Reddit Bans Sexualization of Minors, Let's Give Them A Cookie

Reddit, if you haven't heard, is a social news website and a free-speech advocate. They're a hands-off website that allows the users to essentially post anything and everything. They've recently been in the news for adding a ban on 'suggestive or sexual content featuring minors.'

Before we dive in, I have to tell you that people claiming they can do/say what they want on the internet because of free speech are my biggest pet peeve. Your constitutional rights protect you from the GOVERNMENT.  That means that the government cannot censor you. It does NOT mean that Bob Smith, the owner of the website you are on, cannot keep you from posting or removing posts. Don't even get me started on that TOS or User Agreement that you agree to by using the website but never read.

Let's go onto the topic of where child pornography lies within the law. As of 2003, it is a federal crime to produce or pander (advertises, promotes, presents, distributes, or solicits) child pornography. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the "pandering" provision of that law does NOT violate the first amendment.

Now let me backtrack to that statement I made about the User Agreement. When you use a website, you agree in some form to their policies. You usually find this at the bottom of the main page (if not every page) in the fine print. That or you actually checked a box when signing up. Well, you need to freakin' read it. Even by being on Reddit you have agreed to their policies, which include "no spamming, no cheating, no personal info, nothing illegal, and no interfering the site's functions."

If child pornography is illegal, then it should have already been covered. Reddit shouldn't have had to add some special clause.

It seems though that the biggest outrage is over Reddit's new presence and control on the site, and users are worried that now Reddit is going to have to assume responsibility for any forums/posts on illegal things, and eventually start removing something just because someone finds it offensive.

Here's the thing. Reddit isn't going to remove something just because someone finds it offensive. They have taken responsibility on removing ILLEGAL CONTENT. A post about something illegal is different than an illegal post. I know that might confuse your brain, but there is a difference, trust me. Just as talking about child pornography isn't illegal. If it was, this post wouldn't exist. But posting child pornography in any form is.

So while you may be angry that Reddit has taken some control on THEIR site, I'm more angry that they haven't done so sooner.

I'm responsible for everything that happens on my network connection. If I have guests, it's my responsibility to make sure they don't do anything illegal on my connection. If I have children, it's my responsibility to make sure they don't do anything illegal anywhere, period.  Reddit is just as responsible for making sure nothing illegal happens on their website. And allowing links of children being sexualized just because you want to be 'hands-off' is deplorable.

To all those who are suddenly pro-Reddit now that they've banned this content, explain to me why they now get attaboys for doing what they should have years ago, only after all of the legal and media pressure forced their hand. They shouldn't have allowed it to begin with, and the fact that they've purposefully avoided doing something about it should be something that condemns them, not something that they get praised for when they finally decide that they have no other choice.

Chances are, in reality, that Reddit will probably only do this until they don't have to... don't worry, your pictures of dead children are probably safe.



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