Reddit CEO criticises the ‘dark side’ of internet’s front page

15 Jul 20151 Share

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Reddit CEO hits out at "reprehensible" activities on dark side of internet's front page.

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Reddit’s new CEO Steve Huffman has hit out at the dark side of the internet’s so-called front page, labelling the activities of trolls as “reprehensible”. He said some communities should not be there at all.

Huffman, one of Reddit’s co-founders, took over the reins of Reddit after interim CEO Ellen Pao resigned. Pao’s resignation came in the wake of the AMAgeddon drama that saw large tracts of Reddit go dark in protest at the firing of a Reddit employee.

Pao said that she did not believe Reddit could keep to its core values in line with growth targets set by the board. However, her departure was also marked by abusive messages.

Huffman said that the top priority at Reddit is to develop a comprehensive content policy and the tools for moderators to enforce it.

Reddit’s dark side

“The overwhelming majority of content on Reddit comes from wonderful, creative, funny, smart and silly communities. That is what makes Reddit great,” Huffman said.

“There is also a dark side, communities whose purpose is reprehensible, and we don’t have any obligation to support them. And we also believe that some communities currently on the platform should not be here at all.

‘Neither Alexis nor I created Reddit to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen’
– STEVE HUFFMAN

“Neither Alexis nor I created Reddit to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen: These are very complicated issues, and we are putting a lot of thought into it. It’s something we’ve been thinking about for quite some time. We haven’t had the tools to enforce policy, but now we’re building those tools and re-evaluating our policy.”

Huffman – whose Reddit handle is “spez” – said that he will be posting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Thursday at 1pm PST (9pm Irish time) to present the company’s current thinking.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com