Because these groups incite and celebrate criminal violence against women.
Users on reddit.com have argued that banning and/or removing these subreddits would be an unacceptable abridgment of free speech. We disagree; when speech crosses the line from simple free expression of ideas (however objectionable) to fanning the flames of violent criminal activity toward half its members, a community has the right and the responsibility to take action.
Because reddit has banned and/or removed other subreddits, the continued existence of r/misogyny, r/chokeabitch, et. al., suggests that reddit owners and administrators sanction the material presented. This tacit approval creates a hostile environment that permeates reddit as a whole and affects users even if they do not visit the subreddits in question.
Furthermore, as users who agreed to refrain from posting "material that is defamatory, abusive, bullying, harassing, racist, hateful, or violent" and content that "facilitates or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense" when we joined the site, we strongly object to this selective enforcement of reddit's terms of service.
Take a good look at the image above, and imagine your mother's face in place of the cartoon woman's. Is it funny? Is it entertaining? Does it add anything to your life or to the world at large?
Please join us in demanding that reddit abide by their user agreement, and remove and ban these dangerous and violent groups from the site:
c/o Condé Nast Digital
1166 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Dear Mr. Newhouse,
Your popular link-sharing website reddit.com hosts a number of user-created forums which advocate criminal violence against women, such as r/rape, r/rapingwomen, and r/beatingwomen.
Reddit’s User Agreement requires people registering on the site to refrain from posting "material that is defamatory, abusive, bullying, harassing, racist, hateful, or violent" and content that "facilitates or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense." Clearly, groups that exist for the sole purpose of promoting violent physical assault violate these terms; yet requests to reddit administrators to have them removed and banned have been refused, on the grounds of protecting free speech.
This refusal, when similar content has been removed in the past, amounts to your approval of the crimes these groups encourage. Free speech is not infringed by prohibiting the promotion of illegal behavior on your privately-owned website, any more than refusing to let a guest in your home paper your walls with Nazi propaganda.
Please don't let reddit become a harbor for advocates of violent criminal behavior. Enforce the policies to which we all -- including these subreddits' creators -- agreed when registering, and remove these groups from your site:
Thank you on behalf of mothers, sisters, wives and daughters everywhere.