Twitch temporarily bans Trump, Reddit removes Trump subreddit to align with new hate speech policies
Twitch announced on Monday that it has temporarily banned President Donald Trump, in the latest surprise and high-profile suspension from the streaming service, according to The Verge.
Trump’s account on Twitch was banned for “hateful conduct” that was aired on stream, according to the company, and the company said the offending content has now been removed as part of an overhaul of its hate speech policies. One of the streams in question was a rebroadcast of Trump’s campaign kickoff rally, where he said that Mexico was sending rapists to the United States. Twitch also flagged racist comments at Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa, The Verge reported.
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The suspension comes a week after Twitch pledged it would crack down on harassment within the community following reports of abusive behavior from streamers. Reddit also announced the same day it would be banning one of its biggest communities devoted to the president to align with their new policy on hateful content.
Reddit has opted to ban the community or “subreddit,” called r/The_Donald as well as controversial communities such as r/ChapoTrapHouse and about 2,000 others.The policy update comes three weeks after Black Lives Matter protests led several popular Reddit forums to go dark temporarily in protest of what they called the company’s lax policies around hosting and promoting racist content.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has admitted that balancing his own values around free speech and free expression with the values of the company and common human decency has been a struggle, according to The Verge.
Reddit’s new policy begins with a first rule that requires users to “consider the human.” It reads:
“Remember the human. Reddit is a place for creating community and belonging, not for attacking marginalized or vulnerable groups of people. Everyone has a right to use Reddit free of harassment, bullying, and threats of violence. Communities and people that incite violence or that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned.”
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That formed the basis of a policy framework that bans hate speech. In part, the updated policy reads:
"All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity. The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average (Rule 1), antagonized us and other communities (Rules 2 and 8), and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations. Until now, we’ve worked in good faith to help them preserve the community as a space for its users—through warnings, mod changes, quarantining, and more, according to Reddit's announcements page.
"To be clear, views across the political spectrum are allowed on Reddit—but all communities must work within our policies and do so in good faith, without exception," policy added.
Huffman continued to stress that while political speech is safe, all communities have to abide by the company’s policies.
R/The_Donald has no official connection to the president. Trump’s campaign complained after Snap removed him from promotion in Snapchat’s Discover tab earlier this month, and after Twitter began placing warnings on some of the president’s tweets.