Online forum Reddit is apologizing after it accidentally ran an ad for a racist dating site targeting “white European” singles.
The ad for WhiteDate.Net, posted from an account seemingly run by the dating site itself, warns “Dear women of the West” that “without white children, we will perish.” Their post goes on to encourage users to be a part of the “Trad,” or traditional revolution, “that has been evolving in white communities where masculine men court feminine women with the explicit objective to continue their lineage.”
According to AdAge, the white dating site also touts references to so-called “white genocide” and offers solutions on how to quell it.
A Reddit spokeswoman said Thursday that the company “mistakenly” greenlit the ad on Wednesday after it managed to slip past human reviewers. Once the company caught it, the ad was taken down the next day.
“… We do our best to enforce our ads policies across both direct and programmatic ads; but in this case, a promoted post that was in violation of our ads policy was mistakenly approved,” the spokeswoman told AdAge via e-mail. “In light of this incident, we are reviewing our screening processes to ensure similar mistakes don’t occur in the future.”
The Reddit incident comes as other social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat struggle with lax digital safeguards that leave users’ personal data at risk and allow malicious and toxic content to be promoted. Facebook is battling public scrutiny after close to 87 million users’ data was obtained by a third party. Meanwhile, social app Snapchat is still trying to recover after running a tasteless ad that asked viewers whether they’d rather punch Chris Brown or slap Rihanna.
Concerns about malicious content have also popped up on Reddit, specifically regarding forums that promote racism and sexism, AdAge reported. The company has since banned certain online communities with racist names aimed at degrading racial minorities. In the case of WhiteDate.Net, the dating site has been banned from advertising on Reddit.
“When we identify or are notified of an ad that is against our policy, we remove the ad, contact the advertiser and inform them of their specific infraction,” the spokeswoman said. “In some cases, we ban them from continued advertising, which we’ve done in this instance.”
Some users still found Reddit’s efforts disingenuous, however, especially after CEO Steve Huffman suggested racism is permitted on the platform.
“On Reddit, the way in which we think about speech is to separate behavior from beliefs,” Huffman said. “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.”