Reddit’s new CEO tries to keep the crazies in check
Reddit’s new CEO Steve Huffman is unleashing a heavy drenching of Raid on to the hornet’s nest.
He released a new content policy Thursday that would effectively rid Reddit of illegal activity, spam, harassment and sexual content involving minors. Adult content will be required to have a not safe for work (NSFW) tag and will only be seen to users who log into the site. Not surprisingly, Reddit plans to keep advertisers far from explicit content.
In the Ask Me Anything thread unveiling the new policy, Huffman tried to strike a balance between embracing the platform’s free speech ethos while bringing a grownup’s reasonableness to the limits of free speech.
“The reason we’re careful to restrict speech is because people have more open and authentic discussions when they aren’t worried about the speech police knocking down their door,” he wrote.
In a sign of just how strange of a for-profit company Reddit is, the CEO is proposing the changes to users before making them official company policy. (You don’t see Mark Zuckerberg asking Facebook users to vote on whether it should autoplay videos.) It’s a cautious attempt not to alienate the community even further following the dismissal of a well-liked moderator two weeks ago. And, let’s face it, Reddit users haven’t exactly shown themselves to be paragons of moderation.
On cue, Reddit users bombarded the thread with Huffman’s announcement, picking apart the newly proposed rules and debating the semantics of what qualifies as harassment or explicit material.
One user asked if purging Reddit of “ugly elements” is to further monetize Reddit, to which Huffman responded “zero.” Another caveat is that controversial racist subreddits like /r/coontown will be hidden. “The content there is offensive to many, but does not violate our current rules for banning,” he says.
Since cofounding the website in 2005 with Alexis Ohanian, the web of message boards that make up Reddit have attracted 170 million users every month. But it has been affected by growing pains, including failing to modernize the website for mobile and lots of turnover within the executive ranks.
Huffman told the New York Times that his views on what content allowed on the website has changed. “We cannot turn a blind eye to it like we have in the past,” he said. “Our responsibility is to our community so they can express themselves on Reddit.”
Media Buying Briefing: Is Super Bowl LV on third and long, trailing in the game?
As it has with almost everything in our lives, the coronavirus pandemic has affected this national — actually international — media event.
With many employees wary, company leaders prepare their return-to-office coronavirus vaccine policies
Employee skepticism around vaccines remains, despite reassurances by company leaders that they will offer a safe workplace.
‘An ordinary course of business’: Why agency holding groups could be the next arbitrage target for private equity investors
These are businesses P.E. investors can buy relatively cheaply and then, after a transition of intense cash flow and margin improvement, sell up.
SponsoredThe evolution of shoppable content lies in social media streams
With the physical and social aspects of shopping stripped away due to various lockdown restrictions around the globe, shoppable social media is poised to fill the void. In a recent example, Instagram launched its Reels and Shop tab for users to connect with brands and creators — and to discover products. The social media platform will […]
‘On a learning curve here’: E-commerce platforms still struggling with hateful listings
E-commerce platforms face backlash for a few bad actors among thousands of new listings each day.
‘Always on trauma machine’: Social media managers grapple with burnout, leaving the industry
Long hours, low pay, endless hateful comments and today’s starkly polarized political climate is adding fuel to the fire, according to social media managers.