The popular Web site reddit has removed a controversial section featuring user-submitted photos of young girls in various states of undress.

The jailbait subreddit appears to have been removed within the last day, and the page now hosts a brief message reading, This subreddit has been shut down due to threatening the structural integrity of the greater reddit community, followed by a link to the reddit policies, which was last updated on Sept. 2.

The removal of the popular subreddit has prompted a vocal response within the reddit community, with several message threads devoted to a discussion of whether the removal was a violation of free expression. Participating redditors seem to be divided pretty evenly on the issue.  

One redditor claims to be partially responsible for getting the subreddit shut down, and posted a screenshot of tip he emailed to the FBI, complaining that jailbait was in violation of child pornography laws because users were requesting questionable photos from other users.

The informant cited a reddit thread involving a photo of a young woman in a thong, posted by a redditor who said she was his 14-year-old girlfriend. Apparently this prompted other redditors to request more photos.

I hope you can do everything in your power to take care of this because I am not sure who else can other than the freaking FBI! the redditor wrote. There is no indication the freaking FBI had anything to do with the subreddit's removal.

IBTimes is awaiting a response to a request for further comment from reddit CEO Eric Marden.

In late September, Anderson Cooper devoted a segment of Anderson Cooper 360 to examine the question of whether reddit was enabling child pornography via the ephebophile subreddit, as it was called. (The jailbait subreddit's  headline was Keep a teen off the streets -- put her in your van!)

We begin tonight's 'Keeping Them Honest' with the possibility that somebody, somewhere is looking at sexually suggestive images of your child, Cooper said on the show on Sept. 29, explaining that reddit is part of one of the most respected publishing empires on earth.

(Until recently, reddit was a division of Conde Nast, and they now share the same corporate parent.)

 Anderson contacted Marden, who responded with the statement: We're a free speech site and the cost of that is there's offensive stuff on there...Once we start taking down some things we find offensive, then we're no longer a free speech site and no longer a platform for everyone. We're exerting editorial control and that's not what we are.

As Jezebel reported, jailbait' was shut down, briefly, in August.  Not because it's disgusting, but because of an internal power struggle between moderators and site administrators, the article said, adding that the subreddit has 21,000 subscribers.