Reddit restricts its largest pro-Trump forum after users made threats against police
June 27, 2019
Social media giant Reddit has "quarantined" its biggest forum of Trump supporters -- a decision that has fueled conservative claims of bias against the current administration.
The quarantine isn't an outright ban. But, it does mean visitors will see a warning message before they can access the popular subreddit called "The Donald." It also means Reddit users won't be able to use the traditional search function to find posts from that particular subreddit.
The Washington Post described it as effectively a "demotion" on Reddit, which is the nation's fifth-most-popular website.
In addition to the quarantine, The New York Times reports action has also been taken against individual users who suggested violence in posts.
According to USA TODAY, the crackdown comes two days after a progressive media watchdog group reported how users in that subreddit had repeatedly advocated for violence against police and other public officials in Oregon. The calls for violence were reportedly posted after Gov. Kate Brown had given state police permission to track down and bring back 11 Republican lawmakers who had purposely left the area to block Democrats from passing a greenhouse gas emissions bill.
Reddit leaders told The Washington Post that the "r/The_Donald" board had accepted or encouraged "rule-breaking behavior" for months. A Trump re-election campaign spokesperson told the newspaper that campaign leaders are "monitoring what's going on" with regard to the situation.
“We are clear in our sitewide policies that posting content that encourages or threatens violence is not allowed on Reddit,” a spokesperson told The New York Times. "As we have shared, we are sensitive to what could be considered political speech, however, recent behaviors including threats against the police and public figures is content that is prohibited by our violence policy."
The pro-Trump subreddit was created in 2015 and has approximately three-quarters of a million followers.
While rare, Reddit quarantines have been imposed before -- including on subreddits geared toward white supremacists or Sept. 11 conspiracies.