Hackers flood Reddit communities with pro-Trump posts

Dozens of Reddit communities were forcibly flooded with pro-Trump content Friday morning. Reddit is blaming compromised moderator accounts.

Ry Crist
Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Appliances
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology and wireless connectivity Credentials 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
2 min read
Screenshot by Ry Crist/CNET

A number of Reddit communities got taken over as part of an apparent large-scale hack Friday morning, with a flood of images and posts supporting President Trump's reelection campaign. 

According to the site's users, the affected communities, called subreddits, all started seeing abrupt changes sometime around 7 a.m. PT, with banner images changed to pro-Trump imagery and a tidal wave of posts declaring support for the president. 

"An investigation is underway related to a series of vandalized communities," a Reddit spokesperson told CNET. "It appears the source of the attacks were compromised moderator accounts. We are working to lock down those accounts and restore impacted communities."

Screenshot by ZDNet

Most of the affected subreddits we've scanned so far seem to be back to normal.

"As you may have noticed our sub banner has changed quite a bit," wrote the mods of r/showerbeer. "This is a direct result of our mod team being hacked. Rest assured that we are working feverishly to remedy this issue."

"Today someone hacked one of our mods and hijacked the sub (fun!!!) so that everything looked...we'll go with 'not football,'" said Reddit user jdpatric, a moderator of the r/NFL subreddit, which boasts over 1 million subscribers. "At any rate, we're rolling everything back to pre-meltdown and it seems to be going well."

According to ZDNet, where reporters tracked the hack as it happened, the list of affected subs, now numbering in at 91, includes:

  • r/NFL
  • r/49ers
  • r/TPB (The Pirate Bay's Reddit channel)
  • r/BlackMirror
  • r/Beer
  • r/Vancouver
  • r/Dallas
  • r/Buffy
  • r/Gorillaz
  • r/Disneyland
  • r/Podcasts
  • r/BostonCeltics
  • r/freefolk
  • r/StartledCats
  • r/TheDailyZeitgeist
  • r/Supernatural
  • r/hentaimemes
  • r/GRE
  • r/GMAT
  • r/greatbritishbakeoff
  • r/11foot8
  • r/truecrimepodcasts
  • r/Leafs
  • r/weddingplanning
  • r/Chadsriseup
  • r/bertstrips
  • r/CFB 

Reddit users tracking the hack reported takeovers of numerous other subreddits Friday morning, including r/blackpeopletwitter, r/EDM, r/avengers and r/PoliticalDiscussion.

Watch this: Major Twitter accounts hacked, attackers try to steal coronavirus data