The Fappening: Banned by Reddit!

The Fappening: Banned by Reddit!
September 8, 2014 JEREMY FEIST

Jennifer Lawrence

When The Fappening opened up and saw the personal and private naked pictures of hundreds of female celebrities (including Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence) invaded for the sake of someone else’s gratification, Reddit became something of a nexus. You know, because it’s the biggest internet content aggregator ever and all. Anyway, it turns out that having people post stolen content on your site is a great way to get sued to hell and back, so Reddit has brought the hammer down on practically anything and everything related to it …

The situation we had in our hands was the following: These subreddits were of course the focal point for the sharing of these stolen photos. The images which were DMCAd were continually being reposted constantly on the subreddit. We would takedown images (thumbnails) in response to those DMCAs, but it quickly devolved into a game of whack-a-mole. We’d execute a takedown, someone would adjust, reupload, and then repeat. This same practice was occurring with the underage photos, requiring our constant intervention. The mods were doing their best to keep things under control and in line with the site rules, but problems were still constantly overflowing back to us. Additionally, many nefarious parties recognized the popularity of these images, and started spamming them in various ways and attempting to infect or scam users viewing them. It became obvious that we were either going to have to watch these subreddits constantly, or shut them down. We chose the latter. It’s obviously not going to solve the problem entirely, but it will at least mitigate the constant issues we were facing. This was an extreme circumstance, and we used the best judgement we could in response.

Now, most people understand that The Fappening was actually a huge breach of personal privacy and that, while we’re all curious and hungry for information, our curiosity needs to be limited if it comes at the cost of someone else’s rights. The major discussion in the comment section of the above post is that Reddit only did it after the very public backlash against The Fappening. Here’s my take on it: Turning around something this big takes time. Should Reddit start actually taking a stand on what kind of content can and cannot be posted? For heaven’s sake, yes. YES. People have the right to say what they want to, but they also need to be held accountable for the consequences of their words and actions. It is limiting, but if a right come at the cost of someone else’s, is it one that you would want in the first place?

Jeremy Feist is an (ahem) entertainer from Toronto, Canada. He writes, acts, and performs on stage, and has been a writer for Popbytes for almost three years now. He lives in Toronto with his boyfriend, his incredibly dumb but cute puppy, and his immortal cat.