The Reddit page for Ireland has been forced to shut after midnight because of a flood of racist comments. According to the page’s moderators, they are unable to keep up with the amount of extremist content being posted.
As a result, they have taken the decision to close the page between midnight and 8am.
A deluge of extremism
An announcement was posted on r/Ireland on Monday 8 June about the move. The moderators wrote that they’re closing the subreddit during nighttime hours “in order to stem the flow of racist/extremist content which is being posted at these times”.
They also noted that much of the comments appear to be originating from sock puppet accounts based in the US. And the administrators of Reddit have confirmed as much.
Because of the level of extremist comments, the moderators highlighted that
This has resulted in the current mod team having to spend several nights constantly watching every thread and comment submitted, along with banning dozens of accounts within the space of a short few hours.
But in the last few days the amount of racist comments has increased. And now, it “has reached breaking point”, resulting in the temporary closure of the page.
Shaping the narrative
It comes as far-right activists have attempted to shape the discussion about a stabbing which took place in Carrigaline, Co. Cork last week. On the website 4Chan, under the title Operation Carrigaline, commenters discussed tactics about how to hijack the story. One wrote that they need to “take control of the narrative now”.
The creator of the topic said that people on Twitter claiming the incident wasn’t racially motivated need to be targeted. Specifically, they demanded that 4Chan users:
Reply to these tweets, debunk them, abuse them, do whatever, just drown them out and ratio them.
While another opined that “we can’t let them get the upper hand”.
In a second comment thread a user wrote that the stabbing was the result of the “wholesale replacement of the entire Irish population”. This is a reference to the so-called “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.
Featured image via Flickr – DJANDYW.COM AKA NOBODY