Reddit Just Banned The Subreddit Where People Were Posting The Celebrity Nude Images

By Pamela Engel | Small Business

The page that served as a centralized hub of leaked celebrity nude photos has finally been banned from Reddit.

Reddit said in a statement that the site “deplore[s] the theft of these images” and that Reddit does not “condone their widespread distribution.” Reddit also made clear in its statement that the site does not plan to change its policies because of this incident.

Visitors to /r/thefappening are now greeted with this message:


The Fappening served as a dumping ground for the nude celebrity photos that were leaked last weekend. In a strange move, Redditors within The Fappening started donating to the Prostate Cancer Foundation “in honor of” Jennifer Lawrence, one of the celebrities who was affected by the massive hack.

Moderators of The Fappening started panicking once they realized that nudes of Olympic athlete McKayla Maroney were taken when she was underage, meaning that sharing the photos could result in charges of child pornography.

The moderators of The Fappening were reportedly warned of the potential child pornography by Reddit administrators.

It’s unclear why it took this long for Reddit to ban The Fappening. Over the course of the last week, Business Insider reached out to Reddit multiple times to inquire why it left the site up, and got no response.

Read the full statement from Reddit below:

Last weekend, reddit was used as one of the primary centers of distribution of private and unlawfully obtained images of celebrities.

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.  

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.

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.

While we may believe that users should behave in a certain way, the methods we use to influence that behavior fall into two different classes:

1. Actions which cause or are likely to cause imminent physical danger (e.g. suicides, instructions for self-harm, or specific threats) or which damage the integrity and ability of the site to function (e.g. spam, brigading, vote-cheating) are prohibited or enforced by “hard” policy, such as bans and rules.  

2. Actions which are morally objectionable or otherwise inappropriate we choose to influence by exhortation, emphasizing positive examples, or by selectively highlighting good content and good actions. For example, this includes our selection of subreddits which populate on our default front page, subreddits we highlight in blog posts, and subreddits we promote via other media channels.

The philosophy behind this stems from the idea that each individual is responsible for his or her moral actions.

We uphold the ideal of free speech on reddit as much as possible not because we are legally bound to, but because we believe that you – the user – has the right to choose between right and wrong, good and evil, and that it is your responsibility to do so. When you know something is right, you should choose to do it. But as much as possible, we will not force you to do it.

You choose what to post. You choose what to read. You choose what kind of subreddit to create and what kind of rules you will enforce. We will try not to interfere – not because we don’t care, but because we care that you make your choices between right and wrong.

Virtuous behavior is only virtuous if it is not arrived at by compulsion. This is a central idea of the community we are trying to create.

As always, we welcome ideas on how better to achieve these aims, and we will continually evolve both our policies and actions.

Read more stories on Business Insider, Malaysian edition of the world’s fastest-growing business and technology news website.

Subscribe to our mailing list
* indicates required
Small Business Services