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Do you support reddit banning certain subreddits?


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Jun 7, 2018
Categories: Society, Technology

Do you support reddit banning certain subreddits?

Popular discussion website has often presented itself as a place for unregulated free speech. Reddit's former CEO, Yishan Wong, even said "We stand for free speech. We are not going to ban distasteful subreddits." On reddit, one can easily find racial supremacy advocates, gore, porn, and other content that is often regulated on other websites. However, beginning in 2011, reddit has elected to ban certain subreddits, beginning after a CNN segment was devoted to criticizing the subreddit "jailbait," which featured pictures of underaged girls. 

Other reddit banned subreddits include one dedicated to beating women and one called "fat people hate," among others. More recently, in 2017, reddit made the (somewhat) controversial decision to ban the subreddit "incels," meaning involuntary celibates, which often espoused violently misogynistic views, including glorifying murderer Elliot Rodger and condoning rape. It is worth noting here that some of these subreddits were officially banned for breaking reddit rules unrelated to content, such as doxxing rules, but were still most likely banned due to outside pressure regarding their content (particularly as many were banned only after a media reaction). 

Obviously none of this is particularly controversial in terms of support for the content of any of these subreddits, which I personally fully condemn, and expect that most people do. However, the bans have raised the larger question of how reddit has positioned itself as a haven for "free speech," and whether that is still accurate or whether that was ever a good idea in the first place. Reddit is not doing anything illegal either, as it is completely within the company's rights to ban communities within their website, but the it has still been criticized by those who, whether they support banned content or not, argue that its original ideals of unregulated speech should be upheld.

I'm not really making a statement either way here, but I'd like to hear other thoughts. Do any of you use reddit? What is your opinion on the bans? 


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