Reddit says it's banning more people than ever in big transparency push
In 2022 it doubled permabans and cracked down on revenge porn.
Reddit's transparency reports go beyond what most social media companies offer, providing copious data on content moderation and global legal requests. Now, the company has introduced a transparency center serving as a hub for safety, security and policy information. It also announced plans to release transparency reports biannually rather than just once per year and said that in 2022, it removed significantly more offensive content, including child abuse and revenge porn, than in 2021.
Last year, Reddit saw a big jump in moderation and legal requests, according to its 2022 transparency report. Government and law enforcement removal account information requests were up by 51 percent and 61 percent respectively, while copyright notices jumped 43 percent.
The story was similar on the moderation front. Last summer, the BBC reported that Reddit was still leaving up "thousands" of non-consensual intimate (NCII) images (aka revenge porn), despite making changes to its policy earlier in this year.
As a result, Reddit joined StopNCII.org, a database that aims to reduce the spread of revenge porn, operated by the nonprofit charity SWGfL's Revenge Porn Hotline. "We have already seen promising results from this tool and believe it will help us remove this content more quickly," a spokesperson told Ars Technica. To wit, it removed 244 percent more user accounts violating revenge porn policies than it did in 2021, and banned 473 percent more subreddits. The total number of NCII posts removed was 187,258 compared to around 88,000 the year before.
The site also removed 874 percent more child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) than it did in 2021. It achieved that by hiring more moderation staff and investing in proactive detection tools. By comparison, Twitter has reportedly been cutting its global moderation workforce and disbanded its Trust and Safety Council.
The aim with the transparency center, Reddit said, was to make it easier for user and "other interested parties like policymakers and the media" to find information about content moderation, legal requests and general platform safety. As such, there are sections for Reddit's terms & policies, guidelines for law enforcement, platform security updates, its bug bounty program and past transparency reports.
The company also said it would publish full transparency reports twice a year, rather than annually as it does now. Last year, it did publish its first mid-year transparency report, but it only focused on global legal requests. Going forward, however, the mid-year reports will cover both legal requests and content moderation data, exactly like the current year-end wrap-ups.