After The Proliferation Of The New Zealand Shooting Video, Reddit Has Banned Two Channels Showing Human Death

Loudninja

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,693
I had no idea these existed at all my god
Reddit banned two contentious but popular groups that regularly featured human injury and death following the widespread sharing of videos of the New Zealand terrorist incident on Friday.

The social network moved to eliminate the /r/watchpeopledie and /r/gore subreddits less than 24 hours after a shooter killed at least 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch and streamed the event live on Facebook. Internet users were able to capture the video before Facebook took it down, uploading clips of the incident on platforms including Twitter and YouTube. People then shared links to those videos in the now-banned Reddit groups, which critics and some Reddit users had questioned for years.

"We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting content that incites or glorifies violence will get users and communities banned from Reddit,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “Subreddits that fail to adhere to those site-wide rules will be banned."

Reddit’s decision to remove /r/gore and the seven-year-old /r/watchpeopledie subreddits illustrates the tensions social networks face as they police content that violates their rules in real time. Since the incident, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter have all struggled to keep video of the massacre from spreading, playing a game of digital whack-a-mole as users uploaded content that continued to avoid the detection of algorithms and content moderators.

On Thursday night, a Reddit spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that /r/watchpeopledie, where links led to videos of people being executed or hit by cars, was allowed on the site because it provided a service to members — some of whom the company said were medical professionals or first responders — to learn about or cope with death. By Friday morning, however, Reddit moved to end /r/watchpeopledie, which had more than 300,000 subscribers, and /r/gore, as a result of members continually linking to videos of the New Zealand incident while moderators failed to act or even encouraged their posting.

“The video stays up until someone censors it,” one moderator on /r/watchpeopledie wrote Thursday night. “This video is being scrubbed from major social media platforms but hopefully Reddit believes in letting you decide for yourself whether or not you want to see unfiltered reality.”
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/reddit-bans-groups-death-gore-new-zealand-massacre-video
 

vestan

Member
Dec 28, 2017
9,027
Good, they have no business staying up. The fact that a subreddit exists where you can watch people getting killed tells you all you need to know about Reddit's priorities.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,736
I love the community of the few sub-reddits I frequent but I wouldn't shed a tear if the whole website was nuked out of existence.
 

Aaronrules380

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,393
I mean it's good they were closed, but it begs the question of why they ever allowed them in the first place
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,176
There's probably a bunch more channels that shouldn't exist. Every time it happens people are like "that was a thing that existed?"
 

Dishwalla

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,651
Boise, Idaho
So weird they say they took them down for violating their terms of service when they've been up for years and years. And they weren't secrets either, everyone knew of that shit, many have questioned Reddit about them before.
 

TaySan

Member
Dec 10, 2018
3,099
These subreddits have been up for years and only now they are starting to give a shit..
 

Einchy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
23,356
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a real shitty ass post, clicked on their profile, and then they’re mega alt-fighters who also seem to love /r/watchpeopledie.

I’m glad Reddit finally banned that shithole but it’s sad that it took them this long to, you know, not host a subreddit where the whole point was to watch people fucking die.
 

Dishwalla

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,651
Boise, Idaho
the truth is Reddit was forced to play their hand because the two subreddits were likely flooded with the NZ video. They never cared before.
 

swift-darius

Member
May 10, 2018
500
So weird they say they took them down for violating their terms of service when they've been up for years and years. And they weren't secrets either, everyone knew of that shit, many have questioned Reddit about them before.
it's the way reddit operates. a lot of unseemly subs are swept under the rug and ignored, and lately quarantined, unless they get a very unflattering and damaging wider media exposure on other outlets - in which case the hammer comes down hard

the first example of this was /r/jailbait years upon years ago. /r/fatpeoplehate also gained critical mass at some point and I think attracted outside scrutiny enough to warrant closing it down hard. I believe there's been one or a few more besides that I don't recall right now, but yeah, the best way to get actually damaging communities shut down is to try shine the biggest possible spotlight on them

it's very cowardly and hypocritical, and nakedly cynical and hollow besides. /r/thedonald has been fostering hate for too long but that would presumably be politically too hot to touch
 

VectorPrime

Member
Apr 4, 2018
8,479
Reddit always quick to retroactively do the bare minimum as soon as they feel some heat. Profiles in courage.
 

MasterYoshi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,785
Is there a significant number here who sought out and watched the video?


Why would anyone want to watch that footage? Especially people from here who I consider to be at least generally like minded.

I cannot stomach videos of death, especially murder. I'm extremely sensitive to it. I don't think anyone should ever become desensitized to watching another human die.


I watched my Grandmother take her last breath last May and that has haunted me every day since.
 

Septy

Member
Nov 29, 2017
901
United States
Is there a significant number here who sought out and watched the video?


Why would anyone want to watch that footage? Especially people from here who I consider to be at least generally like minded.

I cannot stomach videos of death, especially murder. I'm extremely sensitive to it. I don't think anyone should ever become desensitized to watching another human die.


I watched my Grandmother take her last breath last May and that has haunted me every day since.
It can be beneficial for some people to become desensitized to death. Especially for people who have to deal with it on a regular basis.
 

MasterYoshi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,785
It can be beneficial for some people to become desensitized to death. Especially for people who have to deal with it on a regular basis.
Definitely, I'm sure it's a good thing for those in the medical field or first responders that will be seeing their fair share of death on regular basis. People like me who could just look it up out of morbid curiosity online? I don't think that's healthy for the mind.
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,176
Definitely, I'm sure it's a good thing for those in the medical field or first responders that will be seeing their fair share of death on regular basis. People like me who could just look it up out of morbid curiosity online? I don't think that's healthy for the mind.
Even if that's your profession that exposure still have a profound effect. My sister was a nurse for years (including specifically working with older patients that had dementia) and eventually had to just stop working as she would come home in a really, really bad state sometimes and eventually ended up attempting suicide. Maybe some people do develop a real tolerance for suffering and death, but that job was very much underpaid and understaffed with absurd work scheduling.
 

Birdie

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,495
Wait watchpeopledie had videos of people dying? Well that's a shock but you can't blame Reddit with such an innocent title
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,537
So weird they say they took them down for violating their terms of service when they've been up for years and years. And they weren't secrets either, everyone knew of that shit, many have questioned Reddit about them before.
Yes well, this is SV type management in a nutshell. They'll take direct action ONLY when doing so would provide immediate returns for PR.

This is why Reddit, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are dangerous. They amplify the problems of social media radicalization and step in at the last possible moment to correct course, and not a moment sooner.
 

xero93

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
790
It had nothing to do with the video being posted.

It was because Reuters name dropped that sub specifically.

Reddit only cares about the appearance of cleanliness. That's why they ignore users' requests to ban subs like these, fatpeoplehate, jailbait and that upskirt shots one for years...until they get media attention. Then they conveniently JUST find out they exist.

Hell, they've gone so far to defend t_d that they made an advertiser and media-friendly version of the site, r/popular. Someone really needs to organize and compile all the shit reddit continues to allow, and send it all to every reddit advertiser and news source they have.
 

NESpowerhouse

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,686
Virginia
As someone who went to r/watchpeopledie over a year ago out of sheer morbid curiosity (a decision I most definitely regret).... I am really glad that cesspool is wiped from the face of the internet.
 

Meatfist

Member
Oct 25, 2017
691
There's some communities on Reddit that I adore but their admin team has made it crystal clear that they have no interest in doing the right thing in terms of proactive moderation. Everything is a cost/benefit analysis on stirring the pot versus responding correctly to bad publicity, and they'll always choose to do nothing unless their hand is absolutely forced
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,659
Reddit is so goddamn reactive. Watch people die has been there for literally years and years and the admins absolutely knew about it. Everything in reddit is fine until it's dirty underbelly is showed to the world. Super damn scuzzy.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,659
Seriously, that sub has shown literally thousands upon thousands of grizzly deaths and they never gave a single shit about it. The reddit admins are so damn transparent.
 

Bengraven

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,481
Can’t lie. I was going through some shit and was emotionally numb for months and I was obsessed with one of those subreddits. Some of the people seemed to be in the same mindset as me, but the huge majority were racist or nationalist fuckwads. I’m glad they’re gone.
 

FF Seraphim

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,185
Tokyo
Reddit admins don't give a damn unless they get bad PR. The_Donald staying around is proof they literally give no fucks if hate speech is propagated and promoted on their site.
Look at all the subreddits that have been banned. They were only banned after others in the media called them out and put a spotlight on them. Hell remember that jailbait subreddit? That was around for years and wasn't taken down until the news started reporting on it.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,537
I don’t get how subreddits like redpill and the_donald are still up when they’ve been in the news too
Too big to touch, too much potential lost revenue.

They go for the small ones to set an example and to pretend like they're doing something but in reality it's because they think they can afford it and they can't afford to shut down t_d.
 

fargodog

Member
Feb 24, 2019
259
But The_Donald, which cheered on the killing, remains just fine.
I will never understand how that subreddit is allowed to exist. Even beyond the moral and ethical problems they produce, they have broken reddit's own rules on several occasions, are absolutely infested with bots to inflate upvotes and views and frequently brigade other subreddits. Beyond that, there's been substantial links to hate and terrorist groups. If the defence for The_Donald is that all views should be expressed, regardless of how repulsive they are, then The_Donald is so fucking far beyond that to the point the only logical explanation is a complicit admin team.
 

Dracil

Member
Oct 30, 2017
554
Because Reddit doesn't care about doing the right thing. They only care about money. It's the same reason the way you deplatform shows is to go after their advertisers.
 

Dyle

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,309
Wisconsin
I was always amazed r/watchpeopledie lasted as long as it did and wasn't taken down after similar tragedies
 

Lant_War

The Fallen
Jul 14, 2018
6,106
Reddit always works the same way. They ignore a problem for years until it's big enough to get into media, and then they solve it.
 

mbpm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,362
Good they never needed to exist. I got linked to one video of an elderly nazi leader keeling over in a speech once and that was amusing for a moment, but then abruptly, felt very odd.
 

PogChamp

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,119
I don’t get how subreddits like redpill and the_donald are still up when they’ve been in the news too
I guess they are afraid of the conservative backlash if they ban the_donald. The only thing that will make the news is that "reddit bans the trump supporter discussion board" rather than how severe the content of the board itself has become.

Plus reddit is hardcore trying to become more advertiser friendly, even these bans were likely motivated by that in part. Potentially pissing off 40% of ad revenue is not in their interest.
 
Oct 27, 2017
410
Now the morbidly curious among us will be driven to all the old school, crazy gore sites where porn ads appear next to mutilated bodies and comment sections are filled with cruel, irreverent bigots :/
The ban was inevitable, but WPD was mainly a macabre sub for the morbidly curious where the vast majority of threads were about car wrecks and other random deadly accidents, it was basically the social media equivalent to something like "Red Asphalt"; like, yeah, some of the things it linked to were extra horrifying, but it wasn't comparable to the malicious hate subs that have and still do exist on the site. From what I remember the community of WPD was often appalled and angered by the cruelty on display, and the few assholes who reveled in said cruelty were downvoted into oblivion. I don't ever recall seeing a thread in that sub dedicated to glorifying violence or inciting it.
 
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TemplaerDude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,199
Reddit is willing to ban the two subs showing the gory aftermath of the extremism that is promoted on its alt-right subs.

Pretty disgusting.
 

TheRedSnifit

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,001
r/watchpeopledie is killed by off-duty Brazilian cop on the back of a moped

Really though, it was obviously coming from the day they quarantined it. The entire point of quarantine is to push a subreddit into decline, dooming them to a slow death to irrelevancy or, failing that, making the inevitable ban more palatable and acceptable so there won't be a backlash.