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After threats, Reddit finally quarantines Trump forum The_Donald


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r/The_Donald still exists at Reddit, but it's been pushed into the site's "quarantined" basement after a series of threats against police were posted there.





“Recent behaviors including threats against the police and public figures is content that is prohibited by our violence policy,” a Reddit spokesperson said in a statement. “As a result, we have actioned individual users and quarantined the subreddit."


The new quarantine was brought on by anti-police threats posted on The_Donald. Some users had apparently encouraged violence against law enforcement, angry that officials in Oregon were trying to bring back GOP state senators who fled the state to avoid voting on a climate-change bill. In a note to The_Donald moderators, Reddit administrators said they had “observed this behavior in the form of encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon.”


Trump himself answered questions there in an AMA, apparently, "despite" its reptuation for abuse, bigotry and general grossness. At the time they were zipped into the plastic sheeting, the top item among the_donaldites was a rant about women's soccer.



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Reddit Quarantined r/The_Donald for ‘Threats of Violence’





Reddit placed a quarantine on the pro-Donald Trump subreddit for “threats of violence against police and public officials.” Users must now go through a warning portal before accessing the subreddit.


Reddit placed a quarantine on the massively popular pro-Donald Trump subreddit r/The_Donald for “threats of violence against police and public officials,” according to a warning portal on the subreddit. People visiting the subreddit are now warned about the quarantine, and need to click “continue” in order to access the subreddit.


“It is restricted due to significant issues with reporting and addressing violations of the Reddit Content Policy,” the page says. “Most recently the violations have included threats of violence against police and public officials. As a visitor or member, you can help moderators maintain the community by reporting and downvoting rule-breaking content.”


According to Reddit Help, Reddit quarantines add warning portals to subreddits, cut off revenue opportunities, remove subreddits from Reddit-curated feeds like r/Popular, remove subreddits from recommendations and search, and remove custom CSS styling. When a user clicks "Continue," the quarantine notice is displayed again at the top of the subreddit, and in the Community Details bar to the right of the screen.


The subreddit, which began as a community for Donald Trump supporters, quickly became notorious for being a space that hosted hate speech and encouraged harassment of other Reddit users.


User shadowman3001, one of the subreddit’s moderators, pinned a post to the top of the subreddit which claims that the quarantine was placed after people encouraged violence toward police officers and public officials in Oregon.


“The reason for the quarantine is that over the last few months we have observed repeated rule-breaking behavior in your community and an over-reliance on Reddit admins to manage users and remove posts that violate our content policy, including content that encourages or incites violence,” the post reads.


The post says that going forward, moderators will need to “unambiguously communicate” that violent content isn’t allowed, and that reporting violent posts is necessary.


“Following these changes, we will consider an appeal to lift the quarantine, in line with the process outlined here,” the post says.


A tweet from r/The_Donald’s Twitter account shows a list of posts that have allegedly been removed by Reddit in the past 27 days.



Several of these posts referenced planned attacks by several armed militia groups, which prompted Oregon’s state capital building to shut down last week. According to Business Insider, the militia groups wanted to protect Republicans who engaged in a walkout and didn’t show up to a vote on a carbon cap-and-trade climate change bill. r/The_Donald still has at least one public post which is flooded with hate speech about a Democratic public official in Oregon who supported the climate change bill.


According to Reddit’s Content Policy, the platform “tolerate the harassment of people on our site, nor do we tolerate communities dedicated to fostering harassing behavior.” However, the platform is notoriously slow to enforce these rules.


The rules for r/The_Donald claim to forbid threatening government officials. “All threats of violence, including assassination threats towards the President, his cabinet members and other officials should be reported immediately to the FBI, please include a screenshot, and an “Archived” link. We recommend Archive.is,” the subreddit rules read.


Reddit also quarantined r/NoMorals last year for reportedly posting pictures of dead children and injured or dead animals. The subreddit was later banned.


r/The_Donald has a long and toxic history rife with infighting, racism, misogyny, bigotry, and internal drama with Reddit. In the lead-up to the 2016 election, it was one of the most popular spots for supporters of Donald Trump to post memes, some of which were ultimately picked up and reshared by Trump himself.


Reddit did not immediately respond to Motherboard’s request for comment, but we’ll update the article if we hear back.



Edited by steven36
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