Technology

Reddit’s data hoarders are frantically trying to save Tumblr’s NSFW content

After Tumblr announced Monday that it was invoking the nuclear option to expel the NSFW content on the platform, the internet has reacted with predictable rage.

In TNW we speculated on whether the move would kill the platform . Yesterday, I scribbled a piece on those who were stung by the change. To my surprise, these are mostly women and other marginalized groups seeking consolation in Tumblr's pseudonymous communities.

Reddit has changed direction, as is often the case – for better or for worse. On Wednesday afternoon, just two days after the announcement, a group was already working hard to try to archive everything, or at least most of the time.

Redditor u / itdnhr started the process by collecting some 67,000 NSFW accounts and compiling a long list. He then shared it with R / Datasets, where other redditors erased the unused accounts, leaving 43,000 accounts .

However, keeping Tumblr's NSFW accounts is not without challenges, both in terms of scope and legality.

To begin, the archive contains about 25 terabytes of data. The simplest solution would be to send it as a torrent, but a file of this size makes it difficult. The time required to download a file of this size and the storage space needed to keep it would be prohibitive for most Internet users.

You can split the file into several parts or distribute it via a single link, or a series of links, on a private server. But even 25 terabyte files would eventually pose the same problem to anyone whose ultimate goal is to download the complete archive. And this method is not without risk.

Chances are the records contain images of sexual abuse of children. Apple has banned Tumblr from the App Store for this very reason.

If they were in the archives, the downloader and subsequent downloaders could face prosecution based on a law enforcement investigation, user reports containing content illegal and / or a simple algorithmic control of known metadata that can open the way to possibilities the parties are accused of any number of offenses related to the possession and / or the dissemination of images of & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Sexual abuse of children.

The scope of application of legal liability is unclear. As one legal professional said with whom we spoke, there is much to consider.

"In general, the possession and dissemination of images containing child pornography are certainly subject to criminal prosecution in the United States," states Ryan Clough, General Counsel for Public Knowledge . Open Internet non-profit based in Washington DC. "As long as you violate the explicit terms of the statue, you may be subject to prosecution."

Clough added, "What I will say, in general, is that the intent is required in virtually every criminal prosecution."

And it is there that it becomes difficult.

For prosecutors to be able to lay charges, it is likely that they would need corroborating evidence that the downloader and downloaders had specific knowledge of the contents of the archive: images of sexual abuse of children . However, downloading a large file that * may * contain images of sexual abuse involving children is not the same as intentionally downloading a file that you * know * contains.

In simple terms, do archivists seek to preserve Tumblr because it knows that it contains illegal content, or that it may contain illegal content?

Currently, the potential legal risk does not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of two of Reddit's larger archival communities. Users are still struggling to find solutions to best protect the endangered content of Tumblr.

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