- A popular pro-Trump subreddit was quarantined after posts encouraging violence were made in reference to police and public officials in Oregon.
- As a result of the quarantine, users have to click through a warning to get to the community.
- The subreddit can also not make revenue, cannot appear on the popular page, and cannot appear in search results on the site.
- Some say Reddit has taken a step too far and is censoring users, while others have applauded the platform for taking action.
The controversial subreddit “r/The_Donald” has been quarantined after threats of violence were posted on the page.
r/The_Donald is a popular pro-Trump subreddit among President Donald Trump’s fanbase. Users share memes and other viral content about him and other political topics. When Trump was a presidential candidate in 2016, he did an Ask Me Anything in the community.
A Media Matters report on Monday said that users in r/The_Donald had been using violent language, specifically when speaking about Oregon’s governor, who called for officers to bring back Republican senators who left the state to avoid a vote on climate legislation. Many of the users in the subreddit were angry with the governor, taking the side of the Republican senators.
Media Matters shared posts that have since been removed from the subreddit. They say things like, “none of this gets fixed without people picking up rifles,” “no problems shooting a cop trying to strip rights from Citizens,” and “It’s time to threaten, because nothing else is working. It’s time to tell them that EVERYTHING will burn if it does not change.”
While Reddit did not cite Media Matters in their decision, the subreddit was quarantined just two days after their report was posted. They wrote to the moderators specifically mentioning the comments made about the recent events in Oregon.
“We have observed repeated rule-breaking behavior in your community,” they wrote. “Most recently, we have observed this behavior in the form of encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon.”
According to Reddit, the goal of a quarantine is “to prevent its content from being accidentally viewed by those who do not knowingly wish to do so, or viewed without appropriate context.” The quarantine also means that the subreddit cannot generate revenue, appear on the popular page, or be found via search.
Now when users go to the subreddit, they are met with a warning alerting them that the community has been quarantined.
“It is restricted due to significant issues with reporting and addressing violations of the Reddit Content Policy,” the warning says. “Most recently the violations have included threats of violence against police and public officials.”
The user must then click to confirm whether or not they want to continue. Once on the subreddit, a similar warning is placed at the top of the page.
Internet Users React
Users in the community are upset about the quarantine. One post claims that none of the users ever broke the rules and said that this an attack by the left.
“None of these comments that violated Reddit’s rules,” the post starts. “Those comments were reported on by an arm of the DNC and picked up by multiple news outlets.”
It later encourages the community to follow the rules and report bad behavior.
Andrew Surabian, a GOP strategist who used to work for Trump, said this was part of “big tech” not wanting Trump re-elected in 2020.
Another Twitter user said Reddit’s action was good and that users calling for hate crimes crossed a line.
Meanwhile another user said this was a step in the right direction.
Reddit also defended their choice in a statement to The Verge.
“We are clear in our site-wide policies that posting content that encourages or threatens violence is not allowed on Reddit,” the statement reads. “As we have shared, we are sensitive to what could be considered political speech, however, recent behaviors including threats against the police and public figures is content that is prohibited by our violence policy.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Mashable) (Daily Beast)
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.