A Thanos-inspired subreddit is about to ban more than 100,000 members

Marvel Studios

The internet is at its best when it’s used for giant, cheesy goofs — especially if those giant, cheesy goofs involve banning more than 110,000 subreddit members, all in the name of Avengers: Infinity War.

The moderators behind r/thanosdidnothingwrong, a forum dedicated to the Avengers’ arch-nemesis, will ban half of its members on July 9 in honor of Thanos’ ultimate goal: destroying half of the world’s population to protect survivors from starvation and overcrowding.

Infinity War makes it very clear this isn’t the best way to handle major problems afflicting our very survival, but some fans have clung to Thanos’ theory. That means taking his word as gospel and annihilating half of the subreddit’s virtual population.

How did it all start?

There were approximately 20,000 subscribers on the three-month-old r/thanosdidnothingwrong, when the idea popped up. Dragonphlegm, another moderator, posted a thread calling the meme’s seriousness into question.

“You seriously want us to ban half of the subreddit?” Dragonphlegm wrote, as redditors began petitioning to carry out Thanos’ plan online. “Restore order to this meme haven to please Lord Thanos? It would be the biggest massban in reddit history and we’d probably get into some serious trouble, but for the good of Thanos, maybe we will. (We probably won’t) snap”

Subreddit members were into the idea, but many pointed out that the moderation team should check in with Reddit administrators before trying to ban anyone en masse. People pointed to an incident with r/counting in which its members created one of the longest comment chains on the site, and were effectively told off by Reddit’s admin staff.

Marvel

So, the moderators did just that — they went to Reddit’s administrators, but not before staying true to the democratic process and taking a vote. One moderator, The-Jedi-Apprentice, declared that, if the voting thread received at least 60,000 upvotes (half of the subreddit’s population at the time), they would put in the effort to make the Thanos ban happen.

The thread received 150,000 upvotes. The-Jedi-Apprentice posted an update a couple of hours later.

“I am now in talks with one of the admins,” they wrote. “He doesn’t want me to ban half the sub but maybe, with your support, I can convince him to allow it.”

The-Jedi-Apprentice noted that the admin they spoke to didn’t encourage a mass ban, but they didn’t explicitly say no either. People in the subreddit suggested that Reddit admins couldn’t really do anything if they did it anyway, and asked for more information as to why it was such a big deal.

“They know we want it but are afraid it will mess up the stability of the entire site,” The-Jedi-Apprentice said in response to one member’s question.

The-Jedi-Apprentice promised that the mods would make the ban happen, no matter what it took — and then something happened: The administrators said OK.

“As you all know, I was in talks with one of the admins of Reddit,” The-Jedi-Apprentice wrote in a later post. “He told me that doing a massive ban the day before July 4 was a terrible idea, because many of Reddit’s engineers would be out with their families. Also, the engineers would not be prepared for a mass ban so close to it.However, I presented a solution to these two problems, and I now have their permission to ban half of the sub! The random 50% ban will take place on July 9. The admins are designing a bot for me that will allow me to do the job in a quick and easy manner.

“So, be patient, and thank you all for your support.”

What happens next?

There are currently more than 210,000 members in the subreddit at the time of this writing. People are joining en masse just to have a chance at being banned; Reddit administrators are preparing for the technological feat the mass ban may take. A successful mass ban of more than 105,000 people would be the largest in Reddit history.

The idea is to randomize the entire process, but extra work will be needed in order to pull off the joke. Those who make it through the slaughter (like the original Avengers team) will remain in the subreddit. Those who don’t plan to officially unsubscribe from the community after they’re banned, ensuring the balancing act actually has an effect on the subreddit.

The joke doesn’t stop there. People who are banned plan to congregate in several, newly founded subreddits like r/inthesoulstone, a reference to a popular theory about what may have happened to everyone who died in Avengers: Infinity War. Here’s a brief explainer from a previous Polygon article we ran after the movie was released:

In the comics, the Soul Stone differs from the other five Infinity Stones in that it’s actually sentient and able to manifest a will of its own. That will is, unsurprisingly, the need to harvest souls. The stone doesn’t “eat” the souls or even destroy them, but rather siphons them into a special pocket dimension called the “Soul World” where they live out a relatively idyllic, surreal life as its prisoners. We actually saw a glimpse of the MCU’s incarnation of the Soul World in Infinity War, when Thanos is temporarily teleported to a strange orange-skyed oasis where he sees the baby version of Gamora.

Those involved in the joke are ready to play into whatever role they’re handed. People are already hanging out on r/intothesoulstone, and there are more than 4,000 people already subscribed to the sub.

A photo of r/intothesoulstone subreddit.
Reddit

This is a joke that just about everyone can jump on, and that’s part of why people are so excited to join a new Reddit community in the hopes of becoming one of those notorious banned members. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the internet’s grotesqueness; anytime we log onto Twitter, Facebook or even Tumblr, we get reminder of the internet’s cesspool of hateful comments and vile behavior. But this is a rare, genuine, good-natured joke that people aren’t trying to tear each other down with. And that’s what makes it so exhilarating to watch.

There’s still some time to join the subreddit before the Thanos-style bans occur. Good luck to all those who choose to participate.

Comments

i hope the mods are included in the dice roll, unlike thanos who pretty clearly did not include himself in his bullshit ultimate plan

I mean, did he say he didn’t include himself? He had a 50% chance of surviving the snap otherwise, so he could have easily lived.

He didn’t include himself because he believes he’s the last of his race. Most people who survived were either lucky, or one of the last of their race and thus didn’t need to be included in the culling.

Is that stated anywhere in the movie though? My understanding of his machinations was that when he snapped, every sentient being in the universe had an RNG pick between 0 and 1, and it greater than 0.5, smite the individual. No where does Thanos seem to reason on a planet or species based level; entities such as "planets" or "species" are literally too small to worry about on the scale Thanos operates with the Infinity Stones.

Wasn’t Groot supposed to be the last of his kind?

I still like the idea from the comics where Thanos was just trying to impress Death.

I wished they would had used that plotline too.

The movie was long enough and full of so many characters already. It would be crazy to try to shoehorn that plot line in.

Another mod replied in a post that they’d be part of it. Or at least he would be.

Yup. They stickied it.
AND FOR THOSE CURIOUS, YES MODS WILL BE GETTING BANNED AS WELL

Hats off for fully committing.

He either was included and the Stone rejected his soul because he was the bearer of it, or he wasn’t included and the Stone was just being cruel by letting him see Gamora one last time.

or he didn’t include himself because he’s full of shit

Hey, what do you have against mods?!

They’re coarse and rough and irritating and get everywhere.

I would just like to point out that subreddits like thanosdidnothingwrong revolve almost exclusively around roleplaying around the idea. The idea is to pretend to be a devout supporter of Thanos, NOT to seriously argue killing half the people in the world is the right thing to do.

Except for r/theempiredidnothing wrong, everybody’s 100% serious there. Rebel scum!

I fully support this silliness.

Just one admin? If they were really dedicated to the bit, they would get approval from six of them.

Thanos did say, "Rich and the poor" "everything was random." As with subs, it should include mods as well.

I’ve never subscribed to a reddit so fast

Dread it.

Dragonphlegm

What a funny user name haha. Also, this is good.

280k subscribers now. If this keeps getting publicity, reddit admins are going to have a heart attack when they see how many people need to be instantly banned

Especially because half of those 280k suscribers will probably try to create a new account almost immediately.

I certainly subscribed immediately after seeing this article!

Been lurking for years though, lol.

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