Welcome to the new Reddit – where rape is banned, but racism isn't

New CEO Steve Huffman outlined his approaching to dealing with offensive content in an Ask Me Anything session

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The Independent Tech

The new CEO of Reddit has introduced a new set of rules for what can and can't be said on the site.

In an announcement-turned-AskMeAnything, Steve Huffman said that members of the enormous internet community will still be allowed to say "I don't like this group of people" but will not be allowed to say "I'm going to kill this group of people".

That means violent subreddits like r/rapingwomen will be banned, but racist ones like r/coontown will remain active.

Writing just a day after the controversial comment that he and fellow co-founder Alexis Ohanian didn't create the site "to be a bastion of free speech," Huffman tried to say explain what type of material the site would no longer tolerate.

He said the following types of content are now banned from Reddit:

  • Spam

  • Anything illegal (i.e. things that are actually illegal, such as copyrighted material. Discussing illegal activities, such as drug use, is not illegal)

  • Publication of someone’s private and confidential information

  • Anything that incites harm or violence against an individual or group of people

  • Anything that harasses, bullies, or abuses an individual or group of people

  • Sexually suggestive content featuring minors

Huffman also announced changes to the Not Safe For Work (NSFW) label. Now users must log-in and opt-in to view NSFW content such as pornography.

And Reddit is introducing a new label - kind of like NSFW - for content "that violates a common sense of decency". As with NSFW, these submissions will not show up publicly — only to those who log and opt in.

When pressed about what the site will do about racism, he said: "Harboring unpopular ideologies is not a reason for banning."

But many of the vile rape-and-violence communities, such as r/rapingwomen and r/killingwomen, will be removed "since they are inciting violence." Other communities that would widely be considered offensive "should be separated" via the new NSFW classification system.

He went on to clarify what kind of harassment Reddit would be banning people from doing.

"Filling someone's inbox with PMs saying, 'Kill yourself' is harassment. Calling someone stupid on a public forum is not," he wrote.

It will be the job of the community and the community managers to report any harassment that will then be duly dealt with by mods and admins.

He closed by saying: "No company is perfect at addressing these hard issues.

"Freedom of expression is important to us, but it’s more important to us that we at Reddit be true to our mission."