Ever since last year’s US Presidential election, there have been claims that Reddit’s /r/conspiracy subreddit has been “taken over” and utilised as a propaganda platform by Donald Trump supporters. There have even been claims that the /r/conspiracy moderation team has been actively suppressing theories that paint the current president in a negative light.
Originally, I didn’t want to touch this shite with a bargepole, simply because a) it seems to be an emotive issue, b) US politics has very little impact on me and c) there seems to be a lot of crazies on both sides. However, the drama kept raging on and on and curiosity eventually got the better of me in the end.
What I did.
On two separate occasions, I ran a script that compiled a list of usernames that had recently posted to /r/conspiracy. In the end, I was left with a list of 1,555 Reddit users that had participated in the subreddit in the past week or so. Using that list, I was able to compile a list of all of the subreddits that these users had posted to in the past.
Out of the 1,555 /r/conspiracy users that were “surveyed”:
- 850 / 1,555 users had previously posted in the_donald subreddit. That’s 54.66%.
- 244 of those 1,555 users had 50+ posts in the_donald.
- The average the_donald post count for the 850 “the_donald” users was 85.19.
- The average the_donald post count for all 1,555 users was 30.11.
But what if we exclude the users that have less than 50 posts in /r/conspiracy? i.e. What if we try to remove anybody that might have been just “passing by”?
- 763 users had 50+ posts in /r/conspiracy.
- 449 of those 763 users had posted in the_donald. That’s 58.85%. These 449 users had an average of 99.13 posts in the_donald.
- 148 of those 449 users had 50+ posts in the_donald.
- The 763 users with 50+ posts in /r/conspiracy had an average of 36.72 posts in /r/the_donald.
I also compiled each user’s subreddit posting history into one big combined list. These 1,555 /r/conspiracy users had the following “combined post count” in the following subreddits:
- conspiracy – 236,182 (obviously).
- the_donald – 72,412
- politics – 69,012
- worldpolitics – 5,396
- sandersforpresident – 4,918
- wayofthebern – 4,839
- enoughtrumpspam – 3,596
- wikileaks – 3,232
- asktrumpsupporters – 3,039
- libertarian – 3,033
- hillaryforprison – 2,430
- askthe_donald – 1,681
- theredpill – 1,477
- political_revolution – 1,456
- conservative – 1,298
Note that I purposely excluded subreddits such as pics, funny, hockey, videos, etc, as they don’t really mean anything in this case.
So there you go – make your own conclusions.