“LE REDDIT ARMY IS HERE”
Ever read that phrase in a Youtube video? Or see an internet caricature along the line of Berta Lovejoy, or some variation of a fedora wearing atheist posting some inane top-rated comment on a video? Well then, you have encountered a member of the greatly despised “Le Reddit Army”, a group of redditors on the internet who band together to post obnoxious messages on youtube and upvote their fellow soldiers. As I mentioned in a previous article, these guys are a relatively recent brand of troll who operate by impersonating internet stereotypes and inspiring rage from people who fall for their act, proud redditors who don’t want to be associated with them, and anyone who just doesn’t like seeing obvious trolls getting top comments. Who are they exactly, what should you be doing in response to them, and what does their presence say about the internet community as a whole? By the end of this article you will at least have some understanding of these internet trouble makers and then you can decide for yourself whether or not they are worth getting worked up about.
This trolling group is a community that primarily gathers on a subreddit appropriately titled “LeRedditArmie”. In this subreddit you will find a community of trolls exchanging stories of their “conquests”, awarding each other honours (like the Golden Fedora awards they host annually), and continually sharing tired meme humour with each other. Everything, from the subreddit’s annoying “Reddit Armie Wants You!” popup that assaults your screen every few seconds to their insistence on having their humour be as repetitive as possible, is designed to aggravate people. The “Le Reddit Army” has achieved something I like to call a form of “Meta Trolling”.
On one level, there’s the obvious troll of impersonating these hated internet stereotypes. You can imagine how the “staunch feminist” Berta Lovejoy came to be the most replied to Le Reddit Army persona due to the large amount of hatred people on the internet have for feminism. While bothering people who can’t see through the facade, those affiliated with whatever stereotype these guys are mocking are equally offended because they feel they are being made to look bad. This is most often seen with oddly prideful redditors angrily declaring that they are “giving Reddit a bad name!” (as if Reddit was a reputable place on the internet in the first place). That is the first level of its trolling, but the second layer comes from what they are as a collective entity. For those that are affiliated with who they are as a group, they have caused a lot of stress. Angry posts sarcastically commenting about how “funny” these people are, meme pictures designed to expose how childish they are being, and even an app dubbed “Hide Fedora” has been created to block registered LRA members. These guys imagine these redditors as childish kids who think they’re being clever, when in reality they revel in their immaturity and feed off reactions like that. They want you to be that uptight teacher who gets frustrated with what they’re doing, so they’re fully aware of how stupid it is. In fact, they are counting on that stupidity.
When someone posts “Le Reddit Army has arrived”, they aren’t thinking about how cool or funny they are, they’re probably just hoping people who read those words will get mad and waste their time replying. On a smaller scale, their comments offend those who take these obnoxious caricatures at face value and those they are impersonating (who fear their obvious stereotype will be interpreted as confirmation for false notions of their group held by the masses). On a larger scale, the entire institution of this internet army presents itself as an offense to the viewing public. So much so that an app was actually created to block them specifically. This is a little concerning since these posters are mildly annoying at worst, while legitimately harmful youtube comments like racist and sexist remarks have no such filter. This speaks volumes about the priorities people have online, but I digress. The LRA isn’t something people should be concerned about for the most part. Ultimately, they’re a harmless community of Reddit posters that only damage the (already awful) reputation of Reddit and take over the comment thread of youtube videos that were already going to be terrible anyways. Honestly, Reddit itself did enough of a job wrecking its own reputation with incidents like their “Find the Boston Bomber” catastrophe, and youtube comments are already putrid trash whether the LRA intervenes or not. There is no reason why you shouldn’t ignore them, and if you really want to fight them, ignoring them is your best bet anyways since all they want is attention in the end.
When it comes to this particular force on the internet, there are three things you can be doing in response to them. You could join them, you can “fight” them by angrily responding to their existence, or you can just ignore them. Only one of these options doesn’t actively strengthen their movement.