Reddit Bans The_Donald and ChapoTrapHouse Amid Purge of 2,000 Rule-Breaking Subs

The platform is also banning communities and users that ‘promote hate’ for the first time

Sarah Emerson
OneZero
Published in
4 min readJun 29, 2020

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Image: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Reddit announced today that it is banning more than 2,000 subreddits, including The_Donald and ChapoTrapHouse, which regularly host and upvote discriminatory “rule-breaking content,” according to the company. Together, the two subreddits are used by nearly 1 million members.

The move to shut down these 2,000 subreddits is part of a broader effort to address discrimination on the platform largely targeted at minority groups. Of the subreddits banned on Monday, only 200 have more than 10 daily users. Reddit has also amended its content policy to explicitly ban communities and users “that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability” and to discourage the posting of inauthentic content.

“From our conversations with mods and outside experts, it’s clear that while we’ve gotten better in some areas … we still have a long way to go to address the gaps in our policies and enforcement to date,” Reddit’s co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman wrote in a Reddit post on Monday.

“These include addressing questions our policies have left unanswered (like whether hate speech is allowed or even protected on Reddit), aspects of our product and mod tools that are still too easy for individual bad actors to abuse (inboxes, chats, modmail), and areas where we can do better to partner with our mods and communities who want to combat the same hateful conduct we do,” Huffman added.

In clarifying its rule against promoting hate based on identity or vulnerability, Reddit says protected groups include, but are not limited to, those “based on their actual and perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or disability. These include victims of a major violent event and their families.”

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Sarah Emerson
OneZero

Staff writer at OneZero covering social platforms, internet communities, and the spread of misinformation online. Previously: VICE