Reddit is Keeping Russia Conspiracies Alive and Well

September 11 has been a day of somber remembrance since the tragedy of 2001. This year it also became a day for blaming that tragedy on Russia.

What follows is a long thread condemning Russia for its all-encompassing role in 9/11. The theory holds that Russians spread anti-American propaganda in Muslim countries, supported Shiite governments hiding Osama bin Laden’s family and essentially created radical Islamic terrorism. And to top it all off, they gifted us a memorial commemorate the five-year anniversary of 9/11 that looks like a big vagina and is a not-so-subtle insult.

Russia conspiracies have become common since Donald Trump’s election. Elaborate and sometimes baseless stories of Russian plots lead major cable network shows and newspaper columns. In recent months, though, they’ve cooled on their medium of origin, Twitter. While tweet threads about Putin’s insidious plots once racked up thousands of shares and likes, it seems that people have grown wiser to the unabashed grifting of Seth Abramson, Louise Mensch, Eric Garland and others.

But even if Russia conspiracies are dead on Twitter, they’re alive and well on Reddit.

r/RussiaLago is a subreddit dedicated to all things Russiagate. It’s an amalgam of hard news from sources like the Washington Post, impeachment speculation from random law blogs, loosely concocted theories and straight up shitposting. Here’s a post lamenting Russia social media “love” on 9/11. (Don’t you dare compliment the big vagina!)

If you believe Russia is behind everything bad that’s ever happened to the United States and the world, this is the subreddit for you. It’s a one-stop fear shop where you can find all the Trump-is-a-Putin-Puppet op-eds and loosely concocted theories based on internet comments that you need.

r/RussiaLago isn’t completely filled with speculative Russia conspiracy mongers. There’s some legitimate sourcing, as well as the occasional dissenting voice. But it’s dominated by people fully invested in seeing the Russians as a mysterious, devious enemy. It’s their world and Russia’s destroying it, one terrorist attack and tampered election at a time.

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