Reddit Just Banned Bullying, 'Anything Illegal'

Prepare for the backlash.

Reddit is cleaning up its act.

The site's administration announced Thursday new rules that take a strong stance against certain types of content.

"As Reddit has grown, we've seen additional examples of how unfettered free speech can make Reddit a less enjoyable place to visit, and can even cause people harm outside of Reddit," Reddit's new CEO, Steve Huffman, actually one of the site's founders, wrote in a post.

As of now, several things are officially banned on the sprawling collection of online forums, one of the most popular websites in the world. They are:

  • Spam
  • Anything illegal (i.e. things that are actually illegal, such as copyrighted material. Discussing illegal activities, such as drug use, is not illegal)
  • Publication of someone’s private and confidential information
  • Anything that incites harm or violence against an individual or group of people
  • Anything that harasses, bullies, or abuses an individual or group of people (these behaviors intimidate others into silence)
  • Sexually suggestive content featuring minors

The move comes less than a week after the site's beleaguered former CEO, Ellen Pao, stepped down from her position. Pao herself had been targeted with abusive language by many of the users who belong to the communities she oversaw -- supposedly in reaction to some of her policies.

Also on Thursday, The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Pao about how trolls are winning the battle for the Internet's soul.

Many Redditors have already responded to Huffman's post on the new rules. Some expressed worries about what these guidelines might mean for "free speech" on the platform, which is home to controversial forums like "CoonTown" and "Raping Women," in addition to more standard fare like "Gaming" and "Politics."