Reddit CEO Proud to Have Killed Off Popular Pro-Trump Section “The Donald”
Over the years, social media site Reddit has allowed sections of the site – “subreddits” – glorifying and promoting “jailbait” photos (underage girls), “creepshot” photos (pictures taken of women without their knowledge), and some of the foulest racism this side of Stormfront. Eventually, when these subreddits began attracting the wrong kind of attention from the mainstream media – and only then – the administrators would reluctantly take them down.
But there was one controversial subreddit that remained, much to the consternation of the site’s many liberal, woke users: The Donald.
Some Reddit historians insist that one of the most popular pro-Trump social media sites on the internet began as a trolling joke – an ironic prank started by mischievous members of 4Chan. Others insist that it was serious from the beginning.
Whatever the truth may be, The Donald was an overnight sensation, and it became a haven for unabashed support of Donald Trump when most conservative websites were still treating his presidential candidacy as a blemish on the 2016 primaries. And on a site that is typically not all that favorable to conservative positions, it morphed into a safe haven for Trump supporting meme-makers to cheer the New York real estate mogul on to the ultimate victory.
Over the last four years, Reddit’s powers-that-be have done their best to take a hands-off approach to the subreddit, ignoring the hordes of /r/politics liberals and Bernie Sanders maniacs calling the sub a safe space for hate speech and demanding that it be removed from the site. Eventually, though, the administrators started caving to the pressure.
The first step was to “quarantine” The Donald, which meant you had to be subscribed to the subreddit to read the posts. But when that proved not to satisfy the woke mob, they went further, erasing the site of half its moderators and sending the rest of the userbase fleeing for safer ground. The Donald is still technically a viable subreddit on the site, but it is little more than a ghost of its former self. The vibrant life is gone, replaced by stock posts and middling activity. The real action is offsite at a new site: thedonald.win.
And Reddit CEO Steve Huffman is just fine with that.
“I wish we had quarantined them sooner because we would have made progress sooner,” Huffman said in a comment this week. “I admit we spent too much time with moderation teams that claimed to be doing their best while large numbers of users upvoted content that clearly broke our policies, which made it clear the issues were not of moderation, but of the community culture.
“Once we realized the quarantine was not working, we increased our pressure on the mod team to bring the community in line with our policies, open to both them either succeeding in this or failing and being banned. Instead, a number of the community members decided to go off-platform and create their own website, leaving r/the_donald in its current, near-dead state. And that’s fine with me,” he concluded.
It’s “fine” that one of Reddit’s most popular communities has died due to restrictions on free speech? This from the CEO who used to hold free speech as one of his highest concerns? All because the site has “made progress” in the meantime? What kind of progress? The kind that narrows the window of acceptable ideological thought? Yeah, you did manage to do that, Steve, but we’re not sure we’d call it progress.
Thus, Reddit follows slowly but surely into the quagmire of social justice policing we see at Twitter, Google, YouTube, and, to a lesser extent, Facebook. The tyrants of Silicon Valley won’t be happy until they’ve shoved conservative, pro-American thought so far down the rabbit hole that it has no choice but to re-emerge in a more extreme, more radical form than they ever imagined. Ideas may deform and grow ugly under the oppressive hand of censorship, but they do not die.
Not by a long shot.