For years Jefferson Kelley watched hate bloom in his treasured online spaces.
When Kelley, a Reddit moderator, booted hateful users off threads where Black people discussed sensitive personal experiences, racial slurs piled up in his inbox. Crude remarks about women filled the comment sections under his favorite “Star Trek” GIFs. The proliferation of notorious forums, including one that perpetuated a vicious racist stereotype about Black fathers, stung Kelley, a Black father himself.
Kelley and other moderators repeatedly pleaded with the company to back them up and take stronger action against harassment and hate speech. But Reddit never quite came through.
Then, all of a sudden, that seemed to change. When Reddit announced last week it was shutting down a noxious pro-Trump group that had violated the site’s rules for years, Kelley could scarcely believe it.
Reddit’s move to overhaul content policy and ban some 2,000 subreddits, or forums, is one