- Reddit banned the r/watchpeopledie, r/gore, and r/WPDTalk subreddits after the mass shooting that killed at least 49 people in New Zealand.
- The r/watchpeopledie subreddit had more than 400,000 users and featured videos and photos of executions and accidental deaths.
- A Reddit spokesperson told INSIDER that “posting content that incites or glorifies violence will get users and communities banned from Reddit.”
- Users in two of those subreddits posted images and videos from the mass shooting.
Reddit banned three communities – including the r/watchpeopledie and r/gore subreddits – on Friday, following the mosque shooting in New Zealand that took 49 lives and injured dozens of others.
The third banned subreddit, r/WPDTalk, was for discussion of what went on in the r/watchpeopledie subreddit.
The bans, two of which were reported by BuzzFeed News, were instated because the subreddits violated Reddit’s content policies, a spokesperson told INSIDER.
“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,” a Reddit spokesperson told INSIDER. “Subreddits that fail to adhere to those site-wide rules will be banned.”
The 7-year-old r/watchpeopledie subreddit often featured videos of terrorist executions, accidental deaths, and war footage. It had more than 400,000 subscribers and was quarantined for the past five months, meaning it was difficult to access and didn’t generate advertising revenue for the company.
The r/gore subreddit, with more than 50,000 subscribers, included user-submitted photos and videos of real-life blood and gore.
Users in both subreddits posted images and videos of the mass shooting on Thursday night, according to BuzzFeed News. The shooter live-streamed the event on Facebook, and tech platforms took action to remove the footage from their own platforms.
A Reddit user going by the username IAmMrPositive, who moderated the r/watchpeopledie subreddit, said on Reddit that the shooter’s footage shouldn’t be taken down because individual users, not Reddit, should decide who sees what.
“This video is being scrubbed from major social media platforms, but hopefully Reddit believes in letting you decide for yourself whether or not you want to see unfiltered reality,” the user wrote. “Regardless of what you believe, this is an objective look into a terrible incident like this.”
IAmMrPositive also moderates the subreddit r/hearpeopledie, which also includes videos of people being killed. It has not been banned.
Reddit has banned more than a dozen communities over the years. Many of them featured videos, photos, and discussion of sexual exploitation, racism, violence, and illegal activity, such as shoplifting and unlawful gun sales.
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- Despite being home to fewer than 5 million people, experts say New Zealand has an “active” white supremacist community
- ‘I wish I could’ve done more’: A woman describes what it was like trying to help the victims of the New Zealand mosque shooting
- Tech firms are scrambling to keep dozens of copies of videos showing the New Zealand mosque shootings off their platforms