After weeks of rejiggering its content policy, Reddit has put forth a new set of rules for its embattled online community. CEO Steve Huffman announced the update Wednesday, noting that it does not stray too far from existing policies.
In his Reddit post, Huffman explains that offensive forums that don’t meet the site’s standards for being banned will instead get “quarantined,” making them inaccessible to those who don’t explicitly request access:
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.
He goes on to say that a number of subreddits have been removed because they “exist solely to annoy other redditors, prevent us from improving Reddit, and generally make Reddit worse for everyone else.” The banned communities include a few dedicated to animated child pornography and others committed to perpetuating hateful anti-black speech, including the infamous /r/CoonTown subreddit.
During an AMA a few weeks back, Huffman had claimed that /r/CoonTown was “offensive to many, but does not violate our current rules for banning.”
Update: Huffman says the decision to ban /r/CoonTown was made not because of its content–despicable though it may be–but due to its negative impact on hiring. “We didn’t ban them for being racist, he writes in a comment. “We banned them because we have to spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with them. If we want to improve Reddit, we need more people, but CT’s existence and popularity has also made recruiting here more difficult.”