Backstory of my contributions to Turkey Blocks' Reddit LGBTI Article

So, I wanted to post a quick blog post (sorry for boring content or typos) ASAP explaining backstory of how the Turkey Blocks' Reddit LGBTI blocks article came into fruition before people come at me with pitchforks!

If you haven't already, read Turkey Blocks' Reddit LGBTI Article here. It's a great article.


Now, here's the story of me discovering that there were blocks on Turkey's end on reddit communities. It's a funny story, actually. I'm not exactly sure what we were talking about before the friend asked me out of the blue if the subreddit was registered, and I just opened it to screenshot the "This is a 18+ community" screen... but that wasn't the screen I received at all:

After a while of researching, I've realized that this is the same error message as the one used when germany banned /r/watchpeopledie, which was mentioned in Reddit Inc. Transparency Report, 2015:

Realizing that there were state-administered blocking being negotiated with reddit, I mailed turkeyblocks with the info I had. That was around 10 days ago.

I'm not going to go into too much detail, but due to various issues, they were only able to return to my mail a couple days ago. They thanked me and asked if I knew of any subreddits and I replied no, but that I'd research. I've noticed them that reddit mentions these in the yearly transparency report, but that the 2016 one wasn't released yet:

And a day later, reddit magically released the Reddit Inc. Transparency Report, 2016, and I mailed turkeyblocks:

Knowing that there were 6 blocked subreddits and now that /r/place was over, I pretty much tried to find which other subreddits were banned:

After that, they went on to writing an article, and asked me properly if I wanted to be credited. I agreed as I had nothing to lose:

(Also, the HTTP453 was my typo on first mail, it just went on until the the article, where it was finally fixed)

I've also went through around 100 other NSFW subreddits (never to the actual content, though! Censor message appears before the age check (which I deny as a responsible person would)), and found one more.

(Community names and descriptions are usually "bad" enough, no need to see actual content to know what's inside)

Finally, we verified that these are new blocks with turkeyblocks:

And then they finally released it.

There were some minor issues to iron out (full name being used instead of handle etc.), but sending an email was enough to fix it.

After asking and being accepted, I can finally post this.

So, that was the backstory of finding the blocked subreddit while joking around with a friend, followed by getting it turned it to a full blown article with the help of @turkeyblocks, hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoying living through it :)

(ps. If you haven't put down the pitchforks yet, would saying that I'm not homosexual help? I really don't want to get in a fight here.)


As someone mailed WSJ with the other link, and IDK, they might want some backstory (unlikely, but just being cautious), here's a quick disclaimer:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

That allows you to share and adapt the material, commercially and uncommercially, but attribution is needed. More info can be found here.

You can also mail me at ave@ave.zone.

Avery (Arda) Özkal

Some kind of developer. Cares about FOSS, privacy, gender equality and stuff. Likes gaming. Blogs occasionally.

Ankara, Turkey https://ave.zone

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