Reddit Bans Community Dedicated to Dark Web Markets

DarkNetMarkets banned on Reddit

Reddit has banned /r/DarkNetMarkets, the site’s biggest community dedicated to discussions related to Dark Web marketplaces —sites dedicated to selling illegal products varying from weapons, drugs, malware, data breaches, DDoS services, fraud services, and more.

The community —called a subreddit on the site— had nearly 180,000 subscribed users at the time of the ban, two hours before this article’s publication.

New “direct dealing” rule at the source of the ban

Reddit admins banned the DarkNetMarkets subreddit minutes after putting a new rule into effect that forbade communities where users exchanged certain types of goods on Reddit. The list of forbidden goods includes:

    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;
    Stolen goods;
    Personal information;
    Falsified official documents or currency

The new “direct dealing” rule has been under discussion on Reddit for quite a while, but the Stoneman Douglas High School mass-shooting remotivated Reddit admins on approving and enforcing the new guideline —approved mainly to prevent any firearms and ammunition trade on the platform.

Users expected the ban days ago

DarkNetMarkets have been keeping an eye on admin discussions, and some expected the ban hammer to fall for quite some time now.

The ban of DarkNetMarkets is fully justified. The entire point of the subreddit was to let users talk about Dark Web markets, and naturally, all discussions always steered off to transactions, market bugs, scammers, or product reviews.

Even if subreddit moderators tried their best at banning users from arranging sales via the subreddit, it was hard to find a topic where one user wouldn’t show his/her’s availability for filling an order for various products —usually drugs.

The subreddit was also the first place where users would go to complain about markets shutting down or pulling exit scams, with some users hilariously revealing crucial details about their real-life personas.

Many in the information security business believed the subreddit to be swarming with law enforcement agents gathering information for future arrests.

Following the subreddit’s sudden demise, several clone subreddits have now popped up on Reddit, but expect most to disappear once Reddit admins find evidence of users arranging transactions of illegal goods through these new communities.