I think I first came across Reddit around 2009. At first, I didn’t really “use” the site to its potential. Around late 2012 or early 2013 I started following certain subreddits to get the full experience. One of which was the conspiracy subreddit.
That one forum set my conspiracy theory reading into hyperdrive. I was coming across all different kinds of topics that I had previously unexplored. I was getting fresh perspectives on other topics that I had already looked into myself. It was great.
There was very little moderation at Reddit at the time. Little moderation means less censorship. Prime grounds for the best conspiracy theories to make themselves known.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the website today. Things slowly started to change after the founder, Aaron Swartz, allegedly committed suicide. But even that event had many questions surrounding it.
On Aaron Swartz’s wikipedia page it sites where his father claimed that it was not a suicide. In the reference at the bottom of the page, it appears that the original article was removed from the website. Thankfully the internet can be archived.
I don’t fully know all of the details, but there was much chatter surrounding his death all across Reddit when it happened. The vast majority thought that he was targeted for a few years and may have even possibly been killed. But as I mentioned in a previous post in this series:
What do I think? I don’t know, but it seems plausible.
Why is it plausible? Because across the internet there is a war going on. A war on information. Any unwanted information going out can prove to be a problem. Reddit was a threat. It is pretty coincidental all of the changes regarding censorship that have occurred over at Reddit since Aaron’s passing.
Many on the conspiracy subreddit also were trying to connect the dots with the recent death (at the time) of Andrew Breitbart. He was the founder of the right-leaning news website, Breitbart. There were already questions surrounding Breitbart’s death, but I didn’t see much connection other than they were both going against the narrative. Breitbart supposedly died from a heart attack less than a year before Aaron’s untimely death.
Again, just more questions than answers.