LEGO BIONICLE community regains control of subreddit from ‘anti-LGBT trolls’

The LEGO BIONICLE community has regained control of its subreddit, which was briefly seized by a team of ‘anti-LGBT+ trolls’ earlier this week.

Following the theme’s success in the initial 90th anniversary LEGO Ideas poll, it should be obvious by now that the BIONICLE community is absolutely thriving online. And one of the places those fans gather to share ideas, discuss storylines and show off their builds and collections is r/bioniclelego, a subreddit that’s been active for almost 10 years.

Over the past few days, however, that community has been thrown into turmoil by the actions of a few overzealous – and allegedly transphobic – moderators. Among them was the subreddit’s top moderator, Zaktastic, who (up until a few days ago) was rarely active in the community. Instead, moderation was largely handled by users GinkoWeed and arccharger448.

LEGO BIONICLE subreddit

It’s worth pointing out here that there’s considerable crossover between the BIONICLE fandom and the LGBT community, extending to Facebook groups, memes and TikTok. So when a handful of users on r/bioniclelego began leaving transphobic comments on posts, GinkoWeed published a post outlining the community’s zero tolerance policy for bigotry.

A few days later, Zaktastic – who was still mostly inactive at this point – apparently suddenly banned both GinkoWeed and arccharger448, deleted Ginkoweed’s anti-bigotry post, and began banning users who had expressed support for the trans community. The mods report that they then attempted to reason with Zaktastic, who initially agreed to reinstate them – but instead appointed three new moderators, at least one of whom had openly admitted to being homophobic.

The wider r/bioniclelego community responded with outrage, calling Zaktastic’s actions ‘pathetic’, ‘bleak’ and ‘awful’, and instantly began penning a letter to reddit’s admin team that described the new moderators as ‘anti-LGBT+ trolls’.

 “In barely eight hours, the active, effective mod team of /r/bioniclelego was completely purged from the community, and it was replaced by a team of trolls with a long history of toxicity and bigotry,” the community stated in the letter, which was also signed by BIONICLE fans at Mask of Destiny and other online spaces.

“While /u/Zaktastic was technically the owner of the subreddit, and he technically had the necessary permissions to do what he did, what he did was wrong – he is not the one who actually built this community, and his actions were clearly motivated by a desire to see it crumble.”

While the community’s members were collaborating on their letter, which is currently publicly viewable in Google Docs, they also began flooding the subreddit with Pride flags and Pride-themed builds in protest. Zaktastic then mysteriously stepped down from the subreddit’s management team, leaving only his trio of new moderators in place.

Finally, on July 3, reddit admin Chtorrr relinquished control of the subreddit from the new moderation team and reinstated GinkoWeed and arccharger448, bringing this disconcerting chapter in the community’s history to a close. The entire saga has since been summed up in an appropriately BIONICLE-themed comic by knux400 (warning: NSFW language).

Normal service has now resumed over at r/bioniclelego, although GinkoWeed – who also runs the smaller r/BIONICLE community – is currently inquiring about swapping the names of the two subreddits. 

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

3 thoughts on “LEGO BIONICLE community regains control of subreddit from ‘anti-LGBT trolls’

  • 06/07/2022 at 16:46
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    “allegedly transphobic ”
    FAKE

    Reply
  • 06/07/2022 at 11:22
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    well, actually when they took over thay said that they don’t want to drag politics to a toy line subreddit, so they shall be banning all LGBT movements either pro- or anti- to stop political agenda. This way you were not prohibited from discussing about bionicles like before, just from weaving you political agenda to it. It was a result of one of the mods (that later got the sub back) claiming to ban everyone that does not agree with them. Now the rules of the sub are changed specifically to be of use to the pro- movement. Your heroes are what you make them, to me those proLGBT mods are as bigoted as the antiLGBT.

    Reply
  • 05/07/2022 at 22:40
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    I was one of the many people protesting Zaktastic and his actions. I’m so proud of our community for coming together and fighting back, and i’m super thankful to the reddit staff for making the right choice and helping the community.

    Reply

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