Open racism including racial slurs are allowed on Reddit, the social media company’s chief executive Steve Huffman has said.
In the comment section for the company’s 2017 transparency report, Mr Huffman wrote that Reddit’s “approach to governance is that communities can set appropriate standards around language for themselves”.
Posting under his username ‘spez’, Mr Huffman wrote: “On Reddit, the way in which we think about speech is to separate behaviour from beliefs.
“This means on Reddit there will be people with beliefs different from your own, sometimes extremely so.
“When users’ actions conflict with our content policies, we take action.”
The news aggregation and social media site has been embroiled in a number of scandals since it was founded in 2005.
In 2011, the site was forced to shut down a community dedicated to sharing sexualised images of teenagers called “Jailbait”.
This was followed by bans on communities called “CreepShots”, which collected sexualised photographs of women taken without their consent, “Beatingwomen” and “FatPeopleHate”.
Other controversial communities, including “The_Donald”, have remained available on the site, despite allegations that they have incited violence, notably the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
Reddit was was founded by Mr Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, who last November married Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in a lavish ceremony just 11 weeks after she gave birth.
Mr Huffman replaced Ellen Pao as chief executive in 2015 following a outcry among the site’s users over Ms Pao’s handling of the dismissal of a popular employee.