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Reddit drew the ire of far-right users on Wednesday night when it banned r/CBTS_stream, a subreddit dedicated to speculating and discussing the posts of “QAnon,” an internet user who some believe is a leaker within the so-called “deep state.”
The subreddit, which stands for “Calm Before The Storm,” had more than 20,000 subscribers on Wednesday. The community discussed the cryptic posts written by someone calling themselves “QAnon” on websites such as 4chan, among other topics. Many subscribers to r/CBTS_stream and other QAnon-based communities online believe QAnon is a member of the Trump administration leaking information. The general thrust of the leaks seem to be leading toward the claim that Trump is staging a massive purge of “deep state” members of the government.
Recently, the subreddit feverishly discussed the #HRCVideo, a QAnon tip about a video involving Hillary Clinton that was “impossible to defend” and “toxic to those connected.” The community began speculating that the video was from Anthony Weiner‘s laptop—Weiner was married to Clinton aide Huma Abedin—and that news coverage of “deep fakes,” videos that use technology to superimpose people’s faces onto other bodies, was only to create a “narrative” to discredit the apparently forthcoming video.
Reddit told the Daily Dot that r/CBTS_stream was banned for violating the website’s content policy, including “encouraging or inciting violence and posting personal and confidential information.”
“Reddit is the home to some of the most authentic conversations online. We strive to be a welcoming, open platform for all by trusting our users to maintain an environment that cultivates genuine conversation,” Reddit spokesperson told the Daily Dot in an email. “This community was banned due to repeated violation of our content policy, specifically, the prohibition of content that encourages or incites violence and the posting of personal and confidential information.”
It appears that r/CBTS_stream isn’t going down without a fight.
On Twitter, an account for the subreddit said it had launched “Operation #DiscreditReddit” claiming the website’s banning of r/CBTS_stream was “murder of the First Amendment.”
REDDIT HAS BANNED OUR SUBREDDIT (https://t.co/CJxWxHz3YJ)!— CBTS_Stream (@cbts_stream) March 14, 2018
TIME FOR WAR!
JOIN THE OPERATION #DISCREDITREDDIT DISCORD TO JOIN THE FIGHT: https://t.co/W8UCMSH2GD#DiscreditReddit #EndCensorship #InternetBillOfRights@POTUS@realDonaldTrump@jerome_corsi pic.twitter.com/n21Z4DuJj6
Jerome Corsi, an InfoWars blogger who is sympathetic to the QAnon conspiracy theories, joined in the Reddit-bashing.
More CENSORSHIP on INTERNET #DiscredtReddit #EndCensorship #InternetBillOfRights REDDIT today terminated SUBREDDIT @cbts_stream CBTS_stream SUBREDDIT excuse "citing violence" REPORTING on #Qanon8chan & "disclosing personal info" on DEEP STATE criminals ENOUGH @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/TQhyFATex8— Jerome Corsi (@jerome_corsi) March 14, 2018
But Corsi wasn’t the only one. People on Twitter began claiming Reddit banning r/CBTS_stream was “censorship” and questioned Reddit’s reasoning for banning the community.
While r/CBTS_stream was banned, other communities that discuss QAnon tips have not been taken down by Reddit including r/GreatAwakening.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).