Reddit revolts after CEO admits to secretly editing user posts

Brittany A. Roston - Nov 25, 2016
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Reddit revolts after CEO admits to secretly editing user posts

Reddit users are still revolting following an admission by company CEO Steve Huffman that he edited some posts to make it appear users were angry with /r/The_Donald mods rather than himself. Huffman, who goes by the Reddit handle /u/spez, admitted to editing the posts after being called out by users, though he didn’t exactly apologize, instead excusing it as the result of a ‘long week’ and hurt feelings.

The edited user posts are located in the subreddit “The_Donald,” a haven of Trump supporters and others. The affected comments had mentioned /u/spez specifically in mean, derogatory, or otherwise negative ways…at least they did until Huffman edited them, removing his Reddit handle and replacing it with ones belonging to The_Donald mods. Huffman then acknowledged his actions in a post here on Wednesday (text below):

Hey Everyone,

Yep. I messed with the “f**k u/spez” comments, replacing “spez” with r/the_donald mods for about an hour. It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff. As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly. 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. F**k u/spez.

Reddit gives r/news mod the boot, but says there’s no censorship

He referred to the now-banned “pizzagate” subreddit, which itself had alleged shortly before its ban that Reddit admins were secretly editing user posts, and that admins also un-muted users that mods had banned over posting personal information. Reddit then banned the subreddit a short while later over claims that users were posting personal information, leading to claims that Reddit itself had set the subreddit up for a premeditated ban.

Huffman’s actions have seemingly given an element of credibility to other user accusations of admin meddling, as well as highlighting this potential avenue for abuse and calling the company’s integrity into question. Users have taken to labelling Huffman a cannibal following his actions, and many have abandoned the platform in favor of alternative Voat, which itself is having trouble handling the new visitor load.


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