Reddit CEO tampered with comments on Donald Trump subreddit

reddit Antonio Zugaldia flickr

Social aggregation site Reddit is known as a democratic platform. There are moderators, but they’re generally called into action only when subreddit rules are broken. But the latest revelation from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman goes against this wholeheartedly.

Huffman, under the Reddit name of /u/spez, has admitted to changing users’ comments, replacing mentions of his username with those of mods from the 300 000-strong Donald Trump subreddit.

“Yep. I messed with the ‘fuck u/spez‘ comments, replacing ‘spez’ with r/the_donald mods for about an hour,” he admitted on a thread.

“It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff,” Huffman adds.

#PizzaGate is another long story, involving an alleged child trafficking ring stemming from Washington D.C., and incidentally involved Hillary Clinton. The story was proven to be fake, but that didn’t stop haters from hating. The subreddit, mentioned in Huffman’s comment, was shuttered as it breached Reddit’s terms and conditions.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted to tampering with comments on the Donald Trump subreddit

According to Huffman, he continued to receive abuse from the community.

“As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly,” he adds.

“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.”

Can Reddit be trusted?

It’s more than just his team though. Users aren’t too happy with him either.

“So… how many other comments all over reddit have been edited anonymously by an admin?,” one Redditor asks, calling into question Reddit’s integrity.

“Listen man, I’m not the type that would type f anyone, but unless you change the rules upfront what you did compromises everything about this website. You really screwed up here,” diplomatically explains another.

This isn’t the first saga Reddit had to face this decade, but it’ll likely be one of the most detrimental to its stance as a democratic and fair domain.

Feature image: Antonio Zugaldia via Flickr

Andy Walker, former editor


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