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Reddit restores the poisonous KotakuInAction subreddit after its founder closes it in disgust

It’s back!

By David Futrelle

Regrets, he’s had a few. Last night, the founder of the KotakuInAction subreddit, the hate-filled hangout that has been the main meeting place for Reddit’s angriest gamers since the days of GamerGate, decided to do something he’d been thinking of doing for a long time: he denounced his misbegotten creation as a “cancerous growth” on the internet and closed it down.

Describing the subreddit a huge mistake it was now time to correct, the Redditor known as david-me explained his actions in a long post on the Drama subreddit:

KiA is one of the many cancerous growths that have infiltrated reddit. The internet. The world. I did this. Now I am undoing it. This abomination should have always been aborted.

So in this moment with years of contemplation, I am Stopping it. I’m closing shop and I can’t allow anyone to exploit my handicap.  [David-me says he has Generalized Anxiety Disorder and is on the Autism spectrum.] I’ve watched and read every day. Every single day. The mods are good at what they do, but they are moderating over a sub that should not exist.

He blamed Reddit for enabling the shitshow by not cracking down on hate speech.

Reddit and it’s Admins … are the stewards of hate and divisiveness and they let it go. They go so far as to even claim there is nothing they can do about it. …

Don’t let Reddit pretend otherwise. They know what goes on here. They know everything. So either they choose to allow it, or $$$$ makes them.

He  went on to call out the equally hateful but much larger The_Donald  subreddit as

a viral cancer that is destroying the minds of millions of Reddit users each day; And they allow it. … Conflict breeds users and drives viewer counts, driving advertisers and required profits. 

Naturally, Reddit being what it is, site admins moved quickly to restore the subreddit — and it was reportedly up again in less than an hour, according to Polygon.Which kind of, sort of proves david-me’s points, doesn’t it?

The other subreddit mods were not pleased by the shutdown. One of them explained their version of events in a stickied post shortly after the subreddit was restored,

david-me apparently went off the deep end, making a long screed post on another sub about nuking KiA as he made KiA private, kicked the entire mod team, nuked the CSS, and generally made a clusterfuck of things. Thankfully, an amazing admin was online who helped restore everything, and has locked david’s permissions to mail-only while an investigation goes on into the matter later before they decide if anything further needs to be done. 

That’s Reddit for you, I guess. As of right now, KiA remains up, and the regulars are happily babbling away about all the attention the shutdown got them and writing huge walls of text on how the whole thing shows that “GamerGate still has momentum.” Which I suppose is true, in that gamer dudes are still harassing female game developers they don’t like and endlessly nattering about those games journalists and publications who have committed the alleged huge ethical breach of disagreeing with them.

Shitty dudes on the internet remain shitty dudes on the internet, news at 11.

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Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
2 years ago

If only we could exile them to an island where they could fling poo at each other.

I’m sure they would argue about who had the BEST poo.

Alexis Filth
Alexis Filth
2 years ago

It sounds like he’s had a personal epiphany. Which makes me wonder what happened to cause it. Conservatives (and let’s make no mistake, gamergate is very much a right wing phenomenon with only a soupcon of leftist bros for flavor) and as a general rule, the right only realizes something as wrong or bad once it affects them personally. Like the congressman who was virulently homophobic until his son came out as gay.
So, did a close friend of his get doxxed by GG or something? Because I honestly can’t see someone watching the toxic stew of KiA for that long and finally realizing it’s toxic without some sort of shock.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Then there’s Facebook walking back their (what all reasonable people knew was empty) promise to get rid of phony news. Because figuring out whether or not Infowars is real news is just too hard, apparently.

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

Damn, the man can’t even have control over the subreddit he created? He wants to shut it down, if other people want to still congregate, they can make their own damn subreddits, right?

Jane Done
Jane Done
2 years ago

It’s shit like this, where the very founder of a geek community openly declares that it is based in hate yet the community gets the backing of one of the internet’s most powerful websites, that makes it hard not to tear a metaphorical strip off people who describe Steven universe or other lgbtq+ geeky communities with demonizing superlatives.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
2 years ago

Reddit admins a trash and this is a clear example as supporters of nazis and fascists as any.

Saint-Somnia
Saint-Somnia
2 years ago

Wait, why can Reddit do this? Isn’t supposed to be users decisions? This is weird.

Alexis Filth
Alexis Filth
2 years ago

@Saint-somnia
If you’ve allowed other users to become mods with equal power you’re kind of screwed.
If he’d maintained sole control, maybe he could have shuttered it. Of course then Kotaku_inaction or something would have popped up and we’d be right back to square one.

Bina
2 years ago

Aaand this is why I never signed on to Reddit. They don’t really care if something is trash, as long as it pulls eyeballs to the site (and increases their ad revenues therefrom, natch.) Morality? Decency? Good sense? WTF are those?

ichthyic
ichthyic
2 years ago

btw, this is the same business model facebook uses.

it’s why they refuse to dump the Infowars page, even though it is the very definition of fake news.

don’t believe these social media companies… they lie for a living, literally.

(A)utonomous Escapist
(A)utonomous Escapist
2 years ago

@Bina: We do have a lot of fun in the COMPLETEANARCHY Subreddit. We keep it fairly wholesome, save for a bit of tastelessly humoristic celebration of violence against fascists. The biggest critique would probably be that it can get a bit too much of an Anarchist in-humour-thing.

Cindy
Cindy
2 years ago

Celebration of violence against fascists? Now I’m interested! 😛

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

I’m reminded of a video I watched a short while back about how, since the more time you spend on Facebook, the more ads you see and the more money they make, polarization and controversy (and harassment) is purposefully kept on the site. Looks like it’s the same for Reddit, just to a more blatant extreme.

kobun37
kobun37
2 years ago

Someone want to explain to me why this sub is called Kotaku In Action? About 6-8 years ago I used to follow video game news closely and comment on different video game sites. Kotaku was one of them and I don’t remember it being notably terrible either in content or comments. Did Kotaku go off the deep end and become a misogynist cesspit during the whole gamergate fiasco or is the name because of something else?

Tovius
Tovius
2 years ago

@ kobun37
Not that I know of. The gaters don’t like Kotaku because someone once wrote a positive review of one of Zoe Quinn’s game on there.

Calypso
Calypso
2 years ago

Thename is supposed to be an insult to Kotaku. Kotaku generally espouses progressive politics in its coverage of games. They were critical of Gamergate and the subreddit was created during that movement’s heydey.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I think maybe a Kotaku writer was one of the “five guys” although I could be remembering wrong. They also have writers who occasionally write with a pro social justice slant and they used to be owned by Gawker. Lots of things for reactionaries to rage wank over.

The commenters on the other hand, were often as bad as reddit and 4chan from what I saw.

ColeYote
ColeYote
2 years ago

Reddit admins have started actively propping up the hatred, lovely.

Ariblester
Ariblester
2 years ago

@kobun37

The name is in reference to another subreddit called Tumblr in Action, whose stated aim was to document the hypocrisies and overreactions of Tumblr SJW types (I’m paraphrasing). Kotaku, being a popular video game website that was quite progressive in its politics, and one of the first to cover Gamergate, was therefore a natural target for reactionary blowback. It helped that Kotaku writer Nathan Grayson was also one of the “5 Guys” names by Eric Gjoni as unfairly giving Zoe Quinn positive coverage.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@ColeYote
Started?

dslucia
dslucia
2 years ago

@Tovius:

For the sake of accuracy, there was never any review of Quinn’s game, it was simply mentioned in a list of indie games that the author recommended people check out.

@kobun:

Did Kotaku go off the deep end and become a misogynist cesspit during the whole gamergate fiasco or is the name because of something else?

If that had happened, the gators would have loved Kotaku.

dust bunny
dust bunny
2 years ago

Someone on Twitter said Reddit can’t ever take any large subreddit down because it’s built that way, it would involve a lot of heavy database operations and the result would amount to a DDoS attack.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

They were able to take the incels subreddit down …

Patrick Griffen
2 years ago

What an echo chamber. Extremists like yourselves are causing all social discourse to become increasingly polarized. You’re pushing centrists away with venomous rhetoric and political violence. You are actively assisting with the dismantling of Enlightenment ideals.

Want to know how we got a disgusting joke of a President in Drumph? Have a look in the mirror.

BlueNinja
BlueNinja
2 years ago

The creator of it has no right to close it down? Wow…

Alexis Filth
Alexis Filth
2 years ago

@Patrick_griffen
Lol, if people criticizing you for being a bigot makes you decide you’ll be a bigot (or vote for one) to spite them, you were already a bigot.
Also lol at the idea that people talking about what a cesspit a misogynistic gamer subreddit is directly gave us Trump. The Russians and white supremacy gave us Trump.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

The trolls are not sending their best to us anymore, are they?

It’s either sad boner trolls or why won’t you be nice to Nazis? trolls.

BORRRRRRINNNNG.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

They’re not exactly sending us their best! They’re sending incels, they’re sending MGTOWs, they’re rapists. We’re going to build a 40 foot wall between 4Chan and the rest of the internet!

(Strange how Trump-style rhetoric suddenly seems sensible when the target is changed to 4Chan and other such online cesspits of misogyny…)

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Yeah, if shithole countries actually do exist, they’re the internet nations of 4chan, Reddit, RoK, and Daily Stormer. Not Mexico or Haiti.

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

If the only thing necessary for a moral, upstanding ‘centrist’ to decide “hey you know what would be a great idea? Throwing in my lot with the fascists!” is that they get criticized and/or mocked online by feminists/liberals/non-racists on a site specifically dedicated to calling out shitty behavior, then humanity is well and truly fucked.

“A woman/minority was MEAAAAN to me once, so I’ve decided that none of them should have any rights anymore” is not a reasonable position to take.

Neither is “well, I WOULD have supported your basic human rights if only you had kissed my ass to the appropriate extent.”

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

Man… what kinda life do you lead if you’ve devoted yourself to GamerGate of all things for four straight years?

It must be verrrry sad.

Like our latest troll:

Extremists like yourselves are causing all social discourse to become increasingly polarized. You’re pushing centrists away with venomous rhetoric and political violence. You are actively assisting with the dismantling of Enlightenment ideals.

Yeah, I don’t tolerate abdication of responsibility. Polarization came from one side and one side only: the one with all the misogynists and the racists and the homophobes harassing people up and down the interwebs. That was all on you. Anita Sarkeesian just made some basic trope analysis videos; it was you who bombarded her with hate for it. Zoe Quinn just made a game about depression; it was you that organized entire campaigns to harass her.

Pointing out awful behaviour is not “extremism.” It’s the awful behaviour itself that is extreme. And Charlottesville laid a pretty stark contrast between those in the right and those in the wrong. You want to be in the wrong, that’s your choice. Own it.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

The ironic thing is I wouldn’t know who Anita, Zoe, and Brianna were if it weren’t for these asshats trying to silence them.

solecism
solecism
2 years ago

@Katamount (in response to Patrick Griffen):

Pointing out awful behaviour is not “extremism.” It’s the awful behaviour itself that is extreme.

And that is now the first of the new Geek Social Fallacies coined by Captain Awkward a couple weeks ago: https://captainawkward.com/2018/07/02/1120-the-creepy-guy-in-the-friend-group-revisited-four-more-geek-social-fallacies/

Patrick Griffen isn’t even wringing hands over how both sides are equally bad in creating this situation, but simply yelling at people pointing at the nudist Emperor. How very unoriginal.

Austin G Loomis
2 years ago

kupo skrev:

I wouldn’t know who Anita, Zoe, and Brianna were if it weren’t for these asshats trying to silence them.

David Gerard has a tag for gator-related hilarity and beclowning, to which I have thoughtfully linked my name, which takes its name from the logical endpoint of their “the more we attack her, the bigger she gets” efforts.