Reddit has long been a safe haven for users who yearn for the good old days when the internet was basically the Wild West. Whether myth or reality, many redditors believe that Reddit remains one of the few spaces on the internet where unfiltered opinion can persist unchecked, largely due to Reddit’s mechanism that permits any user to create a new subreddit on any topic. Buried within Reddit’s subreddit forums are spaces where offensive messages are not only tolerated, but often openly encouraged.
Case in point: a few years ago, one of Reddit’s most infamous (and popular) trolls, Violentacrez, was unmasked by a Gawker journalist. In that expose, Gawker reported on Violentacrez’s Reddit activities, which included creating a subreddit (r/jailbait) dedicated to posting pseudo-pornographic images of underaged girls, as well as other overtly racist subreddits; we also learned that Violentacrez’s online behaviour was essentially condoned by Reddit staff and moderators.