Reddit to Ban Sexually Explicit Content Posted Without Consent

SAN FRANCISCO — Online message board Reddit changed its privacy policy today to ban sexually explicit content posted without the consent of those depicted.

The policy shift likely will upset members of a number of Reddit communities, some of which use the site to trade photos taken of others without their permission.

In a letter to users today, Reddit officials said that the topic of illicit pornography — pictures and video — was a burning one after a recent “all-hands” company meetings and that issue needed to be addressed.   

“No matter who you are, if a photograph, video, or digital image of you in a state of nudity, sexual excitement, or engaged in any act of sexual conduct, is posted or linked to on Reddit without your permission, it is prohibited on Reddit,” Reddit officials said. “We also recognize that violent personalized images are a form of harassment that we do not tolerate and we will remove them when notified.”

The ban on illicit porn goes into effect in two weeks, on March 10.

With the announcement today, Reddit officials said that it “missed a chance to be a leader in social media when it comes to protecting your privacy” and that it recently determined that it was something it “needed to address” as a company.

Reddit ­­­recently became embroiled in a scandal last fall after hackers stole nude photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and posted them to online message boards such as Reddit.

As a result of that and other breaches, Reddit removed all forums dedicated to trading photos.