GOVERNMENTS WANT MORE and more of Reddit's user data, with requests for information on the site's users surging since 2017.
The number of courts orders, subpoenas, and data-related search warrants from governments around the world increased from 310 in 2017 to 752 'requests' in 2018, according to Reddit's latest transparency report.
The majority of the requests come from the US government and Reddit says it complied with 77 per cent of the demands, which might be a tad worrying if you're from the US and have been chatting sh*t on the site.
Reddit also appears to play ball when it comes to search warrants and subpoenas, which it rolled over and showed its belly (user data) to in 90 per cent of cases.
Historically, Reddit seems to have been fairly compliant with government requests, with the same ratio of requests to compliance roughly ticking along since 2015. But Reddit highlighted that it only plays ball with legitimate requests that aren't just an invasion into its users' privacy.
"Reddit takes the privacy of its users seriously. Reddit, therefore, insists on compliance with procedural requirements, scrutinizes requests and legal process for facial validity and legal sufficiency, and objects to process when appropriate," the website said.
Over the years the number of requests for data or data preservations has increased from 118 in 2015 to 752 in 2018.
Answering questions following the publication of the transparency report, Reddit's chief executive Steve Huffman noted that there are two reasons he thinks the number of data requests shot up in 2018: "1. We have more users and content. 2. We receive much more attention compared to last year," he said.
We suspect that governments are getting savvier about just how much data places like Reddit hold and want to use that data for, what we'd hope, is the protection of their respective citizens, though that might be wishful thinking indeed. µ
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