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Reddit says it won’t censor impeachment whistleblower’s name

Reddit’s decision comes after Facebook and YouTube said they were banning mentions of the name on their platforms.
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Last week, Facebook and YouTube started censoring all mentions of the alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) impeachment whistleblower whose complaint led to the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Now Reddit has released a statement on the matter and says it will not be censoring the name of the alleged impeachment whistleblower.

A Reddit spokesperson told CNBC that it will allow the name and that the company doesn’t have a specific policy around whistleblowers. The spokesperson added:

“Our policy encourages an open discussion regarding issues of public and political relevance, however it forbids posting of personal information, or the encouragement of harassment or vigilantism.”

Reddit added the caveat that it will take down posts that violate its policies and that “context is important in these matters.”

In addition to this, Reddit moderators can also enforce their own rules in subreddits. This means that while posting the name is technically allowed, subreddit moderators can ban it in their communities and prevent it from appearing sitewide.

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The statement puts Reddit in a similar position to Twitter on paper. Twitter has claimed that naming and sharing photos of the alleged impeachment whistleblower is not a violation of its rules. A Twitter spokesperson further clarified that the name and photo of the alleged whistleblower “aren’t considered private information” and therefore sharing them doesn’t violate its rules around posting private information.

However, Twitter has removed some posts which named the alleged whistleblower for supposedly violating this policy, even though the posts didn’t appear to contain any other private information.

Facebook and YouTube’s decision to censor all mentions of the alleged impeachment whistleblower has proved controversial. Before announcing that they would be banning all mentions of the name, it was widely known on the internet and had been published in the media, by public figures, and in government documents. Since announcing the ban, a Fox News contributor has also named the alleged whistleblower on-air.

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