Reddit sees hateful content go down 18%

The website started blocking hateful comments, and it is seeing results. It has been less than two months,…
Hate on Reddit: Reddit bans hateful content

The website started blocking hateful comments, and it is seeing results.

It has been less than two months, but with 7,000 subreddit banned, the amount of hate on the site has lessened.

A member of Reddit’s Safety team, u/worstnerd, wrote a post updating users about Reddit’s efforts to stop hate. In “Understanding Hate on Reddit, and the Impact of Our New Policy,” u/worstnerd describes the “ban waves” that took place, then details the prevalence of hate on the site.

The ban waves shut down subreddits that had “names and descriptions that [were] inherently hateful,” “a large fraction of hateful content,” and/or hateful content that was promoted or positively engaged with.

What hate on Reddit is like

The post shared statistics about the hate on the site. Now, Moderators, administrators, and AutoModerator are removing almost a third of “potentially hateful content” every day.

Close to half of comments using hate are directing it on a basis of ethnicity. Other categories of hate Reddit is removing include class or political affiliation, sexuality, gender, religion, and ability.

Working to find and end the hate

According to u/worstnerd, because of the evolving ways people use language, creating algorithms to find hate can be tricky:

Sometimes hate can be very overt, other times it can be more subtle. In other circumstances, historically marginalized groups may reclaim language and use it in a way that is acceptable for them, but unacceptable for others to use. Additionally, people are weirdly creative about how to be mean to each other. They evolve their language to make it challenging for outsiders (and models) to understand.


But the fact that Reddit’s first go at banning hate has already seen success looks promising. Also, u/worstnerd says that the virtual impossibility of reaching 0% hate will not stop Reddit from trying. The company “will continue to evolve [its] ability to understand hate and abuse at scale.”

Article source: Reddit

Featured image source: Kon Karampelas

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