Another social media platform censors alt-right

Reddit has banned its largest alt-right group, continuing a trend of social media platforms censoring the nationalist movement with ties to white supremacy.

The website says the /r/altright and /r/AlternativeRight communities were blocked Wednesday afternoon due to doxxing, which is when someone publishes personal information on the Internet, a violation of Reddit’s content policy. It was not immediately clear what specifically triggered the bans.

According to the International Business Times, the /r/altright “subreddit” was a fast-growing community, and by the end of January, it had 16,007 subscribers, an increase from 11,659 at the end of 2016.

Last year, another social media platform, Twitter, made headlines when it stepped up deletions of accounts that violated its policies against abuse, banning several accounts of high-profile alt-right figures, including Breitbart News’ Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer — the man who was sucker-punched in Washington last month.

Yiannopoulos was banned last summer after encouraging his followers to take part in online abuse against “Ghostbusters” and “Saturday Night Live” actress Leslie Jones.

Initially, Spencer was thought to be banned in November due hateful speech, but it was later revealed that he was booted because he had violated a policy against maintaining “multiple, overlapping accounts,” according to Forbes. A month later, he was reinstated on Twitter.

A former moderator of the /r/The_Donald, Reddit’s largest pro-Trump community, who spoke on his on behalf with the Washington Examiner, however, said most people who consider themselves “to be ‘Alt Right’ would not agree with the views of folks like Richard Spencer or /r/AltRight.”

“These more mainstream ‘Alt Right’ people are more likely to be fans of people like Milo Yiannopolous and Paul Joseph Watson, people who are very conservative and in favor of civic nationalism but who are not racists or ethnic nationalists,” said the former moderator, who also argued President Trump would not want anything to do with this type of people.

“I believe that most people who identify as ‘Alt Right’ have probably never heard of Richard Spencer, who is widely credited with starting the movement,” the former moderator added.

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Reddit in particular has struggled with abusive language and censorship issues on its political message boards.

In November, the CEO of Reddit Steve Huffman was caught and later apologized for stealth-editing user comments in the /r/The_Donald after users sent a torrent of insults his way after Reddit banned the “Pizzagate” discussion board, where a conspiracy theory was being floated about Hillary Clinton running a pedophilia ring.

Pizzagate went down due to a violation of “content policy” after users began posting the personal information of real people who were tied into the theory — like a pizza restaurant owner in Washington — after which they received death threats.

Correction: This article has been edited to reflect that the former /r/The_Donald moderator was speaking on his own behalf.

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