Reddit Bans Page Where Celebrity Nude Photos Were Shared

Redditt has closed the board that became a hub for the leaked nude photos of kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities.

The massive celebrity photo leak originated on image-sharing site 4chan, but a Reddit page called “r/thefappening” quickly became a heavily trafficked page where users were sharing links to the stolen pictures. After much controversy, Reddit closed that subreddit, as well as related subreddits including a backup to the main one, stressing that the decision was not made because of outside pressure.

Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, in a post entitled “Every Man is Responsible for His Own Soul” on the Reditt Blog, explained the site’s reasoning.

“While current US law does not prohibit linking to stolen materials, we deplore the theft of these images and we do not condone their widespread distribution,” reads the post.

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“Nevertheless, reddit’s platform is structurally based on the ability for people to distribute, promote, and highlight textual materials as well as links to images and other media. We understand the harm that misusing our site does to the victims of this theft, and we deeply sympathize.
Having said that, we are unlikely to make changes to our existing site content policies in response to this specific event.”

“The reason is because we consider ourselves not just a company running a website where one can post links and discuss them, but the government of a new type of community. The role and responsibility of a government differs from that of a private corporation, in that it exercises restraint in the usage of its powers.”


Matters were complicated earlier in the week when it was revealed that some of the photos circulating on the site were of underage celebrities, and several of those targeted publicly threatened legal action against the hackers.

The decision to take down the boards is not a typical one for Reddit. The management usually takes a hands-off approach, and many users of the site questioned why the pages were banned.

Reddit systems administrator Jason Harvey, also known by his Reddit username alienth, gave further Explanation of the decision, along with providing a rundown of what happened after the massive leak.

“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,” Harvey wrote. “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.”

“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.”

A DMCA refers to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act, where a site removes content at the owner’s request.


A total of 101 stars were reportedly targeted in the massive hack. Lawrence’s rep slammed the theft as “flagrant violation of privacy,” and the hackers have yet to be identified

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