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Reddit, the social bookmarking website, is known for hosting a wide variety of content from politics to porn that virtually anyone can access. These topics are organized into forums known as subreddits, where users can interact with one another using text, links and photos. While users are required to be a minimum of 13 years of age to use Reddit, the social site has no fool proof verification process to keep out even younger users who wander in with a simple lying click. This is the first of many red flags on Reddit and other sites that simply can’t verify age while simultaneously hosting a plethora of mature content.
Founded in 2005, Reddit has been through its fair share of drama and scandals amongst users and moderators (also known as ‘mods’) alike, and is often the source of radicalized thoughts that have spilled into real life behaviors. While subreddits have typically been perceived as safe spaces for specific topics, as social justice movements have ramped up over the years this has proven to be false. In 2020, a subreddit for detransitioners and questioning transgender people was suspended. Detransitioners tend to experience a lot of censorship and hate due to the fact that their perspective often perturbs the LGBTQ+ community by raising too many questions and concerns about the transition process.
Remember, you’re no longer “allowed” to question or criticize the new LGBTQs.
The suspension was devastating for detrans people who already feel homeless, rejected by the LGBTQ community for even suggesting that transitioning isn’t a magical cure for gender dysphoria. Detransitioners like Chloe Cole, who is barely an adult, often receive violent comments including death threats for expressing heartache in hopes of saving youth from the same fate. So the destruction of the one space detrans folks thought they had was an overwhelming stab in the back.
Users flocked to other sites to express their sadness over the suspension. On a site called mumsnet.com, user rogmum lamented:
“I’m so upset about this [suspension]. It was the one community and support group detransitioners had…Reddit is nothing more than a TRA/MRA platform now.”
After numerous complaints and protests, the r/detrans subreddit was subsequently brought back, and detransitioners tentatively rejoiced, resuming their criticism of the new LGBTQ narrative so dismissive of their questions and pain. Even now, users in the r/detrans subreddit cannot fathom why they are considered pariahs by the trans community specifically, who can’t seem to handle healthy discourse.
“It seems to me like the trans community and its allies are just being willfully ignorant at this point,” user Enough-Process-2373 wrote in a recent thread. “There is absolutely NO tolerance of other perspectives and any attempts at critical discussion get immediately shot down. If their ideology is so unquestionably correct, then why won’t they defend it? When they do defend it, it’s so easy to poke holes in their arguments…I can understand it on a surface level, but I only believed in their rhetoric for so long because I was actively in denial. So many pro-trans arguments are so contradictory and straight up illogical. An entire community can’t be THAT stupid.”
The discussion thread above has been labeled in red as CONTROVERSIAL by Reddit, who haven’t exactly been hiding their bias for the neo gay movement. Other threads that have been suspended in the past include r/ActualLesbians, r/GenderCritical and r/truelesbians after several popular LGBTQ+ subreddits experienced prolonged attacks in 2020. These attacks, known as brigades, occur when users from other subreddits coordinate to infiltrate other boards with spam and derogatory comments, manipulating any current polls and otherwise creating a hellish scenario for moderators. One moderator, Aimee Knight, dealt with the fallout of a long brigade on the r/lgbt subreddit at the end of April in 2020, banning 473 users, and removed 1,403 posts and 11,323 comments with co-moderators.
There’s just one problem: Aimee Knight is a pedophile sympathizer.
Previously known as Aimee Challenor, Knight is a British trans rights activist who is trans herself. According to Google, Aimee was “assigned” male at birth, discovering her trans identity at just 10 years old. In 2018, she was suspended from the Green Party after appointing her father, David Challenor, as an election agent, despite him having been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in 2016. Aimee feigned ignorance and claimed she did not know the full details of the charges against her father before appointing him as her election agent. The Green Party was forced to make a statement and question their safeguarding processes.
Among the dangers children face on a platform like Reddit, access to cross-sex hormones without a prescription is on the list. An account called libsofreddit has taken to Instagram to expose Reddit’s illegal trafficking of HRT and puberty blockers to minors, who are looking to bypass health professionals and disapproving parents. The subreddit known as r/TransDIY has taken steps to avoid legal repercussions, stating their Reddit policy against directly marketed goods, including giveaways and private sales. They’ve also stated that “exact age should be largely irrelevant to the discussion.”
This hasn’t stopped mods from funneling their followers to medical websites like transfemscience.org, which includes a disclaimer that the writers are not medical professionals nor academic researchers, despite the extensive advice and recommendations for readers as to which drugs to take, where to find them, and a list of related subreddits they call “articles” which are medical in nature. One of the mods on r/TransDIY in question funneling subs to this site is a user called spitirual_cowboy, who also participates in a satire subreddit called r/transgendercirclejerk, where they have expressed a love for “tranny porn.”
Not only does the r/TransDIY subreddit funnel users to channels where they could potentially access cross-sex hormones illegally, the thread features a “pharmacy” called Okotokono, an illegal pharmacy from Brazil ran by a MtF known as “Lillian.” Okotokono has been caught at least once by authorities for illegal HRT shipping, and Lillian, who goes by “Lil_lily” on Reddit, has had to beg users to remove posts referring to Otokonoko deliveries and payments, which include cryptocurrency. Mods of r/TransDIY try their best to keep up and moderate posts about illegal drug trafficking and including minors, but can’t always dig deep enough. Minors can still be found asking for help and advice in certain subreddits that inevitably funnel to the same threads.
Every parent needs to know the possibilities on Reddit. Much like many other social websites, it is a double edged sword where users can lift each other up and enable potentially harmful behaviors so they feel “less alone.” We feel responsible to raise the alarm regarding Reddit’s protection of predators in the name of LGBTQ. Children should not have access to this kind of encouragement to make life changing decisions with no adult supervision. These people do not represent all of us, and we find these behaviors shocking and abhorrent. From questionable mods, to selling drugs to children, to censorship of traditional gay people, Reddit has no shame in sanctioning reckless behaviors. Please be aware of these red flags on Reddit.
Written by: Judith Rose Images provided by Michael Costa
Gays Against Groomers