Reddit bans prominent alt-right communities

The global online discussion forum has banned two white nationalist subreddits for the "posting of personal information"

Reddit bans prominent alt-right communities

The landing page greeting users of the r/altright community

Global online discussion forum Reddit has banned two prominent alt-right communities for violating the website’s terms of use.

The white nationalist subreddits, r/altright and r/alternativeright have been shut down for “posting of personal information” - otherwise known as doxxing.

The move constitutes an about-turn for the website which has dubbed itself the “front page of the internet” and has traditionally been averse to introducing bans.

The hugely popular website’s commitment to free speech had seen it hosting some of the most controversial communities on the web.  

In a statement, the company said: “Reddit is the proud home to some of the most authentic conversations online.”

“We strive to be a welcoming, open platform for all by trusting our users to maintain an environment that cultivates genuine conversation and adheres to our content policy,” reads the statement.

“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.”

The ban comes after the company's CEO was last year forced to apologise for re-tagging posts made by made by supporters of then US President-elect, Donald Trump. 

Donald Trump's travel ban

On Monday, the website’s founder, Alexis Ohanian published an open letter to the site condemning Donald Trump’s temporary ban on individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US.

In the letter, Mr Ohanian outlined his family’s immigrant background and called the US President’s executive order, “not only potentially unconstitutional, but deeply un-American.”

“We are a nation of immigrants, after all,” he wrote. “Welcoming immigrants and refugees has been our country's unfair advantage, and coming from an immigrant family has been mine as an entrepreneur.”

“Right now, Lady Liberty’s lamp is dimming, which is why it's more important than ever that we speak out and show up to support all those for whom it shines - past, present, and future.

“Our platform, like our country, thrives the more people and communities we have within it. Reddit, Inc. will continue to welcome all citizens of the world to our digital community and our office.”

Censorship

In a statement, one of the former moderators of the r/altright community said the ban is, “merely one of many in a long history of political suppression on Reddit.”

“We mods did what we could to follow the rules handed down to us, but obviously no subreddit can be water-tight, and there will always be those rare cases which give plausible deniability for transparent censorship.

Whatever excuse the admins give for the banning, it is clear to all this is another case of heretical views and opinions being stifled.

He said the website administrators are, “playing a losing game of whack-a-mole” and suggested the bans will only drive more people toward their point of view.

Doxxing

According to reports in technology magazine, The Verge, the bans may be due to the sharing of personal information belonging to a man who allegedly attacked a noted American white supremacist.

Reddit administrators said the community had been banned 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," it said.