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Bannedit? Two days after banning alt-right MillionDollarExtreme subreddit, Reddit nukes its QAnon forum

A sad night in QAnonsville

By David Futrelle

Is Reddit finally learning how to ban correctly?

On Monday, Reddit site admins banned the MillionDollarExtreme subreddit, ostensibly for hosting “violent content,” though this was merely one small part of what made the subreddit, a forum devoted to the alt-right’s favorite alt-comedy group, the foul and eminently bannable cesspool that it was.

Then earlier today Reddit took down the much larger and more influential GreatAwakening subreddit, the internet’s main hangout for QAnon conspiracy theorists too old or addled to figure out how to use 8chan, for harassment and violent threats, many of them directed at Hillary Clinton.

When the users of these banned subreddits scurried to hastily constructed replacement subreddits designed to circumvent the bans, Reddit shut these down as well.

[UPDATE: On Thursday night, Reddit also closed the nasty SJWhate subreddit.]

These new bans — in particular the bans of the replacement subreddits — have some wondering if Reddit is finally beginning to take hate speech — and the often violent harassment it encourages — with something approaching seriousness.

As The Verge puts it,

While previous Reddit bans have come about mostly as a result of external pressure, these are the first higher-profile bans directly tied to Reddit’s new, more explicit content policy, which was rolled out in October 2017. After years of inconsistency from the company’s leadership, the site’s handling of this set of bans suggests a more codified strategy being implemented across the board for policing toxic users. 

In the past, The Verge notes, bans of such noxious subreddits as r/Jailbait and r/PicsofDeadKids were

more or less … one-off response[s] to lengthy campaigns from users, media, and the general public. … As Reddit has grown more popular, it’s become increasingly obvious that the norms and implied protections the site has offered are inadequate. Despite CEO Steve Huffman’s continued waffling in his resolve to ban Reddit’s worst actors, a change seems to be afoot.

It’s not completely clear what, specifically, triggered these latest bans. A new and still relatively small subreddit called TheBanout2018, devoted to banning as many of the worst subreddits as possible, is claiming at least some of the credit. But Reddit hasn’t been terribly receptive to similar campaigns in the past — not without massive media attention —  and so it’s hard to tell if this latest one has actually played a significant role in bringing about the bans.

Regardless, some of the worst Redditors out there are freaking out, worrying that their favorite Reddit hangouts — from TheRedPill to r/MGTOW to The_Donald — will be next.

In TheRedPill, mods are urging subscribers to bookmark their off-Reddit alternative site TRP.RED, while Terpers themselves are talking as if they are fighting to protect the last dying embers of Western Civ.

the99percent1 158 points 14 hours ago Good times are built by strong men. Good times make men weak. Weak men make good times become hard. Hard times build up strong men. Rinse and repeat. permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply [–]Random_throwaway_000 74 points 12 hours ago From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.

chocolatex 7 points 9 hours ago Every great civilization/ hegemony lasts about 250 years. America’s time is waning.

In r/MGTOW, the regulars can’t seem to decide whom to blame, with prospective villains ranging from the Deep State to, er, Serena Williams?  (Don’t ask me to explain that one.) Some are convinced it’s part of a devious plot to sway the upcoming elections.

fmanly 7 points 2 hours ago Nah, just the next phase in the timeline. We're coming up on the mid-terms. Goal is that all online discussion endorsing anything resembling anything other than the left-wing talking points is suppressed as much as possible leading into election day. They probably figure that many elections are fairly close, and if it swings a few percent of voters it could change the outcome of the elections. They don't care if everybody goes onto gab or whatever, as long as their friends don't see their posts and just assume everybody has gone full-SJW because those are the only viewpoints being expressed.

Whatever the motive, the bans have left noted MGTOW philosopher BitchesBHating worried that we are entering dark times indeed.

BitchesBHating 12 points 4 hours ago Yup this is the time of the truth when the larger public decides whether they want totalitarianism or freedom. All of my favorite subs are in danger.. and I am honestly concerned. I rely on this free speech because in real life I will be ruined for wrong thought if I speak my mind.

Sad!

Reddit’s Bannables agree on one thing: they’re so opposed to all this evil banning that they want TheBanout2018 banned at once. Indeed, they’ve started up their own subreddit, BanBanouts, to push their anti-banning ban. As the subreddit’s mods explain in their sub’s sidebar:

We are sick of the intolerant. We are also sick of the intolerant of the intolerant. It's time we acknowledge intolerance to intolerance, but not recursively because that is too confusing. We, the undersigned, hereby ask DEMAND the Reddit admin remove and ban anybody intolerant of others and their opinions except for the undersigned intolerant people who they themselves are one level removed from said intolerance in accordance with the non-recursivity rule of section 1.A. of the 2018 Internet Tolerance Convention.

This might be a lot funnier were it not for the fact that the banned subreddits were — and the others possibly on the chopping block still are — energetic encouragers and exporters of the rankest hatreds, and that the worst of these subreddits have caused real damage to decent people by encouraging and enabling online and real-world harassment and violent threats. So, yeah, I’m not going to apologize for wanting this shit banned.

Let’s hope that Reddit is indeed taking a new and stricter stance towards the hatred and harassment that their platform has enabled over the years — and that the bannings of the GreatAwakening and MillionDollarExtreme subreddits and their various attempted replacements are merely the start of a much wider, and long overdue, crackdown.

I’m not sure I buy it, but we’ll see.

PS: Hey, did I mention that Amazon banned a bunch of books by Roosh? Well, it did.

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Pie
Pie
3 years ago

@Dormousing_it

However, I don’t think it was a good idea on the part of Amazon. It will only give more publicity to Roosh, and others like him. These MRA types already have a persecution mindset, and this ban will probably exacerbate it.

That’s a very good point. One only has to look at Milo Yiannopoulos, after all… deplatforming him increased his fame and power and reach immensely. If only he’d been left to continue his crusade instead of being silenced, surely he’d have disappeared by now.

Richard Smith
Richard Smith
3 years ago

Are you really being punished for “wrong thought,” though, when you “speak [your] mind”?

DW
DW
3 years ago

If I’ve learned anything today, it’s that hard men make good times. Or something like that.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

“Weak men make good times become hard.”

I can’t help but think of all the progress we could be making as a species, if only we weren’t constantly being dragged down by weak men demanding tribute to appease their egos.

Katamount
Katamount
3 years ago

Please tell me the rest of Shapiro’s book isn’t as cringeworthy as those excerpts.

From what the folks at Chapo have read on air, it involves scraggly beards, craggy faces, black race-hustling preachers, a Texas governor literally named “Bubba Davis”, and several large bears of men.

I’ve said before that Ben Shapiro is one of those guys you don’t have to protest. You just have to hold a dramatic reading of True Allegiance and the laughing alone will drown him out.

“The blood seeped out of Homer Simpson’s face”!
I can’t believe he wrote that!

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

Damn, Shapiro’s writing is almost impossible to parody.

Phryne
Phryne
3 years ago

weirwoodtreehugger: That was actually referenced in the paper I was reading! I mean, I think BBT is pretty awful for other reasons (that’s not autism, that’s some asshole’s “funny” interpretation of autism), but… like, you couldn’t make this shit up, y’know? Nobody would believe it if it was written in fiction.

(If anyone’s interested, I can give you the link. It’s long, seeing as it’s a doctoral thesis, but I found it very interesting.)

“These MRA types already have a persecution mindset, and this ban will probably exacerbate it.”

There’s nothing that’s gonna make it better, so I’d rather Amazon stop carrying the books even if it does feed into it. They’re gonna feel persecuted either way, and this way at least there’s one less outlet for him to spew his vileness.

Talonknife
Talonknife
3 years ago

@DW

If I’ve learned anything today, it’s that hard men make good times. Or something like that.

I’ve definitely had some good times with hard men, if you take my meaning.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
3 years ago

IN OTHER NEWS WHO SAW THE NINTENDO DIRECT?

[SCREAMS IN ANIMAL CROSSING]

calmdown
calmdown
3 years ago

We, the undersigned, hereby ask DEMAND the Reddit admin remove and ban anybody intolerant of others and their opinions except for the undersigned intolerant people who they themselves are one level removed from said intolerance

But…this has to be a parody. I mean, the people in the subreddit posting now probably don’t see any irony in what they’re doing, but whoever wrote this HAS to be trolling? RIGHT?? I’m not saying it’s ok, trolls are just as bad as the real thing in many cases, but I have to admit I laughed at this.

jrochest
jrochest
3 years ago

According to the guys at Reddit’s Qult_Headquarters, the vast majority of the Q followers have gone to VOAT, and it is not going well there by any means…

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of racist, sexist paranoids.

Jane Done
Jane Done
3 years ago

We, the undersigned, hereby DEMAND the Reddit admin remove and ban anybody intolerant of others and their opinions except for the undersigned intolerant people

Wow. Just.

Wow.

The world is literally so delusional that people actually, literally believe that hatred is ONLY OK FOR ME BUT NOT FOR ANYONE ELSE.

Like….

Words cannot express….

I just got over the whole thing that people honestly think things like “nazism isn’t wrong”, but I can’t honestly believe that people are honestly, truly capable of believing that “hypocrisy isn’t wrong”.

Most hate groups, no matter how fanatical or extreme, at least try to justify their beliefs on some rational level.

That’s not post-fact, that’s….post-reality.

That’s like, danger-to-society level of delusional.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
3 years ago

@wwth

I read the comment again and I think I misunderstood. but I still don’t understand that racist cartoon of Serena = banning QAnon subreddit. Serena is in the news now, yes, but they are already married for more than a year and abuse of her by the news went on for a long time already. If Alexis wanted reddit to be more progressive from what he learned from Serena I feel like it already should happened before now and with other subreddits which are worse than QAnon.

Sheila Crosby
3 years ago

I think it was Mae West who said that, “A hard man is good to find.”

The BanBanouts read like a parody to me, as though the writer is taking the piss out of the people in the group. The stuff about recursion sounds intelligent, like a software engineer.

And then I remmembered brogrammers.

jone
jone
3 years ago

For the love of god, these manosphere people.
It’s not like I want to keep them from expressing their misogynist ideas. I’m all in favor, be a dickhead if it suits you. But the internet isn’t YOURS. You are not entitled to incite hate towards ‘other’ groups on every medium available to you. Nobody is. It is against the law.
Go ahead and be a male supremacist! Offline. In smaller groups.
So the rest of us don’t have to think about you anymore.

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