Steve Huffman, Reddit CEO has publicly admitted to editing some of the comments regarding his person left on public view from multiple Donald Trump supporters. However, he claims that the mild editing did not affect the integrity of the content itself. Nevertheless, by following this course of action, he managed to stir up – yet again – concerns about the credibility of the site and Reddit’s ability to collaborate with the community.
According to the Reddit CEO, Mr. Huffman says that he “messed” with the comments section, replacing several mods for about an hour.
In the past, Reddit has been known to manufacture stories, particularly that of a Washington pizza restaurant thought to be the center of child trafficking operations conducted by Hillary Clinton in collaboration with John Podesta, her campaign chairman. Even though the story had no basis in reality, it captured so many people’s attention that even The New York Times wrote a piece on it.
As a result, management was forced to close the “#pizzagate” subreddit, severely crippling Reddit’s credibility. When confronted about tampering with the comments, the Reddit CEO says he did it because of the overwhelming quantity of both abusive, as well as critical comments addressed to him.
Steve Huffman’s Explanation
During his statement, Mr. Huffman explained his actions in detail, but only promised not to repeat the practice rather than apologizing. Another reason for his actions could be the frustration resulted from hateful messages regarding the Reddit CEO.
“It does get old getting called a pedophile constantly”, says Mr. Huffman.
When asked about his decision to modify the comment section by a Reddit user, he said that the wanted to “troll” the “trolls” for a little bit.
Mr. Huffman took his position back only last year after Ellen Pao left of her own accord. During her time at Reddit, she used her position to close multiple threads and fire Victoria Taylor, the community manager. These actions only enraged the Reddit users. In turn, they responded with a wave of sexist remarks, racist slurs, and a wide range of other hateful comments to her address.
Even though this is all in the past now, the recent actions of Mr. Huffman only amplify Reddit user’s concerns in relation to the site’s credibility.
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