Reddit's New Racist-Banning Content Policy Is a Step in the Right Direction

It's about time.

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Reddit CEO Steve Huffman introduced an update to the site’s content policy today quarantining some of the most racist subreddit communities found there.

These quarantined communities will be hidden from the public and no longer open for anyone to just sink into. The scum of the earth that want to join up will have to opt-in, hopefully giving them a moment to realize exactly what they’re doing before opting out

Here’s Huffman’s full statement:

Today we are releasing an update to our Content Policy. Our goal was to consolidate the various rules and policies that have accumulated over the years into a single set of guidelines we can point to.
Thank you to all of you who provided feedback throughout this process. Your thoughts and opinions were invaluable. This is not the last time our policies will change, of course. They will continue to evolve along with Reddit itself.
Our policies are not changing dramatically from what we have had in the past. One new concept is Quarantining a community, which entails applying a set of restrictions to a community so its content will only be viewable to those who explicitly opt in. We will Quarantine communities whose content would be considered extremely offensive to the average redditor.
Today, in addition to applying Quarantines, we are banning a handful of communities that exist solely to annoy other redditors, prevent us from improving Reddit, and generally make Reddit worse for everyone else. Our most important policy over the last ten years has been to allow just about anything so long as it does not prevent others from enjoying Reddit for what it is: the best place online to have truly authentic conversations.
I believe these policies strike the right balance.

He later added the names of the specific subreddits that will be quarantined:

Today we removed communities dedicated to animated CP and a handful of other communities that violate the spirit of the policy by making Reddit worse for everyone else: /r/CoonTown,/r/WatchNiggersDie, /r/bestofcoontown, /r/koontown, /r/CoonTownMods, /r/CoonTownMeta.

The sudden news begs the question: Why did it take this long? Huffman previously defended the right for the site to keep them open, saying “I don’t think you can win an argument by simply silencing the opposition.” Don’t get us wrong, it’s a great step in the right direction in cleaning up some of the sad, disgusting depths of Reddit, but simply letting a page called “/r/WatchNiggersDie” unchanged for as long as it did is kind of inexcusable.

It makes one wonder whether it’s also a fast PR movie to get people talking about Reddit in a positive light following the recent shakeup that saw former CEO Ellen Pao step down and AMA moderator Victoria Taylor get fired under mysterious circumstances. Blatant PR move or not, at least they’re cleaning up some of the seedier parts of their giant internet behemoth.