In a move to try and curtail an environment of bullying and harassment, Reddit did away with the “Fat People Hate” subreddit and Redditors were furious.
Reddit announced Wednesday they would be banning several subreddits, small posting areas devoted to specific topics, which were viewed as not in line with the site’s new anti-harassment policy. The decision comes from interim CEO Ellen Pao and has been met with a considerable amount of resistance from the website’s posters.
Great job reddit, you banned the subreddit about fat people but not the ones with vicious racism and promoting extreme violence.— ThioJoe (@thiojoe) June 10, 2015
also, Reddit is a site run by a private company, and even if the government ran it, no one should have to publish "fat people hate"— Christos Reid (@failnaut) June 10, 2015
“Our goal is to enable as many people as possible to have authentic conversations and share ideas and content on an open platform,” said the announcement that was posted to the site. “We will ban subreddits that allow their communities to use the subreddit as a platform to harass individuals when moderators don’t take action. We’re banning behavior, not ideas.”
These Redditors need to stop hating fat people and get out more (I love Reddit but today has been ridiculous)— Rebecca Leigh (@rebeccasmith141) June 11, 2015
Reddit is no stranger to banning specific things, but this recent set of bans has the community up in arms. The largest of the subreddits to be banned was “fat people hate” that had more than 5,000 subscribers. People would post pictures of overweight individuals and then mock them. The other banned communities spanned in theme from racism to transphobia.
The users that were the angriest started posting derogatory slogans and mocking pictures of Ellen Pao. A petition to have Pao fired was also started after the subreddits were deleted and some attempts to re-establish the removed content have been made.
Some posters have migrated posts from "fat people hate" to the main page, causing confusion for casual users. Another major criticism has been that there are still much more hateful subreddits left that reddit has not addressed. Hopefully those will also be taken care of.