostile language rules do not apply to “majority people”

“Everyone has the right to use Reddit without being harassed,” except for the “people who make up the majority.” Sounds absolutely reasonable

In a post, Hoffman also announced the blocking of about two thousand subreddits after the introduction of new rules. The general director attached a list of 200 blocked subreddits and said that the rest either had less than a thousand participants, or they were inactive. Among the popular blocked communities were:

    • r / The_Donald – community dedicated to Donald Trump;
    • r / ChapoTrapHouse and r / Cumtown — communities on eponymous left-wing political podcasts;
    • r / Campus Conservative, r / thenewright, and r / rightwinglgbt – political and legal communities;
    • r / BigChungus – memes about fat Bug Bunny;
      • r / wojak – memes about various warriors;
  • r / ConsumeProduct – memes about the “ consumer” warrior , ironic over consumerism;
  • r / DarkHumorAndMemes and r / DarkJokeCentral – gloomy memes and jokes;
  • r / GenderCritical is a community of radical feminists supporting criticism of gender studies. They are often accused of transphobia.

The head of the company said that Reddit allowed “points of view from all over the political spectrum, ”but clarified that communities must follow the rules in good faith and without exception”. Hoffman told The Verge that “Reddit’s goal is to create a community for everyone in the world. And some sayings interfere with other users [join it]. Hateful words do not allow people to feel safe on Reddit and share their feelings. ”

If statements appear on Reddit that prevent people from using the site the way we intended, or prevent us from achieving our goals, then this is actually a very simple solution.

Political statements remain safe. But all communities, including political ones, must follow our rules. While we commit ourselves to do everything in our power to bring them into line with the rules. But if they break the rules, then they are not allowed to be on Reddit.

Steve hoffman

head of reddit

Hoffman commented on the blockages of only two communities. He stated that r / The_Donald “most often appeared to violate the rules of the content, and the moderators refused to go to the meeting.” In 2016, the company removed community content from the main page, and in 2019 sent the subreddit “to quarantine”, adding a note that their content “incited violence”. After that, community members began to switch to the forum .

The r / ChapoTrapHouse community was banned “for similar reasons”: “They constantly violated the rules, and their moderators did not show reluctance to restrain their users.”

Hoffman’s post received more than 18 thousand comments. Reddit users accused the company of hypocrisy and claimed that management creates segregation based on race, gender and orientation: “Instead of encouraging dialogue, understanding, respect and equality, your new rules are shared by people.”

The comments also asked why the management blocked these particular subreddits, but did not receive an official response. Soon, on r / WatchRedditDie, they began to compile a complete list of all banned subreddits, and on r / SubredditDrama, they discussed the changes and the rumor about the new rules, which appeared on June 28th. Unblocked subreddits claimed to have survived the Great Ban.

On Twitter, they were especially upset about blocking an innocent subreddit with memes about Big Chungus.


r / BigChungus just blocked, now I really have no more reason to use Reddit

What if Reddut banned r / BigChungus because they were worried that the meme of “epic beneficent changus” spoiled their brand name?

I heard that r / BigChungus was banned on Reddit, and sobbed for 47 minutes, because what the hell did they do that he did to them

Some Reddit users began to publish the Chinese flag with a site mascot instead of stars, suggesting that the PRC government affects the decision of the site’s leadership. After the Chinese company Tencent invested $ 50 million in Reddit in February 2019 , users began to massively spread rumors of impending censorship.

Users also began to offer to transfer the community to an analogue of Reddit – Ruqqus, because this site is “free from censorship and abuse of moderators.” Twitter recalled with nostalgia that the site had previously fought for freedom of speech.


8 years ago, Reddit was ready to sacrifice himself to protect violentacrez subreddits in the name of freedom of speech. Now every few months they are like this: “Here is a list of 2,000 banned subreddits”
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