Dec 17, 2014 · 1 minute

It's easier for a corporation to convince Reddit to prevent its users from sharing information than it is for celebrities whose phones were hacked to trust the site to remove stolen (and often nude) photos.

Business Insider reports that the self-described front page of the Internet has complied with "less than a handful" of takedown requests filed by Sony Pictures Entertainment to keep data leaked as the result of the company's November hacking from continuing its digital spread.

Reddit has banned a number of users and deleted a subreddit related to the Sony Pictures hack to comply with the takedown notice. (It is allowing people discussing the news related to the hack, or which resulted from the hack, to continue to use its site.) The Verge reports that this is justified by the site's rules, which prohibit its users from sharing personal information.

So one has to wonder: where was that rule when Reddit users were posting nude photographs stolen from celebrities' smartphones without repercussions? The subreddit devoted to that leak was eventually deleted not because of its encouragement of moral bankruptcy but because some of the celebrities whose photos were shared filed takedown requests with the company.

Indeed, Reddit's then-chief executive Yishan Wong published a blog post in response to the leaks in which he said "every man is responsible for his own soul" and provided the company's reasoning behind allowing the images of these women to be shared without their consent to continue.

I'm not arguing that Reddit should have allowed its users to continue posting these leaks. The file dumps reportedly have the social security numbers, medical histories, and other personal information of thousands of Sony Pictures employees and their families somewhere among the countless emails between the company's executives and directors and Hollywood stars.

But it's a strange world where a company decides it's okay for its users to share stolen images, and even publishes a blog post defending that decision, only to later capitulate to a company doing everything it can to stop the documents leaked by its hackers from remaining public. I hope Reddit responds to future leaks (and there are sure to be more leaks) just as quickly.

Otherwise it will have shown once and for all that the privacy of private citizens -- celebrities or not -- isn't as important as a corporation's efforts to prevent its dirty laundry from airing.