The popular TIFU (Today I Fucked Up) subreddit often contains light-hearted stories like teens who don’t know their own strength accidentally shoving milk all over a Wal-Mart employee or a well-intentioned Apple Watch feature delivering a nasty zing to a friend every hour. However, a user named bawron posted a story that was significantly less light-hearted, which resulted in the thread getting locked despite 4400 comments and over 3000 up-votes. It would appear that bawron’s account has also been suspended.
What was it about? The thread, archived here, was a story of a false sexual abuse accusation against the poster’s college-aged son from his then 16-year-old stepdaughter. According to the poster, his son was expelled from an Ivy League school and spent some in jail before the stepdaughter confessed she made it up to cover up sexual activity from her boyfriend. The father laments how much this has changed his son’s life, giving details of behavior that signals a rather serious depression.
Naturally, this sparked quite a heated debate in the comments. The top-voted thread was one casting doubt on the father’s story. “This story reads like rage porn for Redditors. The only thing that would have made it ‘better’ is if the son was a semester away from getting his STEM degree and also the webmaster for Bernie Sanders,” comments user mossmouth. Another incendiary conversation broke out from a dr_s00s who gained Reddit gold for his scathing criticism of the father, saying “I know it’s just a short post on reddit, but it seems to me that the narrative of your post isn’t really about your son. It’s about you.” Before he was suspended, bawron did make two follow-up posts clarifying some of the story.
Perusing over the massive thread will demonstrate to the trained eye of a gender metereologist a perfect gathering storm for nearly every piece of the unwinding narrative over false accusations, rape charges, campus crime procedures, feminist “listen and believe” missives, as well as other strains of political nastiness as they fly around it in a tornado of internet rage.
While the mod who locked the thread claims they did so for violations of their rule 5, which is simply “be civil,” they didn’t go into any further detail. Reddit moderators have been under fire lately for deleting or locking threads which users have claimed show a distinct unwillingness to let posts that criticize anti-male narratives trend, such as popular YouTuber sh0eonhead’s video blasting Buzzfeminism getting deleted from r/videos after trending on the front page or the recent viral video of an Australian senator arguing against the use of the word “mansplaining” in a political discussion, which was similarly removed from r/cringe. Other huge social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have also recently received criticism for their handling of speech issues.
Whether bawron’s story is true or not, it’s interesting that there’s a line of logic trending at the moment that encourages us to believe stories of rape, while casting doubt about stories of false rape accusations seems to be perfectly fine.
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