Reddit axes several forums in new effort to ban violent content

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Updated Oct. 26, 2017 at 3:18 PM
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Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Social media company Reddit has removed several forums from its website after updating its terms of use to ban content that promotes or glorifies violence.

In a post Wednesday, the company said its previous policy banning "inciting violence" was too vague and it wanted to be more "comprehensive" about what it finds unacceptable.

"Going forward, we will take action against any content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people; likewise, we will also take action against content that glorifies or encourages the abuse of animals," the Reddit post said.

After announcing the change, Reddit removed multiple forums geared toward racial topics, including r/NationalSocialism, r/Nazi, r/whitesarecriminals and r/far_right. Other, non-race-related forums like r/PicsOfDeadKids and r/SexWithDogs also were purged.

Eric Heinze, a legal expert at Queen Mary University of London, told BBC News the move may be an effort to make Reddit more of a mainstream business.

As businesses grow, "they start caring about social norms, they care about PR, regardless of whether they had a more maverick origin," he said.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said the organization applauds Reddit's new policy.

"We need only to look at Charlottesville to see an example where extremist groups use social media to enflame situations and cause harm," he said.

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