Reddit Finally Bans Racist r/CoonTown And Other Hateful Communities, Updates User Policies

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman introduced an updated set of user policies Wednesday, which included details for how Reddit would be “quarantining” certain communities and banning ones which were particular awful, including the infamous r/CoonTown.

Quarantined communities will be hidden from the general Reddit community and only visible to members of those specific subreddits that opt-in. The tactic will be used on communities that are generally offensive and “would be considered extremely offensive to the average redditor,” according to Huffman.

The community r/CoonTown and related subreddits were specifically banned today. In the statement Huffman said the bans were exercised on communities that “exist solely to annoy other redditors.”

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In a post on r/Announcements, Huffman specified the new policies further:

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.

update: I know some of you are upset because we banned anything today, but the fact of the matter is we spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with a handful of communities, which prevents us from working on things for the other 99.98% (literally) of Reddit.

It’s been a pretty interesting couple of months for Reddit. With a CEO change, tons of backlash from its communities and, on top of that, record traffic, Reddit has seemed to struggle to identify the direction that it wants to head.

Today’s announcement seems to suggest that Huffman is ready to make some changes; we’ll just have to see how they’re implemented and, more unpredictably, how Reddit users respond.