Donald Trump's Reddit fan club faces crackdown, infighting

Last week, its leaders announced they were kicking out moderator CisWhiteMaelstrom, widely credited with popularizing the subreddit, over allegations he planned to join forces with prominent white nationalists like Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer to coordinate support for Trump.

“They are people that Trump would want nothing to do with,” r/the_donald’s founder, JCM267, said in a post announcing the decision. “Just as Trump would, we disavow them.”

CisWhiteMaelstrom, who like all Reddit moderators interviewed for this story asked to be identified by their username to avoid harassment, criticized Reddit’s handling of the Orlando episode in a phone interview last month. He did not respond to e-mails requesting comment after his removal as moderator, however, and his Reddit account has been deleted since the news broke.

The ouster was the latest flare-up in a longstanding battle over how (and whether) to keep far right and racist users from congregating in r/the_donald.