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Reddit Is Cracking Down on Nazi and White Supremacist Groups

The move is part of a new policy banning "violent" content and is causing confusion for some users.
27 October 2017, 9:15am
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Two years after Reddit purged several hateful subreddits like r/fatpeoplehate, the social network is again targeting its ugliest communities. Reddit issued a new policy Wednesday forbidding content "that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people." It also banned several small subreddits, including Nazi and white supremacist groups, which violated the new policy.

In the announcement, which was posted by one of Reddit's administrators to r/modnews, a subreddit for the site's moderators, the site said the change was made because its previous definition for "inciting violence" was deemed "too vague." It also said that "context is key" when determining whether a subreddit has violated the new policy. BDSM and hunting communities, for example, supposedly won't be impacted.

But Reddit's effort to be "more clear and comprehensive" has already caused confusion for some users who wonder where the site will draw the line, BuzzFeed reports. For example, r/watchpeopledie won't be banned for now, even though it's a community centered on violence as entertainment. In an effort to clear up some of the confusion, Reddit's CEO Steve Huffman will be taking questions about the new policy next week in the r/announcements subreddit.

As Gizmodo points out, most of the subreddits banned Wednesday were tiny and had fewer than several thousand users at the most. They included r/Nazi, r/EuropeanNationalism, r/whitesarecriminals, and r/Pol, an extension of a notorious hate speech-filled 4chan board with the same name. It's not clear where those users will migrate now, and though there's evidence that banning trolls actually works, Reddit's hateful users might just start their own platform, like they have before.

Related: Woman Sues Neo-Nazi After He Leaked Her Personal Information Online