Some Reddit users were surprised when they went to a popular pro-Trump Reddit page this week to find it was suddenly dedicated to rapper and comedian Donald Glover.
The subreddit, r/thedonald, has 16,900 followers. Its official description is “the place where we discuss in an unbiased manner Donald Trump’s great contributions to modern society.” It’s not clear if the subreddit was actually pro-Trump or a parody of other pro-Trump subreddits, but until a day ago, it was full of Fox and Friends clips and links to far-right news publications. Now it’s all images of Glover, facts about Glover and links to his performances.
First noticed by Cooper Fleishman, a former Mic senior editor, the change seems to have confused some of the page’s subscribers. “I’m new to this subreddit,” user Vespiform wrote on Monday. “Is it all just bashing Trump or is there actual politics and such on here? All I’m seeing is pictures of Donald Glover and Trump-bashing posts so I’d just like to know.”
It should be noted that this is all happening in the much smaller of the two main Trump subreddits. This is r/thedonald, not r/the_donald. The page with the underscore has 609,000 subscribers.
The shift from one Donald to another seems to have happened sort of organically.
“The sub’s only moderator has been inactive for 20 days now, which left a perfect opening for a hostile takeover of the sub,” Reddit user MetalsDeadAndSoAmI said in a message. When the moderator’s away, the redditors will play.
“There wasn’t really any discussion that sparked it so much as everyone globbing onto an interesting and funny idea in a way that is unique to new social media such as Reddit,” user JeaniousSpelur said. “I feel excited. There is much joy found in changing the culture of a space even on a rather small scale such as a subreddit.”
“We already have enough hate and fearmongering subreddits dedicated to Donald Trump, and those places are awful, often calling for lynching and violence. There was a a guy who killed his own father due to being radicalized on those subs,” MetalsDeadAndSoAmI said. “So we took this one back.”
As for why they chose Glover as the Donald to venerate?
“There are many greater Donalds in the world than the president, and Donald Glover is one of the greatest of them all,” MetalsDeadAndSoAmI said. “He’s intelligent, funny and crazy talented. And some of us have been fans from the moment he stepped on screen, spoke a verse and told a joke. He rose from nothing, living in the projects, barely getting by and has a heart for people of all races.”