Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Peloton, the networked fitness-bike seller, has found itself in the position of having to scour its forums and leaderboards to remove hateful speech.
The bottom line: It highlights how toxic the social media environment is in 2020. If it's online and social, it's probably going to require moderation.
Driving the news: The exercise company has decided to temporarily ban political speech on its groups and Facebook pages.
- Terms related to QAnon, the right-wing fringe conspiracy theory that Facebook recently banned, have reportedly also been showing up on Peloton's leaderboards.
- The company expected the occasional vulgar username, but never imagined it would find itself needing to do full-on content moderation like a big social network.
- Members are allowed to adopt political usernames in the leaderboard, supporting political issues or causes. However, Peloton bans slurs, epithets and dog whistles.
What they're saying: "Peloton was built on community, inclusivity, and being the best version of yourself," the company said in a statement to Axios. "We welcome members from all walks of life to have respectful and thought-provoking discussions .... However, we have a zero-tolerance policy against hateful content."