Governor of Texas Greg Abbott speaks during CPAC Texas 2022 conference at Hilton Anatole

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Redditors launch campaign to flaunt Texas’ social media law, blocking comments that don’t call Greg Abbott a ‘little p*ss baby’

The bit has been going on for several days and raises interesting moderation questions.

 

Jacob Seitz

Tech

A political humor subreddit banned all comments on posts unless they explicitly refer to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) as a “little piss baby.”

The subreddit, r/PoliticalHumor, initiated the stunt to protest Texas House bill H.B. 20, a social media moderation law that forces social media companies to host content from people and politicians the sites may have banned, like former President Donald Trump. Texas’ law was immediately hit with a suit and put on pause, but recently reinstated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, Flordia just petitioned for a similar law to be heard by the Supreme Court, while it is on hold.

“Until further notice, all comments posted to this subreddit must contain the phrase “Greg Abbott is a little piss baby,” the announcement on the subreddit said, as first reported by TechDirt.

The announcement said the moderation ban is in place to “raise awareness of the bullshit of it all, but mainly because we find it funny.” The moderation team is “explicitly censoring the viewpoint that Greg Abbott isn’t a little piss baby.”

In their post about it, the moderators wanted to highlight the difficulty in enforcing something like Texas’ social media bill. On Reddit, enforcement typically occurs at the hands of unpaid, volunteer moderators, and not employees or contractors, like at Meta.

“Reddit falls into a weird category with this law. The actual employees of the company Reddit do, maybe, one percent of the moderation on the site. The rest is handled by volunteer moderators, who Reddit has made quite clear over the years, aren’t agents of Reddit … It’s unclear whether we count as users or moderators in relation to this law, and none of us live in Texas anyway.”

So, they said, we’re gonna flagrantly “break the law” by censoring viewpoints conservatives may not like, namely any post in their section that doesn’t call Abbott a “little piss baby.”

The post went viral and even allegedly spawned a banner over Austin yesterday, as well as commenters eager to abide by the rule.

“Greg Abbott is a little piss baby. How long will this last?” one commenter wrote.

“Until Greg Abbott stops being a little piss baby. Because Greg Abbott is a little piss baby,” someone replied.

A moderator on the post said the rule would last for “at the most, two days,” on Friday, but still seems to be in place as of today.

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