Technology

Reddit plans short video-streaming trial

Reddit mascots Image copyright Reuters
Image caption All the streams being shown via Reddit will be overseen by human moderators

Social news site Reddit is running a five-day trial of live video streaming.

It has developed a tool for eligible users that will let them broadcast live video to what it calls the Reddit Public Access Network.

Streaming will only be allowed between 09:00 and 17:00 and human moderators will watch every stream to ensure no inappropriate content is broadcast.

The site said the test was about "fun" and if it worked well it could become a permanent feature.

Video vote

Not everyone on Reddit will be able to stream, it said in a post explaining the system. It added that it wanted all videos to be "safe for work".

"We will be watching r/pan broadcasts very closely," it said.

The rules governing what Reddit is happy to be streamed rule out:

  • nudity
  • sexually suggestive content
  • graphic violence
  • illegal/dangerous behaviour
  • hoax promotion
  • content that would be seen as highly offensive/upsetting

Videos from those allowed to stream will show up on the r/pan sub-reddit but the most popular will be also be visible on the site's front page. Initially the site will only permit a maximum of 100 streams to run concurrently and none will last longer than 30 minutes.

Like all other content on the site, Reddit users will be able to sort what is best by upvoting and downvoting streams posted to the forum.

Writing on The Next Web tech news site, Rachel Kaser said many people's reaction to hearing Reddit was about to try live streaming would be a "cringe of despair".

"Reddit's interesting variety of communities include several that might be rather perturbing to listen to on a public access broadcast," she said.

"It remains to be seen how well the site can police its own content," she said, adding that the moderation had to be "top priority" given how streaming had been abused on other sites.

Facebook was widely criticised in May when a shooting attack that led to 51 deaths in Christchurch, New Zealand was broadcast via its live service.

After the attack Facebook faced heavy criticism for its lack of response to officials and for the way it dealt with the footage.

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