Reddit made a site-wide change in policy on March 21st, 2018. In the post the policy is laid out that all of the following topics are no longer allowed on Reddit.
- Firearms, ammunition, or explosives;
- Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances (except advertisements placed in accordance with our advertising policy);
- Paid services involving physical sexual contact;
- Stolen goods;
- Personal information;
- Falsified official documents or currency
There’s another post on Kotaku In Action that was published on March 22nd, 2018 that listes dozens of sub-reddits that are now banned.
The sub-reddits include anything related to the sale, trade or distribution of guns, beer, cigars, the dark net, prostitution, and illegal swaps. Attempting to access sub-reddits like /r/gundeals will take you to this page:
Some of the comments in the thread seem to believe that this may relate to bill H.R. 1865, which is an amendment of the Communications Act of 1934, which actually rescinds section 230. This change would make websites liable for the content that users post. This amendment is being called the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, or FOSTA. It’s received co-sponsorship from 174 Congressional representatives.
The bill was introduced last year and has passed through the House back in February. The bill was recently passed through the Senate on March 21st, 2018. It will need to go through President Donald Trump before being notarized into law.
Some commenters speculated that Reddit could be preemptively cleaning up its house before the law is amended and major social media networks are held liable for user-submitted content.
The passing of the bill through the Senate and Reddit’s policy change did fall on the same day, so there is a slight possibility of them being connected.
Others believe that this is a wide-sweeping move by large scale digital corporations to limit the American public’s access to gun sales, gun purchases, and gun acquisitions through trade.
(Main image courtesy of Ronny)
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)