(USA Today) SAN FRANCISCO — The famous "anything goes" online discussion forum Reddit does have limits — and it's now drawn them at Nazis and white supremacists who espouse violence.
The site posted an update Wednesday saying it would “take action against any content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.”
The San Francisco-based company that runs the site has shut down at least ten discussion topics, called sub-reddits, including ones titled NationalSocialism, Nazi, EuropeanNationalism and DylannRoofInnocent.
Dylann Roof, a self-avowed white supremacist, murdered nine people at a Bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015.
Most of the groups had between 7,000 and 25 members.
In a posting about Community Restrictions, the site said it understands that "there are sometimes reasons to post violent content (e.g., educational, newsworthy, artistic, satire, documentary, etc.) so if you’re going to post something violent in nature that does not violate these terms, ensure you provide context to the viewer so the reason for posting is clear."
Reddit will also cut content that “glorifies or encourages the abuse of animals,” though that ban does not apply to discussions of hunting.
Reddit is sometimes called “the front page of the Internet” in part due to its voting system, which allows registered users to vote on topics which they consider most interesting. Submissions that get the most votes appear on the site’s front page or the top of their category.
Until 2015 Reddit did not ban any material as long as it was legal. Beginning then, it cut some specifically hate-oriented discussion groups.
At the time, CEO Steve Huffman banned certain discussion groups he termed "particularly awful."
Others that contained material that might be considered extremely offensive to the average user were made available only to those users who explicitly opted into them, a policy Reddit called "Quarantining."