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‘Antiwork’ Reddit forum temporarily shuts down due to ‘brigading’ attack that followed fiery Fox News interview

January 27, 2022, 5:51 AM UTC

The anti-workers are taking a break.

On Wednesday, popular Reddit forum r/antiwork said it was temporarily shutting down amid a coordinated online attack against the community.   

“We’re closed while we deal with the cleanup from ongoing brigading, and will be back soon,” the moderators wrote in a message to the forum.

As of midnight Eastern Time Thursday, the forum was still offline.

On Reddit, “brigading” refers to downvoting comments to censor them on the website, spamming the forum with posts and messages, or other abusive behavior toward a particular subreddit community.

The forum’s decision to pull the plug came hours after one of the forum’s moderators, Doreen Ford, a 30-year-old dog walker, had a combative interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters.

In the interview, Watters said he disagreed with the idea of anti-work, saying it quashed ambition. Recently, the forum has battled criticism that its anti-work narrative and 1.7 million followers are fueling the U.S. labor shortage.

“Why do you like the idea of being home, not working, but still getting paid by corporate America?” Watters asked.

Ford said that the forum is not against all forms of work, but rather is a messaging board for people to share work-related struggles and reevaluate the role of work in their lives.

“We’re a movement where we want to reduce the amount of work people feel they are forced to do,” Ford said. “We want to put it in effort, put in labor, but we don’t necessarily want to be in a position where we feel trapped.”

Unconvinced, Watters pressed Ford about potential consequences of promoting anti-work: “It sounds like people are being lazy. Are you encouraging people to be lazy?”

“It’s good to have rest; that doesn’t mean you should rest all the time or not be putting time into things you care about,” Ford responded.

On Reddit, the r/workreform community is quickly gaining traction while r/antiwork is offline. WorkReform says its community believes people should not be “worked to death by their employers” and that “all labor should provide every person with all basic life necessities.” Moderators claim that the group has gained 150,000 followers in the past 24 hours while the antiwork forum has been down.

“The response we got from the [antiwork] situation is unrivaled,” the moderators wrote in a message to the forum. “This is a clear message that no matter the name, this movement is alive, this movement is needed, and this movement will not die.”

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