Reddit’s CEO Apologizes For Censoring Users, Launches Crackdown On ‘Toxic’ Donald Trump-Supporting Trolls

by 12 months ago
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Reddit CEO Steve Huffman publicly apologized for editing comments. In a lengthy post on r/announcements, Huffman begins by saying, “tl;dr: I fucked up. I ruined Thanksgiving. I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”

“I am sorry: I am sorry for compromising the trust you all have in Reddit, and I am sorry to those that I created work and stress for, particularly over the holidays,” he said. “It is heartbreaking to think that my actions distracted people from their family over the holiday; instigated harassment of our moderators; and may have harmed Reddit itself, which I love more than just about anything.”

The CEO promised to limit his own access to Reddit posts going forward so as not to repeat the same thing.

Huffman unveiled a filtering system, which would omit subreddits from their personal r/all page.

The CEO previously edited posts that contained “fuck Spez” and replaced his Reddit username with those of the pro-Trump subreddit The_Donald’s moderators.

Spez received much of the hate after banning a subreddit called “Pizzagate,” which was dedicated to a conspiracy theory that believes that Hillary Clinton was involved in a pedophile ring that met up at a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor.

Huffman also announced “a more proactive approach to policing” the site. Reddit, which is the 7th-most-visited U.S. internet site, also introduced stricter moderation rules to make sure users “show enough respect to others.”

He also revealed that his “trust and safety” team has already identified “the most toxic users” on the social media website and are already handing out warnings and both temporary and permanent bans.

Huffman said he would not ban the section entirely as he wanted to push a “spirit of healing” on the site.”

“More than anything, I want Reddit to heal, and I want our country to heal, and although many of you have asked us to ban the r/The_Donald outright, it is with this spirit of healing that I have resisted doing so,” he wrote on Wednesday.

However, he also said they would strip subreddits of privileges if they cross the line repeatedly and will even ban them completely in worst case scenarios.

“We don’t want to be censoring political beliefs, but then they do misbehave,” he said. “That’s why we have worked so closely with the r/The_Donald community. We tell them: don’t force us to ban you.”

It was not meant to circumvent organic voting, which r/the_donald does to slingshot posts into r/all, often in a manner that is antagonistic to the rest of the community.

A petition was created calling for Huffman to step down as CEO of Reddit, which has over 6,000 signatures.

[ArsTechnica/BBC]


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