Why such the change? Because it's 2017. Also because the company feels that it needs to elaborate on its definiton of 'inciting' violence. "[W]e found that the policy regarding 'inciting' violence was too vague, and so we have made an effort to adjust it to be more clear and comprehensive. Going forward, we will take action against any content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people; likewise, we will also take action against content that glorifies or encourages the abuse of animals. This applies to ALL content on Reddit, including memes, CSS/community styling, flair, subreddit names, and usernames." - Gizmodi.com
So why now? No, it's not because it is 2017. That was a pretty lame answer. But some feel it is time, especially since the American culture is truly becoming unbalanced. Some also feel it was because there's a belief that a Reddit forum aided white supremacists to organize the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Who were the lucky groups to feel the deep cut of being banned from Reddit? The current total for banned subreddits is 18, and in addition to violent or fascistic communities, Reddit appears to have also taken an interest in removing beastiality content.
r/SexWithHorses (a bestiality group)
Reddit has fluctuated a little bit on its policies. Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong defended the site's laisse fairre approach back in 2012:
"We stand for free speech. This means we are not going to ban distasteful subreddits. We will not ban legal content even if we find it odious or if we personally condemn it."
But then, during interim CEO Ellen Pao’s reign in 2015, a handful of hate-based groups were removed from the site.
Will we see other social media sites start to take the moral high ground?
Should they ban inappropriate, hurtful, hate filled posts?