In 2020, people posted on 4chan, Twitter and then Reddit a theory that the Reddit account maxwellhill belongs to Ghislaine Maxwell, who at the time of writing has been charged with enticement of minors and sex trafficking of underage girls.
u/maxwellhill was the first account to receive 1 million "karma" (points) on Reddit, and at the time the conspiracy theory aired was in the top 10 accounts for karma received. The account is a moderator for a large number of subs (forums), and was for 14 years a regular poster on Reddit.
The conspiracy relies on circumstantial evidence:
- Maxwell's surname appears in the Reddit username
- maxwellhill, a prolific poster, has posting gaps at times when Maxwell is known or suspected to have been otherwise engaged
- maxwellhill says their birthday is in December, and after the 21st of December, which matches Maxwell's 25 December birthday.
- Most significantly, maxwellhill has not posted publicly since 1 July 2020. Maxwell was arrested on 2 July 2020.
However, media sources have been critical of the theory and another Reddit moderator has reportedly received private messages from maxwellhill after Maxwell's arrest.
Will Reddit power user "maxwellhill" be confirmed to be Ghislaine Maxwell before 2026?
This theory will be considered confirmed if it is stated by Ghislaine Maxwell or her representatives, or reported by police, prosecutors or reliable witnesses that Maxwell either is maxwellhill specifically or that she was an active and influential Reddit user (or words to that effect).
There could also be an accumulation of evidence over time. If respectable news organisations like the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian or Sydney Morning Herald report that Maxwell is or is likely to be maxwellhill, that will also suffice.