Reddit rarely bans subreddits entirely, a few notable examples being /r/beatingwomen, /r/TheFappening, /r/jailbait and now /r/SonyGOP has been added to the ranks.
The other three were considered by Reddit to be social issues for the Reddit community to work on, as it tries to become a centre for free speech, without transforming into a place for the worst of the worst to feel safe.
/r/SonyGOP linked to various parts of the Sony Pictures leak, including emails, business details, visas, social security numbers, medical information and credit card numbers. All of this information can be used and sold on by hackers.
Sony requested the takedown of the subreddit, where many users were looking at and using stolen material. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was used, but Reddit went even further and shut down the entire subreddit.
However due to the nature of the Internet the leaked information will still spread, with or without Reddit’s permission. The #GOP group show no signs of slowing down either, and have forced Sony Pictures to cancel The Interview from being shown at cinemas.
There is still the question of who runs the #GOP and what do the members actually want from Sony. The attack appears to be used as a way to shame the company, releasing information for free; claiming employees helped with the hack and revealing .
Sony’s attorney David Boies has warned press to remove all stolen information and stop publishing stories about Sony Pictures, or face legal action. It is questionable whether the threat against journalists will hold up in court, considering previous cases where the journalist obtains illegal information without being involved in the theft ends with the journalist winning the court case.