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This article was published on February 24, 2015


Reddit finally bans stolen pornography, after years on the fence

Reddit finally bans stolen pornography, after years on the fence
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

In what amounts to a monumental announcement, Reddit changed its privacy policy today to explicitly ban pornography that’s posted without the consent of those depicted.

Late last year, Reddit came under fire for being one of the hotspots for sharing leaked celebrity nude photos. The site reacted by banning them and taking down posted links, but that didn’t cover those affected by revenge pornography.

Fast-forward to today and the site has made a change to its privacy policy which will come into effect on March 10. It’s now pretty black and white:

reddit is committed to your privacy. If you believe that someone has submitted, without your permission, to reddit a link to a photograph, video, or digital image of you in a state of nudity or engaged in any act of sexual conduct, please contact us ([email protected]), and we will expedite its removal as quickly as possible. reddit prohibits the posting of such content without consent.

The company admitted in the announcement today that it “missed a chance to be a leader in social media when it comes to protecting your privacy” and that it recently determined that it was something it “needed to address” as a company.

Previously, Reddit left it up to moderators to control what could or couldn’t be on the site, so today’s shift is a big one in policy.

Reddit also says it will release statistics about these types of takedowns in its next transparency report.

It’s surprising that it took the company so long; Reddit has been notorious for being a place where almost anything goes until recently, frequently struggling with decisions about what it should remove.

Today’s announcement is a huge step in the right direction.

➤ Reddit announcement