Reddit has banned a major forum dedicated to Donald Trump because of its users's repeated use of hate speech.
R/The_Donald was "highly influential" in stoking Trump's supporters and was one of the most active forums on Reddit with 790,000 subscribers by the time it was banned.
It is also known to Trump, who answered users's questions on the forum as a presidential candidate in 2016.
The ban comes as a result of new rules aimed at addressing hate speech on the platform.
One of these rules is that "communities and users that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned".
Users of r/The_Donald were notorious for targeting and harassing other Reddit users who voiced disagreement with their right-wing views.
In an official statement, a Reddit spokesperson said:
All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity.
The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average (Rule 1), antagonized us and other communities (Rules 2 and 8), and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations.
Until now, we’ve worked in good faith to help them preserve the community as a space for its users—through warnings, mod changes, quarantining, and more.
Reddit banned around 2,000 forums aside from r/The_Donald, although only around 200 of these had more than ten daily active users.
These included r/TheChapoTrapHouse, dedicated to the popular left-leaning podcast and r/gendercritical which was criticised for transphobia.
R/The_Donald has been sanctioned by Reddit before. In 2019 the forum was quarantined for "repeated rule breaking behaviour" including inciting violence.
The ban comes as the website attempts to make positive changes in the light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Reddit's chief executive Steve Huffman told the Verge:
I have to admit that I've struggled with balancing my values as an American, and around free speech and free expression, with my values and the company's values around common human decency.
Political speech continues to be safe. But all communities, including our political communities, have to abide by our policies. And while we will do everything we can to help bring them in line, if they fail in doing so they are not allowed on Reddit.
With a US election approaching in November, it remains to be seen whether a clamp down on hate speech across social media will affect his ardent supporters as they seek to campaign for Trump's re-election online.