Reddit.com is a social website that allows its user to share and discuss content such as videos, photos, articles, websites, and so on.
Reddit is massively popular (http://blog.reddit.com/2012/01/2-billion-beyond.html), especially with young people (http://en.reddit.com/r/misc/comments/nevz9/results_of_the_reddit_demographics_survey_in_pie/).
Reddit is split into subcommunities known as “subreddits,” meaning that while reddit exists as a website, it consists of the sum of its subcommunities. People can subscribe to each community and participate by sharing and commenting.
Unfortunately, the reddit community as a whole also harbors and caters to pedophiles, distributors of child pornography, rapists, peeping Toms, and sex offenders.
Last fall, Anderson Cooper aired a report exposing the child pornography hosted on the site, ultimately leading to the largest subreddit devoted to it being shut down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuMdQRRLoYg&feature=related http://www.reddit.com/r/jailbait
Dozens of subreddits took its place.
Reddit users, as well as people in the media, have criticized Reddit’s permissive attitude towards child exploitation. Unfortunately, while admins didn’t ban sexualized images of children on paper until last February (http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/02/policy-shift-reddit-bans-child-pornography.html), the rule remains unenforced, indicating that they are more interested in shielding themselves from bad press than protecting innocent kids.
A list of “jailbait” (child porn) forums that are currently on reddit:
Some of these forums are hidden and invite only which makes it impossible to know how many actually exist.
The owners of reddit know there is active trading of child porn on their forums and refuse to do anything about it. Any reports are deleted and ignored. Further, Reddit’s cofounder simply dismisses the issue and blames the exploited children whose pictures are being traded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXZYvrue1BE
Included in the Anderson Cooper report was the statement by Reddit General Manager Erik Martin which defends the child pornography remaining on the site: “We’re a free speech site and the cost of that is there’s offensive stuff on there … Once we start taking down some things we find offensive, then we’re no longer a free speech site and no longer a platform for everyone. We’re exerting editorial control and that’s not what we are.” http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/02/policy-shift-reddit-bans-child-pornography.html
The former leader of the child pornography rings, Violentacrez, is often in direct contact with the owners of the site. Erik Martin (aka hueypriest) went so far as to warn Violentacrez before reluctantly making the announcement last February. http://pastebin.com/eWhyDXCH
(4:03:13 PM) hueypriest: want to give you a heads up
(4:04:00 PM) hueypriest: we’re making a policy change regarding jailbait type content. Don’t really have a choice.
Reddit also has subreddits which publish images of women’s and underage girls’ private areas, including “upskirt” and “downblouse” pictures, without the knowledge or consent of their subjects. The users of these subreddits trade tips on how to stalk and photograph women and minors and encourage each other to go out and take more such pictures.
A list of these forums currently on Reddit include:
A majority of these images are of girls in high school classroom settings.
Creepshots’ FAQ states:
“Creepshots are CANDID. If a person is posing for and/or aware that a picture is being taken, then it ceases to be candid and thus is no longer a creepshot. A creepshot captures the natural, raw sexiness of the subject without their vain attempts at putting on a show for the camera. That is the essence of the creepshot, that is what makes a true creepshot worth the effort and that is why this sub-reddit exists.”
One user, called SFJohnny, secretly video tapes himself raping and beating hundreds of women and girls, and shares them on reddit. http://i.imgur.com/1Hkpt.png
Not only is this all of this disgusting, it’s illegal as per the Video Voyeurism Act of 2004.
Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, has the intent to capture an image of a private area of an individual without their consent, and knowingly does so under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Other forums are explicitly devoted to filming sexual assaults and sharing them on reddit as pornography for other users. These include:
Sick to your stomach yet? Here’s more awful Reddit things:
- A pedophile’s confession -http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/mz0au/iama_man_who_at_24_met_a_14_yr_old_girl_and_lost/
- Thousands of rapists being supported by the community -http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/29/rapist-confessions-reddit
- A subreddit called “seduction” devoted to teaching men how to rape women
- A subreddit called “Incest” devoted to child molestation
- A subreddit called “Pics of Dead Kids”
Past media coverage:
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