In a sweeping change of policy over allegedly violent content, public forum site Reddit has recently removed several forum pages, including some with Nazi propaganda and a page raging against white people.
The policy change outline, which can be found on the site, states: "Do not post content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people; likewise, do not post content that glorifies or encourages the abuse of animals.
The outline continues saying, "We understand 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."
Some of the forum pages that have recently been taken down include r/NationalSocialism, r/Nazi, r/whitesarecriminals and r/far_right, according to BBC.
The site made a similar move in 2015 that resulted in the removal of threads like r/fatpeoplehate, but has often allowed content that would've been banned from more mainstream social media sites like Twitter.
According to Professor Eric Heinze of the Queen Mary University of London, these moves suggest that the site is concerned about their PR. Heinze explains that when sites like Reddit grow, "they start caring about social norms, they care about PR, regardless of whether they had a more maverick origin," while speaking to the BBC.
This is quite like Youtube's transition to the mainstream. In the platform's beginnings, YouTube paid little attention to censorship, back when the site was less popular and "abusive content" wasn't the mainstream issue that it is today. After gaining immense popularity and being acquired by Google, however, the spotlight was turned on, and the public was watching. Today's Youtube is much more concerned with the public eye and has made sweeping changes to its own content, removing or hiding several channels and videos.
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(Cover photo: Eva Blue)