In what will undoubtedly be viewed as just another attempt to censor dissenting, conservative political views, Reddit has banned three major ‘alt-right’ subreddits, /r/altright, /r/rightyfriends and /r/alternativeright, this evening for allegedly breaching the company’s content policy restricting the sharing of personal, private information. The so-called ‘Alt-right’ group had roughly 16,000 followers and grew in popularity last summer along with the rise of Donald Trump's political campaign.
While Reddit hasn't yet issued a formal statement on the ban, the following comments were offered up to The Daily Beast:
“Reddit is the proud home to some of the most authentic conversations online,” a statement provided to The Daily Beast by the company read. “We strive to be a welcoming, open platform for all by trusting our users to maintain an environment that cultivates genuine conversation and adheres to our content policy.”
“We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting of personal information can get users banned from Reddit and we ask our communities not to post content that harasses or invites harassment. We have banned r/altright due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy. There is no single solution to these issues and we are actively engaging with the Reddit community to improve everyone's experience.”
A senior moderator of the atlright subreddit, who referred to himself as Bill Simpson, told The Daily Beast that the forum was “banned without notification or justification” and insisted that moderators "enforced stricter standards of behavior than reddit requires."
“So much for leftist tolerance. Our moderator team enforced stricter standards of behavior than reddit requires, and our users were very prompt at reporting violations so we could ban violators and delete posts and comments that broke the rules,” he added.
Additionally, Simpson claimed that the subreddit was banned because of its recent “record monthly traffic.”
“It's clear that Reddit banned us because we were becoming very popular and spreading inconvenient truths about who's ruining our country and robbing our children of a future,” Simpson said.
The announcement of the ban came just days after Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian penned an open letter trashing Trump's immigration ban, calling it "not only potentially unconstitutional, but deeply un-American."
After two weeks abroad, I was looking forward to returning to the U.S. this weekend, but as I got off the plane at LAX on Sunday, I wasn't sure what country I was coming back to.
President Trump’s recent executive order is not only potentially unconstitutional, but deeply un-American. We are a nation of immigrants, after all. In the tech world, we often talk about a startup’s “unfair advantage” that allows it to beat competitors. Welcoming immigrants and refugees has been our country's unfair advantage, and coming from an immigrant family has been mine as an entrepreneur.
Of course, all of this comes after Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman, admitted two months ago to editing individual posts made by Trump supporters that were critical of him. Per the apology below, Huffman edited posts to redirect criticism away from him and onto the moderators of the "r/the_donald" thread.
Free speech is a wonderful thing, provided it conforms to the prevailing political views of Silicon Valley's elitist tech billionaires.