Reddit has banned and shut down an alt-right subreddit Thursday night.
The alt-right — a broad dissident movement often associated with white nationalist thought — found its home on Reddit on /r/altright. (RELATED: What Is The Alt Right?)
It’s not entirely clear why the community was banned this week.
Gizmodo reports that somebody associated with Reddit told them that users of /r/altright “were encouraging users to go to some kind of ‘bounty’ site, where users collaborate to attempt to gather personal information on targets,” which they speculated may mean WeSearchr, a site recently banned from Twitter for attempting to uncover the identity of the rioter that assaulted alt-right figure Richard Spencer.
Reddit reportedly gave a statement that reads,
“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.”
Users of /r/The_Donald, a huge hub of pro-Trump activity on Twitter, fear they may be next. The_Donald has faced censorship from Reddit before, with special rules applied to them to suppress the ability of some of their posts to make it to the front page. (RELATED: Reddit CEO Announces Plan To Suppress pro-Donald Trump Subreddit)
In a huge thread posted on The_Donald about the alt-right ban last night, many users voiced concerns that they could be next. The top comment said, “T_D will be next. I never noticed any personal and confidential information posted there.”
One user wrote:
“Say what you want about r/altright, just remember that every liberal and mainstream outlet calls Donald Trump and his supporters “racist, misogynist, white nationalist, facist, deplorable”. They draw no distinction between you and anyone to the right of you. If censoring political views on those grounds is acceptable it doesn’t matter how much you distance yourself, you’re in the same basket and can be forced to shut up with the same bullshit rationals.”
Some also think that the decision may have been premeditated. In response to a comment asking, “How long till this year’s first reddit admin scandal? I’d like an ETA so I have snacks ready pls respond,” Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said, “Next week around Wednesday. I generally don’t like to make promises about dates, but I’m feeling pretty confident about this one.”