Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet”, has set to removing various communities (subreddits) in line with its new user agreement.

In an official announcement, an admin for the site spoke about why the changes were made:

“Today we are announcing a change in community management on reddit. Our goal is to enable as many people as possible to have authentic conversations and share ideas and content on an open platform. We want as little involvement as possible in managing these interactions but will be involved when needed to protect privacy and free expression, and to prevent harassment.”

We won’t list the names of the subreddits that were banned, as their names aren’t something we wouldn’t mention in polite company, but they deal with subjects such as racism, intolerance and shaming. If you would like to read them they are mentioned in the announcement.

If you try to to access the closed subreddits you’ll be redirected to this page.

Reddit Banned

As expected, the impassioned Reddit community is divided by this change. Many believe the subreddits should be allowed to stand to enforce that freedom and the ethos of a free internet. Others believe that the right to speak should be limited when it is used to incite (or even discuss) hate or prejudice.

The announcements comments – and this post – give a broad indication of the community’s reactions.

In the meantime, as any user is free to do so, many new subreddits have been created to replace the ones that were banned. Again, we won’t be linking to them here.

It should be noted that one of the biggest reasons Reddit users are protesting the change is that hundreds, if not thousands, of other subreddits based around arguably worse topics – such as looking at corpses – are allowed to remain. Their argument is that the admins should not cherry pick what they ban and make some sweeping changes if they truly want to match the site’s content with the guidelines laid out in their announcement.