Reddit CEO faces calls to resign for editing critical comments from Trump supporters

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted this week he changed comments made by users in a pro-Donald Trump discussion thread after they insulted and criticized him for allowing the tech firm to pull down a “Pizzagate” conspiracy board from the site.

Some users aren’t only upset, but they’re calling for Huffman’s resignation. A petition on Change.org asking Huffman to step down as CEO already has more than 4,700 supporters. The petition says that Huffman, who also co-founded Reddit in 2005, “breached the security and trust of the community he created years ago.”

It all hit a boiling point after Reddit banned a community thread called “r/pizzagate” aimed at proving a conspiracy theory that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and campaign chairman John Podesta were running a child-trafficking ring out of pizza restaurant Comet Ping Pong.  The story was fabricated, but the owner of the restaurant has received numerous death threats and abusive messages via social media, according to The New York Times.

Noting that personal and confidential information was being spread on “r/pizzagate” and that they don’t want “witchhunts” on their site, Reddit pulled down the subreddit this week.

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That irked users part of a pro-Donald Trump discussion thread called “r/The_Donald,” who thought the company’s decision to pull down “r/pizzagate” amounted to censorship. Some users started posting profane comments about Huffman, who goes by the user name “spez” on Reddit.

On Wednesday, members of “r/The_Donald” started noticing that their posts about the shutdown of “r/pizzagate” had been changed.

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That’s when Huffman admitted that he did edit some of the abusive comments targeted at him. In profane comments directed at him, he replaced his user name “spez” with moderators from the Trump thread for about an hour.

“As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly,” Huffman wrote. “As the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now. Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again.”

Reddit has had a series of CEOs who have stepped down. In 2015, Huffman took over for interim Chief Executive Ellen Pao, who resigned after facing criticism for banning discussion threads and firing a well-liked employee.

Pao had replaced Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, who abruptly resigned from the position in 2014.

Photo Credit: Reddit Logo

 

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  • Reddit is in turmoil. They have yet to find a capable CEO and clearly Huffman is not fit for the role. He needs to step down or be forced out. The company and community deserve a CEO with more maturity and integrity.

  • Walking Fool

    In other words, he used his position for abuse.

    He needs to be fired today.

 
 
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