Question about (non)permissible content in Raddle subforums

Submitted by MichaelPemulis in meta

Clause: I've lurked a bit, read the TOS, FAQs and tried to dig through old posts to get a feel for what this site is and what y'all stand for. But I'm new, so go easy on me. We're all friends here, so let's treat each other with love and respect.

Where does Raddle draw the line on content that may be illegal, legal, or grey area? And how does this apply to the overarching politics/intent of this site? I can see issues arising if a subforum ventures into legally questionable territory, gets popular/a group of people migrate to it, and attracts unwanted attention.

For example, let's suppose someone makes a subforum related to drugs. I imagine there shouldn't be any problem with that, but what if the subforum starts becoming a community for people to meet up with one another and share these goods? Or someone provides shitty advice and a user ends up hurting themselves/others?

An even more ambiguous example might be, what if someone makes a "research chemical" subforum and the community starts sharing clearnet vendor sources while stating that these substances are for research purposes only/not for human consumption. This is a standard tactic that designer drug enthusiasts use and the results are mixed - the odd person has been arrested for receiving grey area analogues in the mail, some people never encounter problems for years, some people "get caught", tell the authorities that they have done nothing illegal, and have no repercussions (because indeed they have not done anything explicitly illegal).

I used to be a super cool cat a few years ago (read: drug addict) and interacted with folks on a subreddit called /r/opiatesrollcall. People would go here, post their contact information/location while explicitly stating I am only looking for friends, I am not looking for a connect. That may have been true in some instances but for myself and others, we were looking to score. It ended up getting so much activity that the subreddit was referenced in a NYT article and ultimately numerous people were arrested in undercover stings. Needless to say, it was shut down shortly thereafter and moderators reigned in the wider community with stricter rules and enforcement.

I guess I'm wondering if these discussions have been had yet and what the community/moderators have decided are appropriate guidelines for acceptable and unacceptable content. I'm not looking to be a rabble-rouser or anything here, just curious where the lines have been drawn.

Thank you for reading this far and I look forward to any responses!


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selver wrote (edited )

I'm pretty sure people here are cool with most of the possible illegal stuff. Drugs, sex work, theft, etc. It's a small enough site that we're under the radar anyway. People promoted the site on the subreddits that got banned recently for illegal content, ie piracy, drugs & shoplifting.

I think it would only become an issue if the site's owner was somehow threatened.

Mostly anarchists & communists on the site, so no one believes in the law.


MichaelPemulis wrote

Aye, I agree that this site is likely small enough that discussing illegal shit won't be much of a problem, but I also wouldn't want to bring unnecessary attention to an anarchist community. It might make it too easy for fascists/LEO to weaponize that against us.

I don't know... this gets more complex the more that I dissect it...

But thanks for the thoughts selver. Hope you have a good night (or good day depending on where you are).


Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

We could use a wiki for this, since it gets asked often enough.

Edit: Separately, selver's view is roughly my view. We've also already had people coming through here for drug-related things; there have been a few 'poppy seed tea' waves, for example. Individuals trying to get high is hardly an issue for us; we'd likely be grumpier about people trying to run a business off of our space but it all depends. And obviously there are illegal things like child trafficking that we have a problem with besides their being illegal. Using the w/terms_of_service as a general guide is fine; we're not particularly interested in drawing hard and fast lines in other places unless need be.


MichaelPemulis wrote

Hey, thanks for the response!

How I interpreted your reply is that Raddle won't be making any explicit boundaries unless the content is obviously harmful towards others. And perhaps will react if there is a need to but otherwise has a hands-off approach.

As someone who was heavily involved in some druggy communities when I was younger (and not in recovery) I found there were some pretty clear patterns regarding what would and would not draw attention/legal trouble... I'm just wondering if these discussions have been had already because there can be a lot of ambiguity around things (e.g if I share research chemicals sources it could be argued that this isn't against the law, but if I start posting elaborate photo tutorials about birch reduction methamphetamine synthesis I think that could become problematic).

And I'm using drugs as the example here because:

A) I'm very familiar with the subject.

B) I think it's a good example of something that can be helpful to people (harm reduction, community support, education, etc) but also carries inherent risks. I've lost a lot of friends over the years and in my experience when someone dies from drugs and is active in a drug related community, it's very easy for things to turn into a reactionary media/law enforcement circus. "My child died because the people at [website] encouraged their use and no one did anything to stop it!"