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Reddit’s jailbait problem

God, Rebecca Watson, why must you castrate men because they act upon their evolutionarily formed biological desires? I mean, it’s a fact that men are attracted to signs of youth in women. How dare you calmly suggest that spreading oversexualized or naked private photos of 14 year old girls is wrong.

…Ouch, that amount of sarcasm was painful to write.

In all seriousness, go read the article over at Skepchick that documents the child porn controversy that’s erupted at reddit thanks to its contentious r/jailbait subreddit. It makes me feel dirty for liking the site at all, with the piss poor way the Powers That Be are handling it. Of course, this is the same site that is notorious for it’s MRAs and allows an entire subreddit devoted to sharing photos of beaten women, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

I just want to look at stupid rage comics and drool at food porn and keep up with Seattle shenanigans and laugh at period jokes without associating with this filth. Is that too much to ask?

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I just want to look at stupid rage comics and drool at food porn and keep up with Seattle shenanigans and laugh at period jokes without associating with this filth. Is that too much to ask?

    Apparently yes.

  2. VeritasKnight says

    Ah yes. r/jailbait. I remember the first time an associate pointed out how “awesome” it was. I told him what a fucktard he was.

    This shit is straight-up creepy.

  3. azkyroth says

    Having some experience being a 14 year old (or, more precisely, a 17 year old) there are a handful of unstated assumptions being thrown around that I find highly questionable. They don’t, however, change the broader point. >.>

  4. says

    r/jailbait is for people 18 and over, it’s not just some innocent place for other 14 year olds to find photos of people their own age, if that’s what you’re implying.

  5. says

    Thank you for giving me several reasons to continue avoiding reddit. (From what I’ve heard, it’s like an “upper-class” version of 4-chan.)

  6. Brice Gilbert says

    I haven’t seen what the people in charge of reddit have said, but isn’t this sort of the point of reddit? It’s the entire internet on one website. You are going to get crap like this. As long as nothing illegal is being done, and one can avoid it I question if anything should be done. I’m probably equating reddit with the internet too broadly though. After all it is a specific website with rules that I assume are enforced.

  7. Azkyroth says

    No. I was thinking more that “sexualized” seems to imply that teenagers aren’t sexual beings already, which was inconsistent with my experience, and on second reading was interpreting “stolen” more narrowly than it was probably meant.

    Like I said, min…*trivial* details. >..

  8. proginoskes says

    > Thank you for giving me several reasons to continue avoiding reddit.

    Seconded. I’ve lately felt like I was missing something having not setup an account and tried it out for a few days; now I know there’s no point as the site’s governance apparently doesn’t account for dealing with community-hurting trash. Still looks like good free and open source software though; you can use your own self-hosted instance of Reddit for your private workgroup or club.

  9. Brice Gilbert says

    Oh wait actually I did see a response from one of the founders on Google+. The response seems to be along the lines of what I said. Reddit is the internet etc. I’m torn because I really like openness and a free internet, and reddit to me is an example of that. The only thing I don’t abide is illegal acts. If said photos were actually stolen then I could see taking them down, but there is nothing illegal about masturbating to fully clothed pictures of teenagers no matter how strange or unethical it might be, and I honestly don’t know how anyone could make that illegal.

  10. says

    I was there once, and it didn’t impress me. Now I won’t go to this site at all.

    Sure this stuff will be on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean I have to go to sites or subsites that promote it.

  11. Azkyroth says

    In all fairness: I think the word you want is “gross.” If the pictures are already available and the act is kept private, then stepping away from the visceral reaction it’s not clear where the harm component that would make it unethical would come from.

    (I wish this subject didn’t come up. On the one hand, sloppy thinking and emotionalism intrinsically bothers me, even when it’s about topics that are understandably emotionally charged. On the other hand, I feel like even skeptics are far too eager to misread my position on issues like this. Prove me wrong, please. :/)

  12. Katmiss says

    Would you feel harmed if someone posted pictures of you as wankbait for guys who are into “jailbait” (as in they are literally looking to get off on girls who are underage and look underage)?

    I work in softcore porn and I would feel harmed by something like this if I were the girl in those photos. The pic don’t have to be stolen for it to be wrong and unethical to spread them around online.

  13. Azkyroth says

    That was more or less what I was addressing with the “kept private” and “already available” points. I was responding to Brice Gilbert’s literal phrasing. :/

  14. schism says

    Actually, 4chan takes a rather dim view of pedobait (considering it a ban on sight violation, last I checked). Granted, they do it more out of self-preservation than than any appreciable morals, but it’s still technically a step up.

  15. Brice Gilbert says

    I totally understand the “fear.” I tend not to post in topics like this after people called me a pedophile for suggesting that animated pornography of underage girls should not be illegal after Japan banned it. That being said I’m not bitter about that. It’s hardly a fear worth noting when there is actual harm being done to people.

  16. sivart says

    The main issue with Reddit and it’s users over this dilemma is that while many Reddit users find the content posted on the mentioned subreddits unethical, disturbing, or perverted, to begin to censor things of that nature when nothing truly illegal is being committed clashes with Reddit’s highly held free speech and anti-censorship ideals. I also think it’s wrong to dismiss an online community as large, active, and diverse as Reddit based upon the actions of a few morally questionable members. The vast majority of subreddits are intellectually stimulating, progressive, tolerant, and in some cases, give assistance to those who need it. Immensely outnumbering the trash are sites like r/twoxchromosomes, r/askscience, r/skeptic, atheisthavens, etc.. I can understand people’s reluctance to be associated with an online community where such things exist, but to dismiss it in it’s entirety based on those few bad apples is in my opinion a bit ignorant.

  17. says

    Are you employed with reddit’s PR team or something? The law was broken – people were distributing child porn thanks to this subreddit. Free speech only has to do with the government censorship of speech, and reddit is a private site that can do whatever it wants. The vast majority of subreddits are composed of stupid internet memes and in-jokes, potty humor, and blatant sexism and racism. There are occasional gems that I enjoy, but to paint reddit as paradise is simply oblivious and untrue.

  18. sivart says

    I made the mistake of not reading the Skepchick article you posted before I responded. I wasn’t aware that pornography had actually been distributed recently and the site was taken down. It was fairly inevitable, and I was disgusted by the presence of it as well. I would agree that the site is pretty immature, sexist, and at times racist, and I was a bit omitting of those aspects in describing. I was just trying to offer a counter to people who are willing to dismiss it completely without considering some the examples of good that it does exhibit.

  19. mtskeptic says

    I was gonna start my post with the dramatic “…which is why it ws shut down” but sivart already took care of that. If you believe the long-term redditors, after the CNN article a lot of new people were attracted to the offending subreddit and weren’t aware of the rules. So instead of just highly sexualized “legal” images, they crossed the line. Who knows how valid that explanation is? I really enjoy reading the reddit frontpage and some of the mainstream subreddits. When the CNN article hit, I surfed over to the r/jailbait reddit and saw pretty much what I expected, a /b/tard-esque haven.

    I think the important part here is that it was shut down in a self-regulated action. Human expression takes all forms including the icky, the real icky. Community type regulation is the only scenario I see that balances individual rights of expression while curtailing harmful content.

  20. sivart says

    Yes I found it rather stupid that CNN broadcasted the presence of a semi-legal pedo-haven to the world. On the other hand it helped to bring increased awareness to the issue within Reddit internally and pressured the administrators to take action against it, though sadly it took a line being crossed for a boiling point to be reached; it should have been dealt with sooner.

  21. Glodson says

    Before reading the article, I thought I was ready for what it might state. I was not ready for the moderator to elect to use the name “I_Rape_People.” Because I never thought anyone would be that stupid. I mean, the objectification of teen girls on a site that is meant to supply others with already borderline child pornography is bad enough. Don’t be the complete dickwad and chose such a name to moderate the fucking horrible site.

    The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m all for freedom of speech, but some need to understand that not all fucking speech is protected speech. It isn’t that hard of a concept to grasp. Comments made by the little hate group Westboro Baptist Church are an example of horrible but protected speech. Even comments made in the defense of something like child porn, though horrible, are also protected speech. Creating a site with the intent of trading and soliciting pictures of teens under the age of consent is already dangerously close to that border. And to pretend that it was just meant to trade only in the non-nude objectifying photos is naive at best. At the very fucking best.

    And when the moderator calls himself “I_Rape_People,” the presence of child porn trading scumbags isn’t a shock. The real shock is that people attempt to justify such behavior at all. Seriously, if you are the kind of person that thinks putting suggestive pictures of teens under the age of consent is a good thing, then fuck you.

  22. jamesemery says

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Feminism/

    Thar be the board on Reddit that’s worth looking at for ya… Some of them are right up your alley, and the more feminists they get together, the more likely they can chase pedos/MRAs/otherdirtbagpeople off of Reddit faster, and make it a safer place.

    I only know they have a feminism board because I found it through another blogger at one point, and it’s the only board on Reddit I’ve ever visited. I tend to hang on ze Stumble more often by far, and on ze 4chan, where we’re slowly working on removing the pedojerks. Dammit, I value the right to say whatever stupid, evil shit I want, but that’s the type of evil NO ONE needs…

  23. Svlad Cjelli says

    I can pipe in without much fear because I’m actually villainous anyway.

    Born and raised where I have had sexual freedom since the day I reached fifteen years of age, I can only :rolleyes: at the mismatch between local sex laws and local porn laws. (To be clear, that’s because the porn laws include non-distributed, personal material. As such, what is legal to see directly is illegal to see through a depiction.)

  24. Noah the epistemic pinata says

    Photos of underage girls aren’t just quietly traded over PM.

    In fact, it took only few seconds to find multiple subreds dedicated to archives and albums of “jailbait.”

    It’s probably worth noting that many of these photos aren’t just “suggestive.” Many of them are quite explicit. Some of the more explicit albums feature women who could possibly be in their late teens or early twenties. On the other hand, some albums feature models that are quite obviously children.

  25. moralnihilist says

    Whether or not the pictures being posted on /r/jailbait were illegal or not is irrelevant. There are plenty of subreddits (/r/trees being one example) that not only discuss but advocate illegal activity. “Illegal” is not necessarily synonymous with “immoral.”

    The problem with /r/jailbait was that it promoted a behavior that victimizes others, and for that reason alone it should have been removed from the site as soon as it was created.

    You said, “I just want to look at stupid rage comics and drool at food porn and keep up with Seattle shenanigans and laugh at period jokes without associating with this filth. Is that too much to ask?”

    You know what I do? I don’t look at the subreddits I’m not interested in. The only front page submissions I see are from subreddits I’ve selected. You can do that you know. It’s pretty easy.

    I had no idea those other subreddits you mentioned even existed until you mentioned them in this article, so I’m wondering where you get the idea that the entire site is “notorious” for it. Notorious to whom? You because you’ve chosen to pay attention to them?

  26. shawnmiller says

    I wouldn’t even bother to call it upper class so much as variant design. Even 4chan has the dignity to officially label Jail bait as ban worthy material. Reddit calls it self the bastion of free speech which is fine and dandy I suppose, forgetting that given the constraints of modern society, operating a top 50 website with a corporation attached can end poorly.

  27. Echo says

    I’ve been on reddit for over five years, and never been to jailbait. There are hundreds of subreddits with a wealth of good people and information. If you dont make an account and subscribe to your interests, you’ll never know what you are missing.

  28. Random Excess says

    I think there are like 80,000 subreddits over there at Reddit. Some are really good, some are just fun. r/philosophy is good, r/asksciene is informative and gets some really creative questions. I visit about a half dozen of them. For a dose of puerile and immature atheist humor r/atheism is good for a laugh.

    It is a good thing that r/jailbait was closed, but from what others have posted over there, it is not the worst, just one of the most popular.

    I guess the main point I would make is do not avoid Reddit because of this one community, avoid it for a lot of good reasons, but this is not one of them.

  29. enad says

    I am surprised at what I seen after hearing about it from Anderson cooper. Again though most girls are 18+ and it is simply a commercial or preview for legitimate legal pron websites,. the rest are pictures of teens from creeps who saved images of of social networking sites and posted them to reddit. none of these pics showing what girls are not sexual, not nude, and not wrong or illegal. what is illegal is that people are saving images of unsuspecting young girls and posting them on this site. there is nothing legally wrong with this site as I can tell, BUT

    THERE IS is DEFINITLEY something MORALLY wrong with saving images of young girls and putting them on a website, and this is why I shalt return.

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