Watch Infinity War's Thanos epic ban destroy a Reddit group forever

Perfectly balanced.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read

Warning: The very nature of this post is a potential spoiler for Avengers: Infinity War.

What started as a mere idea on Reddit has become a phenomenon -- as Thanos, the archvillain in Avengers: Infinity War, annihilated over 350,000 Redditors on Monday, July 9.

But you didn't necessarily miss out on all the fun -- on Tuesday, Marvel Studios itself weighed in on the epic ban across two different Twitter accounts, and the "snap" itself is still something you can watch in a video embedded at the bottom of this post.

What's going on?

In the movie, Thanos tries to obtain the Infinity Stones and wipe out half the universe. To mirror the baddie's quest, subreddit and Thanos fan page r/thanosdidnothingwrong decided to ban half of its subscribers with the snap of its (metaphorical) fingers. At the time we originally published this post, more than 710,000 accounts had followed the subreddit, testing their luck as they waited to see whether they'd be banned or survive.

With that many Redditors given the boot, this is one of the biggest bans in Reddit history. In a surprising twist, Reddit itself joined the excitement, starting a stream on Twitch that featured the mass banning live, which you can watch below. The stream started by showing lines of code with a series of colors, with the sound of fire playing ominously in the background, and then the sad procession of banned accounts began to be revealed.

I don't feel so good...

Now, the dust has settled, and half of the subreddit has been silenced. That isn't necessarily reflected in the subscriber count, which now contains plenty of people who joined after the culling and those who didn't follow through on the moderators' request that those who were banned by Thanos also unsubscribe.

Moderators of the subreddit announced the plan to ban 50 percent of the sub last week. Since then, news of the impending ban went viral, gaining hundreds of thousands of subscribers (so much for halving the population) and causing r/thanosdidnothingwrong to become subreddit of the day on July 9. There's even a r/thanosiswrong spinoff subreddit currently at 10,389 subscribers.

Leading up to the big ban, subscribers were sharing their best (and worst) Thanos memes. Even Josh Brolin, the actor who plays Thanos, got in on the fun by posting a short video.

Keeping with Marvel canon, mods have asked banned members to unsubscribe from r/thanosdidnothingwrong and subscribe to r/inthesoulstone. The fate of these banned members is unknown.

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Update, 5:02 p.m. PT: To include the beginning of the bans.

Update, 8:32 p.m. PT: To reflect the new state of the subreddit.

Updated, July 10 at 3:15 p.m. PT: Added video replay and Marvel's weigh-in.