Uproar As Reddit Bans Five Harassment Subreddit Groups, Including ‘Fat People Hate’ — Backlash Ensues

An uproar has come about on the extremely popular online community known as Reddit. Five groups, also known as subreddits, have had the ban hammer dropped on them in the past 24 hours. These groups were banned due to being in violation of Reddit’s policy against harassment, but it has brought about a ton of backlash from numerous users and Internet trolls.

The five subreddits that were banned were considering harassing and full of criticism toward other Reddit users, and people in general. The largest of the groups was one called r/fatpeoplehate, and it was the only banned group with more than 5,000 subscribers.

Other banned groups, per Forbes, were as follows.

  • r/hamplanethatred – 3.071 subscribers
  • r/transf*gs – 149 subscribers
  • r/sh*tn***erssays – 219 subscribers
  • r/neof*g – 1,239 subscribers
  • r/fatpeoplehate

The official announcement came on Wednesday, and it was straight from Reddit CEO Ellen Pao.

“Our goal is to enable as many people as possible to have authentic conversations and share ideas and content on an open platform. We want as little involvement as possible in managing these interactions but will be involved when needed to protect privacy and free expression, and to prevent harassment.”

Pao went on to say that Reddit wants to keep values balanced as the Internet evolves, and that the harassment will not be a part of it. She stated that from this point on, any subreddits created to be used as a platform for harassment will be banned.

“We’re banning behavior, not ideas.”

The so-called “front page of the Internet” is taking steps to make sure that harassment is not a part of its culture. Pao is looking for feedback from Reddit users to know how they feel about the changes made, and if they think everything is working.

Reddit is a huge online community that often is the reason that many pictures or videos or statements go viral. One example was the “What Color Is This Dress?” phenomenon that went crazy back in February.

Obviously, there are numerous other reasons that people get on Reddit, and the harassment groups were an example of that. With these changes, though, there was bound to be some backlash.

TechCrunch reported that there were many Reddit users who immediately filled the community with harassment toward CEO Ellen Pao. Others are threatening to leave the site due to the amount of “censorship” they are now facing.

They are not happy that the “anything goes” origins of Reddit are not only being tested now, but are being compromised. Reddit has cracked down on sexually suggestive pictures of children, hacked nude photographs of celebrities, and more in recent years.

Reddit is simply trying to stop as much harassment as possible, and the banning of these five subreddit groups is a way to do that. Reports of harassment have come from them, and it appears the Internet giant isn’t having it anymore, no matter what trolls say and how much some may oppose the decisions made.

[Image via EvaBlue / TechCrunch]