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Reddit bans nude photos, sex videos posted without consent

Reddit bans nude photos, sex videos posted without consent

The new rule goes into effect in a couple weeks

Reddit, the online message board known for its users' unrestrained posts, is going against its laissez-faire philosophy and moving to restrict an abusive form of sexual content.

Under a revised privacy policy going into effect on March 10, it will be officially prohibited for Reddit users to post naked photos and sex videos if they lack permission from the people depicted.

Affected people should email the company at contact@reddit.com to expedite the removal of the offending photos or videos "as quickly as possible," Reddit said in the policy.

Reddit, which bills itself as "the front page of the Internet," has built its following of nearly 160 million users by letting them express themselves with various degrees of anonymity to communicate about any topic. The site's "Ask Me Anything" discussions are popular threads.

But lately the site has had to intervene with its users' activities. Naked images of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton were posted to Reddit and other sites last year after their iCloud accounts were broken into. Reddit removed the threads that hosted the images after receiving takedown requests, which can be submitted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by the image owner.

Revenge porn is a legal gray area in most states across the U.S., though some states like California are becoming increasingly active in prosecuting people who post naked images of others without their consent. Los Angeles announced late last year its first conviction under California's Revenge Porn statute, which was signed into law in 2013.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently took its first action against the operator of a revenge porn web site.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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