Condé Nast's Reddit stops peddling risque jailbait images, sticks with beating women and rape instead

Reddit is owned by Condé Nast, the company behind such famously classy magazines including Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. On October 31, 2006 Condé Nast acquired the content aggregation site Reddit.

I tweeted* yesterday that an epic internet catfight was happening and taking bets on who would win. The Somethingawful forums was calling Reddit out for allowing child porn in their subsections. Today Reddit announced a change in policy, deleting the most notorious /r/ subs.

What has now been removed from Reddit are subsections with names like: /r/TrueJailbait - /r/niggerjailbait - /r/ChestyBait -/r/bustybait - /r/asianjailbait - /r/JailbaitJunkies - /r/jailbait_nospam

That last one kills me, it's as if someone thought "Gee, I really like this jailbait section but I wish there was a higher quality on the jailbait content submitted." Pickyjailbait?

So what is still left on Reddit? It's clean now, right? Depends on your personal tastes (and pardon me for linking this but you must see with your own eyes). There's /r/beatingwomen/, and the subs /r/ChokeABitch, /r/Rapingwomen and /r/Rape for example. I don't want to wander further down into this rabbit hole anymore. I'm not shocked that stuff like this exists on the internet, I am the kid who introduced my friends to Goatse and remember when the stuff seen on Somethingrotten had to be found in alt. newsgroups. To be perfectly clear, I'm flabbergasted that Condé Nast owns this.

The RedditBomb that was posted in the Somethingawful forums is meant to create a grassroots opinion against Reddit's subs by alerting mommy-bloggers, church groups and various other people about their existence. In it you'll find all the links to Reddit-iffyness.

The Reddit subs aren't unknown unchartered areas of the internet, Anderson Cooper called Reddit out on this last year. Jailbait was voted the best subreddit by the reddit users in 2008. Again, Condé Nast bought Reddit in 2006. If we ignore the child porn laws possibly broken here, what about the personal privacy rights and copyright infringement? A lot of the photographs here are gathered off teenage girls facebook pages and then posted to Reddit. Seems to me the legal department at Condé Nast forgot to do their due diligence.

Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, didn't like the "really frustrating smear piece on CNN" that Andersen Cooper did, he seems quite hurt that Reddit was "lambasted for being a platform of free speech" in this interview below. Like The Pirate Bay and so many other sites on the internet, Reddit posts links to content, not the content itself, and Alexis points out that even Twitter works that way. But Twitter now censors words in various countries so this link-defense might not work in the future.

So as the dust settles after two notorious internet communities have had their beef, I'm more curious as to what Condé Nast might do. The potential legal ramifications here aren't insignificant, and if law enforcement are actually going to pay attention now we might soon see law specifically tailored against the "link-defense". The Pirate Bay were found guilty for "encouraging" copyright infringement in Sweden despite not hosting any content.

Note, the images (ie: links) are mainly hosted on imgur, created by Alan Schaaf as "my gift to Reddit" as he called it in a Reddit thread. It's possible that this image hosting service survives legally simply because the images are deleted after 6 months of storage. Imgur HQ is located in San Francisco.

The news mentions I found so far are positive to the "child porn ban".
Reddit Expressly Bans Child Porn
Reddit bans sexually suggestive images of children.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (5)

  • WelshPixie's picture
    WelshPixie (not verified)

    Completely horrified at this. Just can't believe it. Not only that such a company as Condé Nast are apparently allowing this, but that those kinds of people - the people providing the content - are doing it shamelessly in public and appear to have a willing and eager audience.

    Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I've deleted my reddit account. Hopefully many people will do the same.

    Feb 13, 2012
  • Idon'tgiveafuc's picture
    Idon'tgiveafuc (not verified)

    Well shit too see it on a website like this it almost seems like news. But it isn't, it's not new and it's not surprising. The only difference between Reddit and 4chan is that everything on 4 chan is erased on a 24 hour period and anything illegal that is on that sight is removed way before the letter asking for removal reaches moot's mailbox. As for leaving up board about beating woman and rape that's entirely free speech matters so I would be more supportive of your shitpost if it didn't have that. Maybe you should check out the beating woman page because I think it's a step in the right direction for you. Old article is old but still. Trying to make a community based website where people are free to speak and do what they like without much moderation is honestly a neat thing that is hard to do when you have people posting illegal things or taboo things and then get put on blast by people like you lol.

    Mar 20, 2013
  • Dabitch's picture

    You mean "free speech" in the cartoon internet sense of the term, and probably not the legal definition which varies around the world and even on state level. Removing /r/rape is not an infringement on the writer's freedom to express their ideas, they can continue to do so, just somewhere else.

    William Shatner won the entire internet, created a Reddit account, and then pointed out that there are unsavory aspects on Reddit pondering why that is allowed to exist on a corporations website (clue: pageviews)

    These are real women, these are real crimes, Reddit make it stop. "Free speech" is far too often used as a shield for hate, and your comment is threatening me which is not a protected speech - also does not approve. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that threats are not protected under the U.S. Constitution, so you can fuck right off. On Reddit, racism, sexism still thrive - and apparently it also does in comments to this article.

    Mar 20, 2013
  • kidsleepy's picture

    "Maybe you should check out the beating woman page because I think it's a step in the right direction for you," in the above comment from @Idon'tgiveafuc is worse than racism and sexism. It's a definite threat. Good thing we have i.p. address logs.

    Mar 20, 2013