Canada's largest Reddit community accused of supporting white supremacists
Canadian Reddit users are once again pressuring the people behind r/Canada — the country's largest subreddit by far with more than 673,000 members — to cut ties with moderators they say have links to white nationalist groups.
Allegations of subtle xenophobia and the promotion of an "alt-right" agenda have been mounting for years against those who run the popular message board, which bills itself as a "nation-themed subreddit for postings related to Canada on a generally-national scale."
Leaked 2018 screenshots of conversations between moderators, one in which a mod admits to "slowly becoming" a white nationalist and another in which a mod is said to be seen "defending a neo-nazi", made their way to the top of the subreddit early this week amid ongoing discussions of racism around the country.
These allegations are not new — in fact, they were first lobbed back in 2018, along with the aforementioned (and many other) screenshots, leading to coverage in media outlets such as Canadaland and Ricochet.
As a long-time Reddit user, I've definitely seen an increase in hate, bigotry, and white supremacy on /r/Canada.— Chris Kemp (@mindoverdata) February 20, 2018
Turns out it's because it's *literally* moderated by white supremacists now.
Screenshots of leaked conversation between mods:https://t.co/u3Myv1Prxo #Canada #cdnpoli
Chief among the concerns of whistleblowers are the associations between moderators of r/canada and a known alt-right forum called r/metacanada.
A Redditor called UsedToDonateBlood (who identified himself to Ricochet only as "Neil") has drawn explicit links between moderators of r/canada and r/metacanada in his accusations.
Neil says that a current r/canada moderator called medym actually used to be a moderator of r/metacanada, back when the latter sub's tagline still read "alt-right before alt-right was a thing." He also posted screenshots of medym defending the right of a current r/metacanada moderator (Ham_Sandwich77) to remain a member of r/canada despite his long history of inflammatory and racist posts.
In 2017, Neil actually started his own subreddit called r/onguardforthee to be "the only general Canada subreddit that doesn't allow bigotry or hate."
That sub now has nearly 100,000 members and is where a "list of demands" for r/canada appeared this week as recent anti-racism protests continued to take place across the country.
Two of Reddit's r/canada moderators have ties to white supremacy. A list of demands to r/canada: https://t.co/iHuw22cUBB— UsedToDonateBlood OnGuardForThee (@UtdbO) June 7, 2020
"Two r/canada moderators have ties to white supremacy. A list of demands to r/canada," reads the title of that post, which has racked up more than 16,800 upvotes since it was published Sunday.
Only three demands are asked of r/canada "if it truly is serious about its racism problem," as Neil put it. They are as follows:
The moderators of r/canada have yet to respond to the list of demands or to remove Perma and medym as moderators.
They have, however, taken a much firmer public stance against racism in recent weeks. Whether or not this is in response to constant accusations of racism against the subreddit is unknown.
Take even a second to look at subs like r/offmychest or r/actualpublicfreakout or r/canada (especially canadameta) and you can see SO. MUCH. RACISM.— Andi (@a_wyrd_nerd) June 2, 2020
You helped make this reddit. You foster it. You don't get brownie points https://t.co/hnJ9xHMJfD
"Please Report all Racism on the Subreddit," reads a post published to r/canada on Friday and pinned by moderators to the top of the subreddit.
"Racism is a widespread problem in Canada that many Canadians face on a regular basis," reads the post. With a subscriber base equivalent to ~1.78% of the nation's population this subreddit is sadly not immune to instances of racism similar to those faced by the broader population... This is unacceptable in this community."
"Please report all instances of what you perceive to be racism," members are instructed, followed by a list of "examples of racist/biogted behaviour that will result in removal from this community."
The r/canada subreddit has long maintained that it is apolitical, that no members of its moderation team are affiliated with the Canadian government, any political party or "any other entity outside of Reddit in any official or unofficial capacity."
"The categories laid out in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms (explicitly and legally interpreted) are general grounds upon which hatred may not be expressed but for clarity subreddit policy is explicitly not based on the Charter in any way, shape, or form."
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