The militantly pro-Trump subreddit /r/The_Donald tried to create its own safe space from Lady Gaga during her Super Bowl LI halftime performance.
Moderators deleted many pro-Gaga threads during the game, as redditor TaintedSquirrel pointed out on the /r/undelete subreddit, which is dedicated to finding instances of purged threads throughout Reddit. Most of the deleted threads included begrudging admissions that her performance was great and applauded her for choosing not to be politically divisive. The /r/undelete thread was, itself, later deleted.
Deleted thread titles include:
- "Ill fucking say it. Lady Gagas half time performance was great."
- "I don't like Lady Gaga and I know we all talked about boycotting her halftime show, but I'd like to thank her for staying classy and not being politically divisive (like Beyonce). Great Job!"
- "Ivanka Trump on Twitter: 'Incredible performance by @ladygaga #PepsiHalftime #SuperBowl'"
- "Gaga bends the knee. Praises America with traditional song and does nothing but classics with dance tunes. No controversial subject matter. Says hello to mom and dad. We are winning!"
Here's a screencapture of the since-deleted thread.
Lady Gaga campaigned with Hillary Clinton and made a career as an LGBT icon with songs like "Born This Way" becoming anthems for the community; many viewers expected her to make an overtly political statement on the Super Bowl stage. Her performance instead focused on warm fuzzies, with renditions of "God Bless America" and Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" (a song of inclusion that many have said was the closest the performance came to getting political). There was a lot of purple, a few American flags, and a ton of vaporwave glam, but as far as her personal politics go, she stayed poker-faced.
As a community strictly for supporters of Donald Trump, /r/The_Donald has some of the most stringent rules of any subreddit. Moderators ban "Social Justice Warriors" for their "political correctness." They also frequently mock "liberal safe spaces." They pride themselves on not censoring what they consider free speech, but threads acknowledging Lady Gaga's family-friendly halftime show were too much for the mods.
On /r/The_Donald, threads predicting the anti-Trump tone of the show remain live, as do plans to boo her off the stage with chants for Trump and a call to protest the halftime show from home. Yesterday's "Midday MAGAthread" included anticipation for a political protest that never happened: "Lady Gaga is a complete liberal SJW piece of trash and she will be up there (I guarantee) putting on the biggest freak show you have ever seen," wrote rsashe1980. "And hundreds of millions of people around the world will be subjected to her active display of mental delinquency."
The deleted threads are examples of a more level-headed portion of the subreddit. "Not everything is a conspiracy against us," redditor M3nt0R commented in one of the since-deleted threads. "A lot of it is, but not everything."
Prince Camelton, head moderator of /r/The_Donald, offered Motherboard this statement on the deleted threads: "We refuse to comment because Vice is 'Fake News.'"