The subreddit dedicated to the bizarre “Pizzagate” conspiracy met an untimely end yesterday when Reddit admins decided to shut it down because it allegedly violated the site’s rules regarding witch hunting and the publication of personal information.
Proponents of the Pizzagate conspiracy claim that a Washington, D.C., pizza shop is the hub of an international child sex ring, whose members include senior officials at the DNC and even Hillary Clinton herself. This belief has led some to allegedly harass Comic Ping Pong’s staff and flood their Yelp page with accusations of child abuse.
On the final thread of the Pizzagate sub, Reddit admins stated their reasons for shutting it down.
“We wanted to let you know that after several long discussions on our end we are unable to keep your community open after today. This is because we’re still seeing PII of private individuals continually posted on your subreddit and it’s not being removed by moderators after multiple warnings and discussions with your team. We recognize that you feel this is an important investigation, however as it has become clear that this community is unable to stay within our sitewide rules we will be banning the subreddit at 4:00 PM PST.”
The Pizzagate discussion has now moved from Reddit to voat.co, a Reddit clone made in response to Reddit shutting down controversial subreddits. The site’s lax rules make it conducive for these kind of frenzied overzealous Internet sleuths.
Reddit has a long history of closing down subreddits, which then ignites major e-drama. This year they shut down the white supremacist sub r/european and last year started a shitstorm after closing r/fatpeoplehate.
The former mod of r/pizzagate made this statement on the Trump subreddit:
Dear Redditors, patriots, centipedes and most of all, heroes:
The last 7 days have been very interesting on the internet. What started as a small group of concerned humans investigating possible evidence of child abuse and corruption at the highest level quickly escalated into the fastest organically growing non-default sub that we are aware of. It also unfortunately became beset by organized hordes of trolls, disinformation agents and shills. Even more tragic is that we and all of the amazing human beings had our sub deleted with 2 hours notice despite our best attempts to moderate completely according to the Reddit ToS.
To those of you who are disappointed by the tragic end of this chapter of the story: we made every attempt to moderate within the ToS, with someone assigned to watching /new constantly during busy times. We asked for evidence where we failed to quickly remove PII or instances of legitimate reports.
During the 2 hours notice we were given, there was a huge effort on the part of our amazing diggers, Maxtrix chat community and even centipedes and sister-subs (you guys know who you are) to preserve the great data that had been put together in only 7 days. Thank you so much! We were able to evacuate ALL of the data in a digital re-enactment of Dunkirk. We are not able to post a link to the torrent on Reddit but we will at some point be publishing it and much more in the true spirit of Snowden, Aaron and Assange.
Finally, we are not finished. Obviously the entire mod team and everyone else is tightening up our opsec and putting on our battle-armor. To those who pressured Reddit into this censorship: none of us are turning back. We have all made life insurance videos. We have all vowed to continue this fight. You have only increased our number. This morning we were numerous, tonight we are legion.
To centipedes, patriots and concerned humans everywhere who will not stand idly by and allow an organized conspiracy to continue the systematic abuse of children. We encourage all humans to join us. We already cannot be stopped. Be on the right side of history. We have registered pizzagate.io and although there is nothing there yet, we will be posting instructions for the next phase there as soon as we can humanly manage.
The moderator team of a sub that was about crust, toppings and sauce (it wasn’t)