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  1. Reddit says it’s fixing code in its iOS app that copied clipboard contents It’s the latest app found copying clipboard info in a beta version of iOS 14 Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Reddit says it’s releasing a fix for a piece of code that copied contents from users’ clipboards. Users in a beta version of iOS 14, which sends an alert when an app tries to copy clipboard information, reported receiving the alerts with each keystroke in Reddit’s iOS app. “We tracked this down to a codepath in the post composer that checks for URLs in the pasteboard and then suggests a post title based on the text contents of the URL,” a Reddit spokesperson wrote in an email to The Verge. “We do not store or send the pasteboard contents. We removed this code and are releasing the fix on July 14th.” User Donald Morton posted a video of the issue to Twitter: [visit article to see it] Two iPhone developers, Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry, raised concerns about clipboard-copying behavior back in February, noting that dozens of apps were engaged in the practice. The privacy feature in iOS 14, which is still in a limited beta for developers, has revealed several apps engaging in clipboard copying in recent weeks. LinkedIn said Friday it would stop the practice, explaining its app was doing so to perform an “equality check” between what a user is typing and what’s in their clipboard. “We don’t store or transmit the clipboard contents,” LinkedIn engineering VP Erran Berger wrote on Twitter. The company didn’t explain why the practice was in place to begin with. TikTok, which has faced criticism for privacy concerns on its app in the past, was called out for similar clipboard-copying behavior last week. The company said the practice was part of an “anti-spam” feature and that it was being discontinued. A public beta of iOS 14 is expected in the next few weeks and it’s likely that the clipboard privacy feature may reveal more apps engaged in this questionable behavior. UPDATE: July 4th 11:08AM ET: Added context about devs raising concerns about clipboard copying back in February. Reddit says it’s fixing code in its iOS app that copied clipboard contents
  2. Reddit's massively popular /r/teenagers sub went bootleg crazy this week when thousands of subscribers used the platform to watch pirated movies. For reasons that aren't exactly clear, young adults suddenly began uploading titles including Sonic the Hedgehog, Cars, Shrek, Toy Story and...erm...Silence of the Lambs. With close to two million subscribers, Reddit’s /r/teenagers sub-Reddit is a massive community by any standards. “Run by teenagers for teenagers”, this section of Reddit is “primarily for discussions and memes that an average teenager would enjoy to discuss about.” This week, however, it also became a hive of copyright-infringing activity. For reasons that aren’t exactly clear, young people suddenly decided that their favorite discussion forum should be spiced up a bit. Not with the freshest of fresh memes but a flood of pirated movies considered popular with the younger generation. One of the first to be uploaded was the 2020 movie Sonic the Hedgehog, complete with embedded subtitles for any Korean visitors. As the image below shows, the post received a selection of awards, thousands of upvotes and hundreds of comments, some expressing praise and others a level of surprise. With a minority wondering if these uploads were a particularly good idea, the fuse nevertheless appeared to have been well and truly lit. Over the next several hours the feeding frenzy continued, with uploads of movies including Cars, Bee Movie, The Incredibles and Toy Story, to name just a few. Despite little immediate fear that something bad might happen to the uploaders (a couple of ‘FBI’ and “Wait…this is illegal” comments aside), at least one user uploaded a copy of Shrek, with a note pleading with Dreamworks not to sue them. While Dreamworks probably has bigger fish to fry, Shrek movies continued to be uploaded, with copies of Shrek 2 and Shrek Forever After adding to the bootleg viewing experience spreading across the sub-Reddit. What it must be like trying to control a sub-Reddit full of teenagers is open to guesswork but the moderators were certainly kept busy for a while trying to delete the movies being uploaded. However, despite best efforts to delete the posts, in many instances the movies themselves remained stubbornly embedded, only adding to the viewer count and the “new trend” of pirating Hollywood movies on /r/teenagers, as one user put it. It’s worth remembering that the teenage bracket spans a wide range of years, at least as far as life experiences go. The sub-Reddit attempts to cater to 13 to 19-year-olds, which may go some way to explaining why some were crazy for Shrek while others preferred something a little more…sophisticated…. While Reddit users have found themselves banned for repeatedly posting copyrighted content, this ‘trend’ – like many teenage crazes in history – went off with a bang and then fizzled out when people got bored of being outrageous. Soon after, it was back to memes and other things teenagers love to discuss these days. No intention of going into detail here but suffice to say, posting movies appears to be relatively tame these days. Source
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/webdev/comments/gzr3cq/fyi_you_can_bypass_youtube_ads_by_adding_a_dot/
  4. Seibel is well-known in the tech world for promoting diversity and inclusion. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian stepped down from his position on the board last week, urging the company to fill his seat with a black candidate. Now, the company has appointed Michael Seibel, a venture capital investor, advisor and entrepreneur, in his place. Seibel is well known for promoting diversity and inclusion. “I want to thank Steve [Huffman, CEO], Alexis, and the entire Reddit board for this opportunity,” Seibel said in a statement provided by Reddit and reported by Variety. “I’ve known Steve and Alexis since 2007 and have been a Reddit user ever since. Over this period of time I’ve watched Reddit become part of the core fabric of the internet and I’m excited to help provide advice and guidance as Reddit continues to grow and tackle the challenges of bringing community and belonging to a broader audience.” Seibel has an impressive tech-world resume, having previously co-founded Justin.tv, the precursor to Twitch, as well as mobile video startup Socialcam. He is currently a partner at venture capital firm Y Combinator and CEO of startup accelerator program YC (which actually helped to launch Reddit back in 2005 – prior to Seibel’s involvement). The move comes during a tumultuous time for Reddit, which has faced increasing criticism in recent weeks over the way it handles hate speech. A group representing hundreds of moderators wrote a damning open letter to CEO Steve Huffman last week demanding change, and calling for greater diversity among its staff. Ohanian subsequently resigned as board member, saying he will use his future gains on his Reddit stock to “serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate.” Speaking about Seibel’s appointment, Huffman said, “Few people have Michael’s deep background in tech and know the challenges and opportunities we face as well as he does, so we are honored he is joining us. Not to mention, he is one of the smartest and kindest people in tech.” Source
  5. Reddit is launching built-in subreddit chat rooms It’s a new way for users to bond over shared interests Reddit is introducing a new chat room tool, in a throwback to the old days of the internet when those were a thing. The feature, called “Start Chatting,” will randomly sort users of popular subreddits into small, private group chats. Reddit says the feature is rolling out to around 16,000 SFW subreddits this week. To use the feature, you’ll want to visit a popular subreddit that has the feature enabled. You’ll see a button labeled “Start Chatting” beneath the community’s description. Click that, and you’ll be randomly matched with a small group of up to seven other users who are also in the subreddit. The group will be entered into a chat room for private discussion and meme-ing. Reddit isn’t the only platform increasing its focus on chat. Facebook revealed earlier this year that its vision has shifted to prioritize its messaging services, including WhatsApp and Messenger, as the majority of new users show low interest in Facebook’s traditional website and mobile app. Last week, the company released Messenger Rooms, a video-chat service for groups of up to 50 people. It also doubled the capacity of WhatsApp’s video calls and added the functionality to Facebook Dating. Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a recent blog post that Facebook hopes to make Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Messenger interoperable with SMS. These are tools to help you stay in touch, though; what’s unique about Reddit’s service is that it’s focused on forming new connections. It seems like a smart idea — plenty of folks would probably love to develop close connections with other Reddit users, but might be wary of reaching out themselves. And while the random chat rooms of internets past often led to awkward (or creepy) experiences, the fact that Start Chatting takes place in a subreddit means participants already have a shared interest and an easy conversation topic. At a time when in-person opportunities to make friends are limited, this could be a fun way to form virtual contacts. Reddit has experimented with private group messaging in the past. The platform tested community-wide chat rooms in 2018, but it wasn’t a huge success; most of them weren’t particularly active, and many had their share of jerks and spammers that you’d expect from a quasi-anonymous online community. Whether this new iteration sees greater success may depend on if Reddit can effectively moderate chat rooms’ content while still letting users feel comfortable expressing themselves. In a statement to The Verge, a Reddit spokesperson said that chat rooms will be moderated by Reddit admins. “We have a number of safety tools built into the feature and have integrated our general reporting flow, so users can report any messages or policy-violating content within the group chat,” the spokesperson said. Source: Reddit is launching built-in subreddit chat rooms (The Verge)
  6. Reddit has published new data which shows that 124,247 pieces of content were removed following copyright takedown notices last year. This is a fivefold increase compared to the year before. For the first time, the site also reported details on its repeat infringer policy which resulted in 283 users and 137 subreddits being banned. Reddit is without doubt one of the most visited sites on the Internet. The community-oriented platform has “subreddits” dedicated to pretty much every topic you can think of. These result in a constant stream of discussions and links, all generated by the site’s users. While most links remain within the boundaries of the law, on occasion users share copyright-infringing material. This means that, as required by law, Reddit also has to process a steady stream of takedown requests from rightsholders. To give the public insight into the process and volume, Reddit started publishing a transparency report in 2014. At the time, the company received roughly one takedown notice every other day of which more than half were rejected. However, times have changed. In the most recent report, published a few hours ago, the company states that it received 34,989 copyright notices last year, which resulted in 124,247 pieces of content being removed. This is a five-fold increase compared to the year before and 20 times more than in 2017. “The content Reddit removed for copyright infringement in 2019 amounted to around a 500% increase from the 26,234 pieces of content removed in 2018, and increased by over 2000% from the 4,352 pieces of content removed in 2017,” Reddit writes. For the first time, Reddit also reports how many users and subreddits were removed from the platform on copyright grounds. This typically happens when they are classified as repeat copyright infringers. “Sometimes a repeat infringement problem is limited to one user and we close just that user’s account. Other times, the problem pervades a whole subreddit community and we close the subreddit,” Reddit explains. In 2019, Reddit removed 283 users following repeat copyright complaints and 137 subreddits were taken down under this policy. This includes the popular mmastreams subreddit, which we reported on previously. While the number of takedown notices and removed content has increased dramatically, Reddit also rejected a significant number of complaints. Last year, the site decided not to remove 46,427 pieces of content, which is roughly 27 percent of the total volume. The reasons to reject takedown requests vary. The vast majority were duplicate requests, but Reddit also refused takedowns because an entire subreddit was targeted, or simply because no infringement was found. Reddit reports that one copyright holder retracted a takedown notice. In addition, the site received seven counternotices from users who disputed a claim, after which three items were restored. All in all the transparency report shows that the number of takedown notices is skyrocketing. While this might be a sign that more copyright infringement is taking place, it’s also very likely that rightsholders are paying more attention to the site now. It’s noteworthy that some of the language used in Reddit’s report has been updated as well. In the first transparency report the site wrote that “links do not generally infringe copyright” as they link to content on external websites. That mention is no longer present. Source
  7. Like many online platforms of late, Reddit has been updating some elements of its policies for the new decade. The latest change sees the site address impersonation on its platform, moving to ban it with a handful of exceptions. The move falls in line with the desire to limit the spread of misinformation, therefore the new policy update could affect things like deepfake videos that are not made for comedy, but rather to share false information. As such the one significant exception to this policy update from Reddit is that it will still allow impersonation on its platform provided it is satirical in nature. “Reddit does not allow content that impersonates individuals or entities in a misleading or deceptive manner. This not only includes using a Reddit account to impersonate someone, but also encompasses things such as domains that mimic others, as well as deepfakes or other manipulated content presented to mislead, or falsely attributed to an individual or entity. While we permit satire and parody, we will always take into account the context of any particular content,” reads the company’s updated policy. How Reddit will be able to effectively screen and determine the level of satire for impersonation in each and every case remains to be seen, especially with similar large sites like YouTube also failing to always enforce policies such as this effectively. That said in 2018 the platform explained that impersonation was the second lowest class of policy violation that year, accounting for 2.3 percent of reports. Whether that number has increased significantly over the past few months thanks to deepfakes is unclear. Regardless this latest move shows that Reddit is taking impersonation and misinformation on its platform seriously. Reddit tells any of its users who suspect they are being impersonated on the site to visit this link and report it. Source
  8. r/The_Donald still exists at Reddit, but it's been pushed into the site's "quarantined" basement after a series of threats against police were posted there. “Recent behaviors including threats against the police and public figures is content that is prohibited by our violence policy,” a Reddit spokesperson said in a statement. “As a result, we have actioned individual users and quarantined the subreddit." The new quarantine was brought on by anti-police threats posted on The_Donald. Some users had apparently encouraged violence against law enforcement, angry that officials in Oregon were trying to bring back GOP state senators who fled the state to avoid voting on a climate-change bill. In a note to The_Donald moderators, Reddit administrators said they had “observed this behavior in the form of encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon.” Trump himself answered questions there in an AMA, apparently, "despite" its reptuation for abuse, bigotry and general grossness. At the time they were zipped into the plastic sheeting, the top item among the_donaldites was a rant about women's soccer. Source
  9. All good things must come to an end, and this happened to be the case today for the popular Reddit page, “r/nbastreams.” The page was a go-to option for many Reddit users, who would access links leading to live streams of NBA games completely for free. Although completely illegal, the streaming of copyrighted content, as opposed to downloaded content, makes it more difficult to track down the individuals responsible for producing the stream. Even though these links are posted on Reddit, the links are not directly associated with Reddit, making their direct responsibility for any violations questionable. With the NBA Finals having recently concluded, the banning of the r/nbastreams page comes at an interesting time. While Reddit has long been an advocate for free speech, it hasn’t stopped them from shutting down streaming pages before. The fact that that the widely popular r/nflstreams and r/mlbstreams pages are still active is worth noting as well. The demise of r/nbastreams prompted a bevy of hilarious yet devastating reactions on social media from loyal users. If you were an active user of r/nbastream, we’re sorry for your loss. But with the whack-a-mole nature of situations like these, a new way to stream live NBA games for free is likely on the horizon. Today may be a win for NBA League Pass, but one thing’s for certain: the people won’t give up on finding ways to live stream games for free. Source
  10. Change My View (previously) is a wonderful subreddit founded by a Scottish highschooler named Kal Turnbull as a forum where people can conduct honest inquiry and debate, where the house-rules ensure that there is an open-minded willingness to have your views changed, and where those changes are marked with a Δ (delta) symbol. Turnbull is now 23 with a degree in civil engineering, and he and his community members have built a standalone Change My View site with help from Google/Alphabet's Jigsaw, which has trained some comment-ranking tools on Change My View's data-set (which is unique in that it has explicit, human-generated markers signalling which posts were effective at changing someone's view). The new site, Change A View, has a bunch of features that don't readily fit into Reddit's forum framework, and features a paid moderation staff that uses the features and Jigsaw's tools to keep the discussions productive. As I've written before, Change My/A View is a fascinating use-case, but it's also got heavy selection bias going for it. It doesn't so much prove that reasoned debate can change people's minds, but rather than, if you're the kind of person who goes looking for reasoned debate, your mind may change. And also, as previously noted: there is more than one reason to engage in online debate. It's not just about changing someone's mind, sometimes, it's about playing to the gallery: "Playing to the gallery this way is a proven way to change minds, and in those cases, it often helps if your opponent is overheated and rude, because their affect can make you seem more reasonable by comparison (but this doesn't always work -- sometimes being the passionate one facing down the robotically cool one makes you seem like your side is the one whose proponents have the most at stake and the most to offer)." "The new Change A View website works a little differently. There are still moderators on the custom platform, but Turnbull says they're paid for the work they do. There's a public mod log, so you everyone can see which moderator took which action. And the platform will make use of Jigsaw's comment-ranking engine, called Perspective API, which scores comments to weed out abuse and harassment while taking some of the load off of moderators. There are some thoughtful updates for users, too. “We had a conversation early on about private messaging,” says Weeks. “We wanted to make sure we wouldn’t get in a situation where someone posted a thread and someone else could message them directly and be unkind or hostile or threatening. So we said, let’s shelve that.” Compelling arguments are still rewarded with a Δ symbol, showing exactly when and where someone’s mind was changed. But the process of awarding a delta is a lot easier. On Reddit, you had to either copy-and-paste the Δ symbol or use the corresponding Unicode markup to trigger the bot. On Change a View, there's a delta button built right in. Source
  11. Reddit Admins Issue Formal Warning to /r/piracy, Totally Out of the Blue After never directing a single complaint to the popular /r/piracy discussion forum, Reddit Legal has now issued its moderators with an official warning concerning its future. Almost no evidence has been provided but apparently 74 complaints in recent months triggered the warning. Reddit has a quarter of a billion monthly users. On March 17, 2019, TorrentFreak published an article about Reddit’s /r/piracy discussion forum. It was actually prepared six days earlier, a point of importance that will become clear later on. We noted how some in the thriving community of around 350,000 subscribers were concerned that it could be shut down for talking about piracy. In general, we highlighted what should be apparent – discussing piracy is a whole different animal than actually engaging in it. Perhaps even more importantly, we reported on statements issued earlier this month by a key moderator of /r/piracy. The person in question, ‘dysgraphical’, reported that the section effectively has a zero-tolerance stance against infringement. Not only do posters of any offending links to allegedly infringing content face an immediate suspension, but also anyone who even asks for them. This, quite clearly, goes way beyond the requirements of the DMCA. Furthermore, /r/piracy – just like any other service provider – lists rules (effectively Terms of Service) that expressly forbid any kind of copyright infringement. Any posts breaking these rules are deleted, either with automated tools or manual intervention. It’s a classic situation of technology and humans policing a platform as the law requires, but exceeding its requirements. Indeed, anyone looking for actual links to pirated content will find /r/piracy one of the least useful resources on the Internet, thanks to the work of the mods and the 99.9% of users who respect the rules. Yesterday, however, not long after our piece was published, the moderators of /r/piracy made it known that they had just received a formal notice from Reddit Legal, dated March 14, regarding copyright infringement. While that pre-dated our article’s publication date, the complaint was sent after it was drafted. “This is an official warning from Reddit that we are receiving too many copyright infringement notices about material posted to your community. We will be required to ban this community if you can’t adequately address the problem,” the notice reads. “Over the past months we’ve had to remove material from the community in response to copyright notices 74 times. That’s an unusually high number taking into account the community’s size.” This communication from Reddit Legal came as a complete surprise. The moderators of /r/piracy have never had any contact with the admins on this topic previously, as dysgraphical explains. “Reddit Legal states that they have acted 74 times on these copyright notices through removals, but it is the first time we have been officially contacted regarding any infringement where it be through modmailor PMs.” This claim deserves some analysis. Firstly, “past months” is pretty vague (Reddit Legal hasn’t responded to a request for more information) so given that the claim is 74, let’s make the assumption that it’s three months, or 90 days. That’s less than one infringement notice per day. If it’s six months, it’s just three every week. The Pirate Bay this certainly isn’t. The sub-Reddit has 350,000 subscribers but anyone on Reddit (getting close to a quarter of a billion unique monthly users) can post on /r/piracy. Less than one infringement notice per day doesn’t seem like a lot (Google just processed its four-billionth) but even that needs to be viewed while considering something of even more importance. FACT: These are not notices of actualinfringement being received by Reddit, but claimed notices of infringement. We know from our own experience that Google has received many copyright infringement complaints against TorrentFreak.com (see here) but every single one is false. Indeed, one of the companies who filed these notices actually apologized to us recently for their errors. But then, of course, it’s too late, and the damage has been done. “Considering our stringent rules against distributing pirated content through this platform, it is unclear what constitutes copyright infringement to Reddit or whether the simple mention of a release name falls under their broad interpretation,” dysgraphical notes. This is an extremely good point. Earlier this year we reported on several sites that report on the mere availability of pirate releases yet are systematically reported to Google for infringement, despite committing no infringement. Reddit’s /r/piracy sub allows release names (as is its right) to be published for discussion, so are these being flagged by over-enthusiastic copyright bots? We truth is, we don’t know and neither do /r/piracy’s moderators, because Reddit doesn’t make the notices available to them. All the legal team would reveal is that the latest claim came from Warner Bros, which is hardly the basis for a meaningful investigation. “We replied immediately requesting a list of offending material that was removed and have not received a reply yet,” dysgraphicalexplains. While Reddit does publish a token “transparency report“, unlike other ‘rivals for eyeballs’ such as Google, Twitter, etc, it does not publish received notices. As such, there is no real transparency as to what is going on here. That only adds fuel to a particular theory – that Reddit is actively trying to get rid of sub-Reddits that are unpalatable to its sponsors or those that are out of line with its corporate aims. “It has become abundantly clear in the past months and years that Reddit has never been the bastion of freedom that many people see it as,” dysgraphical writes. “Reddit’s passivity in enforcing its own rules is continuously tested whenever one of its subreddits are thrusted into the limelight by the media. As we wait for more information from Reddit Legal, there is one certainty that comes from all of this, r/Piracy will be banned.” While there’s hope that this doomsday scenario can be avoided, it’s almost impossible to play by the rules when the state of play isn’t transparent. Reddit itself executed 26,234 content removals in 2018due to copyright but no one is suggesting that Reddit’s host should ban Reddit. Why? Because when it’s informed of the existence of allegedly infringing content Reddit removes it, as the law dictates. Reddit’s /r/piracy goes beyond those requirements. It removes any infringing content not only pro-actively in advance of receiving any complaints but also removes it faster than Reddit itself. We’re not talking a couple of hours here, we’re talking minutes or even seconds. The mods on /r/piracy will clearly be having some discussions about how to save their community in the face of this out-of-the-blue warning but in the short-term, it’s clear they’ll be held to a higher standard than almost any other sub-Reddit around – even the dozens of image-based sub-Reddits that breach photographers’ copyrights every minute of every day. That will probably have to mean immediate bans (not just suspensions) of rule breakers while making this fact known in the sidebar, and doing what they’ve always done really effectively – take out the trash. Unfortunately, there’s clearly a feeling that no matter what gets done, it won’t make any difference. Meanwhile, Reddit should consider giving the moderators the information they have requested. That will go some way to restoring trust that this isn’t a witchhunt but is a genuine complaint in need of attention and/or rectification. Source
  12. Reddit’s /r/Piracy Mods Get Tough on Reckless Pirates Reddit's /r/piracy sub is a thriving community of almost 350,000 subscribers, some of whom are terrified it's going to be shut down. However, a key moderator there has recently revealed a zero tolerance approach for copyright infringement, with a one-strike suspension policy for offenders. As one of the most-visited sites on the entire Internet, Reddit needs little introduction. The site has millions of daily visitors who read and contribute to countless discussions on every conceivable (and often inconceivable) topic. In the piracy space, Reddit’s /r/piracy sub-Reddit is an invaluable source of information. It has close to 350,000 subscribers, making it one of the largest piracy-focused discussion platforms on the Internet. As such, many users feel the section is precariously placed. As detailed previously, this often controversial forum is regularly subject to conjecture about its future, with many worrying that it may be shut down for breaching Reddit’s global rules, mainly after receiving too many copyright complaints. The truth, however, is that /r/piracy is run by pragmatic individuals who work extremely hard to ensure that their baby is run not only in compliance with the law, but actually in excess of its requirements. It’s important to know that /r/piracy is NOT the Wild West. It has a strict set of rules in place, including that people do not request or link to pirated or copyrighted content. Having this in place is important, since that’s what keeps the section in line with the law and out of trouble. However, what’s most important is how the sub-Reddit deals with repeat offenders. Most ISPs and service providers now have such policies in place to keep the law from the door but most people won’t appreciate just how tough /r/piracy itself is now being policed. In a recent discussion, moderator ‘dysgraphical’ revealed that he now effectively operates a zero-tolerance policy, not only for people posting links to infringing content but also people who request the same. “I’m very proactive in temporarily banning first time offenders of rule 3 [posting or requesting infringing content), and permanently banning any spam or intent to sell/distribute personal information. As long as the community keeps reporting rule breaking posts, we’re fine,” he wrote. That’s worth highlighting again. Most online platforms will tolerate three, four, or more actual infringements of copyright before taking firm action, while ISPs tend to err on the side of caution by only taking action against subscribers who’ve had multiple infringement allegations made against them. While this may sound harsh to those who feel all content should be free (and they should have the freedom to both requestand obtain it), they aren’t running Reddit, they aren’t in charge of any sub-Reddits, or the ones that will suffer if a section is shut down for repeat infringements. In addition, /r/piracy has automated tools in place that aim to catch people breaking the rules (which go beyond the requirements of the law) and the law itself. These so-called ‘automoderators‘ aim to catch infringing posts immediately while making the mods’ life that little bit easier. “Automod catches a ton of request posts and automatically deletes them everyday. All together with manual mod and automodremovals, about ~25 posts are removed daily for breaking the rules,” dysgraphicalexplains. “The issue is that there will always be people attempting to circumvent the rules by oddly rewording their titles. For what it’s worth, they get the banhammer whenever I catch them.” Again, this is worth repeating. Those who simply have no respect for the rules of /r/piracy not only face suspension for a first offense, but also face a permanent ban if they attempt to outwit the system that protect the sub-Reddit’s future. TF has a system in place that’s able to monitor requests and other rule-breaking posts and capture copies of them before they are automatically deleted. It isn’t perfect, but we can confirm that /r/piracy and its mods (both human and machine) are very diligent. To some, it may seem counter-intuitive for /r/piracy to be so tough on piracy itself, but the entire future of the discussion platform is reliant on strictly policing the platform. If those in charge loosened their grip, there’s little doubt that a minority of people who simply refuse to read the rules would be responsible for the forum being banned by Reddit. However, it’s clear that since the opposite is true, the reality of the situation is much less precarious than some might assume. “Contrary to the fearmongering that Redditors love contriving, we have never been contacted by the Admins for any copyright infringement or sitewide rule violation,” dysgraphical adds. “They have deleted a few posts here and there at their own discretion and have notified the OPs but we (mod team) have never received any complaints or notices for that matter.” For a community of almost 350,000 subscribers that is some record (especially given the topic), and one the moderators of /r/piracy should be proud of. There are thousands of dedicated platforms to choose from if people want to engage in actual piracy but sacrificing /r/piracy to the gods would only serve to stifle entirely legal discussion. Source
  13. Reddit valued at $3B after raising $300M in latest funding round The funding round saw a $150 million investment from Tencent and the company's former investors, including Sequoia, Fidelity, Tacit and Snoop Reddit mascots are displayed at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California April 15, 2014.REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Social media network Reddit said on Monday it raised $300 million in its latest funding round, led by Tencent Holdings, giving it a market valuation of $3 billion. The series D funding round saw a $150 million investment from Tencent and the company's former investors, including Sequoia, Fidelity, Tacit and Snoop Dogg. The investment from a China-based company, news of which started making the rounds around five days ago, quickly ignited censorship fears on Reddit, which calls itself the "front page of the internet." Reddit is banned in China under the country's censorship laws. Barring the latest funding, San Francisco, California-based Reddit has raised more than $250 million in three other funding rounds. Its last funding was on Aug. 1, at a valuation of around $1.8 billion. The company has over 20 investors, including Advance Publications, which owns Conde Nast, Reddit's one-time parent company. The company recently faced a user data breach where a hacker broke into its systems and accessed data, including current email addresses and a 2007 database backup containing old encrypted passwords. However, Reddit largely shrugged it off, saying the attacker gained read-only access to some systems that contained the backup data. Reddit has more than 330 million average monthly active users, with 14 billion screenviews per month, as of Nov. 12, 2017, it said on its website. Source
  14. Accounts of some Reddit users have been locked out or suspended due to irregular behavior that could suggest unauthorized access. The Reddit security team has stated that they plan on allowing affected users to perform a password reset in a few hours time. The suspected cause for the unusual activity seen from the locked accounts is a credential stuffing attack, which takes advantage of users’ practice of reusing the same login password for multiple websites and online services. Recycling credentials is a dangerous habit because it presents a hacker with the opportunity to test stolen username/password across other services. If they work, the attacker gains access to other accounts with minimum effort. Unauthorized access spotted in some cases Some users are not convinced that a credential stuffing attack is a possible explanation for the precautionary measure, saying that their Reddit credentials were unique and sufficiently strong. One member suggested a “check for reddit data/security leaks instead of only user-errors.” Another suggested a large scale account hijacking scenario, similar to what happened recently to 50 million Facebook accounts due to a vulnerability that allowed the stealing of access tokens. However, multiple users reported that the activity log for their account showed that it had been accessed from different countries (Italy, Brazil, Russia, Bangladesh, Thailand). One of them admitted to having a simple password. Users slowly regaining access to their accounts It is unclear how many accounts have been locked, but in a post a few hours ago, Reddit admin Sporkicide refers to “a large group of accounts.” Reddit is working on establishing normal access conditions and affected users with an email address associated to the Reddit account should receive a notification to reset their password. However, access to Reddit is possible without a password, and Sporkicide says that users falling in this category should try the login page until they are able to gain access again; this does not mean, though, that you should constantly refresh the page until access is permitted. Another way to receive the notification is if you have added an email address to any support ticket you sent in. A user stated they received the password notification below after initially being delivered a note informing that their account had been permanently suspended for breaking the rules. He claims he had done nothing wrong to get the suspension. “It may be a little while before you receive your notice, but please be patient. There’s no need to file additional support tickets or send messages to the admins at this time,” Sporkicide says. At the moment, some users have regained access to their Reddit account, but others are still waiting for the password reset notification. Sporkicide urges users to choose strong, unique passwords and encourages adding a valid email address to the account and turning on two-factor authentication (2FA) protection. The recommendation from Reddit’s security team is to use at least 12 characters for the password, or, better yet, a short sentence. Source
  15. The site’s head claims that the policy of not collecting personal information allows people to be “more true to themselves. Steven Huffman, the co-founder and CEO of Reddit Reddit, the self-described “front page of the internet,” may have a key tool in its arsenal as Americans begin to question their relationship with social media: anonymity. According to Steve Huffman, the site’s co-founder and CEO, “privacy is built into Reddit.” All that’s required to create an account and post on any of Reddit’s 1.2 million forums is an email address, a username, and a password. You don’t need to tell the company your birthday, your gender, or even your real name. As Huffman put it on Thursday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, “Reddit doesn’t want the burden of personal information ... and is not selling personal information.” Huffman argued that anonymity on Reddit actually makes using the site “more like a conversation one has in real life” than other exchanges on the internet. “When people detach from their real-world identities, they can be more authentic, more true to themselves,” he claimed. Huffman gave as an example a subreddit called StillTrying, a forum for couples who have had trouble conceiving children. He posited that such a community wouldn’t exist on other platforms. At least one such group does, in fact, exist on Facebook—or at least did in 2015—but, unlike StillTrying, it was visible only to members. Everything on Reddit is visible to anyone with an internet connection, so it’s conceivable that Reddit could be a resource to a greater number of people than groups on other sites. Unlike many other anonymous social networks, including Whisper and the now-defunct Yik Yak, the namelessness of Reddit does have its limits. Redditors maintain one consistent identity through their usernames, with an associated score called “karma” that tells other users how often they’ve been upvoted or downvoted—essentially a proxy for how informative, trustworthy, and civil the community has found them in the past. “People care about their reputations on Reddit,” Huffman said on Thursday. “There’s some stake to it.” He said that, in general, these reputations motivate Redditors to keep their posts more civil than the comment sections of other sites, which he called “toxic,” “agro,” and “off-putting.” Reddit’s favoring of aliases over actual personal information could help it avoid data-breach scandals like those that have befallen Facebook, Yahoo, and Equifax in recent years, or tap into users’ most sensitive identities. But it also undeniably introduces vulnerabilities into the site. Reddit is notorious for hosting trolls and bullies. (Huffman himself once told The New Yorker, “I consider myself a troll at heart.”) A subpar Reddit karma score may not be enough to deter some would-be harassers, especially those posting mostly in groups filled with like-minded users who are happy to upvote offensive content. “We are extremely proud to have created this enriching experience where people can be themselves,” Huffman said. The question is whether these anonymous online personas are really the selves we want to be. Source
  16. According to Alexa – the Amazon-owned web traffic analyzing platform – more people now visit Reddit than Facebook in the US Spotted, of course, on Reddit by user IamATechieNerd, the stats will be a big boost for the social sharing platform, especially with many users still irked about the recent re-design. It’s important to note that analyzing web traffic using a tool like Alexa is not an exact science, but it’s interesting that it has now put Reddit ahead of Facebook. If the stats are to be believed, Google is still the most visited site, followed by YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook, with Amazon rounding out the top five. On average, Reddit users spend 15 minutes and 10 seconds on it everyday, a figure substantially higher than its competitors. Google users spend 7 minutes 16 seconds, YouTube 8 minutes 31 seconds, Facebook 10 minutes 50 seconds and Amazon 7 minutes 37 seconds on the sites each day. This isn’t great news for Facebook on the face of things. The social media company’s audience is ageing and shifting to other platforms and, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company’s lost a lot of sheen. Still, the Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp are thriving, so Zuckerberg won’t be panicking too much yet. Whether long-term Reddit users will be happy with this increased traffic is another matter. But, let’s be honest, when are they ever satisfied? Source
  17. A popular sub-Reddit specializing in links to infringing content will effectively shut itself down after an official warning from Reddit's administrators. Megalinks has more than 108,000 subscribers but has now found a new home after Reddit threatened to implement its repeat infringer policy if the sub didn't clean up its act. Without doubt, Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the entire Internet. At the time of writing it’s the fourth most visited site in the US with 330 million users per month generating 14 billion screenviews. The core of the site’s success is its communities. Known as ‘sub-Reddits’ or just ‘subs’, there are currently 138,000 of them dedicated to every single subject you can think of and tens of thousands you’d never considered. Even though they’re technically forbidden, a small but significant number are dedicated to piracy, offering links to copyright-infringing content hosted elsewhere. One of the most popular is /r/megalinks, which is dedicated to listing infringing content (mainly movies and TV shows) uploaded to file-hosting site Mega. Considering its activities, Megalinks has managed to stay online longer than most people imagined but following an intervention from Reddit, the content indexing sub has stopped accepting new submissions, which will effectively shut it down. In an announcement Sunday, the sub’s moderators explained that following a direct warning from Reddit’s administrators, the decision had been taken to move on. “As most of you know by now, we’ve had to deal with a lot of DMCA takedowns over the last 6 months. Everyone knew this day would come, eventually, and its finally here,” they wrote. “We received a formal warning from Reddit’s administration 2 days ago, and have decided to restrict new submissions for the safety of the subreddit.” The message from Reddit’s operators makes it absolutely clear that Reddit isn’t the platform to host what amounts to a piracy links forum. “This is an official warning from Reddit that we are receiving too many copyright infringement notices about material posted to your community. We will be required to ban this community if you can’t adequately address the problem,” the warning reads. Noting that Redditors aren’t allowed to post content that infringes copyrights, the administrators say they are required by law to handle DMCA notices and that in cases where infringement happens on multiple occasions, that needs to be handled in a more aggressive manner. “The law also requires us to issue bans in cases of repeat infringement. Sometimes a repeat infringement problem is limited to just one user and we ban just that person. Other times the problem pervades a whole community and we ban the community,” the admins continue. “This is our formal warning about repeat infringement in this community. Over the past three months we’ve had to remove material from the community in response to copyright notices 60 times. That’s an unusually high number taking into account the community’s size. The warning suggests ways to keep infringing content down but in a sub dedicated to piracy, they’re all completely irrelevant. It also suggests removing old posts to ensure that Reddit doesn’t keep getting notices, but that would mean deleting pretty much everything. Backups exist but a simple file is a poor substitute for a community. So, with Reddit warning that without change the sub will be banned, the moderators of /r/megalinks have decided to move on to a new home. Reportedly hosted ‘offshore’, their new forum already has more than 9,800 members and is likely to grow quickly as the word spreads. A month ago, the /r/megaporn sub-Reddit suffered a similar fate following a warning from Reddit’s admins. It successfully launched a new external forum which is why the Megalinks crew decided on the same model. “[A]fter seeing how /r/megaporn approached the same situation, we had started working on an offshore forum a week ago in anticipation of the ban. This allows us to work however we want, without having to deal with Reddit’s policies and administration,” the team explain. Ever since the BMG v Cox case went bad ways for the ISP in 2015, repeat infringer policies have become a very hot topic in the US. That Reddit is now drawing a line in the sand over a relatively small number of complaints (at least compared to other similar platforms) is clear notice that Reddit and blatant piracy won’t be allowed to walk hand in hand. Source
  18. As part of its now annual Transparency Report, Reddit has revealed that copyright complaints sent to the platform under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act jumped 138% in 2017. While the leap is significant, the numbers involved a still surprisingly low for a platform of its size. Nevertheless, the company still rejected more than 44% of all notices for not being valid. So-called ‘transparency reports’ are becoming increasingly popular with Internet-based platforms and their users. Among other things, they provide much-needed insight into how outsiders attempt to censor content published online and what actions are taken in response. Google first started publishing its report in 2010, Twitter followed in 2012, and they’ve now been joined by a multitude of major companies including Microsoft, Facebook and Cloudflare. As one of the world’s most recognized sites, Reddit joined the transparency party fairly late, publishing its first report in early 2015. While light on detail, it revealed that in the previous year the site received just 218 requests to remove content, 81% of which were DMCA-style copyright notices. A significant 62% of those copyright-related requests were rejected. Over time, Reddit’s reporting has become a little more detailed. Last April it revealed that in 2016, the platform received ‘just’ 3,294 copyright removal requests for the entire year. However, what really caught the eye is how many notices were rejected. In just 610 instances, Reddit was required to remove content from the site, a rejection rate of 81%. Having been a year since Reddit’s last report, the company has just published its latest edition, covering the period January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. “Reddit publishes this transparency report every year as part of our ongoing commitment to keep you aware of the trends on the various requests regarding private Reddit user account information or removal of content posted to Reddit,” the company said in a statement. “Reddit believes that maintaining this transparency is extremely important. We want you to be aware of this information, consider it carefully, and ask questions to keep us accountable.” The detailed report covers a wide range of topics, including government requests for the preservation or production of user information (there were 310) and even an instruction to monitor one Reddit user’s activities in real time via a so-called ‘Trap and Trace’ order. In copyright terms, there has been significant movement. In 2017, Reddit received 7,825 notifications of alleged copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, that’s up roughly 138% over the 3,294 notifications received in 2016. For a platform of Reddit’s unquestionable size, these volumes are not big. While the massive percentage increase is notable, the site still receives less than 10 complaints each day. For comparison, Google receives millions every week. But perhaps most telling is that despite receiving more than 7,800 DMCA-style takedown notices, these resulted in Reddit carrying out just 4,352 removals. This means that for whatever reasons (Reddit doesn’t specify), 3,473 requests were denied, a rejection rate of 44.38%. Google, on the other hand, removes around 90% of content reported. DMCA notices can be declared invalid for a number of reasons, from incorrect formatting through to flat-out abuse. In many cases, copyright law is incorrectly applied and it’s not unknown for complainants to attempt a DMCA takedown to stifle speech or perceived competition. Reddit says it tries to take all things into consideration before removing content. “Reddit reviews each DMCA takedown notice carefully, and removes content where a valid report is received, as required by the law,” the company says. “Reddit considers whether the reported content may fall under an exception listed in the DMCA, such as ‘fair use,’ and may ask for clarification that will assist in the review of the removal request.” Considering the numbers of community-focused “subreddits” dedicated to piracy (not just general discussion, but actual links to content), the low numbers of copyright notices received by Reddit continues to baffle. There are sections in existence right now offering many links to movies and TV shows hosted on various file-hosting sites. They’re the type of links that are targeted all the time whenever they appear in Google search but copyright owners don’t appear to notice or care about them on Reddit. Finally, it would be nice if Reddit could provide more information in next year’s report, including detail on why so many requests are rejected. Perhaps regular submission of notices to the Lumen Database would be something Reddit would consider for the future. Reddit’s Transparency Report for 2017 can be found here. torrentfreak
  19. steven36

    Reddit No Longer Accepts Bitcoin

    Reddit, one of the most active hubs of Bitcoin enthusiasts, has dropped its support for the cryptocurrency. The widely read social media site will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for its Reddit Gold program. A person claiming to be an administrator on the site told users who were grumbling about the shift that the decision was made, in part, due to Coinbase discontinuing its Merchant Tool product. “The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option,” said user “emoney04.” The administrator went on to say Reddit planned to watch the progression of the new Coinbase Commerce platform before deciding if it would once again allow the use of cryptocurrencies. Reddit Gold, the site’s premium membership, lets users disable ads, customize their avatar, and access a private subreddit for about $30 per year. The site has accepted Bitcoin as a payment for the perk since 2013. At the time, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong told TechCrunch it was a “large step forward for Bitcoin.” Source
  20. For years, r/DarkNetMarkets was the place where drug dealers, hackers, and cyber criminals, would hang out and talk about what happened on illicit marketplaces hosted on the dark web such as Silk Road and Alphabay—and a place for feds to lurk in the hopes of catching some criminals. On Wednesday, Reddit banned the popular community “due to a violation of Reddit’s policy against transactions involving prohibited goods or services.” Before its shutdown, r/DarkNetMarkets had almost 160,000 readers. The subreddit has always been controversial, given that its users didn’t hide the fact that they were also users of the illegal marketplaces that law enforcement has been shutting down left and right. In 2015, the feds subpoenaed Reddit to obtain identifying information of the subreddit’s users. The ban appears to be part of a new crackdown on illegal activities, announced by Reddit on Wednesday. “We have made a new addition to our content policy forbidding transactions for certain goods and services. As of today, users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services,” the company wrote. Those goods and services include: guns, drugs, stolen goods, personal information, falsified documents and paid services “involving physical sexual contact.” A Reddit spokesperson sent Motherboard the following statement: "As of March 21, 2018, we have made a new addition to our content policy forbidding transactions for certain classes of goods and services. 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." Other drug or dark web related subreddits, like r/xanaxcartel, r/DNMSuperlist and r/HiddenService were also banned on Wednesday. Motherboard.vice.com
  21. Reddit has introduced 2FA security to help its users protect their online accounts. On Wednesday, the web content aggregation platform acknowledged that two-factor authentication (2FA) is a feature that users have requested for a long time. Reddit is now able to deliver. 2FA facilitates additional layers of security for online accounts, usually by connecting accounts to a mobile device and delivering one-time codes for additional authentication. We know that relying purely on passwords is not enough to keep our accounts secure -- especially as brute-force attacks on the common phrases and easy-to-remember combinations we use are easy to crack -- and so 2FA is now on the way to becoming standard practice. Reddit has been slowly rolling out the feature through beta testers, moderators, and third-party app developers to make sure the 2FA system works across all platforms. Now that bugs have been ironed out, the feature is ready for the general population. Users that opt-in for 2FA will need to pass an additional step in authentication when they log in. With every new sign-in attempt, a six-digit verification code will be sent to the user's mobile devices. Reddit's 2FA is supported across desktop, mobile, and third-party applications, but requires an authenticator app which supports the TOTP protocol -- such as Google Authenticator and Authy -- to implement. If you wish to implement two-factor authentication, you can select it through the password/email tab under 'preferences' in your accounts. While some companies are still catching up to 2FA, others are offering more varied options for account security. Last year, Facebook announced support for physical keys, such as YubiKey, to safeguard user accounts. These USB devices generate an encrypted, one-time security code for use in 2FA systems. Despite the benefits of 2FA, however, not everyone will embrace the security measure. Last week, a Google engineer revealed that less than 10 percent of Gmail users enable 2FA on their accounts. Article
  22. The MPAA has asked Google to remove a Reddit community from its search results over piracy concerns. The movie industry group lists the "FullLengthFilms" subreddit in a recent takedown request, alongside several notorious pirate sites. Thus far Google has refused to take the page down, and Reddit hasn't taken any action either. Every week copyright holders send millions of DMCA takedown notices to Google, hoping to make pirated movies and music harder to find. Not all copyright holders take the same approach. Where the RIAA targets millions of infringing URLs per month, the MPAA only sends out a handful of notices. Instead of using dragnet scripts to take down everything that links to infringing copies, the movie industry group specifically targets homepages of ‘rogue’ sites and other high impact targets. In the latest DMCA notice, sent last week, Reddit ended up on the list. Like many other user-generated content sites, Reddit has plenty of links to copyright infringing material. In fact, there are several sub-communities that are dedicated to finding and publishing lists to pirated material. The subreddit r/fulllengthfilms is a good example. Here, users are encouraged to post links to their favorite movies, preferably from legal sources. However, pretty much all links point to streams of pirated films including “Gravity” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The MPAA is not happy with this growing list of movies. In their most recent takedown notice they ask Google to remove the entire subreddit from its search engine, because it contains a link to a camcorded copy of “Edge of Tomorrow.” MPAA’s takedown request Interestingly, Google has declined to action the MPAA’s takedown request. It’s not clear why the search giant refused to take it down, but one of the reasons may be that the MPAA did not limit their request to the “Edge of Tomorrow” posting. Instead, the movie industry group targeted the entire subreddit. These broad takedown requests are not uncommon as most of the MPAA’s takedown notices contain homepages of download portals or streaming sites. In some cases the infringing work listed in the takedown request no longer appears on these homepages, and the MPAA often fails to list the internal page it’s supposed to link to. With this strategy the MPAA has managed to remove the homepages of several popular sites from Google’s search results, including KickassTorrents. But Google doesn’t always comply. For the most recent DMCA notice it refused to take down most links, including the Reddit one. It’s still unclear whether the MPAA also sent a takedown notice to Reddit. TorrentFreak asked Reddit for a comment on the news but we have yet to receive a response. At the time of writing the FullLengthFilms subreddit and the “Edge of Tomorrow” posting remain online. Source: TorrentFreak
  23. Reddit To Go! remains one of the leading apps that allow users to access Reddit in the Modern UI of Windows 8.1, so the developer behind this app is trying to provide us with regular updates bringing new features and performance improvements. The application today received an update delivered to users through the store, so make sure you check for updates as soon as possible. Version changes the way comments are loaded in the app, according to the official release notes published in the store. “When additional comments are auto-loaded via scrolling, they'll be remembered if you switch away from the comments to a different article and then back, instead of requiring re-fetching from reddit,” the changelog reads. Bug fixes are also part of the release, fixing issues affecting the login process, crashes, and other bugs experienced when trying to view YouTube links. Just like the previous builds, the new version of Reddit To Go! works on all Windows 8.1 versions on the market, including the Windows RT 8.1 build aimed at tablets. The new version can be found in the store, but you can also download Reddit To Go! for Windows 8.1 manually to find out what’s new right now. Source : Softpedia
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