Reddit, the ever popular online forum is tightening the noose on abusive behavior, as it announced on Thursday that it’ll be updating its policies concerning harassment against users. According to the company, the move would promote free expression on Reddit without fear of retribution from local minority, reports NYT.
“We’ve heard a lot of complaints and found that even our existing users were unhappy with the content on the site,” said Ellen Pao, chief executive of Reddit, noting a study the company conducted this year with more than 15,000 users, or so-called redditors. “We don’t think this behavior represents what Reddit is.”
With the new update to its policy, from now on, users who feel threatened or experience harassment in any way on Reddit, can email the company’s moderators who will have at their disposal, the authority to remove content and ban offending users from its website. The new policy update cleared defines harassment as ‘“continued actions” that makes it conclusive enough that “Reddit is not a safe platform to express their ideas”.
Some communities on the forum have become breeding grounds for hate and abuse, which Reddit says is keeping other users at bay from voicing their opinions on the site. It further says that this is largely the reason Reddit’s current user base is not expanding beyond its 200 million regular visitors. Reddit also says that the primary reason Reddit users do not recommend the site to others is because they do not want their friends exposed to hate and offensive content.
Reddit now joins the growing list of online social networks aiming at cracking down on violence to safeguard freedom of online speech. Twitter announced last month a new policy aimed at prohibiting the use of social media to incite hatred and violence, eventually to put an end to abuse and harassment on the service.
Meanwhile, Facebook also announced last month that it won’t allow any instances to promote terrorism and hate speech on the social network with the update of its “community standards.”