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.