By William Branch
Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman is in hot water following his admittance of altering user comments, Wednesday November 23rd 2016.
Huffman (whose username is r/spez on the popular site) had been editing post such as “f*ck u r/spez” by replacing his name with the name of moderators on the popular subreddit The_Donald, the unofficial subreddit of now president-elect Donald Trump.
Following Huffman’s admittance, user UnimatrixZeroOne issued a statement calling for the Huffman’s resignation.
Recognizing that Reddit is a “private entity” and “not subject to the first amendment”, UnimatrixZeroOne did place emphasis on Reddit’s willingness in support free speech “where it doesn’t break the law”. Something Huffman did not uphold due to his meddling with user comments.
Now I for one do not care that Huffman practically trolled his trolls. I do care that he abused his powers as a moderator and as CEO to do so. Although this may be a smaller issue under closer and thorough observation, it is necessary that this matter is taken seriously. In recent weeks there have stories and editorials on fake news sites that have shown the serious implications misinformation on the internet can present.
So seeing as safeguards are being put in place to squelch the proliferation of fake news sites and stories this recent misstep in judgement from Reddit’s CEO is just another black eye for the internet.
As a member of the Reddit community I am conflicted by this recent admission. On the one hand I do not support the views and opinions of The_Donald subreddit community; but on the other hand, if a subreddit I frequented experienced that level of tampering I would be up in arms with support of Huffman’s resignation. Still I can only blindly trust that Reddit as well as other social networking sites are respecting the community member’s right of free speech.
Silverstein, Jason. “Reddit CEO Admits To Editing Pro-Trump Posts” , http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/reddit-ceo-admits-editing-pro-trump-posts-article-1.2888933. 27 Nov. 2016. Daily News. Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.
Nolan, Lucas. “Reddit’s Pro-Trump Community Calls On CEO Steve Huffman To Resign Following Edit Scandal”, http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/11/25/reddits-pro-trump-hub-calls-ceo-steve-huffman-resign-following-edit-scandal/. 25 Nov. 2016 Breitbart. Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.
Nolan, Lucas. “Reddit CEO Admits Changing Comments To Direct Users’ Insults At Pro-Trump Moderators”, http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/11/24/reddit-ceo-admits-to-editing-comments-insulting-him-to-blast-pro-trump-moderators/. 24 Nov. 2016 Breitbart. Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.