On April 12th, 2019, YouTuber Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin announced that he was starting a campaign to run for the MEP of South West England for the UKIP, and it’s been news that has made its way across many major media outlets, including the likes of The Independent. Various outlets have taken to spinning a narrative about Sargon’s attachment to #GamerGate, and reckless pitches of Alt-Right affiliations – like Waypoint’s recent coverage – and this has done nothing but muddy the water. It’s also opened up an opportunity for certain platforms to start clamping down on communities associated with Sargon, like Reddit.
A thread on Kotaku in Action spotted an update from the Sargon of Akkad sub-reddit. Apparently, anyone who attempts to visit the sub-reddit is greeted with a warning message indicating that the administrators have “quarantined” the sub.
Every time you attempt to access a thread on the sub-reddit you’re greeted with a warning message.
The most common question is: what was so offensive about the content in the sub?
You’ll note that there are no links or messages or references to the content that makes the sub offensive. It simply is because Reddit’s administrators said so.
This also comes shortly after an article was published on April 15th, 2019 over on Buzzfeed, which put Sargon of Akkad’s Discord server under the microscope, cherry-picking comments from certain channels in order to portray Sargon’s followers as violent and unhinged. They also contacted Discord about it, likely in hopes of getting the server shut down. Discord did respond, noting that they would be investigating and could potentially shut down Sargon’s server, saying…
“Discord has a Terms of Service and Community Guidelines that all users are required to adhere to. These specifically prohibit harassment, threatening messages, hatred, calls to violence or any illegal activity.
“We are investigating this server for violations of Discord’s Terms of Service and will take action against any offending users or servers, which can include shutting down an offending server or banning users. We will continue to be aggressive to ensure that Discord exists for the communities we set out to support.”
This is all in an attempt to cut off or limit the avenues of communication that someone like Sargon might exercise during his candidacy.
Right now the media seems to be fishing for a fetching story in order to smear Sargon of Akkad. It appears they’re attempting to use his #GamerGate coverage an impetus to negatively go after him, which resulted in some indie developers coming out against Sargon and #GamerGate, but they haven’t been able to find much. Their next best tactic seems to be limiting or attempting to shut down communities associated with the UKIP candidate.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)