Once known as a bastion of free speech online, Reddit became openly hostile to conservative views in recent years, especially pro-Trump views. A series of company actions drove many pro-Trump voices off the social discussion and ranking site that bills itself as the “front page of the internet.” And that was even before Reddit officially banned r/The_Donald subreddit in June 2020.
The company claimed it banned the community (once as big as 800,000 users) for violating harassment, hate speech and content manipulation policies. It purged 7,000 subreddits for hate speech in 2020. Critics argued this was targeted censorship because left-wing harassment, threats, doxxing and hate speech happen in many unbanned subreddits. In May 2020, Republican lawmakers threatened to take action over Reddit’s use of a “progressive bludgeon.”
As the ninth most popular U.S. social media website, Reddit boasted 430 million active monthly users in October 2021. Although initially supporting free speech, Reddit has turned to cracking down and suppressing it, including by banning climate skepticism from the science subreddit.