Reddit has banned a long-running subreddit channel that supports US President Donald Trump, as US media firms crack down on online hate speech and disinformation in the run up to the presidential election.
Reddit has banned its r/The_Donald political hub, along with more than 2,000 other subreddit groups, after the group continued to promote violence, misogyny and disinformation that violated the site’s content policies.
The social media platform has for years faced pressure to take action on the popular Trump support page, which has more than 790,000 subscribers, but mounting criticisms in the wake of racial justice protests in the US finally forced the company to U-turn.
Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman said: “All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity.”
The move by Reddit comes amid a broader crackdown on online content by technology companies, including Twitter and Instagram, as platforms attempt to weed out disinformation ahead of the 2020 US presidential election in November.
Reddit today announced its first policy banning hate speech, and said it would amp up its policy against “divisive language” in advertising.
Rival platform Facebook has faced increasing scrutiny in recent days for refusing to take action against a post by the President that threatened violence against Black Lives Matter protestors. Facebook’s decision triggered a major advertising boycott that has seen brands such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Unilever pull messages from the platform.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration issued an executive order urging the US communications watchdog to write new rules governing how social media sites can remove content from their sites.