‘NSFW Advertising’ Banned From Reddit

By | April 17, 2019

An update quietly posted to the Reddit ad forum yesterday details a huge shift in rules for those wishing to advertise on the site. As of this week, Reddit is no longer allowing “ads for adult-oriented products and services,” nor will it allow any advertising to appear on subreddits that it deems “Not Safe for Work” (NSFW).

“Additionally, NSFW subreddits will be removed from any campaign that may have targeted them previously, and campaigns will no longer accrue clicks or impressions on those subreddits,” the site says.

Reddit defines “adult-oriented products and services” as any “pornographic or sexually explicit content, as well as adult sexual recreational content, products, or services.” This is not just about blocking really explicit images or possibly illegal conduct but everything related to sex and sexuality.

Sex toys, dirty books, kink groups, strip clubs, and erotic art are just a few subjects that would seem to be banned from advertising on Reddit now.

Ads for condoms and contraception should still be allowed, under an exception for “ads pertaining to products for the prevention of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections.”

Erectile dysfunction drug ads are also OK.

Reddit did not offer a reason for the rule change, but it’s far from alone in recent crackdowns on all sorts of content related to sex. As platforms strive to keep up with an array of new tech regulations—from America’s ban on ads that facilitate prostitution under FOSTA to new “privacy”and “hate speech” laws in the European Union, a British ban on showing porn without checking viewers’ ages, and more—anything that might get above a PG rating is being quickly wiped clean from the internet.

Last week Instagram announced a crackdown on “inappropriate” contentthings that fail to trigger a full ban under the app’s community guidelines but that someone at Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) feels uneasy about. “That means if a post is sexually suggestive, but doesn’t depict a sex act or nudity, it could still get demoted,” pointed out TechCrunch. “Similarly, if a meme doesn’t constitute hate speech or harassment, but is considered in bad taste, lewd, violent or hurtful, it could get fewer views.”

Last December, Tumblr announced a ban on all sexually explicit content. By February 2019, its traffic had plummeted by almost a third.

Category: Liberty
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