Websites

Reddit bans 'alt-right' discussion forums

File photo - Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California April 15, 2014. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

File photo - Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California April 15, 2014. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

White nationalist political views are harder to find on Reddit this week, after the site that bills itself as the "front page of the Internet" banned two subforums for violating terms of service.

The banned forums, called subreddits, are r/altright and r/alternativeright. They went dark on Wednesday morning and now redirect to a landing page that reads: "This subreddit was banned due to a violation of our content policy, specifically, the proliferation of personal and confidential information."

That explanation likely refers to the practice of "doxing:" publishing details like home phone numbers and addresses of people whom the online community wants to shame. The doxing episode that may have precipitated the ban was the release of personal information identifying the protester who punched a white supremacist during a demonstration at President Trump's inauguration last month, The Verge reports.

Reddit did not offer more details on the specific reasons that led it to ban the subreddits, but a spokesperson explained in a statement that "we are very clear in our site terms of service that posting of personal information can get users banned from Reddit.

"We have banned r/altright due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy," it concluded.

The site has struggled in recent months to deal with what it refers to as its "most toxic" members. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman generated controversy in November when he admitted to secretly editing posts that criticized him for banning a subreddit devoted to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Huffman apologized, and also said that Reddit would step up efforts to ban individual users who violated its policies.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.