Dark Enlightenment Sub-reddit stealth banned

Or de facto banned, whatever you want to call it. Reddit is dead. The site is mostly shills and bots with a smattering of NPCs now. I kept DE going as long as was allowed, but everyone always knew a move was quickly approaching. For now, Ruqqus will be the designated reddit clone to move to. Here is the replacement community. We are also using riot chat, now called element, for real time chat. Discord is converged and can’t be trusted any more than reddit for those wondering why we aren’t using that. Here is the announcement from my blog, and here are some instructions for joining from the sub. There is also a voat community, which I am mod of, but I don’t intend to actively use it as of right now. But its there.

Some sort of action of this sort was expected from reddit for a long time, although their chosen method does surprise me a bit. I am also surprised actions weren’t taken sooner. How or why they didn’t ban the sub outright in the last ban wave, or now for that matter, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I am sure there is some reason for it.

I’ll briefly describe the sequence of events. About a month after the last ban wave occurred, the harassment from the sub-reddit “againsthatesubreddits” began. They present themselves as just passionate, crazy leftists. I am sure that is true in many cases, but the fact is this sort of harassment seems to have picked up all across the internet to any vaguely right-leaning community or group of people. Most recently conservative publishers on amazon. The ubiquity and simultaneity of the harassment pretty much everywhere makes me think this is an election year paid operation similar but more extreme than 2016’s shareblue shills. I honestly wish we could make paid shilling a crime punished by execution. Slow, public execution for the funders and organizers.

The main technique employed by this group or groups when they want to get something banned is to make alternate shill accounts which they use to generate “offensive” content, which can then be reported by their main accounts. If enough of this gets through, due to poor moderation, that creates the public justification to ban the community. That is, I assume, how they justified banning /r/The_donald. It helps when the admins are covertly working with the agitators, because then rules against brigading, harrassment, and multple account abuse only get enforced against one side. Classic anarcho-tyranny. This is exactly the case for AHS, one or more of their moderators are admins. And I suspect more admins are involved behind the scenes. I wouldn’t even be surprised if many of the Anti-evil operations censors were hired from active participants of AHS. Well, that and from the CCP.

It has also been alleged by a former member and whistle blower that this organized group posted child pornography (alternate link) in order to get conservative subs banned in the past, which apparently worked several times. The whistle blower is a tranny, and it seems like many of the most active crazy leftists engaged in internet activism are also trannies. Obviously this has to be taken with a grain of salt, but a group of delusional tranny leftists engaging in something despicably illegal to target their ideological foes does fit their MO. Accuse others of what you yourself are doing is a classic leftist technique. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence the so-called “elites” engage in rampant child sexual abuse.

Thankfully, no attempt to post CP to darkenlightenment was ever attempted so I can’t confirm this actually occurred, even if it wouldn’t be a surprise. Possibly because of the whistle-blower above blowing the cover, and making it more risky. But I also had some pretty strict automated rules in place such as not allowing new accounts to post, not allowing video or image posts without manual approval, and some other things. This meant that all the low-hanging fruit for generating reportable content were already removed before the dedicated harassment even began.

However, they did make several attempts. First, an unusual number of fairly content free self-posts (like a blog post, but you can post your own writing to a subreddit) were made with the intention of generating reportable comments. At first, I just removed them and increased the minimum length requirements several times. However, new and longer versions of these posts kept appearing despite multiple iterations of stricter requirements and I eventually had to make all self-posts require manual approval. The self-post spam stopped after this. I highly suspect some sort of AI writing software was being used to create these posts. (Also, see this and this)

There was a reprieve for a few weeks while other strategies were considered. Eventually they settled on brigading. This is when one community (like darkenlightenment) is linked to by another (AHS) and an army of typing turds invades and causes all sorts of disruptive commenting and other unwanted behavior. This is against reddit’s overall rules, but anarcho-tyranny reigns there and it isn’t enforced against AHS. AHS only exists to brigade, and would have been banned a long time ago if rules were actually enforced on it. Were DE to do a quarter of what they do, it would have been banned years ago. This too was ineffective, however. Between the automated rules which made it somewhat difficult to utilize alts, and vigilance by the mods, the waves of leftists (and/or bots) were quickly beaten back. As part of this, there were hundreds of report messages sent to me and the other mods. Pretty much every legitimate comment and/or submission by ANYONE to the sub got at least 1 and up to 10 frivolous reports. Some exceptional posts got close to 100 reports. This is more of a minor annoyance for the mods than anything effectual, but it is still going on for the mods who are left.

There were worse examples, but I didn’t take any screenshots before I was removed as a mod. This is from one of the other mods who is still there who was asking about this issue. The edgyness of a comment would get it more reports, but it didn’t take very much to get at least 1.

With the failure of brigading to get the sub banned, the admin/mods of AHS started targeting my mod account. Which of course has now been permanently suspended and removed as mod. Mainly for posting negative things about trannies as the excuse, and pointing out the admin/mods of AHS were likely trannies themselves. They were annoying me, and saying anything that isn’t a glowing endorsement of trannyism really triggers them. More than any of the other standard leftist bullshit. Some people suggested I should have kept my head down, but the gutting of the sub was inevitable. I would rather have some fun pissing them off on my way out, than give them the satisfaction of bending the knee.

They also removed a number of other mod accounts and there are only two active ones left. One of the two remaining ones got a suspension for a 9 month old comment once it was clear this was an actual mod, and not just an abandoned account, who was going to be doing some things with the sub.

Quick’s comment is a bit edgy, perhaps, but obviously not very egregious. Especially for a site which used to claim to be a champion of free speech. That was before there was a big investment by the CCP into reddit. So they are going to work on the last remaining mods until there is no moderation at all. At that point, if they aren’t satisfied that the sub is dead enough already, it would be quite easy to re-engage in the trolling mentioned previously to generate enough bad-optics content to justify an official ban.

Another interesting thing they did, after I was removed, is the admins set the sub to “restricted” status:

I always had the sub set to public, because it would be a real pain to have to manually copy and paste every username you wanted to be able to participate. Since I always had it public, and therefore never put anyone on the approved submitter list, it means that no one can post or comment except for mods while this setting is engaged. The remaining mods asked me about this, and I believe they changed it back to public, but obviously the admins could reverse it at any time. And probably will.

The result of all this is that the sub is effectively banned, but I suppose they are avoiding the bad optics of obvious censorship at the moment. But if you ban all the mods (including myself, who submitted most of the links), as well as make it impossible for random users to do anything with it, that is the same result as banning it out-right.

Why they would go this route is somewhat confusing to me. While my moderation was pretty good and prevented a lot of obvious BS, I don’t see why they wouldn’t just get rid of it like the did the_donald. That sub was a lot bigger and more well-known, and that didn’t stop them. I would speculate there are two possible reasons. 1) doing it this way prevents some outrage because it isn’t as obvious what happened. Though I doubt an outright ban of DE would cause much outrage. It might prevent some people from trying to re-group on another site, but the sub wasn’t that big so its hard to say that was the concern. 2) Another possibility is the reworking of section 230. Could they be leaving it up, while effectively making it useless, so that if and when they inevitably get sued or prosecuted or whatever the changes end up doing they can point to it and say “Hey, we didn’t censor this very extreme example, we aren’t guilty.” It seems like they want to eat their cake and have it too.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter what they do. Nothing can stop what is coming. Join us on ruqqus.

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4 Replies to “Dark Enlightenment Sub-reddit stealth banned”

  1. Reddit and its clones are democracies, and all democracies eventually get taken over by Leftists. The only effective organization is one where a single competent leader, preferably the original founder, maintains total control.

  2. Thanks for the information about the ban. Not a DE proponent or user, but noticed by chance the page stopped accumulating posts 21 days ago, besides some Moldbug updates. I though it was weird and searched and found your post here.

    Net censorship has been going on a long time. The real war happened maybe 20 years ago when the independence of ISPs was crushed by the backbone operators. In related developments, sometime around 2000 New York state trashed the alt.* hierarchy of the newsgroups. Newsgroups are pretty much dead now. Old-school 90s assumptions about the net being inherently anti-censorship were dying before Facebook and Twitter showed up.

    As internet usage shifted to social media, and ballooned rapidly, a new moment for outsider speech flowered, perhaps too quickly, from around 2012-2016. We might call this the “say anything” era. But in fact it was not an absolute regime of freedom of speech. The most obvious restrictions were on sexual representations of minors, but that censorious impulse extended to just talking about it. That means, all along, many people were restricted from having conversations about things important to them. And the record shows, we think, that in every case, it was topics having to do with minors that served as the vanguard issue for censorship crackdowns.

    In a way, the post-2016 / post-Trump censorship wave, which really is the intelligence agencies re-asserting control over core narratives by instituting multiple levels of censorship and control, is just a renormalization of the censorship era we experienced in the past. We are returning to television era of censorship, coded as “protecting children” or “community standards.” It’s a world where capitalists will update Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings with strippers gaping their assholes for Gandalf, but you can’t talk about basic facts around race, IQ, and human sexuality. This is the new normal.

    All of this is to say, if you want to share edgy or unpopular opinions, you can’t be lazy and expect any social media platform or any centralized app to carry your water. If you want my honest opinion, all the apps you are moving toward have the same fundamental problems as the apps you are moving away from. What we need are encrypted decentralized applications.

    Good luck keeping your community alive.

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