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Reddit bans largest pro-Trump subreddit amid hate speech crackdown

Guardian Technology 29 Jun 2020 07:57
Reddit banned the largest pro-Trump message board on its site. Photograph: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Reddit and Twitch became the latest social media companies to ban or suspend pro-Donald Trump accounts over hate speech on Monday, further isolating Facebook in its reluctance to enforce content rules against the US president’s hateful and violent rhetoric.

Reddit banned its largest pro-Trump message board (known as a subreddit), r/The_Donald, saying that it had “consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average” while refusing to cooperate with the company’s efforts to bring it into compliance.

The subreddit and its more than 750,000 subscribers had played a major role in shaping the trollish tone and style of the Trump campaign’s digital persona during the 2016 campaign. The Trump aides Brad Parscale and Dan Scavino were reportedly frequent visitors, and memes or videos from the board on occasion found their way to Trump’s Twitter feed.

The community was also rife with harassment, bigotry and hate, and in 2019, Reddit placed it under “quarantine” due to repeated violations of rules, including the “encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon”. The message board was largely inactive by the time of the ban.

Snap, the company that makes Snapchat, announced on 3 June that it would bar Trump’s posts from appearing in its Discover channel, citing its desire not to “amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice”.

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RedditBrad ParscaleDan ScavinoTrump
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