Reddit defines harassment, or online abuse, as:
“Systematic and/or continued actions to torment or demean someone in a way that would make a reasonable person 1) conclude that Reddit is not a safe platform to express their ideas or participate in the conversation, or 2) fear for their safety or the safety of those around them” (Reddit Blog, 2015).
There are many forms of online abuse on Reddit, but some common forms are:
For more information on recent action Reddit has taken against harassment, see this article from the Washington Post (Dewey, 2015).
Reddit’s challenge is to balance free expression of ideas with privacy and safety on their platform. Reddit does not consider attacks on an individual’s beliefs as harassment.
Reddit does not consider incidents in which the parties involved are provoking one another as harassment and consequently no action is ordinarily taken.
Reddit users must agree to follow the Rules of Reddit:
Do not post or encourage the posting of sexual or suggestive content involving minors.
Don’t break the site or do anything that interferes with normal use of Reddit.
If your harasser on Reddit is breaking any of the Rules, send a harassment report to email@example.com.
Reddiquette is an informal expression of the values of many redditors, as written by redditors themselves. It includes a list of Do’s and Don’t’s as guidelines for Reddit use. For the English version of the Reddiquette, click here. It is also available in Spanish, German, French, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, Ukrainian, and Dutch.
Subreddits may create their own rules and enforce them as they see fit, providing they do not violate the Rules of Reddit.
Reddit values privacy, freedom of expression, open discussion, and humanity, and recognizes that online harassment is a threat to each of these values. Reddit also has an official list of core values. They serves as guides for when Reddit makes decisions, such as when to ban a subreddit for harassment. Reddit’s core values are:
If you are being harassed on Reddit, send a harassment report to firstname.lastname@example.org or via modmail. Reddit’s safety team will review your report and decide how to respond.
What information should I include in my harassment report?
When you submit a report to modmail or email@example.com, remember to include this information, if possible:
Providing a detailed report will help Reddit determine the best way to protect you and respond to your situation.
Reddit tries to respond within 24 hours of a report’s submission. However, it may take up to a few days to respond, depending on the amount of traffic generated by submitted reports.
Yes, Reddit considers screenshots as an acceptable form of reporting, however Reddit needs to first ensure authenticity of these documents before significant action can be taken.
By providing direct links to where the harassment is happening Reddit is able to take more rapid action.
When submitting a harassment report to firstname.lastname@example.org or via modmail, attach as much available evidence, either screenshots, links or both, to help Reddit take action as quickly as possible.
People experiencing harassment and bystanders can all report harassment on Reddit by sending a harassment report to email@example.com or via modmail.
Good bystanders will report the harassment they see on Reddit and help make Reddit a safer platform. Bystander involvement helps to curb the harassment on Reddit and shows the victim that they are supported by the Reddit community.
Reddit responds, investigates and, if necessary, takes action on all reports of harassment. Reddit will respond when the harassment report has been processed and a decision has been reached.
However, if you feel that your report was overlooked or dealt with unfairly, Reddit encourages you to submit a follow-up report and note that you would like a second review for the reported behavior.
Reddit responds to harassment in several ways, but some common ways are:
Reddit offers several online resources to help combat harassment. The following organizations can be referred to, if needed:
Stalking, Abuse and Harassment
Reddit surveyed 15,000 Redditors and found the prevalence of hateful and offensive comment was the top reason people didn’t recommend Reddit to others. This compelled Reddit to revamp their policy on harassment. Earlier in 2015, Reddit banned “revenge porn,” or unauthorized nude photos, usually of women, posted by their former relationship partners (Williams, 2015). Reddit also published their first annual transparency report to share when they take down content in response to legal demands or for privacy reasons (Reddit Blog, 2015). The most recent report is available here.
In June 2015, Reddit also banned 5 subreddits based on their harassment of individuals. The most prominent banned community was “FatPeopleHate,” a forum that body-shamed people and had over 150,000 subscribers (Westlake, 2015). Reddit has taken several steps to combat harassment on their platform and continues to look for better ways to deal with this issue.
Promote ideas, protect people. (May 14 2015). Reddit Blog.
Westlake, A. (June 11 2015). Reddit institutes new anti-harassment policy, bans 5 subreddits. Slash Gear.
Wiliams, L.C. (May 15 2015). With new policy, reddit will take on harassment and personal attacks. Think Progress.
Dewey, C. (June 10 2015). These are the 5 subreddits reddit banned under its game-changing anti-harassment policy–and why it banned them. The Washington Post.