Posted on February 25, 2015 by staff

Online Industry Changes Stance On Explicit Images


A number of social networking and tech firms are taking a stance on the number of explicit images shared online, announcing clampdowns on the publication of some photographs and videos.

Reddit, which until now has had a hands-off approach to privacy, largely allows its 160 million users to police their own forums within certain guidelines such as no child pornography or spam.

Reddit executives including CEO Ellen Pao, issued a statement saying that the shift was an attempt to “help grow Reddit for the next 10 years and beyond.”

From March 10, any photograph, video or digital image of a person who is nude or engaged in a sexual act will be prohibited if the subject has not given permission for it to be used and anyone who wants an image of themselves removed from the site can email the company.

Google announced earlier this week that it would be banning most nude photos and videos from publicly accessible sites on its popular Blogger service.

In an update to its adult content policy, it said that any blog created before 23 March that contains sexually explicit content will now automatically be made private.

“No content will be deleted, but private content can only be seen by the owner or admins of the blog and the people who the owner has shared the blog with,” said Google.

Users can choose whether to remove the explicit images in order to make it public again, or keep their blog private, which means it will also not appear in Google search results.

The change comes six months after hackers obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities and posted them to social media sites including Twitter and Reddit. Lawrence likened the unauthorised use of photographs of her body as a “sex crime.”

Social media sites have varying policies on nudity. Facebook prohibits images containing nudity altogether. Twitter does not mediate legal content but recommends that content with nudity or violence be marked as sensitive. It also lets users flag questionable content for review.