Internet’s Most Popular Donald Trump Chat Room Destroyed in Anime-Linked ‘Bang’
Image: Shutterstock / Composition: Jason Koebler
Centipede Central, the most influential and active pro-Donald Trump chat room on the internet was taken over and shut down in a self-proclaimed “coup” last week that dispersed its 16,000 members in several new chat servers and to delete the roughly 6 million messages that have been sent over the past year and a half.
âIt’s a tragic shame. They’ve completely ruined a great community,â Based_Brit, who ran the Centipede Central Discord server for the last month of its existence, told me in a Discord voice chat.
Discord is a chat platform that’s kind of Slack for gamers. In the months leading up to the 2016 elections, it has become a place of political organization and discussion, especially among the far right. Centipede Central was the largest and most important Trump server on the platform, and perhaps the most important meeting place for Trump’s âmemes armyâ.
Centipede Central grew out of the destruction of several other pro-Trump chat servers and has become a place where members of the r / the_donald subreddit could have freer speech. It was a place with a strict hierarchy, where Pepe meme artists were recruited for the sub-channels, memes were staged, and Twitter raids and actions were staged. After the Charlottesville rallies, the server tightened up enforcement of the rules to comply with Discord’s terms of service following the repression of the company on multiple alt-right servers.
But Discord hasn’t shut down Centipede Central. Instead, it’s now gone due to standard internet drama.
In its place, a server called “The Right Server” was created by some former Centipede Central administrators. The new server is not strictly pro-Trump (i.e. criticism of Trump is allowed).
According to two of the mutineers, Americans who bear the names of Hova and Pefimous, they destroyed Centipede Central to wrest control from Based_Brit for three reasons:
- He was sometimes inactive
- He advocated for an anime channel on Centipede Central, which some moderators didn’t want
- Some moderators didn’t want a Briton running an American political server
âThe problem with Based_Brit is that he’s not American, he’s a crypto furry – a closed furry. He wanted to add anime and NSFW channels. But mostly for us, it’s because he was so inactive. Whenever we wanted to do something he would do it just be lazy and don’t implement it, “Hova told me in a voice chat.” Au [Centipede Central] we had mod meetings to discuss the changes. He wanted to add an anime channel and the other admins would constantly remove it. “
Based_Brit told me that calling him furry is “part of their smear campaign” and that he only wanted an anime channel on Centipede Central in order to sequester it away from the more serious chat channels: “If you look at the the_donald subreddit, there are a lot of right-wing gamers – it’s a common theme – people who love anime. Personally, I have no problem with that, “he said.” It’s a chain that we’ve had in the past for a very long time. [the anime channel] has been deleted, it is spreading in other threads and more and more people are getting angry. So I said, ‘Put it in a channel, contain it.’ “
Based_Brit also told me that he has only been inactive for a short time and over the years has covered other admins when they are away from the site.
Hova and Pefimous described Based_Brit as an “online fool” and said he was banned from the new server for attempting to re-recruit members from a newly remodeled Centipede Central (which currently only has 150 users). They told me that although Based_Brit was the “owner” of Centipede Central, because they had administrator privileges, they could easily organize the shot using a Discord tool called Prune, which automatically kicked out 11,000 members who had not logged into Discord in the past 24 hours. They then manually kicked out the remaining members, changed the names of the existing channels in Centipede Central. They used a bot to invite former Centipede Central members to The Right Server, which currently has 2,300 members.
âThe community was dying at a rapid rate,â Pefimous said. âIf we didn’t do anything about it, he would die. [Based_Brit] was sluggish, lazy, and listless about Discord. We took everything from him. We have given new life to the community. “
It is literally a person who destroys this story. He scatters a lot of people in the wind
That a small group of people could destroy a large community is what bothers Based_Brit the most.
âHe’s literally one person destroying this story. It scatters a lot of people to the wind, and the new server is full of a lot more wacks, a lot more dingy characters,â he said. “It’s a little hard not to feel stabbed in the back, but at the same time, I don’t lose sleep because of it. I’m not very upset. In the end, it’s just that. Discord. “
When I first noticed that Centipede Central had been destroyed, I assumed that Discord removed it for violating its terms of service. , and people involved in the protests in Charlottesville. After Charlottesville, Discord told Motherboard he watched Centipede Central, but at the time, its former owner (who goes by the name .based) told Motherboard that he was taking action to ensure Centipede Central respects the line.
It turns out, however, that Discord had nothing to do to implode Centipede Central.
âCentipede Central shut down before Discord needed to act against any potential violations of the Terms of Service,â Discord told me in a statement. “We will continue to investigate any reported violations of our Terms of Service and take immediate appropriate action.”
But its replacement is no better. One of The Right Server’s most popular channels is an enthusiastic investigation into the Las Vegas shooting as a false banner perpetrated by liberals: “We have banned a user from posting congratulations for the shooting,” said Hova. As of this writing, there is a heated discussion about whether or not the shooter, Stephen Paddock, was an “FBI arms dealer” or not.
Update: This story has been updated with comments from Discord and has been updated to clarify the total number of users on Centipede Central at its peak.