Over at social media site Reddit, the admins are claiming that the recent ban of the Alt Right community there was not motivated by politics, and not sudden, in contrast to what appears to be the case:
We reached out to AltRight several times to attempt to cure the issues that we saw there. In the end, it was clear that they would not be willing to operate that community in compliance with Reddit’s rules, and so we were left with a choice: allow that community to ignore the rules, or admit that we had irreconcilable differences. There really wasn’t much disagreement about the eventual outcome.
In contrast, here is what the /r/AltRight mods said just a few weeks ago:
As one of the moderators at the subreddit, I would say we are pretty vigilant about trying to abide by Redditâ€™s terms of service by removing â€œhateâ€ speech such as slurs or taking down material that is proliferating personal information of people i.e. â€œdoxing.â€ In fact, we were purposely hyper-vigilant by having absurd warnings like NSFW tags on posts and an age restriction warning on the subreddit just to inform readers that they were entering a â€œdangerousâ€ part of the internet.
The only incidence where our subreddit may have violated these terms of service was promoting the WeSearchr bounty that was looking to bring justice to the masked man who assaulted Richard Spencer, President of the National Policy Institute and Editor of Radix Journal and AltRight.com. This would not be the first time someone has been removed from a social media platform for promoting WeSearchr. I should know because I was banned from Twitter for promoting that exact WeSearchr bounty. Twitter informed me I was taking part in â€œtargeted harassmentâ€ and then had my appeal denied. Apparently, trying to identify a criminal is now considered â€œdoxingâ€ but I digress.
Only one of these can be true. Either Reddit is incorrect, or the /r/AltRight guys are. And if Reddit is incorrect and is asserting that incorrect view now, then the political bias of Reddit is beyond question.
Since most of social media seems to be enforcing political correctness at this point in order to create the impression that “everyone agrees” on Leftist values, Reddit would be an anomaly if it did not enforce political censorship, but the Reddit guys seem to want to hold up that free speech banner so they can be cool like Julian Assange, Aaron Schwartz and other anarcho-libertarian hacker guys.
However, that all fades if there was no actual dialogue and no unresolved problems, but a sudden ban on a pretext. That looks less like violation of the rules, and more like a censor waiting to pounce, and eliminating a thriving community as a result. If that is the case, Reddit loses its free speech mantle and will have to admit that it is a safe space for Leftists, which then limits its wider audience and threatens to send it, like Twitter, Starbucks and Target, into a decline as Middle America abandons them.