Less than a month after new content bans were announced, Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman, otherwise known as /u/spez, revealed a new update to the massively popular yet troubled website’s content policy regarding forums deemed hateful, incendiary and outright racist. Apparently, the magic word here is “quarantine.”
According to Huffman, most of the policy update concerns quarantining certain subreddits en lieu of outright banning them:
“[This] entails applying a set of restrictions to a community so its content will only be viewable to those who explicitly opt in. We will Quarantine communities whose content would be considered extremely offensive to the average redditor.”
Only registered Redditors, rather than the average “lurker” who skims the site without an account, will be able to view quarantined subreddits.
Yet Huffman continues, admitting that several racist and hateful subreddits will be banned permanently:
“We are banning a handful of communities that exist solely to annoy other redditors, prevent us from improving Reddit, and generally make Reddit worse for everyone else. Our most important policy over the last ten years has been to allow just about anything so long as it does not prevent others from enjoying Reddit for what it is: the best place online to have truly authentic conversations.”
“I believe,” the Reddit CEO concludes, “these policies strike the right balance.”
This being Reddit, however, users immediately began asking Huffman questions about the content policy update’s inner workings. First and foremost, redditors wanted to know which subreddits had been banned. Huffman obliged:
“Today we removed communities dedicated to animated CP and a handful of other communities that violate the spirit of the policy by making Reddit worse for everyone else: /r/CoonTown, /r/WatchNiggersDie, /r/bestofcoontown, /r/koontown, /r/CoonTownMods, /r/CoonTownMeta.”
On the one hand, many of these outright bans make sense. Based on their titles alone, these subreddits are fairly horrendous places. Yet as redditor /r/AirPhForce points out, it’s highly inconsistent:
“I’m actually shocked you did it.
“I was thinking for-sure they would just become an ad-free subreddit dedicated to hate hidden behind an ‘opt-in’ wall.
“Edit; /r/Kiketown is still there. No ads for them, as they have been whitelisted by reddit staff for ad-free status, less trolls because you have to be email verified, and no spam bots because you have to opt in. You actually made life better for them. Guess I’m not shocked at all.
The user goes on to list other subreddits by name that have neither been quarantined or banned, including /r/WhiteRights, /r/FeministHate, /r/ChiCongo, and others.
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