- Reddit user u/david-me temporarily shut down the forum KotakuinAction on Thursday night.
- He said that “racism” and “sexism” were the reasons behind shutting down the forum, which he founded in 2014.
- KotakuinAction quickly became the most active forum behind Gamergate, a militant online movement to end feminist criticism of video games.
- The forum was back up less than an hour after the shutdown after moderators contacted the Reddit’s admin team.
Reddit’s main Gamergate forum temporarily shut down on Thursday night after its head moderator called it a “cancerous growth.”
KotakuinAction was launched in 2014 and quickly became the most active forum behind Gamergate, a militant online movement to end feminist criticism of video games, which saw several female gamers subjected to death and rape threats.
The forum was shut down by its founder Thursday night, but it was back up on Reddit less than an hour later after other moderators contacted the website’s admin team.
On Friday morning, the site was back up with its nearly 100,000 subscribers still in-tact.
When the page was restored, u/david-me wrote to another user that other moderators “knew this day would come. I said so.”
He said all moderators knew he would stay on the page as a head moderator as a “failsafe.”
The main Gamergate forum on Reddit, "KotakuInAction," has been shut down after the head mod had a crisis of conscience pic.twitter.com/ybtoyZIIuR
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) July 13, 2018
In his post explaining why he shut down the forum, u/david-me said that he and other moderators struggled to handle hate speech in KotakuinAction.
He wrote: “KiA became infested with racism and sexism …. and other ism’s (though many ism’s are not real). GG forums were created on KiwiFarms and 8chan as a result.
“This was the best and worst thing. The monster was now a virus. We banned links to, and then mention of certain links and topics. Now we became the enemy.”
He went on to call the forum a “monumental failure,” “a boogeyman,” and “the monster under my bed.”
“Until now. KiA is one of the many cancerous growths that have infiltrated reddit. The internet. The world,” u/david-me wrote. “I did this. Now I am undoing it. This abomination should have always been aborted.”
The KiA founder questioned Reddit’s approach to subreddits and calling his forum a “Mini-me” to The_Donald, which is a forum covering President Donald Trump supporters and the Make America Great Again movement.
“I’m scratching an itch, yet you are a viral cancer that is destroying the minds of millions of Reddit users each day; And they allow it,” he wrote. “They, in fact, have to. Conflict breeds users and drives viewer counts, driving advertisers and required profits.
“After all, who would invest in a company that loses money? Reddit is only a small problem, but I’ll end it here. Those with power use it to create a stronger hold on that power.”
The KiA founder said The_Donald showed him “the darkness” that he hoped to “pave” toward the light.
KotakuinAction’s brief shutdown came after Reddit CEO Steve Huffman responded to a user question about hate speech.
He said that hate speech was “difficult to define,” thus hard to police, according to GameRevolution.
“Additionally, we are not the thought police,” Huffman said. “It’s not the role of a private company to decide what people can and cannot say.”
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