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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."

Go deeper

Updated Jan 11, 2021 - Technology

All the platforms that have banned or restricted Trump so far

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Platforms are rapidly removing Donald Trump’s account or accounts affiliated with pro-Trump violence and conspiracies, like QAnon and #StoptheSteal.

Twitter bans Trump

Twitter announced Friday that the platform will permanently suspend President Trump's account effective immediately.

Driving the news: It's Twitter's strongest action against the president's account and comes in response to the "risk of further incitement of violence," per the social media company. The move follows Wednesday's siege at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as Congress was certifying the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

Reddit bans subreddit group "r/DonaldTrump"

Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Reddit has banned the subreddit group "r/DonaldTrump," a spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: While not an official group or page hosted by the president, it's one of the company's largest political communities dedicated to support for President Trump.