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Racism Is Rampant on Reddit, and Its Editors Are in Open Revolt

The site’s CEO says it will implement a new hate speech policy. 

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The volunteer moderators of Reddit Inc.’s r/blackladies community—an online message board that currently has over 40,000 members—wrote an open letter outlining their frustrations with the popular website in August 2014. They had pitched their message board, known as a subreddit, as a safe space for Black women, but were being deluged with hateful comments and links to racist content from anonymous accounts. “They are relentless, coming in barrages,” the moderators wrote. We have a racist user problem and Reddit won’t take action.”

Several months later Alexis Ohanian, one of Reddit’s co-founders, joined a comment thread on r/blackladies discussing the letter. Ohanian, who had recently returned to the company as its executive chairman, said protecting communities like theirs from abuse was a “top priority.” He solicited suggestions on how to do it, and expressed interest in an “ongoing dialogue with all of the mods who signed onto the open letter.”