Russian trolls offered to pay me $1000 per month if I stop talking about Russian trolls on my subreddits, and threatened to destroy me if I refuse the money

Russian trolls are destroying pro-Biden subreddits, with the help of at least one Reddit employee

Over the past 4 years, I created over a dozen popular anti-Trump, pro-democracy subs from scratch, like r/BadChoicesGoodStories, the largest political video sub on Reddit. That made me a target.

For over 3 years, MAGA/Russian trolls tried to character assassinate me with lies and cancel my subs like Bud Light. They finally succeeded, with the help of a Reddit admin.

It’s no secret that social media platforms like FacebookTwitter X and Reddit are overrun by thousands of Russian trolls who spread toxic disinformation to manipulate elections and destroy western democracies from the inside.

On Reddit, Russian trolls have spent the past few years infiltrating the mod teams on dozens of popular subs.

When you run a popular subreddit, you notice that most followers don’t actively participate. About 90% are lurkers who just scroll and read. Only 9% comment here and there. And only about 1% post content themselves. Those few regular contributors in the top 1% are the power users.

If your sub grows to the point where you need help moderating the comments, the power users are usually your first choice. Russian trolls know that. So they act like normal power users, hoping to get picked as mods.

Once a Russian troll manages to get into a mod team, other Russian trolls harass the top mod with endless hostile confrontations, hoping to encourage the top mod to say or do something that will get his account suspended, after being mass-reported by Russian trolls.

Sooner or later that trick works, the top mod loses his account and the control over his sub, and the Trojan horse Russian troll moves closer to the top of the mod list. They repeat that process as often as needed, until the Russian troll is the top mod and can take ownership of the sub.

Once Russian trolls gain control over a sub, they add other Russian trolls to the mod team. After adding each other to various mod teams, many Russian trolls become “power mods” with control over dozens of popular subs.

The process of taking over a sub can take weeks or months. During that time, other Russian trolls continue to post and comment anti-western pro-Russian propaganda. Russian troll mods encourage that behavior and ban Democrats who try to point out or correct the Russian disinformation.

Eventually outspoken Democrats are banned from many popular subs for no legitimate reason, while Russian trolls roam free and continue to take over more and more subs.

Some mods are aware of the risk of inviting random strangers to help moderate a sub. That makes their subs harder to take over. If Russian trolls can’t infiltrate and take over a sub, they try to sabotage and destroy it instead. That’s what happened to my subs.

But first they offered to pay me $1000 per month to buy my silence.

Russian trolls really hate it when you talk about Russian trolls. They work in the shadows. Their lies only work when people believe them and don’t suspect that they’re being lied to. The more people know about Russian trolls, the less Russian disinformation works.

That’s why Russian trolls try to destroy anyone who spreads information about Russian trolls:

I didn’t take him seriously. I figured it was just a teenage dipshit trying to be funny. So I made a counter-offer of $3000 per month to retire from spreading awareness about Russian trolls on Reddit. Just to see how he would react.

Apparently this guy really is part of one of the Russian trolls farms who spread anti-democratic, anti-Ukrainian propaganda on Reddit, and they really did try to character assassinate me by spreading lies about me.

They created a private subreddit specifically to organize targeted harassment campaigns against me. They tried to intimidate me and/or get me suspended, so that my pro-Biden subs would turn into unmoderated orphans and get shut down.

They also instigated dozens of brigades against me, by lying about me to turn random strangers against me based on those lies, and then encouraging them to harass me. A brigade is a Reddit term for an organized, targeted harassment campaign against a specific user or his subreddit.

These screenshots are just a handful of examples. I could show you hundreds more.

After several years of daily harassment, brigading, doxxing, stalking, character assassination, lies, death threats and daily attacks on my subs, a group of MAGA/Russian trolls finally managed to get my account suspended and my subs shut down — with the help of a Reddit admin who suspended not only my account, but all mod accounts on all my subs.

Meanwhile Russian trolls are now “power mods” on some of the largest subs on Reddit and gain mod access to more every day. Their toxic disinformation reaches millions of people.

And they use their leverage to ban outspoken Democrats like me, or spread lies to manipulate others into antagonizing me.

I’m not the bad guy here. I never harass anyone. I’m not the one who should have been suspended. I should have gotten some help and support from Reddit. I have been the victim of targeted harassment by a group of trolls for several years.

Reddit admins are only human. They’re probably understaffed and overworked, just like everyone else. Sometimes they make mistakes. Maybe this was an honest mistake.

Or maybe at least one of the Reddit admins is pro-Trump and pro-Putin and actively aids Russian trolls in destroying pro-Biden subs, if they can’t replace the Democratic mods with Russian trolls.

Who knows. What I do know is that I’m not the first one who has been harassed by Russian trolls, or the first one to ask Reddit for help. I have repeatedly sent them copies of the death threats I received and screenshots of the targeted harassment against me.

Reddit made no effort to help me or respond to my repeated attempts to contact them. They seem to have no interest whatsoever to help victims of Russian harassment campaigns.

Pro-Putin disinformation warriors take War of Aggression to Reddit: Reddit seems strangely indifferent to Russian disinformation groups.

Center for European Policy Analysis

‘Vulkan files’ leak reveals Putin’s global and domestic cyberwarfare tactics: Russian program aims to control internet and spread disinformation

The Guardian

Prominent pro-Sanders subreddit WayOfTheBern aims to divide Democrats, says social media analyst

Washington Times

Russian spam accounts are still a big problem for Reddit: At least 89 subs have been targeted by Russian propaganda.


How Russia Secretly Orchestrated Dozens of U.S. Protests: A group of Russia-linked Facebook accounts helped organize at least 60 events on U.S. soil, in an apparent attempt to deepen political discord.

Vanity Fair

Russia organized 2 sides of a Texas protest and encouraged ‘both sides to battle in the streets’

Business Insider

Author: Oliver
I'm an introvert. I spend a lot of time inside my head, just thinking about random stuff. Introverts think about more than just being introverts. :) I make comics about those thoughts.

9 thoughts on “Russian trolls offered to pay me $1000 per month if I stop talking about Russian trolls on my subreddits, and threatened to destroy me if I refuse the money

  1. Putins tactics are so painfully obvious, that it hurts to see so many people take the bait and turn into pathetic assholes over their delusions of grandure! In addition seeing a lot of leftist folks who still think that “both sides” make good points, and who try to appease these assholes instead of fighting them adds insult to injury! Just want to let you know how much I appreciate your work! Don’t let these assholes ruin your life!

  2. Lmao that’s a lot of words to say “I’m a fucking loser who tried to drive traffick to my boring subs with sock accounts and got banned for it”. Seethe more, janny.

    Oh wait you aren’t a janny anymore hahahahaha

  3. While I’ve been aware of the phenomenon you are writing about, I’ve had your account marked down as a misinformation account for quite awhile. Specifically, after you began posting hamas propaganda. When I posted links in replies on reddit showing you why it was misinformation according to verified sources, you shadow banned me from all your subs. You were taking the word of radical islamists terrorists who have spread propaganda for decades, non stop, as completely legitimate, over verified sources from independent journalists from the international media.

    Russia has filled reddit with pro hamas/palestine bots since October 7th. In fact, most of the “far right agitator accounts” I’ve documented doing what you claim in this article became pro palestine over night after October 7th. It was like night and day in most subs.

    I’m a democrat who studies misinformation online. You marked me as a troll and shadow banned me for debunking the narrative you were rashly and ignorantly trying to push.

    Reddit admin doesn’t care about the bots and trolls because they’re trying to boost numbers before the ipo.

    I’d also like you to consider how many people like me that were out there that was on your side that you shadow banned instead of admitting you are fallible, yourself.

    1. >debunking the narrative you were rashly and ignorantly trying to push

      We’re not gonna see eye to eye on that. Israel is clearly wrong and clearly committing genocide against the Palestinians. The entire world community agrees. Even Biden finally had enough of Netanyahu’s bullshit.

      It’s despicable that Russian trolls are using the suffering of the Palestinian people to spread anti-Biden propaganda.

      I support Biden. I will vote for him, of course. But that doesn’t mean I always agree with him. And I absolutely did not agree with his support for Israel’s carpet bombing of Gaza. I’m glad Biden finally came to his senses.

      >Reddit admin doesn’t care about the bots and trolls because they’re trying to boost numbers before the ipo.

      Yeah, I think you might be right. Trolls drive up engagement. More engagement = more users = more eyeballs = more ad revenue = more profit.

      And I’m guessing they simply don’t have the manpower to tackle the Russian troll infestation. They need mods, until they figure out how to replace mods with AI. So they’d rather get rid of the whistleblowers who might rock the boat before the IPO, instead of risking a mutiny of Russian troll power mods who will shut down hundreds of subs again if they get the sense that Reddit might make a move against them.

      >you are fallible, yourself

      I never claimed to be infallible. I’m just trying my best to keep my subs troll-free, which means I have to make a lot of split second decisions when I decide whether someone is a valuable contributor, or a disinformation troll.

      I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting the signs, and usually I’m right. But occasionally I get one wrong. Then they usually send me a mod mail, tell me that I made a mistake, and I unban them. Everyone makes mistakes.

  4. Damn man, I feel for you. Thats some serious bs. I spend alot of time countering Russian and Chinese trolls on reddit. Like more than I’m proud of. Luckily I do not run any subs so they argue with me and when they can’t actually counter my argument with anything substantial they tend to vanish.

    I get doing it and hanging on just to spite them and keep democracy. But, lesser men would’ve probably bowed out a long time ago. Proud of you for holding out that long. Is there any recourse through reddit that could see you get your accounts restored or is it a permanent ban? I know it doesn’t much matter but you’ve got the support of at least this one redditor. Fingers crossed you are able to wrestle back control of your subs.

  5. I was wondering where you went on Reddit. I’m so glad I found you and will be following more closely now. This sucks, brother but I’m so grateful you’re still here and fighting and speaking out. True USA Democracy is stronger than these trolls and hopefully more and more people wake up to what’s happening. Fuck off Putin and all that would support him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *