Reddit in the face with nude photos and sex videos? Well fear no more

25 Feb 20151 Share

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Father Dougal and Father Ted would definitely approve of this sort of thing

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The internet’s biggest message board Reddit has moved to prohibit the posting of nude photos or videos of sex acts without the permission of the people in them.

The site, regarded by many as the front page of the internet, has moved to curtail the posting of nude photos or videos of people engaged in sex without their prior consent to having the material posted.

For many users of Reddit, which attracts 160m regular visitors every month, the move is unexpected.

But after years of controversy – including the notorious Jailbait community where members traded photos of underage girls – the time has come to call a halt.

In a post yesterday, Reddit said: “Last year, we missed a chance to be a leader in social media when it comes to protecting your privacy – something we’ve cared deeply about since reddit’s inception. At our recent all hands company meeting, this was something that we all, as a company, decided we needed to address.

“No matter who you are, if a photograph, video, or digital image of you in a state of nudity, sexual excitement, or engaged in any act of sexual conduct, is posted or linked to on reddit without your permission, it is prohibited on reddit. We also recognize that violent personalized images are a form of harassment that we do not tolerate and we will remove them when notified.”

50 shades of Reddit

Reddit said the revised privacy policy will go into effect in two weeks, on 10 March.

“We’re so proud to be leading the way among our peers when it comes to your digital privacy and consider this to be one more step in the right direction,” Reddit said.

Reddit said it will keep a track of takedowns and will publish the number of takedowns in its yearly privacy report.

The move echoes a decision two days ago by search giant Google to curtail nudity and sexually explicit content on its blogging platform Blogger.

These new changes impact anyone attempting to post explicit or graphic nudity after 23 March, with public posting now banned, but such material can still be posted if the user has set his or her blog to private and invites viewers to view the content.

So is this a thing? It will be interesting to see how other internet platforms follow suit, especially messaging platforms such as Snapchat, where people sending sexually explicit images that would disappear within 10 seconds has been a factor in the rise of the platform.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com