Reddit has just banned The _Donald subreddit for hate speech, along with about 2,000 other subreddits on the site. But many people who had used The_Donald group had already left Reddit for a new website called “The Donald Win” months before the ban. The Donald Win site ranks at 1,227th in the U.S. on Alexa as of the time of this article’s publication.
Here’s what you need to know.
Reddit Banned The_Donald a Few Months After Many Users Had Already Left
Reddit explained its decision to ban the subreddits, including The_Donald, in a Content Policy update shared here.
You can read more about Reddit’s actions and Reddit’s new content policy in Heavy’s story here.
Here’s what Reddit shared specifically about The_Donald ban:
Alongside the change to the content policy, we are initially banning about 2000 subreddits, the vast majority of which are inactive. Of these communities, about 200 have more than 10 daily users. Both r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse were included.
All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity. The community has consistently hosted and upvoted more rule-breaking content than average (Rule 1), antagonized us and other communities (Rules 2 and 8), and its mods have refused to meet our most basic expectations. Until now, we’ve worked in good faith to help them preserve the community as a space for its users—through warnings, mod changes, quarantining, and more.”
The_Donald was already essentially a dead subreddit by the time Reddit banned the group. Heavy had checked the subreddit shortly before the ban and noticed it had been a month or longer since anything had been posted on the subreddit. One person on Reddit commented that the subreddit had already been essentially shut down for months and had been used as a means of directing traffic to the new website, called The Donald Win.
The reaction on Reddit has been mixed. Some are saying the ban was only done after everyone had already left, as seen in the comment above. People who did not like The_Donald have said that it should have been done sooner, as seen in the comment below.
The_Donald Contributors Are Now on a New Site Called ‘TheDonald.Win’
Months before the subreddit was banned, many contributors had already moved on to a new website called The Donald Win. When Heavy visited the site previously, it was open for anyone to view, whether they had an account or not. The site is now closed and you can’t view the posts unless you create an account. Heavy created an account to view the posts and saw that it’s still very active, as shown in the screenshot above.
Some people will find some of the posts on the site disturbing. When Heavy first visited the site, there was a “parody” post at the top that was heavily upvoted pretending to be Steve Huffman, co-founder of Reddit, and asking people to “f***” his wife. That post had 2852 upvotes and 115 comments. You can see the post on the front page of the site in the screenshot below. Clicking on the link reveals a disturbing comment about people of color. The submission and replies are here, but note that many of the comments are disturbing.
One person commented that the post was a bad idea: “Yall, this screams a bait to Trump. No offense to any of yall, but if Trump says something about it being banned you know they are going to pull out the grudgiest sh** they can from the site and shove it in his face…” As of the time of publication, the post was still on the site.
The post was made by an account called Spez, which is the name of the Huffman’s account on Reddit.
Here’s what the main webpage looks like if you visit without being logged in:
One of the top posts on the site right now is talking about how The_Donald was banned after four months of inactivity. It has 4,230 upvotes and 908 comments as of the time of publication.
TheDonald.Win is a pro-Trump website, but Trump’s campaign is not officially affiliated with the site. Upvotes have Trump’s face on the arrow. The site is designed to work and look a lot like Reddit. You can upvote or downvote comments, save comment permalinks, or reply or submit your own comments. The main difference is that it does not appear that you can downvote posts themselves, although you can downvote comments.
On a different thread, one user wrote:
Many doubted that there was a place on the internet for us, that we could maintain this community without being associated with a big website. We knew they were wrong, because we know that this is the greatest community that has ever existed! We are more active, more popular, and more powerful than we ever were on that other sh**hole site.
TheDonald.win is already on its way to breaking top 1,000 websites in the country, assuming we don’t crack that with today’s news. Millions of comments, posts, and a constant stream of new users ensure that top 1k is only the beginning…”
In late May, several Republican lawmakers wrote a letter about Reddit “censoring” The_Donald before it was subsequently banned, Fox News reported. At the time, The_Donald had been quarantined and people who visited the subreddit got a warning about the quarantine. When the quarantine was first instituted, Reddit said it was because some members of the subreddit had threatened police officers, Fox News reported. This was around the time that some Oregon lawmakers had left the state Senate during a climate change bill vote, and police were ordered to arrest them. In late June 2019 — nearly a year ago — The Verge reported that the quarantine happened two days after it was reported that some members of The_Donald had supported violent attacks on Oregon police.
Fox News also reported that on February 26, Reddit removed some moderators of The_Donald. It was around that time that the subreddit started strongly encouraging people to visit the alternative website. But the alternative site itself had been created months earlier, back in late November, Reclaim The Net reported at the time.
A WhoIs search on ICANN reveals that TheDonald.Win domain was first created on July 22, 2019, almost a year ago. The current registration doesn’t expire until 2025. The registrar is Epik Inc, a site for buying inexpensive domains. The actual domain owner is anonymous.
Here is what the website says about itself and its rules:
This is The Donald. Our community is a high-energy Trump rally. There are no exceptions.
No posts or comments that violate laws in your jurisdiction or the United States. The Feds are always watching!
No racism, including slurs, non-factual content, and general unfounded bigotry.
No doxing, including revealing personal information of non-public figures, as well as addresses, phone numbers, etc. of public figures.
Be respectful to fellow The Donald community members.
Linking or promoting merchandise, fundraising, or spamming personal websites, blogs, or channels is not permitted.
According to Alexa, TheDonald.Win has an Alexa rank of 8,648 globally, up from 21,948 90 days earlier. In the United States, The Donald.Win has an Alexa rank of 1,227. In comparison, Reddit is ranked at #20 globally and #6 in the United States.
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