Since I've been silenced on reddit, I'd like to take the opportunity to respond to this unfortunate article about me from the daily dot:
This article is now being cited elsewhere:
Let's address it piece by piece:
Reddit admins said the action came after "repeated violations of our content policy."
The only notices of "violations" I've received from the reddit admins in 10+ years on the site are the following:
A few years ago I used the phrase "shoot the messenger" when describing a whistleblower's unjust punishment. I was told using this phrase was a "call to violence."
Shortly before the 2020 election, reddit banned ZeroHedge and TheGatewayPundit site-wide. I used an archived link to a ZH article and apparently this triggered a 7-day suspension which was given one day before the election. This effectively cut me off from my community at /r/conspiracy during the post-election fallout. In retrospect, I believe the timing of this suspension on the eve of the election was deliberate.
On the 6th I shared a tweet from a blue check calling the events a "Constitutional" demonstration. Admins cited it as a "call to violence."
One of my last threads on the morning of my permanent suspension was called "Night of Digital Long Knives: They're coming for us next"...probably one of my more prophetic threads. Admins said it was a "call to violence" and immediately suspended my account. Here's the thread:
I was definitely banned for wrongthink, and it was a long time coming...but more pressingly I was banned for ITALYGATE.
I had pinned an Italygate thread at the top of /r/conspiracy for several days, and I'm convinced it resulted in "reddit conspiracies" being evoked on the Senate floor:
Here's the reddit thread that got me banned from reddit and removed as top moderator of /r/conspiracy:
Here's a post I made before my reddit ban when I noted that what was happening to that thread was stranger than anything I'd seen in 10+ years on reddit:
Let's get back to the hit piece from the daily dot.
The ban came hours after Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) called out “Reddit conspiracy theories” following the Capitol riot.
When those words came out of her mouth, /r/conspiracy collectively said "uh oh." The reddit admins ONLY act when they get negative press, and this was about as bad as it gets. Either they nuke the sub, or they cut off its head. They chose the latter. I'm grateful the sub didn't get the ax, but I fear it's merely operating on bought time.
By trying to overturn this election, they are placing more trust in Reddit conspiracy theories over the Constitution
It's my firm belief that Sen. Duckworth was trying to "get ahead" of the Italygate story, as my pinned thread was attracting more attention than any thread I'd ever made (30 awards and counting when it was removed).
There's no other recent "reddit conspiracy" that was getting as much attention to warrant that phrase being mentioned by a Senator.
r/conspiracy has remained a haven for fringe ideas
I'm SHOCKED, I tell you, that a conspiracy forum discusses fringe ideas. SHOCKED.
particularly those from the far-right.
Ah, the ol appeal to the "far right" boogeyman. /r/conspiracy is/was a forum dedicated to the free flow of ideas and information.
When reddit started systematically silencing every community that was even slightly right of center, I was always confused at the "outrage" when very predictably some of these voices came to /r/conspiracy so they could still have their voices heard. Did they think they would just shut up and go away?
Axolotl_Peyotl often shared this type of content
What "type of content"? Fringe? Well duh. I post about anti-gravity, ancient civilizations with high technology, etc. It's a CONSPIRACY forum. Hello.
with many of his recent posts promoting election fraud conspiracies.
Again, SHOCKING that someone interested in conspiracies would post conspiracy theories about an election rife with conspiracy. HEY READER, ARE YOU NOT OUTRAGED?!
In a final message to r/conspiracy, he pushed “Italygate,” which baselessly purports the election was fixed by an international coalition that includes President Barack Obama and a former Italian prime minister.
I "pushed" it did I? "Baseless" you say? The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
The move was also denounced by a number of commenters, some of whom called it “censorship.”
If you sort the stickied announcement thread on /r/conspiracy by "controversial", they're saying much more than just that:
"The only reason axo was banned is Italygate. They're doing this today because he stickied one of the most damaging leak ever."
"He seriously gets banned after his italygate post? Are you guys blind to what is going on?"
However, others cheered Reddit’s actions
So that wasn't cheering. That was a well-coordinated, site-wide digital lynching, even by reddit's standards. It's still ongoing. In the many threads rejoicing at my ousting, you will find thousands of TOS violations directed against me, included calls to violence and to doxx me and my family.
In many ways what happened to me was a scaled-down version of what transpired with Trump literally the next day. As above, so below. They cut me off from communicating with my forum and prevented me from defending myself in the ensuing chaos, while the rabid masses cheered in their state-sanctioned 2 minutes hate.
saying the former head moderator had a documented penchant for banning those who disagreed with him
She actually cites a Top Minds of Reddit thread for this, one of the most notoriously toxic forums in the history of the internet, and that's not ever hyperbole. What this claim fails to address is that the vast majority of accounts that I banned were all serial violators of the rules of our sub (or alt accounts evading their bans). In the many threads celebrating my removal, multiple users admitted I had banned "dozens" of their alt accounts, a clear violations of reddit's TOS and vindication for my efforts.
We have a really transparent process when it comes to bans. EVERY user banned is given an opportunity to appeal the action before the entire /r/conspiracy mod team. We frequently unban users who pledge to follow the rules of our forum...it's not a difficult process in the slightest.
The idea that I was solely responsible for whether or not people could speak on our forum is absurd on its face, and the fact that this "journalist" used TMOR as a source unironically is peak clown world journalism.
and elevating those who shared his often-extreme views.
Here she links a ridiculous article from a few years ago that I will address in another thread that essentially accuses me of being a Russian agent for not being convinced by Russiagate as a conspiracy theorist. They never forgave the conspiracy theorists for refusing to jump on board the "muh Russia" hysteria, so they went the "CT=domestic terrorist" route instead.
In a post on r/SubredditDrama sharing the news
Ah, so "sharing the news" means "hundreds of comments threatening and even calling for the user's arrest" now. I've lost track of the number of these unhinged individuals who claim to have "reported me to the authorities/FBI". FOR WHAT?!? These people...
She then quotes a random user on SubredditDrama, as if he was some sort of authority:
axolotl_peyotl was far right
Not true. In 2016 I was on record multiple times saying I would've supported Tulsi Gabbard over Trump. I was portrayed as "far right" like most conspiracy theorists in 2016 when I didn't immediately believe that Trump was in on some massive conspiracy with Russia.
I also was portrayed as "far right" because I had the audacity to allow right leaning opinions on /r/conspiracy as top mod. Apparently permitting speech equates with endorsing it. What happened to the notion of agreeing with someone's opinion but still defending their right to express it?
...see the above. I allowed pro-Trump content on /r/conspiracy and I questioned Russiagate. That's all it took to earn that label, apparently.
I'll admit I'm skeptical of most vaccines and at what age children receive them. I composed two megathreads called "The Skeptic's Guide to Vaccines" several years ago, but I included a disclaimer saying they were NOT meant as medical advice, and no where did I say you shouldn't get vaccinated at all. It's about being informed. I'm skeptical of the increasingly aggressive vaccine schedule, and I think the COVID vaccine is completely unnecessary, so if that makes me "anti-vaxx" then so be it.
Completely false. This is the same trap they lay for every conspiracy theorist that questions Israel...you're immediately labeled "anti-semitic." I barely even mention Israel these days because of it.
Six years ago, axolotl_peyotl took heat for stickying a pro-Hitler documentary to the top of the subreddit
Ah, the "Greatest Story Never Told" saga. Here's what actually happened: as /r/conspiracy mod, one of my projects was a weekly "featured documentary" where the community would spend a few days voting for a film to be pinned for a sub-wide discussion.
I've stickied many hundreds of films over the years because of this, and indeed on every wide-eyed, high octane conspiracy imaginable. At the time I recognized the optics on pinning the that film weren't the best, but it's a consequential conspiratorial film no matter what way you look at it, and I didn't feel it was my place to simply "decide" as a /r/conspiracy moderator that it didn't deserve its time in the sun to be simply discussed, especially since it was actually what was voted up by the community.
He also faced accusations of banning users for disagreeing with an anti-vax stance
The "source" for this is literally a google search for "axolotl_peyotl vax"...smh.
and trawling through user histories to find reasons to ban them.
This person is laughably incompetent if they're legitimately oblivious as to how moderating internet forums works.
If we see a user violating one of our rules, it's literally our job to check their history to see if they have a history of rule breaking on our sub. Does this woman think that every new comment made is a clean slate?
If you have dozens of rule violations, you get banned, and we have to go through your history to check. Reddit makes it easy too...comments that have been removed by mods in the past are red, so you can simply scroll down quickly through a user's history that's currently under review.
If a significant portion of their user page is RED, they've had a ton of recent rule violations and that's a very strong indicator they aren't operating in good faith.
Axolotl_Peyotl has also weighed in on his mod removal and suspension on conspiracies.win, another conspiracy-minded site he’s been pushing on Reddit for the past month.
I wasn't "pushing" it, I knew I was about to get fucked by the admins and I made sure to have a contingency plan in place, that everybody knew about it, and that it was publicly linked to me (and not an impostor).
Looks like getting conspiracies.win up and running when I did was a pretty darn smart thing to do.
(quoting me): “There's already considerable more freedom at conspiracies.win...like a breath of fresh air."
Amen and awomen!
For those familiar with r/The_Donald, this might all sound familiar—mods on that subreddit similarly used Reddit to launch their own .win site, where conspiracy theories now run rampant.
I've been warning folks for years that the "conspiracy theorists" were going to become the new "domestic terrorists."
I tried my absolute hardest to keep /r/conspiracy from being consumed by the clutches of the aggressively pernicious conformity that has consumed the rest of reddit.
I made sure to allow even the most unpopular opinions and conspiracies, and as a result in the eyes of the mob that meant I explicitly endorsed those conspiracies.
I was a fluke. I was in the right place at the right time. I wasn't supposed to get into the position that I did, and I tried to make the most of it when I had the chance. I wasn't always right, but I always did what I thought was right, and my conscience is clear in that respect.
I was among the most, if not the most, harassed and brigaded account on reddit in the last few years. Entire communities were dedicated to burying all of my threads and comments, and engaging in regular witch-hunts and slander against me and anyone who dared defend me. There are many thousands of threads dedicated to mocking, harassing, and brigading my content.
The reddit admins explicitly condoned and even augmented this behavior.
I firmly believe there is an MSM-worthy news story in there somewhere if the actual details of this coordination were ever revealed...not just against me but against many users across reddit.
I spent more than 10 years of my life on that place, and I poured my heart and soul into my efforts.
I don't regret moving on now, and honestly I can't help but feel pride at how things ultimately went down. Imagine, I lost my decade-long position just hours after essentially getting called out on the Senate Floor! I mean c'mon, how cool is that?
Not only that, but my ban precipitated the Night of the Digital Long Knives, as I specifically predicted in one of my last threads. I always had a feeling that when reddit inc. came for my head, that that would be a major SHTF indicator. It sure was.
TBH, I always got the feeling that /r/conspiracy is still around because someone on the admin team is on our side. I know people say it's a "honeypot" or whatever, but at this point the information getting out is so damning that they're going scorched earth...there's no reason for them to keep it around at this rate of censorship. Will it last? Maybe.
That's why I hope that removing me was the "next best thing" to outright banning the sub...which may actually be in the cards anyway. But it does buy them some time.
Until then, I'll be pumping away on conspiracies.win and now gab.
Thanks for reading this, I feel much better having written it!