The big picture: Banning impersonation may seem like a no-brainer but if we’re being straightforward, all that Reddit is really doing here is giving itself a bit more leeway with regard to making judgement calls in the near future.

Reddit this week took a firmer stance against one of the rarer reported classes of incidents on the platform: impersonation.

With issues of great public significance like the 2020 US presidential election looming later this year, Reddit is using the opportunity to better cover some use cases it has already seen and some that might crop up in the future.

Examples of more commonly seen impersonation include users pretending to be someone else, Reddit said, but isn’t limited to this narrow scope. The platform has also witnessed fake articles falsely attributed to real journalists, fake communications claiming to have originated from legitimate agencies and scammy domains attempting to pose as the real deal.

Reddit is also gearing up for more of what might be in the pipeline, like deepfakes of politicians or other content that misleads.

Do not impersonate an individual or entity

Reddit does not allow content that impersonates individuals or entities in a misleading or deceptive manner. This not only includes using a Reddit account to impersonate someone, but also encompasses things such as domains that mimic others, as well as deepfakes or other manipulated content presented to mislead, or falsely attributed to an individual or entity. While we permit satire and parody, we will always take into account the context of any particular content.

Reddit isn’t going full bore with its impersonation ban, however; the platform will still allow satirical work that isn’t meant to be malicious.

Again, with the election season looming and so much at stake on the political landscape, Reddit and other social platforms are going to have their hands full this fall.

Masthead credit: Masked man by beeboys