Reddit hack: Hundreds of subreddits vandalised to promote Trump


Summary generated on August 10, 2020

    Hundreds of Reddit communities have been targeted by supporters of Donald Trump, with numerous posts and images flooding the subreddits to promote the president's re-election campaign.

    A number of non-political groups, including r/weddingplanning, r/NFL, r/TwoSentenceHorror, r/space, r/CreepyPMs, and more were targeted, according to a support post on Reddit.

    Since the attack took place, Reddit has said it is "Letting owners back into their accounts".

    "An investigation is underway related to a series of vandalised communities. It appears the source of the attacks were compromised moderator accounts. We are working to lock down those accounts and restore impacted communities," Reddit said in a statement.

    The account user claimed that they were able to access the accounts because of weak passwords, but the account was suspended before that could be confirmed.

    Reddit also said that none of the accounts compromised had two-factor authentication enabled - which requires users to verify sign-ins through a second device or via a text message - and which could imply the Twitter user was legitimate.

    Over the years r/The Donald members had tried to game Reddit's algorithm, attempting to push their posts to the front page of the website or on mainstream subreddits like r/All.

    Reddit had to change its algorithm as a response to stop all political posts from reaching its front page.

    Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, penned an open letter published to the site that said Reddit does "Not tolerate hate, racism, and violence, and while we have work to do to fight these on our platform, our values are clear."

    In response, the moderators of 500 subreddits said Huffman's letter was inauthentic, while Reddit's former CEO Ellen Pao specifically cited r/The Donald for its repeated abuses and offensive memes, saying the social media site "Nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long."