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/r/Pyongyang is a satirical subreddit community that purports itself as an official news bulletin for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Known for its strict ban policy against anyone critical of North Korea and its leaders, the subreddit has become a running joke among Redditors who would often reply to those speaking negatively about the DPRK with “you have been banned from /r/pyongyang,” and conversely, those speaking in favor of North Korea with “you have become a moderator of /r/pyongyang.”
Named after the capital city of North Korea, /r/pyongyang was launched by Redditor Kim_Il-sung on December 21st, 2011, billing itself as a community run by “the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries of the DPRK to disperse propaganda about its totalitarian regime.” Within the community, users often upvote posts and comments praising the DPRK and its leader Kim Jong-Un while moderators have become in famous for removing any user comments that may be deemed critical of North Korean leadership.
On December 24th, 2011, Redditor PaperBlake submitted a screenshot of a comment praising DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un titled “How to comment in /r/pyongyang without getting deleted” to the /r/funny subreddit (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post gathered upwards of 1,300 up votes and 60 comments.
On March 18th, 2012, /r/pyangyong was created as a “sister subreddit” to /r/pyongyang. On April 13th, the /r/pyongyangbannedme subreddit was launched for discussions about being banned from /r/pyongyang. On April 19th, the tech news blog Beta Beat published an article about the satirical subreddit. On January 2nd, 2013, the tech news blog Mashable mentioned /r/pyongyang in a list of notable “bizarre subreddits.” On March 7th, Redditor uWouldReadThis submitted a post titled “North Korea to South Korea: ‘You are now banned from /r/pyongyang’” to /r/circlejerk, where it received more than 3,000 up votes and 75 comments before it was archived. On March 15th, Redditor remjob61 submitted an image macro mocking DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un titled “This got me banned from /r/pyongyang” to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit, where it gained over 14,600 up votes and 230 comments prior to being archived (shown below).
On March 18th, Redditor ciberaj submitted a post asking if /r/pyongyang was a “circlejerk subreddit” to the /r/explainlikeimfive subreddit. In the comments section of the post, Redditor MathisRowan responded to Redditor darsehole that he had “been made moderator of /r/Pyongyang.”
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