There is a whole anti-fandom dedicated to the hatred of the Duggars
Last week, reality TV fame Josh Duggar was convicted of downloading and possessing child pornography, nearly two decades after abuse allegations against him first came to light. On Reddit, a community of over 131,000 people celebrated justice.
In the Duggars Snark subreddit, an army of Duggar obsessives have cultivated a community dedicated to analyzing the huge gang of home-schooled Arkansas Baptists and their Little house in the meadow way of life. A fundamental principle of the group is “no fans”; the community is strictly for condescension. He describes himself as “a board on which you can mock, mock and criticize the Duggar family.”
Since Josh Duggar’s federal arrest in April, the number of subreddit subscribers has doubled.
The community has developed nicknames and coded language for the subjects they ridicule. Patriarch Jim Bob Duggar is called “Boob” and Duggar Jinger’s daughter is nicknamed “Ofbabe”, a reference to her tendency to call her husband “babe” and the naming conventions in The Handmaid’s Tale. Participants frequently call out with “Nike”, the family password to signal that a shamelessly dressed woman is approaching (the father and the Duggar brothers kept their eyes on their shoes until the rib was clear). Josh, who has been named publicly in sexual abuse allegations since 2015, is known as “Pest.” His recent conviction has been dubbed the “parasite arrest”.
The lingo is draped in layers of jokes inside. Acquiring the language of the group is learning, and beginners can catch up by using a comprehensive article that breaks everything down.
Love to hate
In the dark world of Snark subreddits, no kindness to anti-fandom subjects is allowed. When Jill Duggar Dillard dyed her hair blonde, a moderator stepped in to discourage comments of mere support. “Comments that simply say she looks good without a snark will be removed. A good comment would be one that has nuances / isn’t just “wow Jill looks great” as that is a low effort comment. “
The emphasis on spite has a purpose, according to Pabs, a Tennessee student who is one of the moderators on the subreddit. “I think the snark provides catharsis for people, especially those who grew up in fundamentalist or bigotry environments to blurt out all their thoughts on it,” she said.
“Snark provides a catharsis to people, above all those who have adult as a fundamentalist Where worship environments. “
She went on to say that the subreddit is more than a cesspool of hate. “A lot of the good things I’ve seen are charitable giving, support from other members who may have been through traumatic events, and the overall feeling of having a close-knit community of friends. “
It is true that the group’s activity has given rise to positive events. In light of Josh Duggar’s trial, the subreddit hosted a fundraiser for the Washington County Children’s Safety Center, an organization dedicated to helping young victims. Local Arkansas reporter CC McCandless, who was actively involved in the subreddit while covering the Fox24 KNWA Fayetteville trial, garnered financial support from Redditors after posting he was struggling to pay his bills . Most notably, the subreddit provides a venue for discussions about the dark sides of the culture of purity and personal experiences of sexual assault in fundamentalist communities, and users can dismiss or mull over aspects of Christian beliefs in a process known as the name of deconstruction.
But on the plus side, there are also invasive and cruel aspects, like pointing out “ugly” fashion choices or participating in long conversations about which Duggar girl is the most “boring”. Cheeky conversations turn into 24/7 chats that users return to time and time again.
The psychology of gossip points to positive and prosocial results of shared sarcasm, and collective condescension feels good for a reason: Gossip triggers the brain’s reward circuitry. But when does the snark – waking up every day and logging into Reddit to criticize a clan of stranded reality TV stars – go too far?
The subreddit user base overlaps considerably with a number of smaller snark subreddits including r / blogsnark and r / fundiesnarkuncensored. And then there’s ar / munchsnark, a community dedicated to bashing internet personalities who appear to be faking disease, which has been banned for breaking Reddit’s rule on promoting hate.
“We have good reason sneak up on the Duggars. They promote fanatic views and harmful rhetoric.”
Duggar’s speculation is not exclusive to Reddit. This is also happening on TikTok, where “DuggarTok” videos have racked up over a billion views, according to Initiated. The intense devotion to the reality TV family parallels the obsessive zeal that fueled netizens’ forensic investigations into Gabby Petito, “Couch Guy,” and Reddit’s r / FindTheBostonBomber disaster of 2013. Time and time again, social media facilitates digital stacks and investigations into real guerrilla crimes that can sometimes be misguided.
While Josh Duggar’s child pornography convictions certainly warrant public contempt, other aspects of Duggar’s snark don’t seem more defensible than outright cyberbullying.
But moderator Pabs supports the snark subreddit. “We have good reason to laugh at the Duggars,” she told me. “They promote fanatic views and damaging rhetoric and constantly try to use their influence to harm others. It is necessary to make fun of these beliefs in today’s society in order to prevent them from being normalized or dismissed as not being harmful when they are. “