SINGAPORE - Popular website Reddit, which calls itself "The front page of the internet", has started to police its community of conversation threads in an unprecedented move.
Five 'subreddits', or conversation threads, namely r/fatpeoplehate, r/hamplanethatred, r/transf**s, r/neof** (1239) and r/shitn*****ssay , were removed for their harassement of individuals, Reddit announced Thursday (June 11).
As the subreddit names suggest, the five subreddits were discriminatory towards fat people and black people.
"When we are using the word "harass", we're not talking about "being annoying" or vote manipulation or anything. We're talking about men and women whose lives are being affected and worry for their safety every day, because people from a certain community on Reddit have decided to actually threaten them, online and off, every day," Reddit said in a statement.
"When you've had to talk to as many victims of it as we have, you'd understand that a brigade from one subreddit to another is miles away from the harassment we don't want being generated on our site."
Immediately, there was a backlash on Reddit, which has been famous for its community of diverse views, albeit extreme at times. Most of the vitriol was directed at Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao.
Providing a clue that this latest policing action may not be its last, Reddit said: "While we do not always agree with the content and views expressed on the site, we do protect the right of people to express their views and encourage actual conversations according to the rules of Reddit."
Within Singapore, the Reddit community has been growing steadily, with over 25,000 subscribers, or 'Reddiporeans' to the subreddit /r/singapore as of today (June 12).