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Reddit Bans Sexual or Suggestive Content Featuring Minors

Social site Reddit this past weekend announced a change in policy that will see all images of children that are suggestive or sexual in nature banned from the site. The move comes after increased pressure from outside groups to shutdown certain subreddits that revolve around the posting of said images. Owned by Advance Publications, Reddit said in a blog post published yesterday that the change in policy was necessary.

"We have very few rules here on reddit; no spamming, no cheating, no personal info, nothing illegal, and no interfering the site's functions. Today we are adding another rule: No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors," the website said in a statement. "In the past, we have always dealt with content that might be child pornography along strict legal lines [...] our previous policy to deal with it on a case by case basis has become unsustainable. We have changed our policy because interpreting the vague and debated legal guidelines on a case by case basis has become a massive distraction and risks Reddit being pulled in to legal quagmire."

Reddit says that before yesterday's change to policy, it followed the legal guidelines and reporting procedures outlined by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This includes making reports directly to the NCMEC where appropriate.

"We have taken all reports of illegal content seriously, and when warranted we made reports directly to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who works directly with the FBI. When a situation is reported to us where a child might be abused or in danger, we make that report."

The policy change comes hot on the heels of a campaign by SomethingAwful.com that encouraged users to contact their local churches, schools, and law enforcement officials in an effort to get Reddit to remove the offending subreddits. In September, the site saw similar pressure after Anderson Cooper ran a segment highlighting the subreddit r/jailbait.