© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Reddit mascots are displayed at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco
By Elizabeth Culliford and Neha Malara
(Reuters) – Social media site Reddit said on Monday it shut down r/The_Donald, a forum used by supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, as it announced changes to its content policies.
Chief Executive Steve Huffman said in a post that communities and users that promoted hate based on identity or vulnerability would be banned. He said Reddit was banning about 2,000 subreddits, the majority of which were inactive.
“All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity,” Huffman said.
Earlier this month, as Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigned from the social network firm’s board, seeking to be replaced by a black candidate, Huffman said Reddit would strengthen its content policy.
Huffman also said Reddit should have moved sooner to restrict access to r/The_Donald, which it “quarantined” last year, citing threats of violence against police and public officials.
The new list of banned subreddits included the left-wing forum r/ChapoTrapHouse, which Huffman said had consistently hosted rule-breaking content.
Only about 200 of the banned forums had more than 10 daily users. A list provided by Reddit showed r/The_Donald had an average of 7,780 daily active users, while r/ChapoTrapHouse had 42,949.
In another high-profile action, Amazon.com Inc’s (O:) live-streaming platform Twitch also said on Monday that it had temporarily banned Trump’s channel, citing its hateful conduct policy.
“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed,” said a Twitch spokeswoman.
One of the streams identified by the spokeswoman was a rebroadcast of a 2016 Trump rally in which the president said Mexico was sending rapists to the United States. The other was of his rally in Tulsa earlier this month, when he hypothesized about a “very tough hombre” breaking into a woman’s house.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Trump joined Twitch, which says it has 15 million daily users, in October last year. Twitch is primarily a site where video gamers can livestream their games and chat with other users, though it also has channels focused on sports, music and politics.
Last month it announced a new advisory council to help improve safety on the site, focusing on areas such as harassment and protection of marginalized groups.
A Twitch spokeswoman said the platform had told “the President’s team” last year that there were no exceptions on the site for political or newsworthy content that broke its rules.
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