FINALLY: Qanon subreddits banned

From CNN News

Reddit banned its largest community focused on the fringe conspiracy theory Qanon on Wednesday, claiming the subreddit was cut off “due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy.”

The community, called /r/GreatAwakening, had more than 71,000 subscribers making over 10,000 comments on average per day before it was banned. A backup subreddit, /r/the_greatawakening, was also banned, along with 17 other Qanon focused communities, including r/BiblicalQ and r/Quincels.

The subreddit, which is a term for the common interest groups that make up Reddit, has been host to a stream of violent threats based on the conspiracy theory — despite repeated calls from the community’s moderators urging them to stop, particularly in recent weeks. Qanon devotees falsely believe that President Donald Trump is secretly waging a war with special counsel Robert Mueller to take down a global pedophile ring led by Hollywood celebrities and the Democratic Party, most notably Hillary Clinton.

Threats to kill Clinton pervaded GreatAwakening earlier this month when users were incensed by a Qanon-based theory that she was somehow causing military planes to fall out of the sky. GreatAwakening members implored the community to “kill all enemies”

Reddit was key to Qanon’s emergence from the fringe corners of the internet and into more mainstream conspiracy and far-right media circles. An investigation by NBC Newsfound that moderators moved Qanon posts from 8chan, a hard-to-navigate internet message board used mostly by trolls and younger people, to Reddit, making it accessible to a larger, older, and less internet savvy audience of conspiracy theorists. From there, Qanon crept to Facebook, where it continued to grow.

A spokesman for Reddit confirmed the banning in a statement to NBC News.

“As of September 12, r/greatawakening has been banned due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy,” the spokesperson said. “We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting content that incites violence, disseminates personal information, or harasses will get users and communities banned from Reddit.”

In March, Reddit shut down the original Qanon subreddit, /r/CBTS_stream, for the same reason, after it was found to be “encouraging or inciting violence and posting personal and confidential information.” Reddit also banned its moderators from the site. The group had more than 20,000 subscribers at the time.

The Reddit ban will hamper the Qanon theory’s spread and splinter its followers, but it is not a death knell for the theory’s faithful community. Tens of thousands of users congregate on Twitter and in closed Facebook groups dedicated to QAnon. One of the most popular, named “QAnon Follow The White Rabbit” has more than 51,000 members. Thousands of others gather on Discord, a gaming-focused chat service that hosts channels like QNN, Q Central, and Patriot’s Soapbox, the chatroom for a 24-hour livestreamed YouTube channel for the dissemination and discussion of Qanon topics.

In August, as media coverage of Qanon increased, several of the largest Qanon Facebook groups changed their names, fearing the platform would ban them. When no action was taken, the groups reverted to their original names.

Reddit ramped up enforcement against racist, sexist and anti-Semitic subreddits earlier this week. The site pulled down the community r/MillionDollarExtreme on Monday, along with ironic offshoot communities like r/BillionShekelExtreme. The community, named after a quickly cancelled sketch show on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim from 2016, was filled with racist and antisemitic posts at the time of its banning.

Last October, Reddit banned a community devoted to Pizzagate, a smaller conspiracy theory that also alleged Clinton was running a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizza shop that had no basement. Qanon’s basic tenets hinge largely on the belief that the Pizzagate conspiracy was real all along.

Qanon believers have grown increasingly restless in recent weeks as several prophecies of “Q,” the purported government leaker sharing secrets to Qanon followers on 4chan, were proven wrong.

GreatAwakening users began to waver in their support when former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight felony counts as part of Mueller’s Russia probe, and the president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony charges. Q had repeatedly led posters to believe Mueller, Manafort and Cohen were working in tandem to catch the alleged child sex ring.

“Q” posted on 8chan shortly after Reddit’s action, aligning the ban with Alex Jones, who along with his website Infowars were recently removed from Facebook, Google, Twitter and Apple.

On its last day, r/GreatAwakening users had reverted to rote conspiracy talking points from years’ past — claiming 9/11 was an inside job, and that the Anthrax investigation was covered up by Mueller.

It is unclear precisely which post or comment was the final straw for Reddit’s ban.

Quora, in answer to “What was the last thing a Trump supporter said to you?”

I was in a work crew yesterday with two very enthusiastic Trump followers. One was haranguing the crew with some vital information he heard earlier on a talk show: apparently the talk show host had found out that Obama ordered the 9/11 attacks, and had covered up the whole thing afterwards. And the fake-news liberal press was covering it up. I mentioned that in September 2001 GW Bush was president, and that Obama was pretty much unknown. “OK, it must have been Al Gore then”. Uh, no, he was not part of the Bush cabinet. An angry silence followed.

 

I replied:  “Ha ha ha, Funny! But then again not funny at all.

Florence (the Hurricane), Ari-NaNa, Florida Fishing

 

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Ari-NaNa

Ellen is visiting Jessica and baby Ariana this week.  Florence will make landfall tomorrow evening in North Carolina. Jessie lives in Bluffton SC, across from Hilton Head.  Hilton Head is under evacuation orders. It is looking like Bluffton will get some good rain and a bit of wind, but will escape the brunt of this one.  North Carolina may be in for a shock.

Ariana, who will be one year old November 24th, is very cute. This is quite a statement coming from a guy who thinks all babies are lumps of farting, burping, crap machines. She is cute.  Better (or worse depending) is she looks from some angles EXACTLY like Ellen’s daughter Kirsten! I know Kirsten will have a boat load of comments on this one.  I provide one,just one, photo in my defense.

Now why is Ellen in South Carolina?  Well because Ryan is not in SC.  Who is this Ryan?  He is an inveterate fisherman, love of the waterman, and father of Ari-nana.  He’d be home if he were not in Tampa.  What’s he doing in Tampa?  Of course he is looking for his next project (buying a boat to convert to his concept of “the perfect boat”) and on the side doing some FISHING! Of Course, you say.

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Florida Fishing

I have been a fisherguy for most of my life, when I can get a break from work and responsibility.  I’m hoping to get some time in for fly fishing in Montana soon. But back to Ryan.  He and a group of (very lucky) guys went fishing while in Tampa and came back with a huge sword fish.  I’ve gone marlin fishing and got zero, nada, nothing.  Marlin is not a particularly good fish to catch, they’re not good eating.  They do fight well, or so I’m told.  But if you like fish for dinner, don’t go with Marlin. But swordfish?  That’s a great eating hunk of seafood.  It’s wonderful.  And these refugees from South Carolina who ingloriously and unceremoniously left the path of a world class hurricane to go, what? Fishing? These guys caught a swordfish.  Not just a small dumb-ass teenaged swordfish, but the one pictured below. I am sooooo jealous.  So jealous.  But my personal feelings aside, this is one great fishing trip guys.  Ryan is center behind the dorsal fin.  Congratulations All!!

Rear Ender

Scott dropped “E Favola” off at O’Gara last Monday.  Charlie called yesterday to say the repairs will be completed today.  He agreed to keep the car until Monday when Scott can pick it up. 

Happy Birthday Scott!

 

Napa Valley wine tasting after a friend's wedding, 2005

E Favola, our 2000 Boxster S,  in the Wine Country, 2005

Kaspersky & DHS

Wow, this morning I had trouble with a  website’s certificate.  I went to my Kaspersky app and it was not loaded!?!  Ok, I’ll start it manually.  On startup the Kaspersky app took “forever” to load.  WTF? A Google search turned up DHS BANs Kaspersky and an article about why this is possible and that it happened!  Really, I’ve got no antivirus?

Time to uninstall Kaspersky and find something that’s (nearly) as good?!  Crap.  Oh Well.  I went through this process a while ago and decided to keep Kaspersky because it is really really good at what it does.  Apparently it’s a security risk, if you’re the US government.

Peloton, Quora, Zack Kaplan

 

Zack Kaplan Cycles

We’re off to find a replacement for Ellen’s Trek cycle.  She’s uncomfortable riding on “narrow” tires.  There’s more to the story, but I’ll leave it at that.  Soooooo, we’re looking at a Tricycle for her.  Conveniently our good friends Cynthia and Jim are early adopters (Jim) and love to tinker with things (Jim) and love adding electric drive to things (Jim) and love tricycles (Jim again?).  So it’s only natural that when we visit, Jim shows off his latest creation which are usually a marvel of customization and performance.  That got Ellen started.  I thought (hoped?) her interest would drop off over a few weeks, but it did not.  Soooooo, we are looking at a Tricycle for her.

Enter Zack Kaplan Cycles, Catrikes.  I visited earlier this week with Jim & Cyn. Ellen couldn’t make it.  I am impressed with the design and build quality of Catrikes.  They are pricey at the high end, but to me it is worth it if I can get Ellen on a cycle outdoors with me.  The four of us are off to Zack’s place to “look at” Catrikes later today.

Quora

I’ve bought, upgraded, and sold a number of properties over the year.  I’m not a real estate “expert” nor an industry “insider”, but I have tons of real world experience.  Sometimes I’ve shared some of that experience with Quora members who post intelligent questions or who seem naïve in real estate.  Somehow I now have an average of six people asking me to answer investment questions.  I could spend hours if I took them all seriously.  I think I’m going to lay low for a few weeks in the hopes “they” find someone else to pester.  Now and then I might be motivated to answer, we’ll see.

I enjoy Quora. Recently a number of intelligent answers to leading (conservative) questions have been so on target that I’ve saved them to post here.  When we get back from Zack’s, I’ll start.

Peloton

My legs feel like lead.  Alley Love’s 45 min Interval Workout was killer.  My output was above the trend line, though not impressive.  I’m getting used to that; I’ll call it a plateau and keep on hammering away. Average speed was better; 18.8 mph.  Higher than most rides.  My heart rate was mostly in the “red”, threshold region.  Again this is typical for a hard but not insane ride.  Among the 72 live riders on this on demand class I cam in at #8.  The gap to #7’s output was a bridge too far, something like 40 kj.

I feel relaxed and alive, if thirsty now.

“Monkey up the works”, Ron DeSantis; Violence; Peloton

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This Guy

Said, “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda…” on Fox News

To This Guy

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I’d avoid references to monkeys in this instance.

And then there are these two gems.

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Inciting Violence

 An Explanation

Image: Donald Trump

During a Dinner for Evangelicals

Changed Tax Law

Peloton

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Heart Rate Zones, Today’s Ride

Ride #300!

My first year on the Peloton is past.  It’s time to update my PeloPhoto.

Today and for the first time Peloton screwed up their class schedule.  I took a 45 minute class that, for me, abruptly ended at 30 minutes into the class.  The audio/video stream from the class continued, Jess King kept on keepin’ on, but for me the leaderboard and my statistics froze as if the class was 30 minutes! Bang, done.  This was a very competitive live class. I was enjoying bouncing between #112 and #96.  I hoped to get down into the 80’s or 70’s.  Then the “music stopped”, well the music continued; my statistics stopped.  Bummer.

Interestingly my output for the 30 minutes was a few marks off my best 30 minute output, nearly matching output on Chanda’s go-get ‘em cycle.  After yesterday’s less than stellar performance, today felt really good once I stopped.

I think I’m getting acclimatized and I’m too focused on the numbers.  I need to shake things up somehow.  The graph above shows percentage of time on the ride spent in my various heart rate zones.  Spending a lots of time in Threshold indicates a hard ride; my heart was working hard.  Ventures into Anaerobic are healthy, provided they are brief.  This was a hard ride.

For what it’s worth, our overall price per class (including the price of the cycle, the accessories, and a prepaid year of class) is now below $10.00.  Consider that a single SoulCycle in studio class is priced at $34.00 and a Peloton in studio class is $32.00.