Reddit Bans Subreddit Where Users Were Sharing Leaked Naked Pictures

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
September 6, 2014 Updated: September 8, 2014

Reddit has banned The Fappening and at least two related subreddits which users were sharing some of the naked pictures that were leaked recently.

The pictures of a range of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, were appearing first on 4chan but were quickly posted to Reddit and its image sharing website Imgur.

The Fappening was a subreddit, or a forum within the Reddit website, that users created expressly to share pictures from the hack and subsequent leak, and other content related to the situation.

The subreddit became one of the fastest rising subreddits on Reddit and was reported on widely across media outlets.

Administrators on Reddit banned The Fappening, Fappening, and The Second Cumming subreddits–among a number of others–on Saturday evening, drawing the ire of users who were on those subreddits.

A user who identified as an admin described why the subreddits were banned.

“The subreddit was banned for a number of reasons. The biggest factor was the fact that, when we would do an official DMCA takedown of an image, almost immediately afterwards users would find a new image host to repost the image. In addition, many of these images were of the underage celebrities, which violates rule four of the site, ‘no…sexually suggestive content featuring minors,'” Sporkicide said.

“We understand that the moderators did the best they could with the situation at hand, but having users purposefully try and circumvent the takedowns was starting to become a whack-a-mole game. Heck, one user even stated explicitly that they were going to make a point of rehosting the images on other image hosts because they were being removed because of DMCA takedown requests.

“In addition to that, other users were rehosting the images on pay-per-click sites and sites that spread malware (which resulted in bans of many domains and users). These factors led us to decide that the subreddit and many of its sister-subreddits were in violation of rule five of the site, ‘don’t…do anything that interferes with normal use of the site.’ The demand for that particular material actually caused access issues with the site at times.”

Users responded to the ban in different ways, mostly questioning the decision.

“[Expletive] the admins,” said one user, to which another replied: “Reddit preaches a free Internet … But not if celebrities are involved.”

“Seems like a weird move to wait this long? If they were going to kill it and still get all the distrust/bad blood that comes from the users, why not do that right away and save face? It shouldn’t be banned at all in my opinion, but waiting was dumb,” said another.

A user who said he created The Fappening subreddit on Sunday chipped in, saying:

“While I didn’t intend for it to be the fastest growing sub in history, it was. I want to point out that our mod team worked their asses off to ensure that pics that violated reddit’s rules were removed. And we prevented the doxx of the ‘leaker’ as well. I know we aren’t going to be considered the good guys, but we worked hard to ensure reddit’s rules were followed.”

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Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.