Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Ethan Huff
If you have a knack for firearms, beer, and/or tobacco products, you’re no longer welcome at Reddit. The popular news and discussion website has reportedly scrapped a whole slew of so-called “subreddits” from its platform, including those centered around guns, which Reddit has categorized as “illicit or strictly controlled” goods.
Reddit users will no longer be allowed to buy and sell guns within the “Gun Deals” subreddit, nor will they be allowed to participate in “Beer Trade” or “Cigar Market,” as all three community groups have been banned from the Reddit platform. Other banned categories at Reddit include “drugs,” “personal information,” and “paid services involving physical sexual contact.”
In a recent statement, a Reddit spokesperson explained that not only are these groups prohibited, but so are all users “who attempt to conduct [these transactions],” all of whom “will be banned from the site.” However, when asked by BBC News to elaborate more on the new restrictions, that same Reddit spokesperson declined to comment.
Based on the full list of now-banned transactions at Reddit, there are literally dozens of topics and categories that are now off limits. One user reportedly compiled 38 different subreddits that were included in the ban, with a foreseeable total of more than 50.
Of these, 12 are centered around firearms, including the popular “r/gundeals” subreddit, which as of January 27, 2018, had 122,311 subscribers. If you include the other gun-related subreddits that were also removed, that subscriber number swells to well beyond 250,000 people.
The controversial move has many people wondering if the “March for Our Lives” movement that sprung up in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, shooting has anything to do with it. After all, mainstream media darling David Hogg and his partner in crime, Emma Gonzalez, have bullied many companies and websites into complying with their demand that the country part ways with its own Constitution.
And that’s really the crux of the issue: The fact that the Constitution doesn’t agree with Reddit’s assessment of guns being an “illicit” good. In fact, America’s founding fathers all owned guns, and specifically inserted language into the Constitution in the form of the Second Amendment that ensures the right of every American to own them.
Sure, firearm sales are heavily regulated in many states. But that still doesn’t make guns “illicit” in the way that Reddit is implying. A representative from the site told the media, however, that because there are “very specific conditions” involved with purchasing a firearm legally, such transactions need to take place on other platforms because Reddit “is simply not set up to ensure that those legal conditions are being met.”
But firearm sales weren’t even taking place on the gun subreddits, apparently. According to those subscribed to the “Gun Deals” subreddit, the community there merely provided links to legal gun retailer websites. And on other now-banned subreddits, users exchanged things like bullet casings rather than live ammunition, which couldn’t be more the opposite of illicit activity.
But none of this matters to Reddit, which seems to have an obvious anti-gun agenda that it’s trying to hide beneath a veneer of fighting “crime.” It’s similar to what YouTube has been doing lately in pulling videos that explain how to modify firearms or manufacture firearm accessories. (Related: Coming in 2018 — Real.Video, the uncensored, non-corporate alternative to YouTube.)
Many users are wondering if Reddit is planning to also scrap its annual “Secret Santa” tradition in which users give mystery gifts to each other during the holiday season. Since there’s no way to know if alcohol, tobacco, or firearms are being sent back and forth, it would only be consistent for Reddit to issue a blanket ban on everything.
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