Reddit shuts down Deepfakes subreddit, home to faceswapped pornography (and some other stuff)


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/07/case-closed-then.html


#2

Reddit, as a private site, of course has the right to do this if they please… But it’s deeply bothersome to me that they are all pro-free-speech when it comes to hate-fueled subreddits like The_Donald, but suddenly get all bothered by porn.


#3

Waddya bet that a subreddit called The_Donald_porn would get to stay up as well? (Note to self: NEVER search that, just in case)


#4

What they killed today were subs dedicated to involuntary pornography (that’s their phrase). Faked videos are fine, just as long as they aren’t porno.

As long as The_Donald stays within the rules and takes down content when the admins ask them to, they will be allowed to exist.


#5

I hear from my source, let’s just call him John Miller, that this is how they made it look like “Trump” is bald in that bad fake news video circulating of him. Sad. It looks like the technology works on both the front and back of the head.


#6

With great power comes great responsibility


#7

You do realize these are videos that are not of the people, but are faked without people’s permission?


#8

…have you ever been to reddit?


#9

IANAL, but the deep fakes sub seems to be a much higher legal liability than The_Donald. A person, or multiple together, could be quite burdensome for Reddit to respond to in the case of lawsuits.

One subreddit is fake pornography and the other is fake news. I guess reddit cares more about one than the other.


#10

I am sure the cat will return to the bag any moment now.


#11


#12

Especially people with ample war chests. If it was faked porn of people without the money to take Reddit to court, I doubt the response would be the same. Which isn’t to say Reddit killing fake porn is bad, just that it’s sad that only some victims can get action in our pay-for-play farce of a justice system.

ETA: Sorry I’ve been so bitter lately. I know I’m usually more even-keeled. This loony-bin our country has devolved into is really starting to get to me.


#13

One Peter Thiel away…


#14

That’s not a stable equilibrium.


#15

it’s funny because it’s true the cat just shit in that bag.


#16

Based on my observations over the last ten or so years, at this point they’re only pro-free speech when it’s convenient and won’t cost them anything. When the site was still young things were a bit different, but the site isn’t young anymore, it’s been around over a decade and the thing that people like Aaron Swartz helped create has turned into a completely corporate entity that acts the way corporations act, and does the things that corporations do. All appearances to the contrary are marketing facades, or merely coincidence. Reddit is owned by Advance Publications which is a multi-billion publishing and media company and one of the top 40 largest private companies in the US.

Things like /r/jailbait, /r/the_donald, and /r/forced_removal weren’t banned because their speech was just a little too free, but because those subreddits had become the kind of problem that corporate entities care about–the kind that might cost them money or result in legal trouble.

Don’t get me wrong, those subreddits had to go. /r/jailbait was a subreddit for child pornography, or images that weren’t meaningfully distinct from it. The name said it all, that word has connotations that belie the actual motivations of the people going and posting there.

/r/the_donald started out as a stupid place for people to share stupid Trump memes before it was weaponized and turned first into a tool for mobilizing pro-Trump propaganda before finally losing all of its even remotely reasonable members, attracting a bunch of new, awful ones, and becoming and overly nationalist sub. It was bad from day one, it just got much worse.

/r/forced_removal was a racist, nationalist shithole from day one, but it was ultimately an offshoot of the same ecosystem that had taken over /r/the_donald and the name pretty much says everything you need to know: “forced removal” means forced emigration or at the very “least” apartheid. It was advocating direct, individual action, which meant that it was only a matter of time before it got the axe as well.

So with that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise anybody. Reddit can’t claim safe harbor or shield themselves from accusations of hosting/aggregating videos that might depict the faces of people who can and would sue the hell out of them, not to mention the fact that basically every video was by definition an unauthorized derivative work. It’s not that they were suddenly bothered by porn, Reddit is full of porn, lots of it is incredibly specific and/or “weird” and they don’t care at all. It’s that this particular porn was basically by definition a combination of copyright infringement and possibly libel and the suits decided to kill it before it became a problem.


#17

r/TheDonald was never banned. In fact, there was a thread elsewhere earlier today complaining to reddit management about a post that had remained there for the better part of a week suggesting physical violence against a sitting US Senator.

Also, for decades, there has been a subculture of putting retouching porn to have the faces of actors or actresses, to varying degrees of believability, and subreddits exist elsewhere on Reddit dedicated to the “art.” I’m sort of surprised by reddit’s move to remove /r/deepfakes, even if the stuff there was pervy and weird.


#18

I think here in Canada, “deep fakes” depicting sexual acts would qualify as sexual assault.


#19

It’s one thing to misrepresent, it’s another to do it wholesale!

It was not sudden, ‘bothered’ is a characterization, and porn isn’t what was there.

If that was sarcasm or some other form of ‘saying something without saying it’, could you be more explicit? Do you really think reddit is bothered by porn, and it’s sudden?


#20

There is definitely a consent issue there, and more to the criminal point, I see it as an explicit threat of sexual violence.