UltraViolet Applauds Reddit Hate Speech Policy Expansion, Closing of Pro-Trump Forum After Private Meeting With CEO Steve Huffman Last Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 29, 2020

CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com


UltraViolet Applauds Reddit Hate Speech Policy Expansion, Closing of Pro-Trump Forum After Private Meeting With CEO Steve Huffman Last Week

After months of public pressure, Reddit adopts more robust hate speech policy formally defining marginalized, vulnerable identity groups

Earlier today, Reddit announced an overhaul of its official hate speech policy, declaring changes that include limits on the ways Reddit channels and users comment on, or post content that: mocks people with physical disabilities; describes a racial minority as sub-human and inferior to the racial majority; argues that rape of women should be acceptable and not a crime; expresses revulsion that people of color have the right to vote. Reddit also announced that it would close the popular forum ‘The_Donald,’ devoted to supporting President Trump along with 2,000 other subreddit groups and users that violate new content policies aimed at banning hate speech.

Last week, members of the national women’s advocacy organization UltraViolet met with Reddit CEO Steve Huffman over Zoom to address concerns stated in the group’s petition, which urged the website to develop and implement policies that address racism and hate speech.

In response to this announcement, UltraViolet spokesperson Bridget Todd released the following statement:

“Reddit has taken a big step in the right direction today by implementing and truly enforcing their updated, more robust hate speech policy. By defining who marginalized and vulnerable identity groups are, and what type of language will not be tolerated on their platform, Reddit is making more of an effort than other social media platforms to curb toxicity on the Internet. We applaud their decision to take a stand against violence, racism, misogyny, antisemitism and homophobia.

“While we are encouraged to see that our efforts holding Reddit accountable are working, the reality is that ‘The_Donald’ and other groups like it should have been banned a long time ago. Additionally, given what we know about Reddit’s lack of diversity regarding corporate leadership and moderators, it’s clear their work is far from over.  We look forward to seeing Reddit follow through on enforcing this ban on hate speech and will continue calling on them to diversify their leadership and hire paid community managers.

“We are cautiously optimistic that Reddit is finally working with groups like ours to dismantle the systems that enable hateful rhetoric on their platform. We highly encourage all social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor, to follow suit.

Over the past several weeks, over 35,000 people signed an UltraViolet petition urging that Reddit implement an official policy banning racism and hate speech on the platform.

VIEW THE PETITION HERE: https://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/redditbanracism/

Specifically, UltraViolet’s petition encouraged Reddit to meet the demands of more than 800 Reddit communities that signed an open letter:

  • Enact a site-wide policy against racism, slurs, and hate speech targeted at protected groups;
  • Be proactive in banning hate-based communities;
  • Be proactive in banning hateful users;
  • Hire more minorities and women, especially in leadership roles; and
  • Hire more paid community managers.

Reddit chatrooms and comment threads have been directly linked to right wing extremist organizing, including white nationalists and other hate groups that promote violence and harass other users, particularly women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people. 

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