Reddit r/The_Donald Controversy: Social Media Is Not An Open Forum For Hate Speech

snoo trump

On Monday morning, subreddit “the_donald” admins declared they aren’t going anywhere. The subreddit has been the cause of some major controversy recently, but admin IFIFIFOKIEDOKE said in the post: “we will stay here and shitpost our hearts out because we have every single right that every leftist crybully has. We aren’t going anywhere until they MAKE us go somewhere. Our team has always stood up for this community and will continue to stand up for this community.”

What Exactly Is Reddit “The_Donald”?

“The_donald” is a place on the internet where supporters of Donald Trump go and spew “memes” at each other about Trump being a “centipede” and how marginalized users feel on “left leaning” sites like reddit. If you don’t understand what internet terms like “SJW” and “Alphapede ” mean, you might even confuse it for just another quirky part of the web. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Last Wednesday, reddit CEO Steve Huffman was caught changing posts on the subreddit. After reddit admins banned the “Pizzagate” subreddit, which was a witch hunt started by users on “the_donald” targeted at a pizzeria in Washington D.C. Users claimed the restaurant was actually an undercover sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

There is literally zero evidence to corroborate the claim that this pizzeria is doing anything, but it doesn't seem to stop users from crying about the “MSM” (or “mainstream media,” for the uninitiated) and complaining about how corrupt they feel the system is. On the front page of “the_donald,” there’s a little post titled: “ PizzaGate holds more credibility than Russia interfering w/our election & yet the MSM dismisses it. Does the MSM support rape culture and child abuse?”  Many “the_donald” users feel the "MSM" is corrupt and not giving them their fair share. After the ban, “the_donald” users went ballistic.

Huffman’s reddit handle is u/spez, and users on the “the_donald” subreddit have been spamming “fuck u/spez” and other inflammatory, derogatory and just plain messed up hate speech targeted at reddit’s CEO. In the midst of all this, Huffman changed a few posts, changing the subreddit admin’s names to “u/spez” without the user’s consent. This pissed off “the_donald” users even more, and now there’s a borderline mutiny happening on the site.

What Happened To Reddit?

Reddit has become a different place this year. The site with a simple premise, upvote content you feel is good and downvote the bad, has evolved into something a lot more... orange. Posts that garner the most upvotes end up on r/all and can be anything from shower thoughts to cute pictures of animals or interesting facts. Those days are long past, with memes from “the_donald” dominating the front page. Memes like “How SJW’s Think” are pushed to the top of the pile with thousands of upvotes.

Though “the_donald” admins do not publicly condone harassment, it’s rampant on the subreddit. Just take a look at any of the posts and you’ll see some disgusting behavior. Let’s take a look at another post on the front page of “the_donald” titled “ Liberal Freak Out Alert: Trump to Meet With Sheriff David Clarke for Possible Homeland Security Gig.” Just scroll down the page and you can see what I mean.

Reddit doesn't need to keep “the_donald” around. Users have broken nearly every rule under the sun, sending pictures of dead animals and death threats to Huffman, spreading false rumors about pedophilia rings and just being overall terrible people. If the reddit team wants anyone to think they are still in control, they are going to have to get rid of the subreddit.

Unfortunately, that opens up an even bigger can of worms. Subreddits like “jailbait” and “the fappening” have been banned before, but only after breaking under-age porn and privacy laws. Nobody on “the_donald” has posted screengrabs of underage girls or celebrities in their birthday suits, so it’s incredibly hard to justify banning them. You can’t just delete a group of obnoxious people on principle alone.

I would love reddit to go back to the land of cute animals and “Today I Fucked Ups,” but I don’t think that’s possible. For better or worse, “the_donald” is our president and he’s here to stay.

Join the Discussion
Top Stories