The founder of KotakuinAction briefly shut down the GamerGate subreddit last night, citing the “racism” and “sexism” of its community as the reasoning behind his decision. Reddit user u/david-me, who set up the KotakuinAction subreddit, took it down before writing a lengthy post in r/Drama explaining his actions, saying that he is “no longer a victim” after forcing it offline.
KotakuinAction is the most active GamerGate forum on the internet. Though set up before the events of GamerGate in 2014, KotakuinAction’s focus on criticizing games journalism and the personalities within it meshed with its supporters’ views, with it eventually becoming the largest online GamerGate forum with nearly 100,000 subscribers.
u/david-me explained how he had initially struggled to deal with hate speech on the forum, until it eventually spiraled out of control. “KiA became infested with racism and sexism …. and other ism’s ( though many ism’s are not real),” he wrote. “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.”
The KiA founder then went on to discuss Reddit’s approach to the subreddit: “They are the stewards of hate and divisiveness and they let it go,” he wrote. “They go so far as to even claim there is nothing they can do about it. ”
u/david-me did manage to shut down the subreddit, but only for less than an hour after the other moderators contacted Reddit’s admin team. According to a post on the subreddit, the admins promptly reinstated the subreddit, leading to only a brief outage. The KiA founder’s message has since reached the top of r/Drama and r/SubredditDrama, two of the biggest destinations for controversial happenings on Reddit.
The former mod’s decision to shut down the KotakuinAction subreddit comes after Reddit CEO Steve Huffman responded to a user regarding the site’s stance on hate speech. In an exchange that was shared online by the Redditor, Huffman said that hate speech was “difficult to define,” adding: “There’s a reason why it’s not really done.”
“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.”