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Spring forward… into Reddit’s 2019 transparency report


TL;DR: Today we published our 2019 Transparency Report. I’ll stick around to answer your questions about the report (and other topics) in the comments.

Hi all,

It’s that time of year again when we share Reddit’s annual transparency report.

We share this report each year because you have a right to know how user data is being managed by Reddit, and how it’s both shared and not shared with government and non-government parties.

You’ll find information on content removed from Reddit and requests for user information. This year, we’ve expanded the report to include new data—specifically, a breakdown of content policy removals, content manipulation removals, subreddit removals, and subreddit quarantines.

By the numbers

Since the full report is rather long, I’ll call out a few stats below:

ADMIN REMOVALS

  • In 2019, we removed ~53M pieces of content in total, mostly for spam and content manipulation (e.g. brigading and vote cheating), exclusive of legal/copyright removals, which we track separately.
  • For Content Policy violations, we removed
    • 222k pieces of content,
    • 55.9k accounts, and
    • 21.9k subreddits (87% of which were removed for being unmoderated).
  • Additionally, we quarantined 256 subreddits.

LEGAL REMOVALS

  • Reddit received 110 requests from government entities to remove content, of which we complied with 37.3%.
  • In 2019 we removed about 5x more content for copyright infringement than in 2018, largely due to copyright notices for adult-entertainment and notices targeting pieces of content that had already been removed.

REQUESTS FOR USER INFORMATION

  • We received a total of 772 requests for user account information from law enforcement and government entities.
    • 366 of these were emergency disclosure requests, mostly from US law enforcement (68% of which we complied with).
    • 406 were non-emergency requests (73% of which we complied with); most were US subpoenas.
    • Reddit received an additional 224 requests to temporarily preserve certain user account information (86% of which we complied with).
  • Note: We carefully review each request for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. If we determine that a request is not legally valid, Reddit will challenge or reject it. (You can read more in our Privacy Policy and Guidelines for Law Enforcement.)

While I have your attention…

I’d like to share an update about our thinking around quarantined communities.

When we expanded our quarantine policy, we created an appeals process for sanctioned communities. One of the goals was to “force subscribers to reconsider their behavior and incentivize moderators to make changes.” While the policy attempted to hold moderators more accountable for enforcing healthier rules and norms, it didn’t address the role that each member plays in the health of their community.

Today, we’re making an update to address this gap: Users who consistently upvote policy-breaking content within quarantined communities will receive automated warnings, followed by further consequences like a temporary or permanent suspension. We hope this will encourage healthier behavior across these communities.

If you’ve read this far

In addition to this report, we share news throughout the year from teams across Reddit, and if you like posts about what we’re doing, you can stay up to date and talk to our teams in r/RedditSecurity, r/ModNews, r/redditmobile, and r/changelog.

As usual, I’ll be sticking around to answer your questions in the comments. AMA.

Update: I'm off for now. Thanks for questions, everyone.

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