An online community worries about the disappeared
On Wednesday evening, a moderator on r/detrans discovered that a user’s posts had been marked and removed as “spam” for no clear reason.
The user took testosterone for four years before realizing she wanted a husband and children. Worried that she might have damaged her reproductive system, Elona_Muskovka began posting to the internet’s largest forum for detransitioners just over a month ago.
Now, her post about regretting a double mastectomy and hormone “treatment” was gone, along with her comments on the stories of other transitioners.
Nothing the user said was hateful. There were no outbound links in them. The moderator, who goes by Alicit Alex on Twitter, was mystified.
“I’m suspecting some foul play here,” Alex tweeted. A recent series of “spam reports” seemed different, as though someone was trying to silence detransitioner voices in a novel way.
“I’m paranoid about this, especially considering I can’t find anything regarding these ‘shadow removals,'” Alex added.
.. Yeah, something's going on. Her comments got hit by spam-filter, which is typically controlled by Reddit Admins… Spam deletions also don't get recorded in the mod log, period. pic.twitter.com/YEN9AsotHA
— 🦎 Alicit Alex 🦎 (@AlexAlicit) July 23, 2020
Alex has good reason to worry. In June, transgender Reddit admins removed the r/GenderCritical community, the site’s largest feminist forum, and a JK Rowling fan forum.
Then they briefly took down r/detrans for several hours alleging that it was infected with “hate speech.”
Reddit only restored the detransitioner forum after they were called out for clear-cut censorship of a marginalized group.
“I do not see how banning a sub named ‘detrans’ could be a mistake,” one user said. “We’re on a list. Unvoicing detransitioners is increasingly seen as necessary to ‘trans rights.’ They just moved prematurely.”
Having received the intended message, the r/detrans community and its moderators have chosen self-censorship to keep the banhammer at bay.
But the reign of trans tyranny was not done, and still may not be over.
Within days of the r/detrans debacle, Reddit’s kommissars swooped in to remove the community moderators and impose pronoun policing on the r/pcos and r/pregnancy subreddits. Both are now private.
The crime? Women using the forums had insisted on calling themselves “women” because that is the one type of human biology capable of ever experiencing PCOS or pregnancy.
Meanwhile, male Reddit users are still free to fap over images of women being sexually tortured. Men are even allowed to refer to the women in the images as “women” without a shadowban.
It isn’t clear what happened here. Perhaps the user was flagged for some legitimate reason that only the site administrators can see, or by mistake.
Or maybe Reddit has completely lost the plot on free speech, and detransitioners need to build their own forum somewhere else, on servers they control, so that the gender gendarmerie cannot invent new and creative ways to silence them.
I have contacted the user as well as Reddit’s press team and will update if either of them respond.