I have been using the screen name Soundman1488 since I have been using the internet. It was originally my screen name on AOL Instant Messenger. Every online account I have ever created from that point forward has used this username.
Fast forward to the last few days. On r/AskReddit, I commented on a discussion thread about fictional characters in books/movies/shows who are often portrayed as heroes but are actually not. I never participate in conversations on Reddit or really post anything. This was the only the second or third time. Less than 24 hours later I got a message saying I have been permanently banned because my username violates the rules. When I asked why, they sent me a link to Reddit’s policy on usernames that promote hate and discrimination! Soundman1488 - a username that promotes hate and discrimination. I was legitimately frustrated and confused.
So, I went over to r/Banned and posted a screenshot of my message and was asking for insight.
Turns out that “1488” is a very popular nazi/white supremacy hate symbol. They get it tattooed on their bodies and use it in email addresses and screen names to identify themselves as a nazi. As one user informed me - I might as well be parading around the internet calling myself “Joe Nazi”.
In 15 plus years of using the internet, I have NEVER been told about this or one across anyone who was offended by my username. My birthday is January 4, 1988. Needless to say, this is extremely upsetting and, given the current racial climate here in the United States, I’m bothered that I could have been unknowingly offending people over the years.
So long “Soundman1488”.
For those who may be as shocked as I was, here is a good explanation.
TL;DR - Been using “Soundman1488” as my username for as long as I’ve been on the internet and “1488” is actually a Nazi symbol. I had no idea, and I’m so sorry.
I am now u/NazisStoleMyBirthday
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