Reddit Bans Stolen Celeb Nude Subreddit, But It's Not What You Think

Reddit Bans Stolen Celeb Nude Subreddit

Well that certainly took awhile. Reddit , the Internet's favorite proverbial watering hole for all the weird, gross, fascinating, and terrible that humanity can conjure, has put an end to 'The Fappening' and 'Fappening.' This is a code name for the mega-sized subreddits that were created for, and contained, the 1,000s of stolen, personal photos of stars such as Jennifer Lawrence , Kate Upton , Jill Scott , Victoria Justice , and others.

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Though the nudes were originally posted through 4chan, these subreddits became a major access point for the leaked pictures, but the images are still available online through countless other outlets. And don't get all congratulatory toward Reddit just yet.

In a blog post from CEO Yishan Wong, it was explained that the website would not be changing any policies on its frequently dicey material, let alone banning wide swaths of content uploaded onto the site because 'reddit's platform is structurally based on the ability for people to distribute, promote, and highlight textual materials as well as links to images and other media.'

'We understand the harm that misusing our site does to the victims of this theft, and we deeply sympathize,' he explained, but insisted that reddit was 'unlikely to make changes to our existing site content policies in response to this specific event.'

Moments later, the subreddits /r/TheFappening and /r/Fappening were banned, causing a slew of confusion amongst the site's users, declaring it 'a disservice by censoring content,' while most of the rest of the Internet cheered .

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In a more detailed post from one of the site's systems administrator with the username Alienth , it was explained that while last Sunday's mega-unleashing of illegally obtained, private property was 'a very shitty thing' that they as a company 'in no way condone or agree with,' they would and 'should not intervene beyond what the law requires.' Therefore, only photos that depicted minors, or had DCMA requests filed by the owners, were to be removed.

But, according to Wong, 'What happened is that we wrote the blog post, and at approximately the same time, activity in that subreddit starting violating other rules we have which do trigger a ban, so we banned it.'

This stance smacked of hypocrisy amongst its user base after a similar appeasing tactic was taken with the subreddit /r/jailbait back when Anderson Cooper did a report on CNN about it:

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'These subreddits were of course the focal point for the sharing of these stolen photos,' explained Alienth. 'The images which were DMCAd were continually being reposted constantly on the subreddit. We would takedown images (thumbnails) in response to those DMCAs, but it quickly devolved into a game of whack-a-mole. We'd execute a takedown, someone would adjust, reupload, and then repeat.'

Alienth continued: 'This same practice was occurring with the underage photos, requiring our constant intervention. The mods were doing their best to keep things under control and in line with the site rules, but problems were still constantly overflowing back to us. Additionally, many nefarious parties recognized the popularity of these images, and started spamming them in various ways and attempting to infect or scam users viewing them. It became obvious that we were either going to have to watch these subreddits constantly, or shut them down. We chose the latter.'

According to reddit user johnsmcjohn — who claims to have created the original /r/TheFappening page — the subreddit received 'more than 250,000,000 page views in less than a week' and was something he wanted 'to keep going' because it was a 'part of history.'

But still, reddit's stance on the matter has drawn a slew of criticism from folks around the Internet, including Whisper Editor-in-Chief Neetzan Zimmerman :

So while it seems as though the celebrity victims of this violation have had a win, there is still much to be done when it comes to flagrant privacy abuse on the site and across the Internet and who should take action to eradicate such behavior.