One thing is certain: Everyone on the internet has an opinion. This is usually a good thing, allowing us to explore disparate viewpoints, learn more about the world, and ultimately become better human beings.
Of course, sometimes we don’t agree, and we get into sometimes insane arguments that go nowhere on Facebook, Twitter, and, in this case, popular “news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website” Reddit. Reddit is the 7th-most popular website in the United States in terms of website traffic.
As of last night, Reddit shut down r/altright, a community in which members discussed and voiced their opinions as they related to the alt-right conservative movement. Reddit cited a movement by the sub-community to “doxx” people as the main reason they shut it down. Doxxing is an effort to uncover personal information about people as a way to blackmail or retaliate.
This isn’t the first time Reddit has shut down controversial or problematic subreddits, and it likely will not be the last. Critics of the move are calling the move censorship, while others point out that Reddit, as a privately-owned enterprise, has no obligation to allow any communities they don’t agree with to continue to operate.
Gizmodo reached out to one of the moderators of the now-defunct alt-right community, who simply said, “I’m honestly not sure of the details yet. We anticipated Reddit would terminate the sub soon because they typically don’t allow these types of right-wing groups to get much bigger than 20,000 subscribers, and r/altright was rapidly nearing that point.”
Critics of the alt-right movement say that it’s laced with racism, misogyny, white supremacism and neo-Nazism. On the whole, the movement is loosely organized, and while they’re finding places like Reddit to come together and organize, detractors are quick to shut them down.