Reddit has taken action against hate speech this week, banning the India-focused r/Chodi discussion forum and quarantining the China-focused r/GenZedong. The social media platform’s crackdown follows a TIME report in January about Reddit’s struggle to control hate speech in some of its non-English subreddits around the world.
The R/Chodi community, which had over 90,000 members and saw hundreds of new posts a day, was “banned for violating Reddit’s rule against promoting hate,” according to a message posted by Reddit administrators. TIME had found dozens of posts a week on the subreddit that denigrated Islam and depicted Muslims as ignorant, violent or incestuous. Moderators for r/India, another India-focused subreddit, told TIME they had alerted Reddit employees of this behavior several times but were ignored.
R/GenZedong, a self-described “Deng-ist” community with over 57,000 members, was quarantined for containing “a high volume of information not supported by credible sources,” the company wrote. (Quarantined communities are stripped of all of their subscribers, generate no revenue, and don’t show up on general Reddit feeds.) R/GenZedong has long been a haven for those who are skeptical of Uighur oppression in China. This week, a post on the subreddit r/AgainstHateSubreddits alleged that r/GenZedong subscribers were now spreading misinformation about the war in Ukraine and downplaying the number of civilian deaths there.
A Reddit spokesperson declined to comment beyond what was posted on the website.
After Reddit’s crackdown on the two subreddits, both groups directed their members elsewhere—including Telegram, another platform that has become an information battleground in the Ukraine-Russia war. One new outpost of R/Chodi is already posting transphobic memes and welcoming its members to “a better free speech experience.” It’s not unusual for controversial subreddits to try migrating toward less-mainstream platforms, such as communities.win, which have fewer regulatory policies.
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