Reddit recently gagged the subreddit r/The_Donald with a “quarantine” that essentially makes the subreddit invisible unless you go searching directly for it. When you do, it asks you if you want to see the content within, giving you the impression that it’s dangerous.
The subreddit is a pro-Trump room that, as its defenders describe it in an article by Cullen McCue at Reality Circuit, is a pro-Trump, pro-law enforcement community within Reddit. It’s also a very large community that is heavily policed by its own moderators. However, from time to time, bad characters are going to pop up. Typically, any calls for violence or overt shows of racism are removed from the subreddit with the commenter banned.
However, because it’s a pro-Trump subreddit, it’s been the target of multiple left-leaning groups:
Like any online community, r/the_donald is subject to any number of characters. You’ve got trolls, people who never leave the internet and full on radicals. Sure you can ban their accounts/remove comments – as r/the_donald has always done – but there will still be out of bounds content that seeps through the cracks. Any reasonable person can understand this, but there are agendas at play here.
R/the_donald has long been a target of Reddit. Subs like r/againsthatesubreddits – Reddit’s version of Media Matters – have long had the sub in their cross-hairs. Reddit is also an overwhelmingly left-leaning site as a whole, so TD has always been under increased scrutiny.
Interestingly, as McCue points out, far left subreddits are typically left well alone, and even members from groups like Antifa have a subreddit where they congregate, and calls for violence are often ignored:
Since Reddit is overwhelmingly left-wing (and a recipient of Chinese investment), far left subreddits are undisturbed. R/ChapoTrapHouse is the home of every edgy socialist you’ve ever met. Ya know that kid you vaguely remember from high school who posts Antifa tier shit on Facebook to the point where you unfriend him, but is a skin and bones pussy when you run into him at the grocery store? This subreddit is where they all congregate.
Chapo is filled with calls to violence, edgelord reactions to the suffering of their political opponents and just overall scumbaggotry. R/LateStageCapitalism is more of the same and supposedly “neutral subs” like r/politics are only populated by the most radical of leftists. Calls to violence (not removed and with up-votes) have been well documented there, in r/news, r/pics and other subs.
McCue then gave a massive list of threats and calls for violence. Here are some of the highlights.
- r/LateStageCapitalism MOD announcement – “No one can reasonably argue that the Republican congressmen shot today didn’t deserve it. They absolutely did. They created this situation of unparalleled division. They’re trying to destroy society to line their own pockets.”
- r/politics “Let’s put arsenic in drinks and slip it to Trump supporters”
- [Regarding Republicans] “What else can be done?” “Going to the homes of Republican lawmakers in the middle of the night dragging them into the street and turning them into tree ornaments [Lynching].” [+37]
- “We’re getting to the point that it’s past the need for protest but time for violent and extreme actions. The government needs to be reminded that is has a reason to be afraid of us.”
- r/anarchism praising the stabbing of a Trump supporter just for being white
There’s plenty more than that.
Reddit is filthy with left-leaning conspiracy theories and calls for radicalism, yet these often go untouched because no one is really looking into them as they are right-leaning or pro-Trump subreddits.
More importantly, they see that pro-Trump subreddits are perfect distribution centers of information that runs contrary to leftist and mainstream narratives. Silicon Valley’s recent drive to harness the flow of information to make it harder to counteract the lies is what made the r/The-Donald subreddit a quarantine zone, not any kind of violent rhetoric.