Reddit Is Moving Away from Free Speech

By at350 | General at350 | 30 Jun 2020

A platform of censorship.

I've been on Reddit for over three years now, and I love a lot about it. The dedicated communities to talk to people with similar interests as you, the voting system, and the amount of content. However, Reddit seems to be making a move away from free speech and towards censorship, while creating odd rules that favor not all people, but only certain groups.

People in the Majority

What does this mean? Well, look at what Reddit says about their hate policy.

While the rule on hate protects such groups, it does not protect all groups or all forms of identity. For example, the rule does not protect groups of people who are in the majority or who promote such attacks of hate. 

What this suggests is that Reddit is not deciding to protect all users, but only those they consider being minorities! Well, what do they consider as a minority? Why is Reddit even allowing hate on people in the "majority"? While I don't want to get too political on the matter, Reddit is a very anti-white (or "anti-majorities" in general) platform. This makes sense considering their leadership, especially after one board member resigned and called for a black board member to take his place. The hate policy that covers only what they choose means Reddit is becoming a place of censorship for their own interests.

Subreddit Banning

If you look at the subreddits that were banned because of Reddit's policy changes, many subreddits were leaning towards the right end of the political spectrum. r/rightwinglgbt, r/the_donald, r/debatealtright, and more. That's not to say there were leftist subreddits banned too, such as r/chapotraphouse. A lot of subreddits banned were because of an updated hate policy, but what I think is happening is that Reddit is oppressing political communities and banning any offensive language. Hate speech is one thing, but banning entire communities does not prevent "hate speech." In fact, it's called censorship. It's also important to note that even if banning communities to prevent hate speech was for the good, why is Reddit not protecting "majority" groups against hate speech?

Other subreddits such as r/Sino that post pro-China content that some can see as "offensive" have not been banned. This could be thanks to Reddit's funding from Tencent, a Chinese corporation. Reddit is also banning subreddits that sometimes have nothing to do with hate (r/bigchungus as an example), shaping the content we see. Even dark humor isn't allowed, as those types of subreddits have been banned too.

You Can't Have Your Own Opinion

As Reddit cracks down on subreddits that defy their policies, subreddits are abusing power. Take into consideration this Reddit user who was banned from a subreddit for disagreeing! Silencing users that want to make a statement is exactly censorship. Despite the line between hate and not hate being gray, simply disagreeing is enough to get you silenced on Reddit now.

At the end of the day, Reddit's policies shouldn't protect only some users from "hate," oppress political groups that want to share opinions and allow the banning of users trying to share a statement. After all, isn't free speech what Reddit is for? I get that this post will be controversial, and some people might think Reddit's steps towards banning hate is a step in the right direction. But, looking back at everything I've talked about, I believe that Reddit's downfall will come if they continue towards being the oppressive platform they're slowly becoming, affecting our views the same way media does to us.

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General at350
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