Popular anti-labor subreddit goes private after awkward Fox News interview

A hugely popular subreddit called r/antiwork, where users discuss ways to reform exploitative work systems and empathize with pandemic working conditions, has suddenly gone private after a tense interview between Fox News anchor Jesse Watters and the one of the forum moderators.

r/antiwork has been around since 2013, but has seen rocketship gain popularity during the strains of the pandemic. The community, whose slogan is “Unemployment for all, not just the rich!” has over 1.7 million users, and was the fastest growing non-default reddit on the site from January 26.

The group was so popular that Fox News sought to interview one of its moderators, Doreen Ford.

In their conversation, Mr Watters appears openly dismissive of the whole idea, laughing out loud when Ms Ford says she is a dog walker who works around 25 hours a week and aspires to teach philosophy.

“There are misconceptions about the movement,” Ms. Ford tells Watters. “We still want to make efforts. We want to put in the manpower, but we don’t necessarily want to be in a position where we feel trapped.

“I think laziness is a virtue in a society where people constantly want you to be productive 24/7.

“And it’s good to rest.”

Fox News’ Jesse Watters interviews Doreen Ford, moderator of the popular r/antiwork subreddit.

(Screenshot from Fox News)

Watters then asks what a good day at work is and Mrs. Ford replies, “Anything people want”.

The Fox anchor then laughs in the segment titled “The War on Labor.”

“I would like to take your course. Not everything is free, but it is a free country,” he concludes.

After the interview the r/antiwork subreddit went private with a message saying, “We are closed while we take care of the ongoing robbery cleanup, and will be back soon. (You don’t need to ask to join. We’ll be back very soon. I promise.)”

Brigadier refers to a coordinated effort by one group to disrupt another’s work at the site.

In an archived articleanother person identifying as r/antiwork wrote that, “We’re under heavy fire from brigadiers – ‘new’ users who have never participated in /r/antiworkadding that these “bad actors” showed why “we’re going to turn right-wing outlets like Fox News outright from now on.”

A Reddit user named Luciagrace posted earlier today: “I arrived this morning and it looks like a trash fire of locked posts and comments. Apparently people are being banned left, right and center for discussing the interview, why? »

Forum moderators said they weren’t banning people from discussing the interview itself, but rather for breaking pre-defined forum rules.

Followers of the r/antiwork philosophy have expressed concern about how the movement has played out on TV. Instead of focusing on exploitative work practices and the outsized place most American jobs play in their lives in the absence of a functioning social safety net, they thought the forum felt like an expression of privilege. millennium.

“Most of the posts on r/antiwork are from retail and fast food workers, nurses, teachers and other essential workers getting screwed over during the pandemic,” one user wrote on Twitter. “But then this walking stereotype comes on TV and sets the whole thing back a decade.”

Doreen Ford previously explained the deep meaning of the forum in other media.

“The point of the movement is not to tell everyone to quit your job immediately and not think about the economic impact on yourself or your family – that’s certainly not the message,” a- she told Bloomberg last month. “The central objective of our mission is to undermine and overthrow capitalism as much as possible and to ensure that people do not have to depend so much on their work to pay their rent.”

In November, a host told The Independent“Anti-work is a philosophy that’s radical, that tries to tackle systemic issues within capitalism – but I think this intuitive stuff, where a lot of people are trying to balance work and life, a lot people are quitting their jobs, a lot of people are fed up with how their companies can handle Covid and stuff like that”.

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