Social medie website censors its popular The Donald forum, a home for Donald Trump supporters
28th June 2019
The Donald Forum is a Reddit forum, or subreddit, and is one of the internet's most popular forums where Donald Trump fans congregate for a chat.
It has now been shunted out of sight up an unsearchable backwater. Users must now click an opt-in button to access The_Donald forum, and its content no longer appears in Reddit's search results or recommendations.
The move seems to be part of general trend for US social media companies to censor politics that they do not like, particularly when it leans towards the US right.
The Donald forum has more than 760,000 subscribers and once hosted an ask me anything session with Donald Trump in which he replied to questions from the public before the presidential election.
One of the forum's moderators initially shared a message Reddit had sent explaining its reasons for the quarantine. The post was subsequently deleted, but its contents have been copied and posted elsewhere. It said the move had been prompted by
threats made on the subreddit against the authorities in Oregon.
Last week, 11 Republican state senators staged a walkout in protest at a climate change bill. State troopers were then told to bring the senators back, which in turn prompted claims that militia groups opposing such an intervention might show up
in the state capital Salem raising a threat of violence .
It seems a little weak that a heated argument can be cited as a reason for political censorship particularly when it can be seen as interefring with upcoming presidential elections.
The White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order that would address the anti-conservative bias of social media companies. This appears to be the follow up to President Donald Trump pledging to explore all regulatory and
legislative solutions on the issue.
The contents of the order remain undisclosed but it seems that many different ideas are still in the mix. A White House official is reported to have said:
If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system. But look, we also think that social media plays a vital role.
They have a vital role and an increasing responsibility to the culture that has helped make them so profitable and so prominent.
The social media companies have denied the allegations of bias, but nevertheless the large majority of users censored by the companies are indeed on the right.