Now You Need Consent to Post Someone's Nude Photos on Reddit

February 26th 2015

Alicia Lutes

Reddit's privacy policy has gotten itself a shiny, new update that prohibits the posting of nude photos without consent. Considering the website was the home of last year's large-scale celebrity nude photo leak (dubbed "The Fappening" by people who are gross), this is a pretty big deal and a win for general human decency on the Internet.

Written up under a new section called "involuntary pornography," the update passage reads as follows:

"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."

Reddit has long been a bastion of anonymity on the Internet, placing their users' right to post — freely and without facing consequence — for nearly 10 years. As it stands, this attitude has made it one of the most trafficked websites in the world, with over 23 million unique monthly visitors in January 2015 alone, according to analytics research site, Compete. According to the New York Times, the site has an active user base of 160 million. That, needless to say, is a lot of people.

But the plan itself still leaves something to be desired. This policy shift still requires the victim of any unwanted postings to seek out and email the site themselves. Relying solely on awareness that someone's right to privacy has been violated is not exactly as proactive as some of the site's other requirements, such as the verification process for people participating in the ever-popular AMA series ("Ask Me Anything") that requires proof of the person's identity before an AMA takes place. Let us not forget that this was the website that willfully allowed sub-Reddits (basically different communities on the site) like /r/Jailbait— a community of users trading and posting photos of underage girls — and /r/picsofdeadkids— pretty self-explanatory —to exist for years, unimpeded.

Still, the fact that the company has any interest in privacy on the Internet is huge as we move forward into what will surely be continually testy and vague moral territory. "I really want to believe that as we enter the next 10 years of Reddit life, essentially the most trafficked media site on the Internet, the opportunity [is] here to set a standard for respecting the privacy of our users,” explained Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s co-founder and executive chairman to the New York Times.