Reddit Bans Nude Images Without Subjects' Consent & It's The First Of Many Much-Needed Steps

After years of turning a blind eye, Reddit won't let users upload nude images or any images depicting sex acts without the consent of the subjects. Believe it or not, there is still very little legal protection for those who have leaked nude photos online. Only a few states have passed anti-"revenge porn" laws, but they remain ineffective, since third-party sites are not held accountable for their users.

The new addition to Reddit's privacy policy states:

Alexis Ohanian, Reddit's co-founder and executive chairman, spoke about the new policy in an interview with The New York Times:

Many of the images leaked on Reddit during last year's celebrity nude photo scandal constituted child pornography, and only then did the site take action. Reddit still only has five rules, and the only pertaining to sexual content is as follows: "No child pornography or sexually suggestive content featuring minors." It's critical to protect minors, but it is equally important to protect all people whose privacy is violated.

This privacy policy update is welcomed, but Reddit will have serious issues enforcing this policy: right now, there is no screening policy for when users upload images. No proof of consent is required before posting a explicit photo. The new policy really only applies if an individual reports images they might find of themselves. Basically, there's no easy, effective way for anyone to search and protect themselves.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Defending Reddit as a forum for free speech, former CEO, Yishan Wong wrote in a blog post:

Not everyone is going to be responsible, and we need to talk about how to fix that. This new policy is certainly a step in the right direction. But Reddit needs to take additional action to ensure that anyone depicted in an objectionable photo has given his or her expressed consent — if not, it's sexual exploitation. It's time for Reddit to call it what it is, and address the real problem of protecting those who can't protect themselves.

Image: Getty Images (1)