Redditors are taking over white supremacist groups and turning them into hilarious forums about laundry
If you’ve scrolled around Reddit recently (or ever, really) chances are you’ve come across one or two aggressively racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, or xenophobic communities that exist only to propagate hate and add to the vile, ever-expanding internet sludge slowing the movement toward meaningful social change.
But a handful of do-gooding denizens of the world wide web are hoping to undo the damage — one thread at a time — by taking over Reddit’s white supremacist groups and turning them into hilarious forums on severe weather conditions, car transmissions, and even laundry — and all we can say is LOL!
Tired of waiting for the site to shut down neo Nazi and white supremacist groups on their platform, Reddit’s community moderators, including Ianna Urquhart, are taking matters in their own hands.
Capitalizing on Reddit’s rules, which allow users to petition the site’s administrators to absorb inactive subreddits, Urquhart and a team of semi-organized Reddit power users have successfully flipped the switch on hotbeds of hate speech, transforming deplorable subreddits — like r/WhitePolitics — into a safe space to share pro-tips for doing laundry.
She even turned former Ku Klux Klan-affiliated community r/Stormfront into a helpful severe weather report tracker.
And transphobic trolls searching for r/Trannys to spew their slimy, anti-inclusion rhetoric? Not today, Satan.
According to Urquhart, using humor to infiltrate hate groups on Reddit from the inside out is the best way to hit Control+Alt+Delete on the spread of dangerous and discriminatory speech on the platform, but admits the site will never be entirely rid of them.
“Now, they’ll still have their own hate [subreddits]. They’re always gonna find them. But it’s easier if they’re all concentrated in one place, so you know where the bad ones are,” she told The Daily Beast. “It’s better to have them out in the open.”