Reddit Mods Admit To Censoring #GamerGate, Hiding Corruption

The mod logs for Reddit were recently leaked. A lot of the leak mostly confirms what a lot of people already knew: many moderators on Reddit are biased and will censor or halt discussions that go against their perceived world view. Essentially, Reddit is privately owned and has every right to do so, but now people know that the moderators support actively suppressing and hiding information that exposes corruption in the games industry while also allowing websites that partake in said corruption to continue to flourish and grow on Reddit.

There’s an archive file of the giant pastebin of the mod leaks. The mod files were confirmed by one of the moderators, XavierMendel, who discussed the leaks on a YouTube live-stream with a Kotaku in Action moderator, TheHat2. The leaks were further corroborated with links to Reddit moderators BiPolarBear0 and SolarAquarion.

The leaks happened following controversy over Kotaku in Action – a sub-Reddit focusing on #GamerGate and the exposing of corruption in the media industry – when it was named as the “Subreddit of the Day” and mods became furious that moderator XavierMendel would do such a thing. This spawned a lot of discussion amongst gamers, users and Reddit denizens over the fate of Kotaku in Action, which has amassed nearly 30,000 subscribers.

Following the heated topic of KiA being the Subreddit of the Day over on Reddit, the leaks of the mod talks happened, putting all of the behind-the-scenes discussions out there for the public to peruse. This included the backroom talks about censoring users and submissions from discussing #GamerGate.

All of the censorship that happened in the wake of #GamerGate was something that was even discussed in the private mod chat, with theredditpope writing on September 8th, 2014

“I think what gets people most upset is how Reddit reacts to these situations instead of how they try to prevent them in the first place.”

We also have Reddit moderator hermithome, asking how to completely filter out various words for submissions in the sub-Reddits they moderate, some of which includes /r/IndieGaming, /r/FemmeThoughts/ and /r/WomanPorn, to name a few. Check out the image below where a list of words associated with “#GamerGate, Social Justice Warrior” and “corruption” are set into the filter, where hermithome obviously wants to ensure that people are neither informed nor made aware of some of the shady dealings happening within the electronic entertainment industry.

Notice that “corruption” and anything associated with the IGF and Independent Games Festival are included in the filter list. It’s almost as if they don’t want Brandon Boyer’s conflicts of interest made public, even though they’ve already been reported on by TechRaptor and The Ralph Retort.

Hermithome had various words added to the filter for designated sub-Reddits. However, despite censoring the topics and partaking in narrative shifting, hermithome became a regular poster to GamerGhazi and eventually took up modding duties there, pushing propaganda and engaging in the denigration of #GamerGate topics. It’s all evidenced in the image below or you can read it straight from the archived pastebin for yourself.

For those who don’t want to click the image or if you want to make sure that this is indexed good and well on Google and Bing whenever someone types in “Reddit mod corruption GamerGahzi”, here’s the quote below from hermithome…

“ i tried to stay away from the gamergate stuff at first, but now i regularly post to GamerGhazi and conspiratard….its just such awesome potatoes i cant help myself”

Hermithome then tries to convince a moderator of Kotaku in Action to leak the modmail in order to create discord in the KiA community. So not only is active censorship practiced but nefarious acts of subversion was also not above their intentions.

On October 2nd, 2014 moderator Forest|_ let the other moderators know that all forms of #GamerGate discussion would be permanently banned. Discussing corruption in the games industry was not to be allowed on /r/Games, the same as N4G moderators and administrators attempted to censor the exposure of corruption in the games industry as well.

The mods even ridiculed Julian Assange from Wikileaks for siding with #GamerGate over the issues of censorship, with BipolarBear0 stating…

“>Wikileaks bitching about “gaming media” … “What is this world coming to” … “Let’s take it to the top”

Turns out, Assange was correct, and it was revealed that mainstream media have been actively using their platforms to spin the news and misappropriate information to set a narrative. It appears as if Reddit’s moderators are okay with this, given that they are fine with allowing lots of information across Reddit and the gaming subs about someone like Anita Sarkeesian who has no relevance to gaming news, but are completely against information highlighting websites and institutions that affect the very games we play. Most /r/Games denizens despise the content submitted surrounding the Femfreq drama, yet it’s still regularly allowed.

What’s also interesting is that back on September 8th, 2014 at 15:08, /r/Games moderator Piemonkey complains about Kotaku in Action vote-manipulating /r/Games.

Somehow the allegations about the IGF and chairman Brandon Boyer is just “drama mongering”, even though Kotaku has even admitted to taking interest in investigating the allegations of racketeering.

According to the logs, apparently Piemonkey was the only mod complaining about KiA “vote manipulating” threads.

Moreover, Piemonkey was also the same mod who refused to allow people to post up links or information relating to Dale North’s departure from Destructoid, which involved the alleged blacklisting of Allistair Pinsof by the Game Journo Pros, as recorded in a Reddit thread here.

In an edit to his post, user ChickenOverLord further stated…

“The mod is trying to make it sound like I’m saying people submitted the two links in my post. My replies explaining it have still not been unhidden. I’m not, I’m saying no one bothered to even try because other links on the topic have been instantly deleted over the past two months, such as Breitbart’s leak of the GameJournoPros mailing list a month (if not more) ago.”

Piemonkey’s excuse was that the series of articles exposing the Destructoid corruption case were “opinion pieces” and were therefore not allowed on the thread, as evidenced by the screen-cap of the conversation below.

Speaking of the Breitbart leaks of the Game Journo Pros… the mods also actively sought to suppress and censor that information from making it across Reddit, hiding any attempts to allow people to actively discuss it in the gaming channels and removing all traces of it where they could. As the image below shows, the Reddit moderators did not want the Breitbart news spreading because, as stated by Adagiosummoner…

“freedom of speech is for government institutions.”

Anyone actively suppressing information detailing corruption after it’s been brought to their attention or for the sake of keeping people from being informed about it, is complicit in covering up corruption. This includes the alleged antitrust violations, cronyism and ethical breaches.

Following the leaks, I immediately reached out to the Reddit PR for a response regarding the leaks and whether or not they have any comments. If they choose to respond I’ll update the article as necessary.

Even still, jmarquiso’s comments are kind of prescient. Something about it keeps bringing me back to Devin Connors’ comment to Kyle Orland in the Game Journo Pro thread, where he said…

It really would be quite funny if this doesn’t end until someone goes to prison.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

  • AlphaHeisenbadger

    That was fast. There’s a lot pissed off moderators and they did it all for free.

    • ScewMadd

      Have you seen how many subs some of them mod? More than is feasible.

      I wouldn’t be shocked if a few were selling their influence. Back when Tesla was starting out, it was allegedly very difficult to get posts on it kept up. Meanwhile Cheong, as SolInvictus sold his influence.

      Some may not be so free after all.

  • BeholdMyPower

    #ModTalkLeaks people, get in and get it trending.

  • Mistah J.

    KiA has actually passed 30k subs now.

    Glad proof of this stuff has actually come out. I hope KiA will survive the week though.

    • Yeah as I was writing this article KiA leveled up and hit 30k.

      They’re really growing up fast, aren’t they?

      But yeah, they’ll need to weather the storm that’s going to drop hard and heavy this week now that these leaks have happened.

      • Elilla Shadowheart

        Also apparently in the top 50 most active subs on reddit, I’m not surprised at all. That one also gets quite a few people really salty.

      • Hahaha… good. It just goes to show that people really do care about ethics in journalism.

      • A Real Libertarian

        The mods even ridiculed Julian Assange from Wikileaks for siding with #GamerGate over the issues of censorship, with BipolarBear0 stating…

        According to 8chan, he censored the Greenwald/Snowden revelations on /r/news:

        And a whole lot more.

    • durka durka

      Like i said every time they attack GG KiA gets more subs.

  • R.J.

    Often I can understand only (at best) seeing smoke where GG sees fire. This level of willful blindness though? It makes them look… not very bright.

    Add to that getting lulz from abusing their power and… well. Their conduct looks even worse in retrospect.

    – GG DOES have evidence of collusion.
    – GG has documented a TON of conflicts of interest.
    – Insiders have confirmed unfortunate aspects of the “indie scene”, most notably the creator of Super Meat Boy / Binding of Isaac.
    – There have been less-than-subtle threats of blacklisting
    – Vicious harassing bullies get to start “anti-harassment” organizations, unchallenged by the press.

    – Big money is being spent to placate “social justice” types. Even Blizzard, who you’d think could safely tell them to go fuck themselves, made a not-very-sexy character and were like, LOOK GUYS WE’RE TRYING TO SATISFY YOU PLEASE LIKE US. Pathetic.

    • aRunning_Maniac

      I don’t have a problem with Blizzard throwing SocJus a bone. A good variety of character design is fine. The problem, however, is that these zealots are never happy, regardless of what a developer does. They don’t just want characters that reflect themselves to be added, they want developers to do away with what others already like.

      • What’s even more sad is they demand changes, but they don’t even play fucking games. They just bitch and whine on their Tumblr and that’s it. Why the hell they even give a fart?

      • Zeriel


        Their career is predicated on clicks, outrage gets clicks. They’re trying to establish a media niche because they know their old one (actually reporting on games) has moved on to other sources like Youtube and Twitch.

        This is the reasonable explanation, I’m sure a lot of them are actually just utterly crazy and narcissistic, though.

      • Gyra

        They can’t be happy. Their double-binds are more like centi-binds.

      • utera

        You forgot the follow up picture, as usual, the twitter user Aegies is a “social justice” hypocrite.

    • David Gray

      The Blizz pandering to SJW was actually more popular amongst us misogynerds than its target demographic.

      She’s hardly ground breaking, but she IS different from other ingame characters. Variety is great.

    • durka durka

      I agree but the media are making this seem like blizzard is pandering when they are not. This design was in work long before polygon and kotaku “pressured” them. The game they are making has a lot of diverse characters, this is just one more that the journos use as “see they listening to us” seeing only the things they like.

      I mean, i am using the word “diversity” with distate now and your avatar has purple hair.

      So lets not see ghosts everywhere. Blizzard could simply use this to get good PR from them, that doesnt mean that they listen to them, good PR will make any move look good. Dont forget diablo 3 auction house and drm. It could be far worse if it wasnt for blizzard doing PR.

      It is funny though alot of people dont like the character they find it sterotypical, it wont be long before they start fighting each other on whose opinion is the right one.

  • Brian Hall

    As if theatricality and deception would work on gamers.

    The forums betray them, because they belong to us.

  • Fenrir007

    I really hope redditors at some point ditch the immense shithole that is Reddit.

    • DirkBelig

      And go where? Reddit was built by Digg’s arrogance and anti-customer mentality, but for Reddit to suffer requires a plausible alternative. (No, the -chans aren’t a plausible alternative.) MySpace died because Facebook was a better mousetrap, but for all the bitching people do about FB, no one left for Google+ because even with the mighty resources of Google behind it, no one liked it. Never underestimate the power of inertia.

      • Hedger

        KiA already has an escape hatch

      • Gyra

        People get big heads easily. It’s hard to hop from one ‘boat’ to the other and find a ‘captain’ who isn’t an equally intolerable tyrant.

      • Fenrir007

        We used to think the same thing about 4chan. “You are here forever” etc weren’t said just as a joke – we really couldn’t see ourselves moving to anywhere else on the internet. Then, came all the stuff you certainly know about and a good portion of the 4chan userbase, myself included, moved to 8chan with no regrets.

        All it needs is a spark and an alternative. The spark has been around for a couple of months now, and the alternative, as Hedger linked below, is voat.

        Be the change you wanna see. Start posting there, even if you don’t abandon reddit at first.

  • C G Saturation

    As expected. The sad thing is that all the corrupt lying pieces of shit will simply ignore any proof or evidence that goes against what they want to believe.

    • durka durka

      Its not about the truth, it is about promoting something until people think it is the truth.

      The sjws pull nonsensical statistics about sexism and racism and diversity ouf of their asses, at some point people quote them and it suddenly becomes the truth.

      If they did bother to research everything they wouldnt promote bullshit arguments that have been disporven a long time ago as proof. Eg that notyourshield was made by 4chan. But it is hard to talk to them when they are all blocking you.

  • Cenobite

    You know I’ve read a few of the Reddit subs, but I have never felt the desire to post on them. I guess it was a wise choice.

  • Meittimies

    According to them, “freedom of speech” is just a meme. Poetic justice would be to strip their own right for a voice. Would teach them proper perspective.

  • handsomejack47


  • Audie Bakerson

    “Corruption” is a banned word?

    Seesh, how many people trying to discuss their corrupted save files/memory cards were banned?

  • Beatnik Revolution

    “im just miffed at all the conspiracy folks”
    “they’re literally everywhere”

    Right after they just admitting to laughing at all the folks who were getting shadowbanned for “brigading”?!? How obtuse are these dipshits? Its not brigading when you are voting or commenting on a sub you have been visiting for years. How disconnected from your own community can you be? They clearly have only contempt for the people they mod.

    Reddit is going the way of Digg and the admins and mods are driving it right off the cliff.

  • Erthwjim

    I love how they speak poorly of voter manipulation but then in other chats they talk about their numerous alternative accounts (of which I’m sure they’re not joking). Again with the do as I say not as I do.

    Keep seeing this Freedom of speech is for Governments line being touted around, The UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 19, states repeatedly, “Everyone” so it is for Governments, but its for everyone else to.
    That link above, needs to be summarily posted at people spinning that lie.

  • Holly

    Who exactly do you see going to prison? What law has been broken?

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