Reddit Cracks Down on Nude Photos Months After Celebrity Hacking Scandal

Why the Internet message board is taking a stand six months after celeb hack.

February 24, 2015, 4:08 PM
PHOTO: Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. on April 15, 2014.
Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. on April 15, 2014.
Robert Galbraith/Reuters

— -- If you want to post a sexually charged photo on Reddit, you better have the permission of the person in it.

The online message board is adopting new privacy guidelines months after private nude photos that were stolen from celebrities were posted on the Internet message board.

For nearly a decade, Reddit has been everything from a conduit for intelligent conversation to a dumping ground for questionable content. When it comes to cracking down on users, Reddit has long been averse to rules and, instead, let its millions-strong community police the boards.

Announcing a new privacy policy today, the site's executive team wrote, "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."

Effective March 10, Reddit users will no longer be allowed to post sexually explicit photos without the subject's consent. Anyone with an issue can flag a photo to expedite its removal.

"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," the company's executive team wrote. "We also recognize that violent personalized images are a form of harassment that we do not tolerate and we will remove them when notified."

Reddit said it will keep data on how many photos it removes and will share the number in its annual privacy report.

The company removed a thread containing the stolen celebrity photos last year. However, then-CEO Yishan Wong said although Reddit was sympathetic to the celebrities whose stolen photos were posted, it was "unlikely to make changes to our existing site content policies in response to this specific event."

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