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The Ashley Madison Subreddit Is Closed For Business

Wow, Reddit, it's like you care or something.



The Ashley Madison subreddit has officially barred its gates; the moderator has set the forum to private and plans to ignore all future membership requests. This subreddit has been around since long before Ashley Madison got hacked, but ever since the recent data leak, the AM subreddit’s moderator has struggled to keep up with deleting posts that contain sensitive information about AM members. Although this subreddit did not receive any sort of warning from Reddit higher-ups, the site’s moderator independently decided to shutter the forum due to these concerns.

“Doxing,” or posting identifying information about a person without their consent, goes against official Reddit policy. In spite of Reddit’s recent attempts to crack down on its most bigoted subreddits, though, the site still has a reputation for hosting forums with, er, questionable integrity. So, it’s pretty rare to see a subreddit moderator say that they “don’t buy into the hype that everything needs to be posted (free speech and all) … I began by removing posts that were doxxing then decided to make it private.”

This person’s good behavior shouldn’t stand out as a grand gesture, and yet it does. A person on the internet did the right thing on their own steam, without being warned by Reddit’s higher-ups or called out by media publications first. Wow!

Admittedly, I can’t help but notice that this particular doxing predominantly involves the private information of, well, men. Although Ashley Madison had a handful of users with serious privacy concerns (such as closeted gay users who live in countries where homosexuality is an offense punishable by death), the overwhelming majority of people in this dox do not exactly fit the profile of who tends to get targeted by harassment. In other words, the Ashley Madison dox has made even super-privileged people start to worry about their own privacy. Those people sure do seem late to the party. But I guess I’ll give them a slow clap, anyway. Thanks for finally giving a crap about something that marginalized people have already had to worry about since, like, forever. And thanks to this subreddit moderator for protecting a group of people who largely have been able to go through life with zero concerns about their safety. Cookies all around.

(via The Daily Dot)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (