Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman stirred up controversy by editing comments posted by users on the subreddit “The_Donald.” This act of trolling didn’t go over well, and many users denounced the actions, citing concerns about privacy and whether admins could — and were — secretly editing other posts. Now, a week later, Huffman is back with another post, this one apologizing for his actions and addressing the issue of trolls.
In addition to saying he was sorry for editing the comments (something notably lacking from his first acknowledgement of the issue), Huffman explained that his actions were an “attempt to troll the trolls.” He also said that he “honestly thought [he] might find some common ground with the community by meeting them on their level.”
Huffman also described his actions as “standing up to the bullies,” though he does acknowledge that it raises issues about trust and he swears he won’t do anything like this again. The focus quickly shifts to The_Donald, however, where Huffman says hundreds of “the most toxic” users have been rooted out and penalized in some fashion, such as receiving warnings about their behavior or, in the more extreme cases, they’ve been outright banned.
As well, Reddit has removed The_Donald stickied posts from appearing in /r/all, and it has enabled a filtering feature for /r/all that is available to every Reddit user. The company says it will keep addressing its ‘most troublesome’ trolls…and Huffman suggests some subreddits will receive the banhammer if they fail to reign in their users.