Not Today Satan! Reddit Bans Groups That Ridicule Gays, Blacks, & the Obese

June 11, 2015  |  

Reddit, the popular online community, is cracking down on several groups — five to be exact — that are devoted to disparaging African Americans, gays, and the rotund, Time reports.

Reddit CEO Ellen Pao and other executives made the announcement about the new efforts to crack down on harassment on Wednesday.

“Today we are removing five subreddits that break our reddit rules based on their harassment of individuals,” the Reddit team said in a statement. “Our goal is to enable as many people as possible to have authentic conversations and share ideas and content on an open platform.”

The banished groups include two that are dedicated to shaming gays while the other three criticized Blacks, gays, and transgender people. “The most popular of the five appears to have been r/fatpeoplehat, which Reddit says had more than 5,000 members,” writes Time.

Reddit’s efforts to curb harassment was met with some backlash from members who accused the website of being too oppressive and dictatorial. Far right news sites attacked Reddit for the censorship.

In response to these criticisms, Reddit’s statement said:

“We want as little involvement as possible in managing these interactions but will be involved when needed to protect privacy and free expression, and to prevent harassment. It is not easy to balance these values, especially as the Internet evolves. We are learning and hopefully improving as we move forward.”

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian backed the site’s efforts to hamper bigotry.

“When we are using the word ‘harass,’ we’re not talking about ‘being annoying’ or vote manipulation or anything,” Ohanian said. “We’re talking about men and women whose lives are being affected and worry for their safety every day, because people from a certain community on Reddit have decided to actually threaten them, online and off, every day.”

Overall, many members backed Reddit’s move to remove the five groups, but pointed out other subreddits that should be removed, too.

This isn’t the first time Reddit shut down a few questionable online forums. Last year, after facing pressure from the public, Reddit removed a group called “the fappening,” which held an archive of hacked celebrity nude photographs.

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