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The social network Reddit has at times been the subject of controversy due to the site's presence of communities (known as “subreddits”) dedicated to explicit or controversial content. In 2012, Ishan Wong, then general manager of the site, said, “We can speak freely. This means that we will not ban harmful subreddits. We will not prohibit legal content even if we consider it hateful or personally condemn it. “Since then, however, many ideology-based subreddits have been banned.

The r / jailbait subreddit, dedicated to suggestive or revealing photographs of underage girls, was one of the most famous subreddits on the site until it closed in October 2011 following a CNN report. The controversy over r / Creepshots, about revealing or suggestive photographs of women taken without their knowledge or consent, arose a year after r / jailbait closed. The r / Creepshots controversy led Gawker to find out about one of the subreddit's moderators, Adrian Chen, who revealed the real identity of the user behind the account, Michael Brutch. This marked the beginning of a media debate on the ethics of anonymity and Internet access.

1.Beating women

On June 9, 2014, Reddit closed the r / beatingwomen subreddit. A community that used graphic images of violence against women was banned after its moderators were found to share users' personal information online and collaborate to protect each other from bans across the country. After the ban, the founder of the community rebooted a subreddit called r / beatingwomen2 in an attempt to get around the ban, but was subsequently banned.


r / Braincels was the most popular subreddit for incels, or "forced chastity," after r / Incels was banned, and by April 2018 it had 16,900 followers. Subreddit leaders decided to ban pro-homicide figures. However, the subreddit promoted rape and suicide. The subreddit was banned on September 30, 2019, following a violation of Reddit's Bullying and Harassment Content Policy.


r / ChapoTrapHouse was a subreddit dedicated to the leftist podcast Chapo Trap House, which is associated with the term "left bag of dirt." The community had 160,000 regular visitors before they were banned on June 29, 2020, because they "are constantly posting policy-breaking content and their mods have shown no intention of curbing their community." The community was previously quarantined for violent content.


A year after r / jailbait closed, another subreddit called r / CreepShots caused controversy in the press for posting sexualized images of women without their knowledge. Following this media attention, u / violentacrez was added to r / CreepShots as a moderator, and reports surfaced that Gawker reporter Adrian Chen was planning a revelation that would reveal the real identity of this user, who moderated dozens of controversial subreddits as well as several hundreds of communities of interest. Several major subreddits have banned links to Gawker in response to the pending exposure, and u / violentacrez account has been deleted. The moderators defended their decision to block the site from these sections of Reddit because the forthcoming report was "doxing" (a term denoting the identity of a pseudonym) and that such exposure threatened the site's structural integrity.

When Chen informed u / violentacrez of the pending revelation, the user pleaded with Chen not to publish it because he was concerned about the potential impact on his work and finances, noting that his wife was disabled and had a mortgage. He also expressed concern that he would be falsely labeled child pornographer or anti-Semite due to some subreddits he created. Despite u / violentacrez's suggestion to delete his posts and leave Reddit, Chen insisted that he publish the article anyway.

5.Exposing Gawker

Chen published an article on October 12, 2012, which revealed that the person managing the u / violentacrez account was a middle-aged programmer from Arlington, Texas named Michael Brutch. Within a day after the article was published, Bruch was fired by his employer, and the link to the disclosure was briefly blocked on Reddit. He stated on Reddit after posting the article that he had received multiple death threats.

Reddit CEO Ishan Wong defended the content Brutsch posted on the site as free speech and criticized attempts to ban Gawker's link on the same grounds. Wong said the staff had considered the site-wide link ban but rejected the idea out of concern. this would create a negative impression of the site without getting results. Brutch later briefly returned to Reddit with a different account and criticized what he called numerous factual inaccuracies in exposing Gawker.

A week after the revelation, Brutch was interviewed by CNN, which aired on Anderson Cooper's 360 ° channel. In an interview with journalist Drew Griffin, Brutch apologized for his Reddit activities. He explained that he liked the gratitude he received from other editors the most and that Reddit helped him relieve stress. Brutch also described support from administrators, stating that he received an award for his contributions. Reddit noted that the award was received for winning the community vote for "Worst Subreddit" and stated that they regret submitting it, as well as that the u / violentacrez account has been banned multiple times. Brutch subsequently noted on Reddit that he regretted the interview and criticized the accuracy of the statement made by Reddit to CNN.

Chris Slow, the lead programmer for Reddit until 2010, said of the relationship between Brutsch and the Reddit staff: “We just stayed away and let him go about his business and we knew that at least he was getting rid of a lot of things that weren't there. especially legal. "

6.Ethics of walking

Additional info: doxing and online privacy

Gawker's departure from Brutsch as u / violentacrez sparked controversy over privacy and anonymity.

7.Ethics of walking

Further information: Doxing and online privacy

Gawker's propaganda about Brutsch as u / violentacrez has sparked controversy over online privacy and anonymity. Such discussions included claims that picnics, or "doxing," were necessary to draw attention to inappropriate content so that it could be removed, while others argued that it prevents people from exercising their right to legal free speech online from - for fear of the public. retribution.

Sadie Doyle, writing for The Guardian, likened this to the antics of alleged blackmailer Amanda Todd and suggested that such walks might be justifiable, but they could also over-focus on individuals without getting into the mainstream of sensationalism. through cultural reform. In PC Magazine, Damon Poetter stated that while he defended the protection of anonymity online, he still supported Bruch's disclosure because he felt that the various subreddits he contributed to as u / violentacrez were a serious intrusion. privacy, regardless of legality, and that therefore the disclosure of his data was justified.

The public outpouring of hostility towards Brutch after the exposure prompted commentators such as Wired's Dana Boyd and CNET's Michelle Star to question the morality of walking as a way to enforce social standards on the Internet. Several commentators have expressed concern that publicly denouncing Bruch to serve as an example to others legitimizes online vigilance and exposes people like Brutch to massive retaliation.

8.Juggling anarchy

r / CringeAnarchy is a subreddit dedicated to “annoying” and “harsh”, politically incorrect content with far-right content. Initially an uncensored (hence "anarchic") by-product of r / cringe, it later shifted to the far right, with anti-trans and anti-SJW content. The subreddit was quarantined in September 2018 and had over 400,000 subscribers at the time.

Since the Christchurch Mosque shooting (March 15, 2019), more anti-Muslim messages have surfaced on the subreddit. The subreddit was blocked on April 25, 2019, for violating Reddit's violent content policy.


The r / DarkNetMarkets subreddit, a discussion forum for the darknet market, was attended by their owners, with the result that the US authorities requested personal information on several accounts. This subreddit was blocked on March 21, 2018.


See also: Deepfake

Deepfakes was a controversial subreddit that superimposed famous female actresses on pornographic videos made using FakeApp, without the consent of actresses. Such actresses included Emma Watson and Daisy Ridley. After the subreddit got publicity, videos from the subreddit were banned from Gfycat and Discord. On February 7, 2018, the day after Pornhub banned the video, the subreddit was also blocked.

11.FatPeople Hate

On June 10, 2015, Reddit blocked five subreddits, citing anti-harassment policies. The largest of the banned subreddits, r / fatpeoplehate, had about 151,000 subscribers at the time of the ban. The remaining four were subreddita r / hamplanethatred, r / neofag, r / transfags, and r / shitniggerssay. The Reddit administrator said, "We will ban subreddits that will allow their communities to use the subreddit as a platform to harass people when moderators are not taking action."

Due to the ban, Reddit users flooded the site with photos of overweight people and interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao. Due to the decision to ban these subreddits, some users switched to Voat, a social aggregation site similar to Reddit.

12.Gender Critical

The r / GenderCritical subreddit had 64,400 users who described themselves as "the most active feminist community on Reddit," where "women-centered radical feminists" discussed "gender from a gender-critical perspective." Described by Gillian Yorke of the Electronic Frontier Foundation as "a subreddit where transphobic comments thrive," the subreddit has frequently posted posts claiming that trans women are not women. On June 29, 2020, the subreddit was "banned for violating Reddit's hate speech."


In connection with the shooting at the Christchurch Mosque, r / gore was banned for “glorifying or encouraging violence” at approximately 17:35 UTC on March 15, 2019.

14.Great awakening

See also: QAnon

The r / greatawakening subreddit was a subreddit of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims the Trump administration is investigating a widespread child trafficking movement for sexual exploitation. The subreddit was blocked on September 12, 2018, due to a violation of Reddit's Violent and Personal Information Content Policy.


In January 2014, Mother Jones published an article on the website about the sale of weapons. The report says sellers are doing this to take advantage of a loophole in US federal law. About 100 AR-15s were engraved with the Reddit logo as part of the 2011 licensing agreement for this page. This subreddit was banned on March 21, 2018.


The r / incels subreddit, created for "involuntary chastity," was a forum for members to discuss their lack of romantic success. The definition of incel on the subreddit is someone who has inadvertently spent at least six months without a romantic partner and turns 21; self-proclaimed incels are mostly heterosexual men. Many members adhered to a "black pill" ideology that fostered discouragement, often combined with misogynistic attitudes that condoned, belittled, or advocated rape, while calling women "femoids" and "whores." Notable reports of black pills included "reasons women are evil incarnate" and "proof that girls are nothing more than garbage using men." Users deemed too friendly to women or claiming that women suffer from sexual abuse to the same extent as men were banned. Subreddit users have at times either respected or hated the "norms" and "Chadov" for their courtship abilities, with some admiring assassins such as Elliot Roger, the culprit in the Vista Island murders in 2014, who identified himself as "Insel."

In the summer of 2017, a petition appeared on calling to ban r / incels for inciting violence against women. Subreddit was banned on November 7, 2017 following the introduction in October of a new Reddit policy prohibiting incitement to violence. At the time of the ban, r / incels had about 40,000 subscribers.

r / Braincels subsequently became the most popular subreddit for incels, reaching 16,900 subscribers by April 2018. Subreddit leaders disavowed the van attack in Toronto and deleted some messages from members that praised Alec Minasyan's alleged actions. In September 2018, the subreddit was quarantined and banned in October.


The Reddit staff were initially opposed to adding obscene material to the site, but over time they became more lenient when prolific moderators like a user named Violentacrez were able to identify and remove illegal content at a time when they did not have enough staff to take on the task. Communities dedicated to explicit content gained in popularity, with r / jailbait, which used provocative footage of underage teens, was selected as Subreddit of the Year in the 2008 Best of Reddit user poll and at one point made a jailbait popular. the second most frequent search query for the site. Eric Martin, general manager of Reddit, defended the jailbaited subreddit, claiming that such controversial pages were due to the site's freedom of speech.

r / jailbait gained wider attention outside of Reddit when CNN's Anderson Cooper devoted part of his program to denouncing the subreddit and criticizing Reddit for posting it. This initially caused a spike in internet traffic on the subreddit, which resulted in the page peaking at 1.73 million views on the day the report was published. Following these news posts, a Reddit user posted an image of the underage girl on r / jailbait, subsequently claiming that he also had nude images of her. Dozens of Reddit users then posted requests for these nude photos in private messages. Other Reddit users took notice of this discussion, and on October 11, 2011, Reddit administrators closed the r / jailbait forum. Critics such as the creator of r / jailbait disputed claims that this thread was the core of the decision, instead of arguing that it was an excuse to close the controversial subreddit due to recent coverage. Other negative media outlets argued that the thread was believed to be The proposed capping was created by members of Something Awful Forum in an attempt to get the site closed, rather than the regulars of the forum.

Following the closure of r / jailbait, The Daily Dot declared the community's creator, u / violentacrez, “The Most Important Person on Reddit in 2011,” calling the r / jailbait controversy “the first major challenge to the site's voluntary doctrine of absolute freedom. speech ".

Shortly after closing r / jailbait similar sabreddity r / teen_girls, r / niggerjailbait and r / picsofdeadjailbait were closed.


In January 2019, the Filipino subreddit r / jakolandia was accused of “spreading” photos of women, including celebrities, apparently without their consent, like a “row” of secret Facebook.


After the Christchurch Mosque shooting in 2019, Reddit banned the Watch People Die subreddit, which focused on uploading media depicting real-life deaths, after it shared links to videos of the shooting. The r / gore subreddit was also removed on March 15, 2019. Although the subreddit was previously quarantined for more than six months, the subreddit was completely blocked at around 17:09 UTC on March 15, 2019, less than a day after the events for violating Reddit's content policy. in particular, the policy against “glorifying or encouraging violence”. Initially, the subreddit moderators allowed the video to be posted.

r / WPDTalk, a subreddit for discussing what was happening on the r / WatchPeopleDie subreddit, has also been closed.

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