Reddit’s BlackPeopleTwitter Forum Wants to Know if Its Users Are Actually White | #blackpeoplemeet


Every day, the moderators of BlackPeopleTwitter—the Reddit forum devoted to screenshots of tweets from black people—sort through inboxes filled with jokes about cooking, dating, or watching Marvel movies. And according to moderator “DubTeeDub,” that also means dealing with a “never-ending stream of slurs.”

Being the most popular forum about black culture on an overwhelmingly white website that hosts a number of racist subreddits has brought other problems, too. There are the white people pretending to be black, and the disgruntled commenters who accuse the moderating team of posing as black themselves.

The forum’s millions of subscribers have been able to stay friendly in the comments on a post about cooking or dating, but if someone mentions a political issue like racial profiling, white people have flooded the comments to say they didn’t see what the big deal was. The problem only got worse if one of BlackPeopleTwitter’s posts was popular enough to make Reddit’s general front page.

This year, the moderators had an idea. What if they figured out who was actually black and then got rid of all the white people?  

Starting on April 1, BlackPeopleTwitter’s moderators announced that only Reddit users who had verified that they were black could continue to post comments or threads on the subreddit. Black commenters could send in a photo of their forearm next to a sign with their username written on it. In return, they’d get a checkmark next to their profile verifying that they were black.

Everyone else, meanwhile, could no longer post on the forum.

The April Fool’s Day experiment outraged the right-wing internet and has shaken up how one of Reddit’s biggest forums deals with race.

With more than 3 million subscribers, BlackPeopleTwitter has become Reddit’s 59th most popular subreddit, according to Redditlist. The subreddit relies on a simple idea: screenshotting tweets, usually jokes, from black Twitter users.

“Black Twitter” has been a concept online since at least 2008, according to Mia Moody-Ramirez, a professor at Baylor University who co-authored a book studying black humor and Black Twitter. Black Twitter, Moody-Ramirez told The Daily Beast, is where black Twitter users can use humor to deal with difficult issues.

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