REDDIT: Anti-Racist? Yes. Anti-Porn? Nope.

It’s nice to see corporations put their money where their mouth is, or to put their actions where their words are and in the wake of the civil unrest of the last month, many organizations seem to be making changes, both substantial and symbolic, or in the case of NASCAR banning the Confederate Flag, both.

One of the items that caught my eye was Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian stepping down from the board of his company and asking that a person of color replace him to better represent the diversity in America, and the diversity of Reddit.

For those unfamiliar with Reddit, which bills itself as “The Front Page of the Internet,” it is essentially a giant bulletin board-like forum where you can find just about any topic that interests you and participate in discussion on that topic, or simply look at pictures and videos other people post. From politics to pets, there really is something for everybody there.

I’ve not been a big “Redditor” over the years. I participated last year in the room (these individual rooms are called subreddits) that dealt with betrayal trauma for porn addicts’ partners and exercised my creative muscle in a room for roasting people, but after a few weeks with both, they seemed to fall by the wayside. Like a lot of online technology that was new to me, I just couldn’t find the long-term value with integrating it into my life. That said, I know hundreds of millions of people do enjoy the site and it does have a tremendous amount to offer, from mental health resources to help planning road trips.

With Ohanian’s bold statement (which I still wonder how much was taking advantage of the opportunity for a positive PR spin from somebody planning to leave the board anyway) Reddit has reportedly taken a serious hardline stance against racism among its users. While the site, depending on who is a moderator of a subreddit has long been criticized for randomly, arbitrarily and often hypocritically enforcing its own rules, it seems to be clamping down on racism. As a privately-owned business that is free to run things however they wish, they’ve decided that racism will not be tolerated. They are not covered by free speech in The Constitution and I respect and appreciate that fact.

I also appreciate the fact that despite having millions of users, some of whom are probably extremely questionable human beings, the site tries to make sure there aren’t things like prostitution, sex trafficking or other nefarious crimes taking place under the surface that have plagued sites like Craigslist.

However, the site does seem to not have a problem with one of society’s major ills: Pornography. There are dozens upon dozens of rooms devoted to the spread of online pornography. When I frequented the betrayal trauma room for partners of porn addicts, most lamented the irony of while they were getting support they needed from the Reddit community, it was also Reddit that was giving their partner the very pornography fix that was driving them apart.

Enjoy naked celebrities? Reddit has got you covered. There’s your typical naked celebrity page (686,000 members), but if you’re into specifics, you can find pages geared just toward female celebrity genitals (208,000), their nipples (107,000) or movies where celebrities performed an actual sex act (225,000). Prefer the younger girls? There’s “Barely Legal Teens” with 218,000 members, “Barely Legal” with 133,000 and “GoneWild18” with 427,000.

Other subreddits have such classy names as “Hold the Moan,” “Happy Embarrassed Girls,” “Incest Porn,” “Sex in Front of Others” and “Bottomless Vixens.”

And don’t worry about Reddit being racist when it comes to porn. You can enjoy, “Black Boobs,” “Ebony Nude Selfies,” “Latin Sex Girl” or “Jew Sluts” among its many other specific offerings like “Amputee Porn” and “Grandma Porn.”

I didn’t mention the membership numbers of those room because it doesn’t actually matter. You needn’t be a member to view any of it, so it’s probably safe to surmise that exponentially more people are viewing than the numbers I listed above.

One of the worst parts about the vast majority of the porn on Reddit is that with the exception of clicking a button that says you’re 18 years old, there is no security, firewall or other way to prove that its viewers are actual adults. For kids who are all over the subreddits about anime, video games or Korean pop music, it’s a couple clicks until they can see hardcore pornography, all courtesy of this “socially responsible” website.

I’m not going to take a deep dive into overall website figures because I won’t be able to break them down by room or demographic, and I don’t know if that would prove anything more.

I don’t expect Reddit to change its policy anytime soon. They know sex sells and they know as long as they keep quiet, the millions who are in their pornography rooms daily will also keep their mouths shut. Sex sells and like every other website out there, Reddit makes a lot of money on advertising. Gotta keep those eyeballs on the page, right?

I simply wanted to highlight the fact that while some sites out there are unabashedly promoting pornography, there are others that feature a ton of it (like YouTube) without calling attention to itself, and if you think kids don’t know this, you don’t remember what it’s like being a kid.

12 thoughts on “REDDIT: Anti-Racist? Yes. Anti-Porn? Nope.

  1. I don’t know anything about how effective internet filters are, but is porn ever more than a couple of clicks away for kids who are looking for it?

    I only have very basic familiarity with Reddit, but is it an easy site for people posting porn to make money?

    1. Reddit is used mostly by the make-porn-at-home folks who have OnlyFans pages, or by other do-it-yourself models to refer you to somewhere else then can make money. Reddit is more of a lead generator for those types.

      And then there are simply the voyeurs. It’s a free site, it’s relatively low tech compared to most, no annoying pop-ups and there’s a genre for any itch you need to scratch.

      1. I was on the Internet before the world wide web and browsers (Remember Netscape Navigator?) were introduced. There was a thing called Usenet, which was thousands of forums. When high speed arrived, it spelled its demise, but It was very similar to what Reddit is today.

      2. Ah, the not so good old days… I’ve been trying to remember the name of the chat site that I used back in the day, but I guess I’ve blocked it out of my memory.

  2. I’m extremely saddened by the knowledge that millions or even billions of people are being psychologically damaged by pornography every day. Only those like you and I whose lives have been stained by our former addiction to it are sounding the alarm. But I fear we’re not being heard.

    1. I posted a link to this article on my LinkedIn page and one of the CSATs I greatly respect made the point that he thinks the only way porn acceptance is going to change is if we can somehow get society to care how misogynistic it is, which is entirely possible. If you can mobilize people to view it as degrading women and demeaning them to a lower standard, perhaps the anti-pornography movement could get some traction. I just think that there needs to be a different presentation of that position than has happened in the past.

      1. Absolutely, but I think social pressure can be enough at certain times. I’m guessing that Aunt Jemima syrup didn’t see a giant reduction in business enough to cripple them in the last few weeks, but the general temperature of society right now is that a product with its roots in racist caricatures isn’t acceptable. That’s where we need to get with porn.

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