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Reddit Bans Nude Photos Posted Without Consent

02/25/2015 04:22 am ET | Updated Feb 25, 2015
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Reddit officially banned naked photos posted without permission on Wednesday, months after a nude celebrity photo scandal had critics pointing fingers at the site's privacy policy.

Reddit executives issued a short statement alluding to its failure last year to quickly remove a forum that acted as a cache for nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and other women.

"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. As usual, the revised Privacy Policy will go into effect in two weeks, on March 10, 2015."

The addition to Reddit's privacy policy, called "involuntary pornography," states that anyone whose photo or video containing nudity or a sexual act was posted without their consent can email contact@reddit.com to "expedite its removal as quickly as possible."

Last year, Reddit took down a forum that spread stolen nude photos of various celebrities. But it allowed another forum, "r/photoplunder," to stay up. That forum, which had 30,000 readers, featured the tagline: "They should know better."

HuffPost's Gerry Smith reported at the time:

In response to why Reddit wasn’t banning other forums that “contain deplorable content,” [systems administrator Jason Harvey] said, “We remove what we're required to remove by law, and what violates any rules which we have set forth."

"Beyond that," he said, "we feel it is necessary to maintain as neutral a platform as possible, and to let the communities on reddit be represented by the actions of the people who participate in them.”

The forum quickly had advocates of "revenge porn" victims crying foul, and highlighted Reddit's lack of recourse for non-celebrities who thought they were victims of so-called involuntary pornography.

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