Reddit Sued for Failure to Remove Child Sexual Abuse Content
An unprecedented lawsuit has been filed against Reddit under the 2018 Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (FOSTA-SESTA) Bills introduced by then-US President Donald Trump.
An unidentified woman is suing the self-proclaimed front page of the Internet for failing to delete child sexual exploitation material, specifically pornographic photographs of her that her ex-boyfriend posted.
A woman is suing Reddit for allegedly allowing a former abusive boyfriend to post pornographic photos and videos of her taken without her permission when she was 16 years old, in a Jane Doe lawsuit that may bring the scope of FOSTA-SESTA to the test.
The plaintiff argues that Reddit’s purported inaction violates FOSTA-SESTA, a controversial 2018 provision to the Communications Decency Acts Section 230.
The amendment eliminates immunity for material that may be used to facilitate sex trafficking from Section 230, which gives information service providers immunity for content posted on their websites.
“Reddit benefits, even in child pornography, deliberately from the lack of compliance with its content standards,” she says.
The Class Action Lawsuit
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s now-ex-boyfriend used 36 separate subreddits from 2019 up to today to distribute pornographic pictures and videos of her as a 16-year-old.
According to the case, Doe spent “hours” flagging the material through more than two dozen subreddits since it was posted without her permission and featuring a minor.
She claims that even after flagging it several times, Reddit would often take “several days” to remove the material.
When the ex was finally suspended for his actions, he simply created a new account. He re-posted the same material, “often to the very same subreddit,” according to the lawsuit.
“Without Reddit’s assistance, the case is hopeless,” the lawsuit claims.
Ms. Doe was caused considerable anxiety, depression, and slumber by the widespread distribution of videos and photographs. Her efforts to both find them and negotiate with Reddit to remove them are also gone to waste.
According to the plaintiff, all of this violates FOSTA-SESTA, a contentious Internet bill that was supposed to prevent online sex trafficking.
In a nutshell, the bill modifies Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, removing some rights in situations where websites such as Reddit are found to be hosting sex trafficking-related material.
The suit argues that Reddit violated FOSTA-SESTA by running advertisements alongside this woman’s photos and videos.
This causes it to effectively converting the clips into “commercial sex acts” that Reddit “knowingly” profited from by refusing to take them down.
According to a Reddit spokesman, “The content of sexual abuse of children has no room on the Reddit platform.”
The spokesperson explained, “We strongly adhere to policies and requirements that exceed the statement and spirit of the legislation.”
He also mentioned that the site employs “both automated tools and human intelligence” to keep such content from appearing.
However, as we have seen in the past, automation isn’t always sufficient to capture the worst of what these platforms have to offer.
Editor’s Note on Reddit Child Pornography Lawsuit 2021:
This article is published to inform you of the latest class action lawsuit filed against Reddit for allegedly keeping child sexual abuse content.
Case Name & No.: Doe v. Reddit Inc., Case No. 8:21-cv-00768, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Allegations: Reddit failed to take down minor sexual abuse posts
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