On Reddit, males trade graphic photographs of women in a sexually explicit manner.


A FREE MORNING HEADLINES EMAIL WITH NEWS FROM OUR REPORTERS WORLDWIDE IS AVAILABLE. SUBSCRIBE FREE TO OUR MORNING HEADLINES EMAIL Men are posting and selling pornographic videos and photographs of women on the social media site Reddit.

A BBC Panorama investigation, which will run at 8 p.m. on Monday, uncovered internet communities with thousands of members known as subreddits where males may buy, sell, and trade private images of women.

While Reddit, which claims to have roughly 50 million daily users, prohibits uploading or threatening to upload intimate images or video of anyone without their agreement, these organizations were discovered to still be in operation.

Presenter and content producer Tanvi Shah described how she was stunned to find a photo of herself on Reddit in an interview with The Independent.

The London-based 26-year-old said: “I received a link to this Reddit thread from a family friend.” I assumed the link would be something good when I went to click on it.

It was a picture I posted on Instagram from a fashion session. I was astonished to find a lot of explicit stuff featuring mostly South Asian females.

Each piece of content has a comment box underneath it where the males leave their opinions, describe what they would do to us if they had the chance, and generally use very offensive language.

She added that she was horrified and extremely upset when she saw the picture of herself on the platform and that reading the comments on it had traumatized her.

My name, where I resided, and other private information, like my phone number, are just a few examples, Ms. Shah continued. I was immediately highly on edge and at risk because there was a danger to my safety and privacy.

She claimed that the comments were quite sexually offensive, with men talking about wanting to do sexual activities on her.

It is alarming since many of these accounts were disseminating pictures that were provided privately, according to Ms. Shah. The biggest problem is that they specifically target women who are weak and come from places where they are unable to speak up for themselves. They put women in situations that are really unpleasant.

Other women who discovered photographs and video of themselves in these groups told BBC Panorama that they were extremely concerned and that they had been subjected to online extortion and threats from stranger-groups.

The Secret World of Trading Nudes is an investigation led by BBC News correspondent Monika Plaha that examines the issue of sharing and trading photographs. Men were discovered to have threatened rape in their hateful, misogynistic writings against the women.

Professor of law Clare McGlynn, an expert on this type of online abuse, tells the program that trading images on these platforms is currently only illegal if the victim is being intentionally distressed.

The University of Durham-based scholar continued, “And we know that many men trafficking these photographs do not want the victims to ever know so there’s a tremendous loophole in the law.”

The issue is that the legislation only addresses the specific type of harmful ex-partner image sharing, or revenge porn, and this only addresses a limited number of instances of intimate image abuse.

In 2015, revenge porn, which is defined as disclosing private sexual photographs or films online or offline without the subject’s consent with the intention of causing anguish, was made a crime. Retaliation porn offenders risk up to two years in prison.

Reddit informed the program that it takes this situation very seriously and said, “We know we have more work to do to avoid, detect, and act on this content even more quickly and accurately, and we are investing today in our people, technologies, and processes to achieve this aim.”


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