Donald Trump gave a series of surprisingly inoffensive answers to fans in his Reddit "ask me anything" session tonight. After a press conference filled with off-the-cuff andsometimes bizarre comments, his visit to Reddit stronghold r/The_Donald was marked by conspicuously anodyne responses — which, to be honest, was probably the best outcome anyone could have hoped for.
Reddit's official, high-profile AMAs — like the 2012 one with Barack Obama — are usually held on the subreddit r/IAmA. Trump's, however, was in r/The_Donald, a dedicated Trump forum. While the subreddit's rules ban racism and anti-semitism, members (and moderators) of r/The_Donald have a history of it; every public forum will have bad posts, but this is a case where there's been an outright flamewar over how much influence far-right extremists should have. Tonight, the subreddit's members reminded each other to be on their best behavior. "We can't give the dishonest media any type of ammunition to use against Trump," wrote one commenter. The thread was heavily moderated, and questions from new or rarely active accounts were automatically filtered out, although "public figures who support Trump" could be exempted. A moderator wrote afterward that they'd banned 2,200 accounts during the AMA.
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This meant that any confrontational questions, like why Trump isn't sharing his tax returns,. Politicians tend not to go in for hardball sessions on Reddit anyway — Obama's AMA was thoughtful but non-specific. And there were several confusing deletions, including on net neutrality from Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who is actually a moderator of the subreddit.