Just Say Now Censored
Hey Reddit: we have a lot of you coming to this post now. We’re working with Reddit to fight back against Conde Nast’s decision. Please sign up for Just Say Now’s campaign and work with us to legalize marijuana in 2010 and beyond.

Hot on the heels of Facebook censoring marijuana leafs in ads on the social network, and Google’s decision to accept and run nearly identical ads, a third major Internet site took a side on legalization ads.

Social news site Reddit, owned by publishing company Conde Nast, told Just Say Now that the site would not run any display advertising relating to marijuana legalization.

The decision, from Conde Nast’s “corporate office,” according to Reddit, pertained not just to images of a marijuana leaf, but of all marijuana legalization advertising. We would be allowed to run ads using the site’s self-serve text advertisement tool, but no image or display ads.

Just Say Now requested a written explanation of our rejection, which we have not yet received. I spoke to an advertising representative at Reddit yesterday who informed me of the rejection.

Like Facebook, Reddit’s users prolifically post about pot. There are at least five marijuana-related “sub-reddits,” or reddit sites dedicated to specific topics and managed by users. Those include the subreddits trees, marijuana, weed, cannabis, and prop19. Users post news articles, musings, photos, and other content to the site, which is voted up or down by others on Reddit. On several marijuana subreddits, the up and down vote arrows are marijuana leafs.

Earlier this week I requested advertising rates for those subreddits, among others, as well as the home page of Reddit.com for our marijuana legalization campaign. After seeing the significant attention marijuana issues, and Proposition 19, received on the site, it seemed a natural place to try to advertise for supporters.

Indeed, Reddit users have been largely supportive of Firedoglake’s coverage and activism around marijuana legalization. Many tens of thousands of visits to Firedoglake in the last month have come from Reddit, mostly for our coverage of Prop 19.

While Reddit itself seemed eager to run ads in support of legalization, Conde Nast overruled the site’s operators and finance staff.

Just Say Now will run text advertisements on Reddit in support of marijuana legalization regardless of Conde Nast’s censorship. We’ll also work with the Reddit community to support Prop 19 in 2010, and to pass marijuana legalization across the country in 2012 and beyond.

Redditors who want to join with Just Say Now can sign up for our campaign, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

UPDATE: Reddit responded to Conde Nast’s censorship, and Conde Nast followed with an official statement. Reddit has also agreed to run our ads for free.

Note: Reddit linked to their response in a comment thread, calling the ban “bullshit.”

The reddit admins were just blindsided with news that, apparently, we’re not allowed to take advertising money from sites that support California’s Prop 19 (like this one, for example). There’s a lot of rabble flying around, and we wanted to make some points:

  1. This was a decision made at the highest levels of Conde Nast.
  2. reddit itself strongly disagrees with it, and frankly thinks it’s ridiculous that we’re turning away advertising money.
  3. We’re trying to convince Corporate that they’re making the wrong decision here, and we encourage the community to create a petition, so that your anger is organized in a way that will produce results.
  4. We’re trying to get an official response from Corporate that we can post here.

Please bear with us.

Edit: We have a statement from Corporate: “As a corporation, Conde Nast does not want to benefit financially from this particular issue.”


Edit 2: Since we’re not allowed to benefit financially, reddit is now running the ads for free. Of course, if you turned AdBlock on, you won’t be able to see them. :) Here’s how to properly create an AdBlock exception for reddit.