Science & Tech

Reddit removes nude celebrity images but not for the reason you think

Reddit has banned the page where people had been posting nude celebrity photos obtained by a hacker in the past week.

Anyone visiting the /r/thefappening subreddit is now just presented with this image:

Although the images were first posted on 4chan they reached a much wider audience on Reddit, where the creator of the subreddit said the page had received 250million views in a week.

It emerged last week that some of the celebrity photos posted on the page were taken at a time when they were underage, but Reddit said it decided to remove the subreddit on the basis the images had been obtained illegally.

"Last weekend, Reddit was used as one of the primary centers of distribution of private and unlawfully obtained images of celebrities," a blog post from Reddit CEO Yishan Wong explained.

"In accordance with our legal obligations, we expeditiously removed content hosted on our servers as soon as we received DMCA requests from the lawful owners of that content, and in cases where the images were not hosted on our servers, we promptly directed them to the hosts of those services."

So, Reddit acted to remove the images because the copyright holders had asked them to do so, not because of any moral standpoint.

That explains why blatantly racist subreddits linked to Ferguson and the death of Michael Brown, or those about sex with dogs, and pages where people share photos of dead women and photos taken of women seemingly without their consent are still alive and kicking.

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