You may or may not be aware of the current state of internet safety (and user privacy) both inside and outside of the r/teenagers community. The aim of this post is to educate our community on what to look out for in terms of internet safety and privacy, and ensure we are keeping ourselves and others safe on the internet in an evergrowing age of hidden identities behind screens.
While this post will briefly explain how to keep yourself safe online, none of us here are cybersecurity experts. We will mostly be addressing safety/privacy issues regarding NSFW and predatory content within our own subreddit, but will also provide links to information and resources where you can learn how to protect yourself better on the internet. While these 2 topics are not directly linked, they definitely tie in with each other in terms of keeping teenagers safe online, and we strongly recommend checking out the resources below.
Don’t hesitate to ask any questions in the comments of this post, we’ll be sticking around and answering them!
Predatory DM’s and Posts
The main issue affecting r/teenagers currently is the sexualisation of minors and the increased amount of predatory comments. The moderators here have always been very tough on NSFW rules, and it will always stay that way. However, users posting images ‘exposing’ the people in these predatory DM’s are not allowed. It is already stated in the rules that all images of DM’s will be removed under the spam clause, though this may differ on a case-by-case basis. We will continue to remove more of these posts, focusing primarily on predatory ones, to clear the subreddit of spam and ultimately protect our most vulnerable users.
We are working with the necessary people to encourage a safe and inviting subreddit for all of our users - Specifically targeting ‘pedophiles’ or otherwise predatory accounts - this includes law enforcement action if necessary and possible.
How You Can Help
Though the subreddit is full of them currently, posting screenshots of predatory DM’s you’ve received does more harm than good. The best action is to report them to Reddit admins, as r/teenagers moderators are not allowed to moderate DM’s outside of this community.
You cannot post predatory DM images on r/teenagers for 2 main reasons:
- They violate Reddit ToS (Terms of Service) due to ‘witch hunting’, which is the act of targeting a specific user with negative intent.
- If a predator has DM’d you, it is likely they’ve viewed your profile. If they know they’ve been ‘exposed’, they may delete all the evidence of your claim.
As r/teenagers moderators can only moderate for content within the subreddit- If the predatory user is active on this subreddit, you can report them to us through modmail. You can just send through the user’s u/ name, or you may include links to evidence if you wish. All of these are investigated thoroughly and all found predatory users are permanently banned from r/teenagers and reported to Reddit as a whole. We will continue to be very strict on predatory content in the subreddit.
It is also worth noting: Some users are creating new Reddit accounts posing as young teenagers with the intent to use it as ‘pedo-bait’ on r/teenagers. This is not allowed. These accounts will be treated as would any other predatory content, and “it’s just pedo-bait” is not a valid excuse for a ban appeal.
Personal Information: Rule Changes - 3.e/f
Due to the increased sexualisation of minors in r/teenagers, we are expanding the rules regarding personal information. This subreddit serves as a safe place for teenagers to hang out, and user safety is our top priority. In an effort to increase user safety & privacy in r/teenagers, we will be making 2 major changes:
- We’ve added a clause regarding selfies with the intent to tackle sexualization of minors and reduce the number of ‘catfishing’.
- Secondly, we will be introducing the “Selfie” flair which will be for, wait for it… Selfies! This is to reduce the amount of selfies posted under miscellaneous flairs.
The same goes for comments - Users commenting ‘sexually suggestive’ things, or otherwise sexualising minors will be banned accordingly. This is an area that we need to strictly enforce, and there will be zero tolerance for this behaviour.
Last thing: we’ve seen an increase in impersonation of other people. Impersonating anyone, either from in this subreddit or anywhere else across the internet, will result in a permanent ban. This content goes against Reddit ToS, and it is very simple for moderators to detect and remove fake or stolen images.
A Reddit Talk is currently planned for June 4th @ 6pm UCT to discuss and review the changes with the community. This specific talk will be hosted by moderators only. The amazing group of r/teenagers talk hosts (moderators + community members) run talks every weekend where we involve the community in fun activities - Whether it be sharing spooky stories for Halloween, discussing our favourite childhood cartoons, learning how to play DnD, or helping each other out during college application season. We’d love to see you there! :)
Cybersecurity - Helpful Links & Resources
Please be wary of what you share online.
- Just above here, you will find some links & resources to improve your online safety.
- Posting images of predatory DM’s you receive will often result in a removal, but will continue to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
- We are working with the necessary people and doing all we can currently to limit the number of predators in the subreddit.
- If the predatory incident occurred in DM’s, you can report the user to Reddit. If the predatory user has content on r/teenagers, you can send a report to Reddit, but also send us a modmail and we’ll make sure to ban the user from the subreddit permanently.
- Content deemed as ‘sexually suggestive’ will now be removed more consistently, alongside traditional NSFW posts and comments.
- We are introducing a new “Selfie" flair to reduce the load of selfie posts on other flairs.
- Users creating ‘pedo-bait’ accounts will be treated just as any other predatory content is treated.
- Impersonation of any kind will result in a permanent ban, at moderator discretion.
We truly hope this information is helpful, and wish you a safe trip across the Wild Wild Web!
- the r/teenagers mod team <3
Thank you to everyone who participated in the May Mental Health Banner Contest. Take a sneak peek at our newly updated banner on your computer to see the winning entries! Below you'll find our 3 winners (who all received a community mod award which grants Reddit Premium) and their reasoning for why they created the work they did!
From u/ExtensionAnybody467 who created the mask artwork you'll see on the right side of the banner:
People are often forced to conform by dealing with their problems alone, and just have to "put on a mask". Someone might look happy but in reality, they could be going through a lot.
From u/im-better_than_you who created the colorful blobs you'll see scattered on both the left and right sides of the banner:
Well it's neurographic art which in itself is a form of therapy as my art teacher said. But to me it like represents all of my feelings during tough times.
And finally from u/Rnwx99 who created the outreaching hand on the left side of the banner:
it represents a healing from self harm and how a good mental state, at least to me is like the butterfly it can leave at any moment.
I hope some of their artwork resonates with you all! If you wanted to see what the original pieces looked like before a little editing to fit on the subreddit's banner, you'll find an imgur album below with them inside!
Thank you to everyone who participated and don't forget to submit your songs to our Mental Health Playlist form before the month ends! Take care of yourselves everyone!
Winning Artwork: https://imgur.com/gallery/MgngYQw
Spotify Playlist: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdR5er6nCgNxf7w9U5I9obPW3pKctQAVa16w3LeRkhqQXTv7Q/viewform