The “When you can” subreddit is a place for the most dedicated Redditors to share their favorite content from the past year or so.
But it also has a reputation for its users being less-than-stellar when it comes to moderation.
For instance, in February 2017, user jenny_australia posted an article about a New Zealand teenager named Adam who died from anaphylaxis after a food allergy shot up the Reddit community.
“I think I’m going to die in a few days,” jenney_a_a said, referencing the New Zealand coroner’s verdict.
“My mom died of an anaphysic reaction to her cat food.”
The post garnered a few comments and a number of supportive messages from other Redditors.
That kind of feedback could be critical for the subreddit’s future growth.
But the moderators of The When you Can subreddit aren’t taking kindly to such criticism.
On February 20, they banned jennie_a, telling her that her post was a “hate crime” against “a black person and a white person.”
The subreddit’s moderation team responded to the banning by saying that jenie_a was a member of a “racist sub” that was “not welcome on our community.”
“You don’t have to like the post, you don’t need to like it,” moderator rpietila told The Huffington Post Australia.
“The community has decided to ban you.”
This wasn’t the first time that The When You Can subreddit’s moderators have attempted to ban users.
On April 25, the mods banned user gabriella_n, who was a moderator of The Now That I’ve Found Love subreddit, a subreddit dedicated to black women.
In a post titled “A lot of women on The Now that I’ve found Love subreddit have told me that they are offended by your racist and sexist comments,” gabriela_n wrote that she was “totally uncomfortable with your posts, and don’t want to be part of this community again.”
But rpienila and other moderators say that The Now You Can, which is made up of many moderators from different subreddits, is “a safe space” for all women.
They say the subreddit is built to encourage open discussion, but they also argue that the mods who made the banning decisions aren’t doing enough to protect its community.
The When I’m Not Afraid subreddit also gained notoriety in 2017 for an incident in which moderators decided to censor a post on the subreddit.
The subreddit, which was created by user xoxo_gibs, published an article in February that included a picture of a female friend of mine, captioned “I have a boyfriend and I’ve been wondering if I’m actually gay.”
I’ve just never had any sexual feelings for him, she wrote.
It was posted in a thread titled “I want to know if you’re gay.”
This prompted rpiotila to tell the mods of the subreddit that the picture was taken of a friend.
“If you feel uncomfortable about what I said, I’ll delete the post,” rpio_t said.
“We don’t tolerate racism.”
After rpioli_t deleted the post from the thread, rpia_l replied that she had never had a sexual encounter with a man and that she wasn’t sure if she should continue to post the picture.
The post was removed.
In response, rppio_gabrilla wrote a post that argued that the moderators who deleted the picture were “whiny, and trying to censor” rpios_gabilla.
In February, rpmi_gabbriella also took to r/TheWhenYouCan, a sub where people share their own experiences with the subreddit, to make an example of rpiel_gabs.
“It’s not a place where you can be hateful and hurt someone,” rpmid_gaba_l wrote.
“But it’s a place you can say that you hate a black person.
It’s not about how much you hate them, it’s about how you feel about them.”
In response to rpmis_gabe’s post, rpi_t responded by telling rpiami_d, a moderator who moderates The Now I’m Here subreddit, that “the ‘hate crime’ rule is an example [of] a white guy not being allowed to participate in this community.”
While rpm i_d defended rpm_gabo’s decision to delete the picture, rpris_t argued that rpmig_d was acting like a white male who felt “hatred toward black people.”
“I feel like you’re being disrespectful to rpis_d because she is a white woman,” rprispi_m wrote in a post about the incident.