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Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Azamat Khan
Azamat Khan
I am of African origin and I live in Turkey. I have a PhD in political science or journalism.

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Reddit finally banned “bounty hunters” targeting drag queens for profit

On March 12th, Reddit admins decided to ban r/DragBountyHunters, a subforum dedicated to reporting drag queens in Texas for 5000 dollars. At the time of the subreddit’s ban, it had nearly 150 subscribers and more than a thousand users.

The subreddit was made after HB 4378, a Texan bill aimed modeled after the Nazi’s own Aktion T4 (a program that was designed to kill the disabled), was passed. The bill in question makes it illegal for drag queens to basically even exist. It allows for Texans to report drag queens for around 5 thousand dollars, and it can be called a Holocaust training program.

Before it was banned, the subreddit was home to an amount of vastly disturbing content. In one post, a father asks if he should collect a 5k bounty on his own daughter (transwoman), who qualifies for the bounty due to being a drag queen. After deadnaming his daughter, and consulting members of the subreddit, he gives in and decides to rat his daughter out to the authorities.

Other posts on the subreddit (of which we can’t show due to disturbing visual content) includes but isn’t limited to: a “wojak” (or crude, poorly done internet drawing) of a transwoman being hanged, massive paragraphs about how the reader will “never be a real woman”, and according to one source, a Latinx man being brutally albeit slowly beheaded by a rusty saw. As for why Reddit admins would allow for such a sub to be up in the first place for so long has not been yet answered. Similar questions have been put up for when Reddit allowed a similar subreddit more than a year back (r/TXbountyhunters) to be created and allow for the users to discuss methods on how to hunt birthing people and people who assist them for a cash prize.

After the subreddit was banned, we managed to find and contact the (former) owner of the subreddit. When we asked him why he would create and maintain a subforum dedicated to upholding facist laws and legalized hate crimes, he refused to give us a coherent answer, and instead called us a variety of assorted slurs, and said we were going to die in a “TND.” He then proceeded to block us. We have not been able to contact him ever since.

As for how the subreddit was finally banned, we believe it was due to reports by r/196, a subreddit with over 400k subscribers dedicated to upholding social justice online via memes. The subreddit was also raided by trolls by soyjak.party, a website seemingly dedicated to discussing and drawing wojaks.

Even if such facist-esque laws are passed in the America, it is important to realize the importance of the internet in both battling and upholding facism. After all, all it took to stop hundreds of innocent lives from being ruined for only 5000 dollars was a couple of memes and reports. Fighting facism can be as hard as waging a physical revolution, as to as simple as filing a report on social media.

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