Reddit shut down one of its leading alt-right pages on Wednesday. The subreddit, r/altright, was banned from the site for “a violation of our content policy, specifically, the proliferation of personal and confidential information,” according to a message left in the place of the subreddit’s domain.
“We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting of personal information can get users banned from Reddit and we ask our communities not to post content that harasses or invites harassment,” Reddit said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “We have banned r/altright due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy. There is no single solution to these issues and we are actively engaging with the Reddit community to improve everyone’s experience.”
Reddit did not indicate whether this shutdown is an isolated move or if it is part of a larger planned crackdown on subreddits that promote hate speech and racism.
r/altright made headlines back in November when it was featured on Reddit’s Subreddit of the Day page just five days after Trump’s victory in the election. On that page, r/altright and the movement it represents were described as “a community dedicated to an alternative form of right wing ideology” that “takes pride in fairly analyzing all aspects of modern society.”
But in a post addressed to newcomers who learned of the sub from Trump’s subreddit, r/The_Donald, a r/altright moderator described its community as “”full of white nationalists, racial realists, and fascists. That is what we are and we really do not give a s**t about tax cuts or other policy issues.” On the sub’s posting rules, moderators strongly insisted that newcomers read the anti-Semitic book “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem” before posting about Jews on the site. As of Jan. 15, the sub had over 13,000 subscribers.
The alt-right movement has risen in prominence alongside Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency, with Hillary Clinton famously denouncing them in a speech during the 2016 campaign. The label was coined by white supremacist Richard B. Spencer and has been adopted by like-minded individuals as a rebranding of their ideology.
Spencer was seen in a viral video in November giving a speech to fellow alt-right members who responded by giving Nazi salutes and yelling “Sieg Heil!” and “Hail Trump!” Spencer went viral again on the day of Trump’s inauguration, when he was punched during an interview.
Following the ban, r/altright subscribers have migrated to Voat, a Reddit alternative that its creator, Atif Colo, described to MarketWatch as a site “where users would not be censored and still say whatever they want.” Alt-right posters disgruntled with Reddit have gathered there on a page called v/Identitarian, which is another euphemism used by white supremacists.