Reddit banned the DrugStashes subreddit for violating sitewide rules against transactions involving prohibited goods or services. A former moderator of the subreddit has already launched /d/DrugStashes on Dread.
The DrugStashes subreddit served as a platform for users to post pictures of their drug collections. Moderators described the subreddit as a place to “[b]oast with your own chemical collection or just peek into other’s.” Uploading pictures of drugs to a public platform appears to violate all lessons from OPSEC 101.
Law enforcement examines relevant pictures in their investigations. For example, Homeland Security Investigations identified the darkweb vendor Canna_Bars after spotting a high-resolution fingerprint in a picture of marijuana uploaded by the vendor. Canna_Bars had included his hand in several pictures of marijuana uploaded to this Imgur album.
The subreddit moderators knew the risk associated with the types of pictures uploaded to /r/drugstashes, though. They warned users to “use imgur or reddits built-in image hoster. Both delete and don’t save Exif data.” A pinned post warned users about law enforcement using identifying pictures against users.
Reddit banned the DarknetMarkets subreddit in 2018 and the DarknetMarketNoobs subreddit in late 2019. Both subreddits moved to Dread, further enforcing Dread’s position as the Reddit of the darkweb. Dozens of similar subreddits launched counterparts on Dread after Reddit dropped the 2018 ban-hammer.
/u/cyrilio, a former moderator of DrugStashes and current moderator of /r/drugs, /r/researchchemicals, /r/pillreports, and dozens of similar subreddits, created a subdread for /r/DrugStashes. The new subdread, /d/DrugStashes, is available here: dreadditevelidot.onion/d/DrugStashes.
Below is Reddit’s content policy as it applies to transactions on the platform:
Content is prohibited if it uses Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services.
You may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including
- Firearms, ammunition, bump-stock-type devices**,** explosives, or 3D printing files to produce firearms or bump-stock-type devices;
- Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances (except advertisements placed in accordance with our advertising policy);
- Paid services involving physical sexual contact;
- Stolen goods;
- Personal information;
- Falsified official documents or currency
- Fraudulent services
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.
DrugStashes explicitly forbid posts that violated Reddit’s content policy. Their rules:
Any drug solicitation, sourcing, mentioning or linking to vendors for any reason in this subreddit will result in an immediate banning.
This includes links to legal drug vendors and PM requests/offers. Joking about meeting up with people or communicating privately in response to posted images is also forbidden.
If in doubt, then DON’T. If your post, or a reply to it would make it easier for someone to get drugs, it’s not permitted
If you notice sourcing, unpleasantness or anything else out of place, please use the report button under the offending post.
The moderators of the banned darknetmarkets subreddit forbid similar posts and constantly posted warnings for all 150,000 or more users to see. Reddit still banned the sub and did so without warning. The ban immediately followed an update to the content policy.
Reddit’s exact (perhaps unofficial) position on drug-related subreddits is hardly clear enough to futureproof a community. General discussion and general harm reduction appear to be safe for the time being. However, some of the subs banned in 2018 included harm reduction communities for specific drugs. With previous bans in mind, it is not difficult to imagine an expiration date for /r/darknet and /r/deepweb (even though the moderators of both subreddits are great at enforcing the rules).