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Two prominent and graphic Reddit forums were banned in the wake of their posts about the New Zealand mosque shootings.
Both r/watchpeopledie and r/gore, two subreddits that traffic in the kind of content you’d expect, were banned this afternoon by the tech firm.
Watchpeopledie particularly came under fire this morning for its moderator’s refusal to take down the stream of the New Zealand shooting, where 49 people were killed.
What responsibility do we want these companies to have? On Reddit, one of the most popular sites on the Internet, people have been narrating the video on a forum called "watchpeopledie." After more than an hour, this was posted: pic.twitter.com/C8nmt7CZgh— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) March 15, 2019
The video was only removed after the New Zealand police intervened, according to the moderator.
“The thread is gone because the NZ police are requesting a takedown of the video and the links in the thread were dead. Sorry. Isn’t it cool how the “authorities” get to decide what you are allowed to watch? Regardless of what you believe, the video simply shows the objective reality of what can happen when an actual crazy person gets caught up in all of the bullshit. And, well.. I think objective reality is a pretty good thing to base your beliefs around.”
However, going to r/watchpeopledie now brings up a banned notification.
R/gore received a similar ban.
According to BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac, the site issued an anodyne statement in response to the bans.
“We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting content that incites or glorifies violence will get users and communities banned from Reddit. Sureddits that fail to adhere to those site-wide rules will be banned.”
Reddit has long left the forums up under the stance that they can help people cope with tragedy, rather than glorify violence.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]