“This is not the last time our policies will change, of course”, Huffman said.
The other major change to come as part of the content policy update is that if a community is deemed to be causing offence, then it will be “quarantined”.
Other Redditors have spoken on the subject of clarity, asking why some racist subreddits were banned but others quarantined or kept active.
Some Reddit users took the opportunity to criticise the bans, claiming that it went against the site’s founding principles of free expression. Isolates would apply to those subreddits “whose substance would be considered to a great degree hostile to the normal redditor”.
In July, Reddit’s new CEO Steve Huffman attempted to “quarantine” offensive subreddits behind email verification gates, where they would also be hidden from search engines and not be included in ad deals. However, Reddit has started to remove some of its most controversial subreddits over the last couple of years, with the website posting content guidelines and banning some communities earlier in 2015.
For those who aren’t inexplicably enraged when a subreddit devoted to inciting hatred is removed from the site, this can be seen as a bold step forward in Reddit’s treatment of the site’s more shameful communities, and the introduction of Quarantines will certainly help in making the site welcoming to users who previously found its offensive subreddits off-putting. “
I believe these policies strike the right balance.”
“Coontown” and the other white-supremacist subreddits, which their users refer to collectively as the “chimpire”, have long been beneficiaries of the site’s light-touch approach to moderation.
However, in response to the accusations, Hoffman issued an update to the post saying: “I know some of you are upset because we banned anything today, but the fact of the matter is we spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with a handful of communities, which prevents us from working on things for the other 99.98pc (literally) of Reddit”.