Reddit and Google Blogger are to ban all photos and video content taken without the explicit consent of the person in the image, cracking down on so-called revenge porn and the hacked photos of nude celebrities which Jennifer Lawrence called a "sex crime".
Reddit says it will remove photos, videos and links with explicit content if the person in the image hasn't given permission for it to be posted. Google will ban most nude photos and video from publicly accessible sites on its popular Blogger service.
The crackdown marks a shift in attitude for two services that have traditionally been freewheeling forums where users could literally let it all hang out. The lax approach has opened the door for nude and sexually explicit photos and video to be posted on Reddit and Blogger, even if the subjects featured in the images intended them to remain private.
Until now, Reddit has had a hands-off approach to privacy, largely allowing its 160 million users to police their own forums within certain guidelines such as no child pornography or spam. The change comes about six months after hackers obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities and posted them to social media sites including Reddit and Twitter.
Without specifically calling out Reddit or Twitter, Lawrence lashed out at the sites that permitted nude photos to be posted of her.
It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.
A Tuesday posting signed by Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao and other company executives said the shift is an effort to help grow the site "for the next 10 years and beyond." Effective March 10, Reddit will prohibit any photograph, video or digital image of a person who is nude or engaged in a sexual act if the subject hasn't given permission for it to be used. Anyone who wants an image of themselves removed from the site can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Google's Blogger service is giving its users until March 23 to delete sexually explicit or "graphic nude" images from their sites. If they don't, their sites will be switched to private mode to restrict access to the owner of the blog and those that have received an invitation to visit it.
Effective March 23, Blogger will no longer allow most nude photos to be posted on anything other than a private site. The only exceptions will be for special circumstances, such as nudity depicted in "artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts," according to an explanation on Blogger's site.
Social media sites have varying policies on nudity. Facebook prohibits images containing nudity altogether. Twitter doesn't mediate legal content but recommends that content with nudity or violence be marked as sensitive. It also lets users flag questionable content for review.