Justin Hoffman

Reddit Updates Company Policies on Gun Content

Popular gun forums have now been banned from the link-sharing site. 

In light of the recent school shooting which took place on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, both retailers and social media sites have been vocal on either banning or restricting the sale of firearms or what content they are comfortable aligning themselves with.

The latest high-profile company to change policies is the popular link-sharing site Reddit.

On March 21, Reddit published the following updated content policy to their Announcement page:

New addition to site-wide rules regarding the use of Reddit to conduct transactions from r/announcements

"As of March 21, 2018, we have made a new addition to our content policy forbidding transactions for certain classes of goods and services," a Reddit spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "Moving forward, we are prohibiting transactions that are either illicit or strictly controlled. Communities focused on such transactions and users who attempt to conduct them will be banned from the site."

The new policy affected several popular 'subreddits' on the site, including r/GunDeals, r/GunsForSale, and r/AKMarketplace. Although these now-banned forums did discuss the sale of firearms, they did not sell directly between users and only featured links to off-site sellers.

The announcement detailing the new changes caused immediate backlash and condemnation by Reddit users, with over 11,000 comments posted within the first 24 hours. Here is a sample:

Reddit's response was, in part, the following:

"Because this policy forbids facilitating the transactions, it impacts communities that are dedicated to connecting buyers and sellers. We want to emphasize, though that communities dedicated solely to discussion about guns and gun ownership are not impacted by this change."

Reddit has a market value of over $1.7 billion and is currently the sixth most visited website in the world.

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