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Reddit has started banning users sharing Sony hack documents

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Admins on Reddit have started banning users for sharing files on the site from the trove of Sony documents released by the hackers, saying that the act violates the website's terms of use regarding the posting of personal data. The social news site has also deleted posts and banned one particular subreddit — SonyGOP — where the files were not only being discussed, but also linked to and hosted.

Attempting to visit that specific subreddit currently only returns information stating "this subreddit has been banned." A comment from Reddit to Business Insider did outline that "discussions and news stories" regarding the hack will still be allowed throughout the site.

"discussions and news stories" regarding the hack will still be allowed

Just the other day, lawyers for Sony began sending notices to various outlets warning them of legal action against the posting of information discovered via the hacked documents. According to The Guardian, the increased policing of posts on Reddit centered around the hacked data was instead spurred by a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice sent by Sony. This is similar to the way Reddit responded to the last big Hollywood hack in September — dubbed "Celebgate" — which involved nude photos of dozens of celebrities, some of whom were underage at the time the photos were taken.

Back then, the Reddit admins who were trying to remove links to and thumbnails of the leaked photos were being so outpaced by users who were reposting them that the subreddit TheFappening was banned entirely. In a blog post explaining their actions — titled "Every Man Is Responsible For His Own Soul" — admins went into detail about how they would handle situations like Celebgate going forward. For instance, they claimed they would only resort to "hard" policy (such as banning) in response to "actions which cause or are likely to cause imminent physical danger (e.g. suicides, instructions for self-harm, or specific threats) or which damage the integrity and ability of the site to function (e.g. spam, brigading, vote-cheating)."

Correction:The article originally referred to Reddit admins as "moderators."