Skip to main content

Reddit bans its DarkNetMarkets subreddit

Reddit has officially banned the R/DarkNetMarkets and other communities dedicated to illegal dark web markets. Users attempting to access the community will simply be met with a message stating that the subreddit has been banned due to a violation of Reddit’s community standards.

Prior to the ban, the subreddit had 160,000 readers, but it remained a controversial part of the wider Reddit community. This was mainly due to the fact that the subreddit’s users were not shy about the fact that they made use of Silk Road and other dark web black markets to buy drugs, guns, and other illegal goods. In fact, law enforcement would often browse the community in hopes of gathering evidence of crimes. In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security went so far as to subpoena Reddit for information regarding some of the community’s members.

The ban is part of Reddit’s recent crackdown on illegal activity taking place on the site. On Wednesday, Reddit updated its community guidelines to prohibit users from using the site to “solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services.” This list included, among other things, drugs, guns, and prostitution.

In a statement to Motherboard, Reddit confirmed that the ban was, indeed, part of its increased efforts to root out illegal activity on the site.

“Moving forward, we are prohibiting transactions that are either illicit or strictly controlled,” the statement reads. “Communities focused on such transactions and users who attempt to conduct them will be banned from the site.”

Similar subreddits have also been banned following the implementation of this new policy.

Subreddits such as DarkNetMarkets and others like it are nothing new, but Reddit’s recent crackdown is. The reasoning behind this stricter stance is likely the same reason that Craigslist shut down its Personals section. The Senate recently approved the FOSTA bill, which allows the government to hold websites accountable for the actions of their community members. Since Craigslist’s Personals section was sometimes used to facilitate prostitution, the company decided to remove it completely.  It is likely that Reddit was motivated by similar concerns when it decided to shut down communities dedicated to illegal goods.

Editors' Recommendations

Eric Brackett
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Discord is getting a big update that gives users more ways to pay
Discord app icon on the screen smartphone

Discord announced several updates that are coming to the popular communication service this fall, and many of them focus on monetization. Although Discord and all of its core features will remain free to use, it announced new features that will open up more avenues for people to pay for account customization or the use of apps built into Discord's API.

An in-app Shop is currently in testing with Discord Nitro subscribers and will soon be available for anyone using Discord. In that shop, people can spend real money to purchase collectible avatar decorations and profile effects, like one that sees the user's profile image filled up with a magic potion. Slightly discounted for Nitro members, these customization options can be permanently equipped to profiles after purchase, so quirky avatar decorations are no longer seasonal.

Read more
X now offers audio and video calls, but it’s easy to turn off
The new X sign replacing the Twitter logo on the company's headquarters in San Francisco.

A couple of months after landing the CEO job at X (formerly Twitter) in May, Linda Yaccarino said: “X will be the platform that can deliver, well ... everything.”

Part of that includes audio and video calls, which the company has just started to roll out for users globally.

Read more
How to delete or deactivate your Facebook account
Google Pixel Fold in Obsidian with Facebook filled screen after rotating.

Maybe you just need to take a break from using Facebook. Or maybe you haven't used your Facebook account in awhile and don't plan to in the future. Whatever your reasons, you should know that you have two clear options when it comes to doing away with Facebook.

If you just need a break and will likely need your account in the future, you can deactivate your Facebook account. If you've moved on to greener social media pastures or just don't need your account anymore, you can delete your Facebook account too.

Read more