Reddit bans 'The_Donald' forum

Elizabeth Culliford and Neha Malara
Reddit has shut down 'The_Donald' forum for fans of the US president in a crackdown on hate speech

Social media site Reddit says it has shut down its "The_Donald" forum used by supporters of US President Donald Trump, as it announced changes to its content policies.

Chief executive Steve Huffman said in a post that communities and users that promoted hate based on identity or vulnerability would be banned.

He said Reddit was banning about 2000 "subreddits", or forums, the majority of which were inactive.

"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," Huffman said on Monday.

Earlier this month, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigned from the social network firm's board, seeking to be replaced by a black candidate.

At the time Huffman said Reddit would strengthen its content policy.

Huffman also said Reddit should have moved sooner to restrict access to r/The_Donald, which it "quarantined" last year, citing threats of violence against police and public officials.

The new list of banned subreddits includes the left-wing forum r/ChapoTrapHouse, which Huffman said had consistently hosted rule-breaking content.

Only about 200 of the banned forums had more than 10 daily users.

A list provided by Reddit showed r/The_Donald had an average of 7780 daily active users, while r/ChapoTrapHouse had 42,949.

In another high-profile action, Amazon's live-streaming platform Twitch also said on Monday it had temporarily banned Trump's channel, citing its hateful conduct policy.

"Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump's channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed," a Twitch spokeswoman said.

One of the streams identified by the spokeswoman was a rebroadcast of a 2016 Trump rally in which the president said Mexico was sending rapists to the US.

The other was from his rally in Tulsa earlier this month, when he hypothesised about a "very tough hombre" breaking into a woman's house.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Twitch spokeswoman said the platform had told "the president's team" last year that there were no exceptions on the site for political or newsworthy content that broke its rules.