Yesterday, Reddit announced a new policy concerning the buying, selling or gifting of tobacco products. As many of you know, Reddit has been a popular place for pipe and cigar smokers to trade, gift or sell pipe tobacco and cigars to other members of the community. As of yesterday, such activity has been banned. Reddit released the following statement:
We want to let you know that we have made a new addition to our content policy forbidding transactions for certain goods and services. As of today, users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including:
-Firearms, ammunition, or explosives;
-Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances (except advertisements placed in accordance with our advertising policy);
-Paid services involving physical sexual contact;
-Falsified official documents or currency
When considering a gift or transaction of goods or services not prohibited by this policy, keep in mind that Reddit is not intended to be used as a marketplace and takes no responsibility for any transactions individual users might decide to undertake in spite of this. Always remember: you are dealing with strangers on the internet.
EDIT: Thanks for the questions everyone. We're signing off for now but may drop back in later. We know this represents a change and we're going to do our best to help folks understand what this means. You can always feel free to send any specific questions to the admins here.
Clarification of New Policy Issues
I have looked into the overall reach of the policy and found some information that will answer some of the community's questions.
Q. What is Actually Prohibited?
A. Transactions (meaning buying, selling, trading or gifting) tobacco. This includes pipe tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes.
Q. Can I Buy, Sell, Trade, or Gift Tobacco Accessories?
A. According to Reddit, you can still engage in transactions involving accessories. So, for example, you could sell a pipe tamper or cigar cutter. In fact, from Reddit's response to posts, you are permitted to sell, trade, etc. pipes - just not tobacco. See, Reddit's response to the a Reddit user below.
Reddit-Policy [A] • Advertisements of the actual tobacco or any drug or controlled substance would not be allowed under the policy, but the hookah itself, and other accessories are not a problem. New rules clarifying this for your community would probably be a helpful thing to consider. If you have any further questions, please contact the admins. Our Community team is happy to work with you.
Q. What is the Motive Behind this Policy?
A. According to Reddit, the policy was created because of the legal implications involving the sale of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. Reddit explains that it is simply not able to ensure legal compliance with the sale of these items. In reality, Reddit is likely trying to protect itself from liability.
Reddit-Policy [A] • - Thanks for this question. Although alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are legal, they are heavily regulated (heck, there is a whole federal agency dedicated to them), and there are very specific conditions necessary to make their sale legal. Reddit is simply not set up to ensure that those legal conditions are being met. We're all sad about what that means for some of our communities, but it's the truth.
Just like everyone else in America, Reddit is trying to limit its liability and avoid legal compliance issues. As a result, transactions involving tobacco are now banned. It is likely that anyone caught violating the new policy will be banned from the site. Serious infractions, like the sale of firearms, could actually be reported to the authorities. However, discussions and forums about tobacco are still permitted as are transactions of accessories.