Rep. Banks Leads Colleagues in Letter Blasting Reddit For Political Censorship, Election Interference
Washington, May 28, 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), Reps. Ted Yoho (R-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ted Budd (R-NC), and Jody Hice (R-GA) sent a letter to Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, criticizing his censorship of the pro-Trump community, r/The_Donald, and pointing out that Reddit’s decision to selectively enforce its content policies ahead of the 2020 election is a form of election interference.
On February 6, 2020, Reddit administrators removed r/The_Donald’s user-moderators for unspecified content violations, but Rep. Banks letter points to multiple, serious content violations in left wing communities that Reddit administrators never addressed. The last post to R/The_Donald occurred in late March 2020.
Reddit is one of the biggest social media sites in the world, with more monthly active users than Twitter. R/The_Donald played a significant role in the 2016 election, even hosting President Trump for a Q&A session and in 2017 researchers found it was the single most active” and “efficient community” at disseminating political memes.
Said Rep. Banks: “I cherish the free market, but I also cherish a free, fair democratic process. The closer we get to the 2020 election the more aggressive Big Tech has become about suppressing conservatives. They’ve trampled on our constitutional principles, arrogantly and repeatedly; President Trump and Republicans in Congress see that and there’s going to be a reckoning.
Said Rep. Yoho: “The Orwellian hand of Reddit’s Big Tech censoring is an assault on the basic freedom of free speech guaranteed in our First Amendment. It’s time for the abuses of politically motivated social media giants to be reigned in.”
Said Rep. Hice: “Since 2016, r/The_Donald has been an important forum for supporters of the President to gather and discuss the issues of the day. Its users have meticulously self-moderated their community under Reddit’s guidelines and terms of service, yet they face continuous harassment by the website’s Chinese-backed ownership group. It is deeply unsettling that Reddit selectively targets Trump supporters while allowing the Left to operate with total impunity even when violating the site’s policies.”
Said Rep. Budd: “The political double standard that exists on some social media platforms is appalling. Given the power and influence that these sites have, it’s totally inappropriate that they get to choose which viewpoints receive more eyes or more scrutiny. It’s high time these social media sites are held accountable.”###