The social media site Reddit (Reddit.com) is home to hundreds of millions of users, users who share news stories and other content, as well as comment on forums and do a bunch of voting to let each other know what they really think. In November, the site came under fire after Reddit CEO Steve Huffman did some questionable editing.
In a nutshell, Huffman edited some negative comments that had been directed at him on the social media site, using his administrative access. He changed the content so that the comments were aimed at pro-Trump Reddit users, and he admitted to doing it.
(Imagine, if you will, Mark Zuckerberg hacking covertly into your Facebook account and changing the content of your posts, letting the world think that his words were yours.)
As Fox News reports, the CEO of the social media site Reddit didn’t take responsibility right away, but eventually (after much public outcry), he did fess up.
“…as the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now… I most assuredly won’t do this again.”
Now, however, it is being reported that the Reddit CEO is still keeping a very tight leash on pro-Trump Reddit users. Calling some of those who regularly post on the pro-Trump section of the site (called “r/The_Donald“) “toxic,” Huffman announced mid-week that he is ramping up his censorship of Trump supporters in a big way.
According to Reddit CEO Huffman, he will be censoring all posts in the pro-Trump section in a very profound way. Namely, he is going to prevent the controversial posts from the section from reaching the “front page” of Reddit. In effect, he will be wrangling the pro-Trump commentary into one, easily contained section of the Reddit social media site.
As The Washington Post reports, Reddit’s CEO isn’t joking about taking action against the so-called “toxic users” abusing the social media site, as was made clear in a Wednesday statement addressing the issue.
“We will continue taking on the most troublesome users, and going forward, if we do not see the situation improve, we will continue to take privileges from communities whose users continually cross the line — up to an outright ban.”
In the statement in which he addressed how pro-Trump troublemakers would be handled on Reddit in the future, Steve Huffman once again apologized for his previous controversial edits on the site. He also stated, in the statement posted on Reddit, that the social media site would be handling harassment much differently from here on out.
Specifically, he stated that Reddit had pinpointed “hundreds of the most toxic users,” and is planning on taking immediate action against them and their “toxic” (largely pro-Trump) postings. Some will get warnings, others may end up banned from the Reddit social media site altogether.
In all, the Reddit community under fire, “r/The_Donald,” has over 300,000 members. So-called “irreverent and enthusiastic” members. The Reddit group is so popular that the real Donald, Trump himself even dropped by in July.
It’s possible that the new Reddit censorship will even extend beyond the boundaries of the “r/The_Donald” group. On Thursday, Reddit CEO Huffman had a cryptic response to a question regarding whether the new Reddit limits would go beyond the “r/The_Donald” community.
“Right now, just them… Going forward, we’ll just take away their toys specifically and move on.”
Reportedly, the current row between the Reddit social media site’s management and pro-Trump social media users got its start amid the so-called “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory. Reddit banned a controversial subreddit fully, solely of those accusing high-profile Democrats of operating a human (child) trafficking ring in plain site. The moniker “Pizzagate” comes from the alleged central hub of that ring, a D.C. pizzeria.
The Pizzagate conspiracy theory has been well debunked by folks higher up the media chain than Reddit, such as The New York Times and other outlets. However, that little fact didn’t stop the “r/pizzagate” subreddit from flourishing. Its members were (in many cases) also members of the “r/The_Donald” group. The social media site shut down the Pizzagate group because its members allegedly repeatedly violated Reddit terms by posting people’s personal information.
Shortly thereafter, Reddit CEO Huffman found himself under fire and responded by editing anti-Huffman comments, sparking the current drama.
Moderators of the pro-Trump section of the Reddit social media site have spoken out about the new rules and censorship. Reportedly, they are not surprised that they (as Trump supporters) are being censored. They are, however, surprised that Steve Huffman, the embattled Reddit CEO, hasn’t apologized directly to them for the way he edited user comments over Thanksgiving.
After all, he did turn the anti-Huffman comments in negative comments about the mods.
“Huffman has not directly issued our community an apology. Instead, he has the audacity to call us ‘toxic.’ They are trying to control and push the radical left-wing narrative that our country has turned away by electing Mr. Trump.'”
What do you think? Should Reddit CEO Steve Huffman issue a wider apology for his controversial censorship? Is an apology even enough? What are your thoughts regarding social media site Reddit directly targeting pro-Trump users for censorship?
[Featured Image by Gil C/Shutterstock]