Reddit is an Extremely Risky Investment; NCOSE Urges Potential Investors to Reject Reddit

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (February 26, 2024) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) called on potential investors of Reddit, which just filed with the Securities Exchange Commission with the intent to go public in March, to outright reject investing in the platform, citing that it is unethical and a liability to do so. Reddit is on NCOSE’s 2023 Dirty Dozen List of mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation – and is being seriously considered for the 2024 DDL.

“Reddit is an extremely risky investment, given that it allows pornography on its platform which serves as the foundation for sexual exploitation. That policy alone enables Reddit to serve as a hotbed for deepfake pornography, sex trafficking, child sexual abuse material, and other image-based sexual abuse. We call on potential investors to reject investing in Reddit, as it is both unethical and a liability,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO, National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“Reddit may claim that its 2022 update to the platform’s non-consensual intimate media policy is working, but NCOSE and other industry experts have found otherwise, providing further evidence that Reddit is a dangerous investment,” Hawkins said. 

NCOSE researchers have found that Reddit is filled with non-consensually shared “leaked” explicit content, as well as deepfake pornography. In fact, many posts on Reddit even monetize creating sexual “deepfake” images of any person someone submits. 

Even the most apparent violations go unchecked by Reddit, such as one dedicated sexual deepfake community of over 48,000 members that is currently active on Reddit. They have amassed over 15 million “donated” sexually explicit and pornographic images to train their sexual deepfake technology and post sexual deepfakes and AI-generated pornography on an hourly cadence on Reddit. 

Often the sharing of image-based sexual abuse also includes attempts to dox the people depicted. NCOSE researchers identified a subreddit containing over 1.3 million members that encouraged users to post images of pornography performers, social media content creators, or other women to crowdsource their names and identities.

Reddit’s collaboration with Google raises significant concerns regarding its ability to enforce policies on third-party access to explicit content. Despite Reddit’s prohibition of such access, its detection and moderation mechanisms often fail to identify “NSFW” content effectively. Users are required to tag posts as “NSFW,” but compliance is inconsistent, and Reddit’s automated detection does not extend to videos, gifs, or memes. NCOSE has identified substantial deficiencies in Reddit’s automated detection system, particularly in identifying deepfake and AI-generated pornography. This negligence raises concerns about the nature of the data used to train Google’s AI models, especially given the recent disclosure of a $60 million revenue from the partnership in Reddit’s S-1 filing.

“Reddit has failed to implement its own policies and is substantially behind current safety and moderation practices. Reddit has also refused to implement meaningful age or consent verification for people depicted in sexually explicit images. And because sexually explicit and pornographic content is actively being shared on Reddit without reservation, sexual abuse and exploitation, including child sexual abuse material, thrives. Potential investors should reject investment in Reddit,” Hawkins said.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) 
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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