A popular subreddit dedicated to COVID-19 conspiracy theories was quarantined on Wednesday after catching the attention of Reddit.
Known as r/NoNewNormal, the subreddit, which boasts more than 112,000 members, now presents visitors with a warning message prior to entry.
“Are you sure you want to view this community?” the message asks. “This community is quarantined. For medical advice, please consult your physician. Additional resources available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Quarantined subreddits are barred from earning revenue and are excluded from appearing in searches or recommendations in order to limit their reach.
In a statement to VICE, a Reddit spokesperson said that the subreddit had been quarantined “in accordance with Reddit’s Quarantine Policy.”
“The purpose of quarantining a community is to prevent its content from being accidentally viewed by those who do not knowingly wish to do so, or viewed without appropriate context,” Reddit’s policy states. “Quarantined subreddits and their subscribers are still fully obliged to abide by Reddit’s Content Policy and remain subject to enforcement measures.”
The subreddit bills itself as a forum for “skeptical discussion” regarding the ongoing pandemic.
“We are a diverse international coalition with the shared goal of restoring our old ways of life before the world fell into the grips of fear and hysteria,” a description says. “Join the effort to improve the quality of discussion on Reddit by raising your own standards and encouraging the same of others.”
Members of the subreddit responded to the quarantine on Wednesday with anger, accusing the privately-run platform of censoring their speech.
“This is step one,” an moderator said. “They’ll eventually shut this subreddit down completely.”
Correction: This post incorrectly attributed a quote to a Reddit admin. It was a moderator who spoke to the Daily Dot.
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