Reddit Faces Backlash After Banning Several Subreddits With New Anti-Gun, Anti-Drugs Policy

reddit bans several communities post content policy update

Reddit is one of the biggest and most popular community forums on the Internet. The platform has not just been used for discussion and link sharing but also for exchanging and trading a plethora of goods, ranging from beers, knick-knacks, toys, comics and of course ammunition and personal info. Reddit today decided to update its content policy to “forbid transactions for certain goods and services”.

In an official announcement, the company says that its platform has been designed to host mindful discussions and not act as a marketplace. This has pushed the company to prohibit the use of Reddit for transactions involving different types of goods and services. Here’s the complete list of items banned from being traded on Reddit under the new policy:

  • Firearms, ammunition, or explosives;
  • Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances (except advertisements placed in accordance with our advertising policy);
  • Paid services involving physical sexual contact;
  • Stolen goods;
  • Personal information;
  • Falsified official documents or currency

As per our knowledge, this change in the content policies has come in conjunction with a number of banned communities, including r/GunsForSale, r/airsoftmarket, r/shoplifting, r/stealing, and r/DarkNetMarkets. In addition to Reddit, YouTube is also coming down hard on weapon videos with its new anti-gun policies, also announced today.

While subreddits have been banned for violating rules in the past, Reddit seems to have taken an arbitrary approach to what it constitutes as illegal. Completely harmless subreddits have also faced the axe. The fairly popular craft beer community  r/beertrade was one such subreddit. It allowed craft beer aficionados to swap/ trade local brews with others in their area or state. It was completely legal and a friendly community, which has been removed under the new policy.

The company clarified its stance on the trade of sexual and explicit content by saying that ‘paid services involving physical sexual contact in the real-life’ will only be the one to be hit with a ban. This means the exchange/ trade of sexually explicit photos and videos will still continue to thrive on the platform.

There’s also r/GunsForSale, which has ways to verify legality of the weapons and ammunitions being sold on the subreddit. This too has had to face the brunt of the update because it falls under the aforementioned categories, even though gun sale is totally legal in the USA. Reddit, however, says that communities dedicated solely to discussion about guns and gun ownership are not impacted by this change.

Are you a Redditor affected by these changes? Is your favourite subreddit down and out? Let us know in the comments below.

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