r/CoonTown, Reddit's prolific, racist subreddit that has long skirted by unchecked by the site's management, has finally gotten the axe. A content policy update released by Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman today explains r/CoonTown's long overdue banning:
Our policies are not changing dramatically from what we have had in the past. One new concept is Quarantining a community, which entails applying a set of restrictions to a community so its content will only be viewable to those who explicitly opt in. We will Quarantine communities whose content would be considered extremely offensive to the average redditor.
Today, in addition to applying Quarantines, we are banning a handful of communities that exist solely to annoy other redditors, prevent us from improving Reddit, and generally make Reddit worse for everyone else. Our most important policy over the last ten years has been to allow just about anything so long as it does not prevent others from enjoying Reddit for what it is: the best place online to have truly authentic conversations.
I believe these policies strike the right balance.
Pursuant to the site's new ethos of prohibiting content that "generally make Reddit worse for everyone else," Huffman also announced that a handful of other subreddits in addition to r/CoonTown—including r/WatchNiggersDie, r/bestofcoontown, r/koontown, r/CoonTownMods, r/CoonTownMeta, and forums "dedicated to animated" child pornography—would also be banned.
When Steve Hoffman took over for ousted Reddit CEO Ellen Pao three weeks ago, he implicitly announced that some of the site's controversial subreddits, including the racist r/CoonTown, would remain on the site despite a shift in content policy toward banning "anything that harasses, bullies, or abuses an individual or group of people."
"This is not the last time our policies will change, of course," Huffman wrote in his announcement today. "They will continue to evolve along with Reddit itself.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.