Steve Huffman, the new CEO of reddit following the resignation of maligned former chief executive Ellen Pao, has announced that, under his watch, the news and social networking site will begin exorcising any subreddits that support or promote offensive and obscene content.
Huffman, a returning co-founder of reddit, said that he helped create the site not “to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen.”
Pao was forced out of her position as CEO of reddit following an online petition that attracted 213,000 signatures. She was blamed for the firing of Victoria Taylor, reddit’s former Director of Talent. However, after Pao’s departure, it was revealed that co-founder Alexis Ohanian was the person responsible for Taylor’s dismissal. Pao was also considered to be leading reddit into “new age of censorship,” which again turned out to be not entirely true, with a statement from former reddit executive Yishan Wong revealing, “On at least two separate occasions, the board pressed [Ms Pao] to outright ban all the hate subreddits in a sweeping purge. She resisted.”
“She probably would have tolerated your existence so long as you didn’t cause any problems. I know that her long-term strategies were to find ways to surface and publicise Reddit’s good parts – allowing the bad parts to exist but keeping them out of the spotlight,” Wong added.
Now, Huffman has outlined plans to develop a “comprehensive content policy” to control the more distasteful parts of reddit. “The overwhelming majority of content on Reddit comes from wonderful, creative, funny, smart, and silly communities. That is what makes Reddit great,” he wrote.
“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.”
“We as a community need to decide together what our values are. To that end, I’ll be hosting an AMA [Ask Me Anything session] on Thursday.”
Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.