Reddit is transitioning, slowly but surely, into something with a few more rules.
In an attempt to help protect individuals on their platform, Reddit has decided to make some changes to its policies regarding harassment. On Friday, site administrators published a blog post stating that they are updating their practices “to prohibit attacks and harassment of individuals through Reddit with the goal of preventing them.”
Reddit classified harassment as: “Systematic and/or continued actions to torment or demean someone in a way that would make a reasonable person (1) conclude that Reddit is not a safe platform to express their ideas or participate in the conversation, or (2) fear for their safety or the safety of those around them.”
Administrators have been quite happy with the social media platform’s success since its birth 10 years ago, but also addressed a growth in harassment hurled towards individuals.
They specifically cited the posting of people’s private information, or links to their private information without the individual’s consent, also referred to as doxing. Reddit has taken a variety of steps in the last several months to rectify its more cynical elements as it expands in size, user base and mainstream attention.
Earlier this month, administrators updated a policy about how and when they pull content for legal reasons, including but not limited to copyright and trademark violations. In March, Reddit banned any postings of sexual content without consent, to decrease the amount of revenge porn and celebrity nude photos that were shared.
In January, Reddit reached out to its user base asking for feedback on the site. More than 16,800 respondents from more than 100 countries weighed in. While users reported over 90% satisfaction with the site, there were some complaints about a rising volume of harassment. Women were twice as likely as men to report dissatisfaction, and “many of the concerns about the community dealt with gender or race.”
“The number one reason redditors do not recommend the site — even though they use it themselves — is because they want to avoid exposing friends to hate and offensive content,” Reddit’s administrators wrote. Over 80% of the respondents were male.
“We allow a lot of content we don’t agree with, we just want to make sure our platform makes everyone comfortable sharing their ideas, not just a few people,” said Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao. “We believe less harassment means more ideas and more free expression, because people won’t be afraid to participate.”
“What happens if someone is found to be breaking the rules? Do they get banned? Are there lesser offences which would be a warning versus a ban?” asked got milk4. “They’re pandering to advertisers,” said AltLogin202. “Posting meaningless feel-good drivel like this makes companies feel better about making ad buys.”