Move follows issue of new content policy.
The world-famous and popular ‘Front Page of the Internet,’ Reddit website has started to close down several extremist forums after it updated and released a new policy regarding violent content.
The site updated its rules regarding violent content and messaging, and immediately proceeded to ban those groups where extremist and violent content was an everyday occurrence.
Some of the most notable Reddit groups banned included the likes of r/pol, r/NationalSocialism, r/Nazi, and r/DylannRoofInnocent.
The move is mostly reminiscent of the time interim CEO Ellen Pao took a similar if brief approach during her brief tenure back in 2015 that saw a handful of hate-based groups removed from the site. In 2015, Reddit updated its policy to deter harassment – a move that resulted in the shutting down of forums including r/fatpeoplehate.
This time, however, Reddit management appears to be playing for a more permanent stance on extremist content, taking aim at content and groups that incite violence. As has been evidenced, the first groups to fall were Nazi and Nazi-sympathizing subreddits.
Reddit’s new policy states that users “do not post content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.”
The updated policy notes that violent content may, however, sometimes be allowed in the future, specifically when it is posted as part of educational, newsworthy or artistic material, but takes pains to point out that context and reason for posting such content should be made clear.
Also banned and removed in the new Reddit shakeup is material that glorifies or encourages the abuse of animals, such as bestiality.
“…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,” wrote site administrator landoflobsters. “Likewise, we will also take action against content that glorifies or encourages the abuse of animals. This applies to ALL content on Reddit, including memes, CSS/community styling, flair, subreddit names, and usernames.”
Redditors want to know
The Gizmodo website notes that several of the subreddits banned were typically small communities, “with user bases between 25 and 7,000 users. Several Redditors asked whether the site would ban notorious Donald Trump fan subreddit r/The_Donald — a possibility that seems unlikely.”
Reddit has sometimes allowed material that would commonly be banned on mainstream social media sites. According to the BBC, the new crackdown “suggests the site is trying to position itself as a more mainstream business, said legal expert Prof Eric Heinze of Queen Mary, University of London. As companies grow, “they start caring about social norms, they care about PR, regardless of whether they had a more maverick origin,” he told the BBC.
Time will tell how permanent and how effective the Reddit move will be.