Reddit Island / Memeland (2024)


Reddit Island / Memeland refers to a plan by Redditors to buy an island or series of islands and declare an independent nation known as "Memeland" for Redditors to move to. The planning began on April 30th, 2021, resulting in the subreddit /r/Reddit_Island and numerous memes about it appearing on the platform in early May. Plans soon changed to start a Reddit Town rather than an island.


Plans to buy an island for Redditors were first explored by u/matude in 2010, who created the subreddit /r/RedditIsland[3] to plan the project. The project was abandoned in 2016.

On April 30th, 2021, Redditor u/MrNoName_ishere posted a Spider-Man's Presentation format to /r/memes[8] reading, "If Redditors wanted to, they would join together and buy an island for a meme," titling the post, "I bet you won't do it," garnering over 32,900 upvotes in three days (shown below).

On the same day, u/MrNoName_ishere posted to /r/AskReddit,[1] "There are multiple islands on sale right now. What's stopping a group of Redditors from coming together and buying at least 1 of them?" The post gained over 90 upvotes and a number of supporters in the comments. On May 1st, MrNoName_ishere posted to /r/memes,[2] "What have we done," and a photoshop of a "breaking news" clip showing an island with the text, "Redditors buy multiple islands and proclaim themselves as an independent nation, known as Memeland" (shown below). The post gained over 18,600 upvotes in three days.

On the same day, MrNoName_ishere and a number of other Redditors created the /r/Reddit_Island subreddit, gaining over 25,000 members in three days.


MrNoName_ishere's post inspired numerous posts across Reddit about buying an island and escaping to Memeland. For example, on May 1st, Redditor u/Mxcah_fooooo posted an image macro to /r/memes[4] consisting of the breaking news photoshop and a clip from Borat with the caption, "I go to Memeland," garnering over 42,700 upvotes in three days (shown below).

The next few days saw numerous viral memes on Reddit about the event, particularly on /r/Reddit_Island, including links to purchasable islands, posts determining various laws for the island, image macros and mockup flags (examples shown below).

Memes about the plan also spread outside of Reddit, with many mocking the idea. For example, on May 2nd, iFunny[9] user JigZY posted a meme suggesting the island should be named the Virgin Islands, garnering over 4,700 smiles in two days (shown below).

Some users began posting on /r/meme_island[6] suggesting moderators try and get the support of Elon Musk for funding since he uses Reddit. On May 3rd, Redditor u/Redditlogicking, a moderator for /r/meme_island,[5] posted, "Elon Musk wants to talk to me! we'll discuss about the island!" along with a screenshot to the subreddit of their Reddit DMs showing a message request from u/ElonMuskOfficial, garnering over 3,900 upvotes in 17 hours (shown below). Musk has yet to send a follow-up.

On the same date, u/somejadedvibes posted to /r/EnoughMuskSpam,[7] "A Reddit island where Musk is the president? Yeah I'll pass." along with a Jim Halpert Pointing To Whiteboard meme suggesting Musk be the president of the island, garnering over 1,900 upvotes in a day (shown below).

The top comment on the post suggests that the whole "Reddit Island" plan could be a scam to get money out of young people, but this is unproven speculation. On May 3rd, /r/reddit_island[11] moderator u/therealgryphter made a post to the subreddit clarifying that Reddit Island is not a scam.

On May 4th, the official website[10] for Reddit Island launched. On the same day, Twitter[15] page "Images That Make You Feel Pain" posted a meme making fun of Reddit Island, garnering over 35,800 likes and 1,900 retweets in a day (shown below).

By May 5th, the subreddit boasted over 26,600 followers. While memes about Reddit Town continued to pop on on /r/memes and other subreddits, the majority began being posted to /r/Reddit_Island, many making self-deprecating jokes about Redditor stereotypes and the plan being a Reddit Moment (examples shown below, left and right).

Reddit Town

On May 5th, the /r/Reddit_Island[12] moderators, at the suggestion of u/SoBadAtThis2017, pinned a post suggesting they buy a town rather than an island as it would be cheaper, as well as easier to establish and visit (shown below). They also pinned a poll[13] for users to vote on whether they'd prefer a town or island.

A Reddit Town subreddit exists at /r/reddittown,[14] created prior to this idea to plan a previous "Reddit town" project that did not pan out. Users began posting memes about Reddit Town that day (examples shown below).

The poll received over 500 votes in three hours, with votes to stick with a Reddit Island slightly edging out votes for a Reddit Town. On the same day, u/SoBadAtThis27, a "board member" of the subreddit, made a comment[16] under the poll explaining why a town might be a better idea (shown below).

Island Owner u/IslandOwnerAlt Offers Location

On May 25th, 2021, Redditor u/IslandOwnerAlt made a post to /r/Reddit_island[17] titled, "Island Owner Here," in which he describes how he owns a small island roughly 120 acres in size that he inherited from his grandfather. He then says he's willing to build a community for Redditors on it if people are willing to fund construction and legal costs (shown below). The post gained over 1,700 upvotes in two days and the user was made a "board member," the sub's label for mods. The island is located in Cuba.[18]

Reddit Island hopefuls showed their support for the island owner in the comments and celebrated the new development. Over the course of the next few days, /r/Reddit_island[19][20] users began posting memes referencing the island owner as their savior (examples shown below, left and right).

On May 26th, u/ButtonDasher posted a meme to /r/Reddit_island[21] voicing concern over the island being in Cuba (shown below, left).

On the same day, u/Flimsy-Oil-7634 made a post to /r/Reddit_island[22] titled, "What we start with, lets get on track," in which he says he has done some "studying" on u/IslandOwnerAlt and found what he claims to be the Cuban island in question, named "Cayo La Hoya," revealing it to be covered in trees and largely made up of beach (shown below). The user details how they're trying to get legal information regarding building on the island from u/IslandOwnerAlt, and mentions how they will need to do some major work on the land before building, such as cutting down trees.

The user provides a list of priorities in the post, which are as follows:

First Priority:
Sort everything out legally ( land rights, land geography, environmental laws)
Poll for people who would want to commit and dedicate to this island (needs to be made)
Poll for locations of various major city structures (town hall, community center) (needs to be made)
Poll for various other subjects (do people have boats, power tools, ways of getting here) (needs to be made)

Second Priority:
Funding for everything
Power tools + gasoline/power (to start making buildable property)
People to build water pumps and purifiers
Tents/temporary shelter establishment
A lot of non-perishable food for nourishment
ferries to transport needed resources to island (any boat will do)
establish an office in a closeby town (I recommend Nueva Gerona, Cuba)
Sort everything out legally
Volunteer Police (with previous experience)
Toilets/waste disposal
Cellular reception

Third Priority:
Basic laws (will be discussed in another post)
Basic and complex shelter (non-tent)
Community center
Town Hall
Establishing frequent food deliveries from nearby islands and continents
Internet with VPN (due to censorship)

u/IslandOwnerAlt Scams Users

u/IslandOwnerAlt began asking users of the subreddit for donations through PayPal, accruing between $500 to $700. On May 30th, 2021, Redditor u/Just_0_Duck posted a screenshot[23] of a DM conversation with u/IslandOwnerAlt where the user reveals he scammed the users, gaining over 660 upvotes in a year (shown below, left). Users were alerted to the scam after asking u/IslandOwnerAlt for proof of the island, to which he shared a fake document (shown below, right).[24] According to u/MrNoName_ishere, the sub lost a significant number of members and support after the scam.

On July 7th, YouTuber Ghost Cum posted a video titled "The Failure of Reddit Island" about the scam, gaining over 1.2 million views in a year (shown below).

u/CryptoDawn's 'Bit Bastion' Proposition

On April 13th, 2022, Redditor u/CryptoDawn made a post to /r/Reddit_Island[25] and several other crypto and libertartian subreddits claiming to have spent the last five years in a Honduras prison for trying to start a libertarian nation run on Crypto. CryptoDawn expresses an interest in funding the project and moving people there, possibly setting up Reddit Island on an oil rig similar to Sealand. On April 24th, the user made another post to /r/Reddit_island[26] laying out a plan for the island, which was pinned to the board by the moderators. The plan received mixed reactions, some finding it unfeasible and some in support of it. Know Your Meme published an editorial investigating the user and situation in May 2022.[27]

u/CryptoDawn's September 2022 Update

On September 5th, 2022, u/CryptoDawn posted an update to /r/Reddit_Island about the status of the island. In the post, the user writes that he's "closing in on getting an island we can use for our first attempt" and that he'll be "personally funding the travel of about 100 people to the island." He writes that he is not accepting donations and that he wants users who are "100% committed to go to the island" to respond to the post so he can start a screening process. The post ends by explaining how the people chosen to go to the island will be filmed and livestreamed to provide "entertainment and […] funding." He also says he's "working on a streaming/tv deal that would provide the island with an income stream to help the island and its inhabitants progress." The post gained over 150 upvotes and 35 comments in two days, some praising the idea and others continuing to speculate that the user is a scammer.

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] Reddit – There are multiple islands on sale right now. What's stopping a group of Redditors from coming together and buying at least 1 of them?

[2] Reddit – What have we done

[3] Reddit – redditisland

[4] Reddit – Time to apply for citizenship

[5] Reddit – Elon Musk wants to talk

[6] Reddit – What if we asked Elon Musk for money? He is rich so I would assume he could help us buy an island. Someone please tell Elon about this.

[7] Reddit – A Reddit island where Musk is the president? Yeah I'll pass.

[8] Reddit – I bet you won't do it

[9] iFunny – multiple islands

[10] island.grahhnt – Reddit Island Official Website

[11] Reddit – A word on scams

[12] Reddit – BIG PLANS

[13] Reddit – Would you like to keep the island idea, or buy a town instead?

[14] Reddit – /r/reddittown

[15] Twitter – image that make you feel pain

[16] Reddit – Having a town just makes more sense

[17] Reddit – Island Owner Here

[18] Reddit – Cuba

[19] Reddit – Hope has arrived!

[20] Reddit – He is the messiah

[21] Reddit – Just sharing a concern…

[22] Reddit – What we start with, lets get on track

[23] Reddit – I was unsure

[24] Reddit – iterally everything wrong

[25] Reddit – 5 years

[26] Reddit – Plan for

[27] KYM – a year after getting scammed…

Reddit Island / Memeland (2024)
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