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Reddit to White Supremacists and other bigots: We’ll host your forums — at our expense!

DailyMotion has helpfully labeled some of Snake Island's most notable features
Much better policy; Send Reddit’s bigots to Snake Island

So the new Reddit CEO — returning co-founder Steve “Spez” Huffman — announced the site’s much-anticipated new content guidelines today, and to say that they are disappointing is a bit of an understatement.

Essentially, he told the site’s many varieties of bigots that they could continue to spout their various bigotries on Reddit without repercussions, so long as they didn’t actually threaten to, you know, go out and murder or otherwise physically harm people whose sexual preferences or skin color or religion (or whatever) didn’t meet their approval.

Only now the bigots will be posting on Reddit s dime.

No, really.

Reddit’s new policy on hate speech is to make hateful content “opt-in,” like the site’s NSFW subreddits are now. Oh, and to not embarrass the site’s advertisers by running ads next to blatantly hateful garbage.

As Huffman explained in a posting on Reddit, under the new policy

it’s ok to say “I don’t like this group of people.” It’s not ok to say, “I’m going to kill this group of people.”

Hateful content — or, as Reddit euphemistically puts it, “content that violates a common sense of decency” — will be “reclassified” but not banned. The “indecent” stuff

will require a login, must be opted into, will not appear in search results or public listings, and will generate no revenue for Reddit.

What this means in practical terms, Huffman explained in a followup comment, is that

r/rapingwomen will be banned. They are encouraging people to rape.

r/coontown will be reclassified. The content there is offensive to many, but does not violate our current rules for banning.

So, yeah, Reddit’s grand plan to deal with its bigots is to … subsidize them.

I can’t even.

Adding to the repugnance of this “hide the hate, but keep hosting it” policy is the fact that, in the wake of the #RedditRevolt against now ex-CEO Ellen Pao, and Dylan Roof’s racist murders in Charlestown, South Carolina, /coontown and other blatantly racist subreddits have seen a giant boost in traffic, with more than 18,000 subscribers and roughly 200,000 page views a day.

As MrTomFTW noted in a posting on r/GamerGhazi, r/coontown is

closing in to matching Stormfront’s traffic. This means that Reddit could soon be host to the largest active white supremacist forum on the Internet.

Actually, that’s understating things a little. If you add Reddit’s other racist subreddits into the mix, Reddit is already the number one destination for white supremacists looking for a place to talk online.

And Reddit will keep footing the bill.

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spacelawn
5 years ago

“r/coontown will be reclassified. The content there is offensive to many, but does not violate our current rules for banning.”

Fucking what!?!??!?!?!?

Really, there are no words.

ktward
5 years ago

@ Scented Fucking Hard Chairs | July 18, 2015 at 4:30 am

Also, running a Google search on your avatar turns up a bunch of right-wing forums you post on and nothing else, so.

Wha?! I read this with no small amount of shock and immediately googled myself. I came up with nothing. (Probably because I know where I’ve been.)

But, now I AM curious: which bunch of r-w forums did your google search turn up? I’m dying to know.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Why do people keep thinking that they can call themselves liberal, feminist etc. and then make right wing arguments and that we’ll buy it? It never works, but they keep trying. Is it projection? They’re gullible and reactive so we must be too. They’re insecure followers whose values will be shaken if someone on their side disagrees with them, so we must be like that too.

In the less salubrious parts of the web, where people use disposable identities freely, it is the custom that all assertions about oneself are taken at face value unless they are laughably false. When they come here they take their customs with them.

If I were an athropologist, I would love to do an in-depth study of internet trolls. There must be some fascinating work to be done.

ktward
5 years ago

Robjec | July 17, 2015 at 11:02 pm

@ktward
your missing a big part of people’s complaints which is that reddit has banned some groups for abuse language such as fat people hate but not others. The company rook a stand and said you can’t discriminate against people for their weight bit you can for their skin color or religious beliefs. They can’t say anymore that they are just doing it for free speech unless they stand by that value equally at all times.

I can understand your argument, and thanks for making your point in a civil way.

Gah. The tone of my initial comment was horribly smug. My bad. Explains why a few commenters left a few silly yet ugly comments for me. That said, I genuinely appreciate your good-faith response.

BeefhammerMcBeefton
BeefhammerMcBeefton
5 years ago

Reddit is actually doing a public service, by allowing people to spout their shite, we’ll be able to locate the bigoted arseholes and mercilessly mock them until the end of time.