Reddit User Triggers Huge Uproar After Posting Candid Photos of Canadian Women Online

Privacy on the web has always caused problems. But where do you draw the line when several photos of fully clothed women are unknowingly taken in public places and then posted all over the internet?

A guy who went by the Reddit username “CreeperComforts” had been wandering around the city of Toronto snapping photos of women he found attractive so he could upload them to image sharing site and then share them on the subreddit page of social networking site Reddit. The subreddit was called “CreepShots” and featured photos primarily of Toronto women.

A female Toronto Reddit user immediately notified the /r/Toronto subreddit on Monday after discovering the photos. According to Toronto police, who had the situation brought to their attention, it’s not against the law to take photographs of people in public settings unless they’re used for sexual intent.

CreeperComforts had apparently written in his profile that he routinely carries around a DSLR camera and snaps photos in public places of women performing mundane activities or just walking down the street, without even trying to be sneaky about it.

And despite the ridiculous controversy of it all, CreepShots did have at least some posting rules. For example, no submissions of “upskirts” and no minors were allowed. Mods also said they would take any photos down if requested.

Although CreeperComforts declined to be interviewed, he did respond to the Toronto Sun and argued that people have their pictures taken every day all the time by security cameras in public places. He also defended his actions in a specific subreddit called “subredditdrama.”

“Yes, /r/CreepShots is full of perverts, some more disturbed than others, but we MODS do have some rules we try our best to enforce,” CreeperComforts wrote.

“The biggest one is ‘Reasonable Expectation of Privacy,'” he continued. “No nudity unless it’s from a public place. Topless beaches seem to be the norm for those shots. Washrooms and the like, on the other hand, are off limits because everyone should expect some level of privacy when taking a dump. A few people posted pictures of their wives/girlfriends sleeping in bed or on the couch. Those were obviously a violation of privacy, so they were deleted.”

CreeperComforts started to receive threats from an anonymous source online, saying that his personal information would be published online unless he deleted all the CreepShots photos and took down the entire subreddit. Ironically enough, CreeperComforts took the subreddit into private mode on Wednesday because he was concerned about protecting his own privacy.

A screenshot that was obtained by the Daily Dot revealed the detailed threat, demanding CreeperComforts to replace all contents with “a public apology to the women of Toronto and to women in general.” So far, it looks like CreeperComforts has released no such apology.

Unfortunately, this is not the only time the controversial CreepShots subreddit has been in the news. Just last month, a substitute teacher was fired because he had shared images of his students there.

Reddit administrators have been widely criticized for not adequately policing the site, and since the disgraceful activities behind CreepShots are “technically legal,” site administrators generally didn’t get involved much.

According to Reddit’s user agreement, the personal information of a user cannot be posted on the site, and “You further agree not to use any sexually suggestive language or to provide any graphics, text, photographs, images, video, audio or other material that is sexually suggestive or appeal to a prurient interest.”

Toronto police said they would investigate any complaints filed regarding photos discovered on the site. Nobody reported anything since it became an issue to the Toronto area earlier this week, and the CreepShots subreddit has since been banned shortly after going private on Wednesday.

It’s not the first time something so controversial brought Reddit into the spotlight, and it won’t be the last. But for most of us decent human beings, CreepShots is just another one of those weird and crazy incidents to be added to the list of social media activities gone very wrong.