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Reddit Bans Far-Right Groups Altright and Alternativeright (theguardian.com) 899

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Social media site Reddit has banned two of the largest far-right "subreddits" groups it hosts, altright and alternativeright. The subreddits have been used in the organization of America's resurgent neofascist movement but the final straw for Reddit was the two groups' participation in what is known as "doxing": sharing private personal information without permission as a form of online harassment. The subreddits were specifically banned for breaking Reddit's content policy, according to a message posted by the site admins, "specifically, the proliferation of personal and confidential information." Reddit did not make it explicit which content infringed its rules, but it is believed to be attempts to dox the protestor who punched a white nationalist during a TV interview at Donald Trump's inauguration. Speaking to the Daily Beast, one Reddit moderator claimed that the ban was instead a result of its "record monthly traffic" (Reddit moderators, like the creators of individual subreddits, are all volunteers with no official relationship to the site's staff). "It's clear that Reddit banned us because we were becoming very popular and spreading inconvenient truths about who's ruining our country and robbing our children of a future," the moderator said.
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Reddit Bans Far-Right Groups Altright and Alternativeright

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  • LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:05PM (#53790973)

    If you think that "alt right" means "far right", you have no idea what kind of shitstorm the left is busily trying to summon by calling for assassination, coup, and terror.

    • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:14PM (#53791085)

      "Alt right" doesn't mean "far right", it means increasingly-blatant racism coupled with delusions of importance, while you metaphorically fellate a bunch of billionaire fascists who manipulate your dumb ass.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      White nationalist Richard Spencer coined the term in 2010 to define a movement centered on white nationalism.

      • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GLMDesigns ( 2044134 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:30PM (#53791249)
        Yes. But people self-label and not all people who label themselves as Alt-Right are White Nationalists.

        Further there are people that lump Libertarians in as Alt-Right (as in they're not establishment conservatives).

        So the phrase Alt-Right is not a simple == White Nationalists.

        Milo, whether you like him or not, wrote an excellent article on what Alt-Right means.
        • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:52PM (#53791459)

          Nope.

          The only thing that matters is the perception held by outsiders. Outsiders aren't going to interview the thousands or millions of members who identify as being part of your group, just to see where they all individually stand. No one is sifting through members of the KKK to see if there are members with views towards blacks, jews, etc that are different than the perceived views of the group as a whole.

          It doesn't matter if you're not a White Nationalist, if you claim to be alt-right at this point in time, you are going to be labeled as a racist (among other things, like xenophobic, homophobic, anti-intellectual, etc). Just like you'd be labeled as a racist, anti-Semitic if you joined the KKK but only wanted blacks removed from civil society. No one is going to ask you about your position on Jews. You'd be a member of the KKK, an anti-Semitic group. Therefore, you are also anti-Semitic, from the public's perspective.

          No one gives two shits about your personal interpretation. You can fabricate whatever reality you want, but you can't control how others perceive you.

        • Re:LOL (Score:4, Interesting)

          by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @06:04PM (#53791569) Journal

          Milo, whether you like him or not, wrote an excellent article on what Alt-Right means.

          Both you and AniMoJo are right (I can't believe I just said AniMoJo was right about something. Hell freezing over when...?). Spencer's "alt right" was just rebranded white nationalism. Then the term got popular among other toy ideologies, like neo-reaction and monarchism and things like that for people who oppose the left, but recognize that the mainstream GOP leadership is just a bunch of sell outs who play fight with the democrats and lose, so you don't really want to call yourself "right wing" because people just assume that means Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Then the Trump revolution attracted a lot of other people who also don't agree with the mainstream GOP establishment, but really opposed either the left's identity politics/SJW moonbattery (like libertarians) or liked Trump's economic nationalist message (paleconservatives like Pat Buchanan who were opposed to free trade, mass immigration and empire). Oh look, here's a convenient term for people who have little in common except they oppose the left and the neocons, and that's what Milo (who could best be described as a social libertarian and professional troll) wrote about. It was also in this context that Steve Bannon said Bretbart was a platform for the alt right. NOT in the context of white nationalism but in the context of everyone who opposes the left and the neocon traitors. Then immediately after the election there's a video of Spencer saying "hail Trump" and by the left and media's one drop rule of Nazism if there's one Nazi under a label THEN EVERYTHING IS NAZIS.

          There's no point using the term anymore by anyone who isn't a white nationalist, but I'm glad it's around, because it's useful schmuck bait for the left to attack. I'm a paleoconservative, and while I would have therefore been described by Milo's article, I have never self-identified as "alt right." Why would I? I was campaigning for Pat Buchanan in the 90s and don't need a new label. Let the left go screaming at the "alt right" which is basically Spencer's 300 people who showed up to his stupid NPI meeting. We paleocons, libertarians, and workers will be cheering on Trump's new Republican party as they run the government.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by whoever57 ( 658626 )

            I was campaigning for Pat Buchanan

            So you campaigned for a bigot? At this point you should just embrace your white nationalism.

        • by jdavidb ( 449077 )

          Further there are people that lump Libertarians in as Alt-Right (as in they're not establishment conservatives).

          Yes, but we libertarians are usually pretty offended by it. And the truth is that the beliefs and focuses are very different [fee.org].

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yes. But people self-label and not all people who label themselves as Alt-Right are White Nationalists.

          I'm so sick of hearing shit like this. "I identify as Alt-Right but i'm not a racist, I support Richard Spencer but that doesn't make me a racists, I voted for Trump but I don't support racism, I believe white people are smarter than other people but really I'm not a racist".

          I understand why you want to avoid being called a racist, it's a negative word with connotations, however rebranding the word does not change the sentiment. If you identify as alt right, in the very least you admit that the feeling o

        • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

          Libertarians are about as socially liberal as you can get falling just short of anarchy. I hardly qualify that as "conservative".

          • Re:LOL (Score:4, Informative)

            by GLMDesigns ( 2044134 ) on Friday February 03, 2017 @08:59AM (#53794691)
            Socially libertarians are live-and-let-live. The government, according to Libertarians, should not have the power to legislate your sexual life, what you consume (even if considered harmful), etc...

            Fiscally we're small-market mainly for the reason that the more power one gives to the state to "do good", to help "solve a problem" the more it can be used against you. (See sig) Secondly because government meddling, while it may do some good at some times, ultimately devolves into a cabal who uses the power of the purse and the police to enhance their own position.
      • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

        by butchersong ( 1222796 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:47PM (#53791421)
        That's like trying to enforce a monopoly on "alt-country" or "alt-rock". You can't say that you're the only "alternative" to a mainstream movement.
      • Re:LOL (Score:4, Informative)

        by will_die ( 586523 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:49PM (#53791441) Homepage
        That is a popular lie that various alt-left sites say however the truth is that the term was coined years before that, go check google, set the dates and search.
        It was originally used as shortcut the the full term "alternative right" and described various groups that were did not want to be associated with the main right group. white nationalist groups did start applying it themselves afterwards.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:22PM (#53791173)
      Where's Elwood Blues when we need him?
    • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:26PM (#53791215)
      In my opinion, followers tend to shadow the tactics used by their leaders. For alt.right, this would be Bannon, Trump, Spicer as Trump's mouthpiece. Bullying, threatening, race-discriminating/profiling, and handcuffing a 5 year old for 4 hours is all OK. This has led followers, since the election, to increased targeting of minorities, Jews (and Jewish community centers), Muslims and others as chronicled by Southern Poverty Law Center and others.

      For leftist liberals, you have Barack Obama who kindly waited for hecklers during his speech, Michele Obama and her "when they go low, we go high" and Hillary Clinton, who maybe smiled too much but did not creep up behind Trump in a threatening/stalking manner during the Town Hall debate. This has led to, for example, the Women's March with about 4 arrests among 3 million marchers (around one part per million) across the country.

      So yes, in short, I don't have trouble believing that the alt.right users were doxing liberals. And yes, I'm posting this anonymously.
      • Could you please tell me what the "Woman's March on Washington" was actually about. Because every time I get someone to admit it was about that "one thing", i point out the hypocrisy of that from within the "Woman's March on Washington" own agenda/speakers and participants.

        So far, I have identified several items that it was both about an not about.So far, about ALL I officially have for it is meaningless muddy messaging.

        Yes, you got a bunch of women marching .Yay for women.

        • Re:LOL (Score:4, Interesting)

          by turning in circles ( 2882659 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @11:30PM (#53793205)
          The women's march was about going from complacency (Obama was great, Hillary is great) to political activity (Trump is an a**hole). It was women who were not politically active saying, now I'm going to be politically active. The women who marched are now making phone calls, sending postcards, attending hearings at the state house, and sending checks. The women's march was I guess, if you're a guy, Tarzan banging his chest before he gets down to business.
    • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LostInTaiwan ( 837924 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:52PM (#53791461)

      You mean like,

      "By the way, and if she gets to pick --if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know. " - Aug. 9, 2016, Donald Trump

      I don't believe in that BS about "left" and "right" or "liberal" and "conservatives." To me, they are often just meaningless labels applied without proper context. Meaningless sound bits meant for the mindless consumers who outsourced their thinking to the same media elites they dislike so much.

      Trump has turned the White House into a reality TV set. Eerily similar to that of his shirtless horse riding buddy's own reality kleptocratic TV show.

      Welcome to Amerika.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:07PM (#53790993) Homepage Journal

    If they think these people will go away, they're mistaken. Perhaps they feel they don't want to enable them by using Reddit's resources to organize, but, really, they were doing a huge service to the rest of society by keeping these posts out in the open where everybody can see them.

    You can drive them all to locked sites on .onion services, but that is not in the public interest.

    • by Zaelath ( 2588189 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:13PM (#53791069)

      Propaganda doesn't work well shared in secret.

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:15PM (#53791087) Journal

      That's fine. Let them go to Stormfront. You have a right to your views and to discuss them with likeminded people. Major online portals have no obligation to help you.

      If the White Supremacists are pushed back to their web forums which the rest of the world doesn't have to view, that's fine by me. I don't want to shut Stormfront down, I just don't want the sites I visit turning into Stormfront colonies.

      • Make it fair (Score:4, Insightful)

        by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @06:02PM (#53791549)

        Sure, "White Supremacists" can be blocked from Reddit, but what about the leftist nutjobs who believe that you should destroy other people's property and physically assault people with a different political viewpoint? I don't look at reddit as a rule, but I'd be willing to bet that extremist left wing groups exist on reddit and will not receive the same treatment as the "alt-right". That is true with Facebook and Twitter, so I assume it true on Reddit. Feel free to prove me wrong on that, I'll be happy to read about Reddit banning left wing nut jobs.

        Frankly, if I had to look at who is worse right now I'd say it's the extremist progressive leftists who see no issues using violence against people simply because they have a different political view. In the last couple years, I have seen no valid reports of white supremacists out beating people. We have seen dozens of faked claims, and many of those have resulted in charges, but the "Right" has not been rioting and beating anyone. I have seen countless instances of leftists doing just that, and worse. Last night you have a young lady being interviewed on ABC punched in the face and pepper sprayed by one of these "oppressed" liberals. You have another pulled out of a car and beaten for no reason.

        When you have a Government not prosecuting, or even arresting people, who are terrorizing people and preventing their free speech you will end up with a whole lot of violence from the other side. Hence you have a Trump supporter shooting an agitator at a separate rally after protesters started throwing bricks and rocks at people supporting the speaker showed up to counter protest.

        People need to pay close attention to the rhetoric being used by the left right now. Sadly, the useful idiots really can't see the irony and hypocrisy in shutting down other people's free speech by committing physical violence while carrying signs and chanting slogans claiming the other side is fascist. They are claiming that words are violence, and a teacher who is an advocate for violent protests claimed that words from someone raped her. I wish I was joking, but both of those are factual. The claims that words are somehow causing physical harm is being used to justify violence against anyone not agreeing with (or bending over for) the leftists.

        Trying times we are in right now, and in places like California I envision it getting worse before it gets better.

        • Re:Make it fair (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Xyrus ( 755017 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @10:22PM (#53792929) Journal

          Sure, "White Supremacists" can be blocked from Reddit, but what about the leftist nutjobs who believe that you should destroy other people's property and physically assault people with a different political viewpoint?

          I've seen crazies, but attributing them to any political affiliation (except for those espousing actual violence) is pretty damn stupid, don't you think? This is the same type of thinking that groups all Muslims into suicide bombing America hating crazies. Should I lump together all Christians as violent terrorist extremists because of Timothy McVeigh and all those whackos who bomb clinics and send death threats to doctors who perform abortions?

          I don't look at reddit as a rule, but I'd be willing to bet that extremist left wing groups exist on reddit and will not receive the same treatment as the "alt-right". That is true with Facebook and Twitter, so I assume it true on Reddit. Feel free to prove me wrong on that, I'll be happy to read about Reddit banning left wing nut jobs.

          No, the onus is on you to provide evidence that there are forums full of violent threats and doxing coming from supposed leftist groups. If YOU have evidence, then YOU can submit it and get them banned. Enough of the liberal media "legenpresse" conspiracy bullshit.

          Frankly, if I had to look at who is worse right now I'd say it's the extremist progressive leftists who see no issues using violence against people simply because they have a different political view. In the last couple years, I have seen no valid reports of white supremacists out beating people.

          What do watch? Fox news? Is Breitbart you man source of info? Hate crimes, including against African Americans, are quite regular fair. It's just not enough to make headlines. Well, that is, until someone dies or actually looks at the statistics.

          We have seen dozens of faked claims, and many of those have resulted in charges, but the "Right" has not been rioting and beating anyone.

          Alternative facts in an alternative reality.

          I have seen countless instances of leftists doing just that, and worse. Last night you have a young lady being interviewed on ABC punched in the face and pepper sprayed by one of these "oppressed" liberals. You have another pulled out of a car and beaten for no reason.

          You're right of course. Liberals are way to soft. They stop with just beatings and pepper spray. The alt-right just kills people. Much more efficient, and then you don't have to worry about them voting either. For example, like that old white guy that shot and killed a teenage African American kid. Or the alt-crazy who massacred a black church.

          Crazy people are just that. Trying to attribute their behavior to a political motive is just stupid.

          When you have a Government not prosecuting, or even arresting people, who are terrorizing people and preventing their free speech you will end up with a whole lot of violence from the other side. Hence you have a Trump supporter shooting an agitator at a separate rally after protesters started throwing bricks and rocks at people supporting the speaker showed up to counter protest.

          Goebells would have loved you. Which political party just recently told the press to shut up and froze out a major news network? Which political party is trying to implement the Ministry of Truth to prevent information the administration doesn't like from reaching the public? Which administration has fostered conspiracy theories, exaggerations, threatened to lock up political rivals, and has flat out lied repeatedly to the public?

          People need to pay close attention to the rhetoric being used by the left right now. Sadly, the useful idiots really can't see the irony and hypocrisy in shutting down other people's free speech by committing physical violence while carrying signs and chanting slogans claiming th

        • Re:Make it fair (Score:5, Informative)

          by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @11:03PM (#53793101)
          In the last couple years, I have seen no valid reports of white supremacists out beating people

          Oh, you silly, mis-informed little boy. What planet do you live on?
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
          http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/14/... [cnn.com]
  • by lucaiaco ( 2652295 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:12PM (#53791053)
    And it is fascists anti-fascists. Because not only they are fascists, but they are also a semantic contradiction.

    Don't take me wrong, the ban is perfectly justified, but it's always right-wing fascists who get punished. This guy had no right to punch whoever it was in the face, and this is not an isolated case. Even moderate trump supporters get constantly beaten up with no consequences. A young college girl got pepper sprayed while giving an interview at UC, and several innocent bystanders were beaten up by the anti-fascist crowd, which was destroying everything b/c they didn't like a speaker the Republican student association had invited. These people are dividing the country, and creating a climate of tension and violence way more than the alt-right.

    The media coverage is ridiculous, and focus instead on actual fake stories of people who are pretending to be assaulted by Trump supporters, a claim, as far as I know, always unfounded. End of rant. Good luck America.
  • Banned for Doxxing (Score:5, Informative)

    by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:24PM (#53791199)

    The groups were banned for doxxing political opponents. That is, sharing personal information (name, phone number, home address, etc.) This behaviour is explicitly against the Reddit terms of service.

    The political leanings of the groups are unrelated to the ban (unless you assume a correlation between "alt-right" mentality and disregard for the established rules of a privately owned website)

  • by DRJlaw ( 946416 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:29PM (#53791241)

    "It's clear that Reddit banned us because we were becoming very popular and spreading inconvenient truths about who's ruining our country and robbing our children of a future," the moderator said.

    Whatever. You're still banned,and whining about secret 'persecutorial' motivations won't do anything to change that.

    Stormfront will probably host you and not bat an eye. Why do you feel so deprived? If you wanted to stay on Reddit you could simply have stamped out the doxing problem and, you know, followed Reddit's 'pretextual' rules.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:32PM (#53791273)

    Reddit and Twitter have little influence on Trump / right wing voters. This kind of move just deepens the ignorance of progressives. Good luck trying to win elections that way.

    The answer to free speech you don't like is more free speech. And who knows, if you engage in a discussion, you might actually learn something and change your own mind.

  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @05:35PM (#53791309)

    Here's the real inconvenient truth: the people in power only have one thing in common and it's money.

    And they're doing all they can so that you idiots fight amongst yourselves instead of seeing that the rich are the real problem.

  • So a subreddit that bans people for having dissenting views is bitching that a private company banned their subreddit, ostensibly for their dissenting views? I wouldn't have any sympathy for them even if they weren't a bunch of fucking nazis.

    Someone, please come up with a rationalization for how the subreddit's banning of dissent doesn't count because it's different when reddit does it.

  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Thursday February 02, 2017 @08:30PM (#53792497)

    ... people who are committed to reddit do not fully appreciate how insignificant they are to those of us outside of reddit.

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel

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