President Donald Trump generally isn’t too fond of social media –even though he uses it more than any president we’ve had — often accusing platforms of harboring biases against conservatives. However, there’s one site that Trump seems to like, Reddit.
This may be due to the subreddit, r/The_Donald, which has not only been referenced by Trump himself but by his team as well. Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, even revealed that he would visit it daily back in 2016. Trump also hosted an open interview on the forum that same year.
However, the subreddit was placed under quarantine on Wednesday, due to repeated “misbehavior,” which included inciting violence. The decision was made only two days after Media Matters for America reported that r/The_Donald forum members had issued calls for violence. This came after Oregon’s governor told law enforcement to bring back Republican state senators who fled the state so a climate change bill wouldn’t pass.
It’s important to note that people are still able to access the forum, but it’s hidden behind a warning wall that states:
“This community is quarantined. It is restricted due to significant issues with reporting and addressing violations of the Reddit Content Policy. Most recently the violations have included threats of violence against police and public officials.”
Generally, Reddit is known as a free-for-all site, so it may be surprising to see a forum quarantined. This isn’t the first time Reddit has had issues with r/The_Donald.
In 2016, CEO Steve Huffman said that the site would hide some posts from the subreddit so none could make it to the front page. Later, Huffman said it was a “small part of a large problem we face in this country — that a large part of the population feels unheard, and the last thing we’re going to do is take their voice away.”
Reddit’s had issues with violence on its site for a long time. It used to have a forum called r/watchpeopledie, where you could literally see videos of people dying. According to TechCrunch, the subreddit shared extremely graphic videos like the 2018 murder of two female tourists in Morocco.
Those videos weren’t enough to get r/watchpeopledie completely banned. That only happened after the Christchurch massacre, where 51 Muslims were killed, and the shooting was live streamed on Facebook.
A common refrain of Trump is that social media platforms are biased against conservatives. Anyone who has watched white supremacy remain largely unchecked on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube knows that is inaccurate. In fact, Twitter won’t use algorithms to tackle white supremacy on the site because it would pick up too many Republican politicians.
Trump’s claims of a bias that don’t exist have allowed white supremacy to fester on social media platforms that are both ill-equipped and too afraid to deal with it. While Reddit seems to be taking a stance against r/The_Donald — don’t expect much more to happen, especially while Trump is still in office.