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#Reddit Roll Out New #Country-by-Country #Censorship


Since undergoing a pretty epic reshuffle, partially as a result of censorship problems (but mainly as a result of a massive internal struggle), people have been loudly wondering how Reddit were going to change up their censorship policies going forward. Well, now we have an answer. The massive forum site has started responding to takedown requests from national authorities.

What this means, in essence, is that the availability of certain subreddits will be different depending on where in the world you are. For example, a post in '/r/rudrugs', a Russian drug story subreddit, has been taken down after the Russian authorities threatened to block the site altogether (and did, for a short while). The post contained instructions about how to grow psilocybin mushrooms (otherwise known as magic mushrooms). The legality of shrooms varies distinctly from country to country but they are very, very illegal in Russia, probably because they create a risk of free thinking.

Since that ban was put in place, the Reddit brass made a promise to the Russians that any future takedown requests would be fulfilled much more quickly, in order to maintain a good working relationship with the nation. I've got 100/1 odds on Russia going ban-crazy within the next 6 months. It's worth also taking into consideration that the shrooms post was 2 years old and only ever got one upvote, so the Russians would have had to make an active effort to find it. Place your bets.

The new policy has come into effect elsewhere, though. Germany put in a request for the controversial (read: horrible) subreddit '/r/WatchPeopleDie' to be blocked and Reddit complied almost straight away. Twitter and Facebook have complied with requests like this in the past, but it's never been any kind of general rule.

Along with the increase in co-operation with national watchdogs, Reddit have updated their policies so that any content that represents threatening behaviour will be removed and anything which could be characterised as violating a 'common sense of decency' will be hidden from unregistered site visitors. There doesn't seem to be much user ire mounting against either of these incidents, but if post banning/blocking becomes too much of a regularity, all aboard the rage train.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#Reddit Roll Out New #Country-by-Country #Censorship Reviewed by Callum Davies on Sunday, August 16, 2015 Rating: 5
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