Reddit is a user-generated news aggregator and its CEO has admitted that as a result of the this subreddit users insulting him, he modified the posts on the most visited community page of Donald Trump.
This issue started when the fake news about a child abuse ring based in a Washington DC pizza restaurant and supposedly run by Hillary Clinton and John Podesta was debunked by the New York Times in an article earlier this week.
Although there was virtually no evidence to prove that such a ring exists, the accusations of a child abuse ring became viral on social media including Reddit.
On Reddit a r/Pizzagate community was established and it quickly started to gain momentum, at this time the moderators of Reddit intervened and the related subreddit were shut down. Reddit posted a message saying, “We do not want witch hunts on our site.”
This enraged many people including the r/The_Donald community which started to insult Steve Huffman, the CEO of Reddit in comments. The users also mentioned his Reddit username to make sure that he received their messages.
The members of the r/The_Donald community noticed on Wednesday that instead of going to the Steve Huffman their messages were going to Reddit moderators and that there posts have been modified.
Steve Huffman confirmed on Reddit that he had been modifying the post, he wrote,
Yep. I messed with the ‘f**k u/spez’ comments, replacing ‘spez’ with r/the_donaldmods for about an hour. It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagatestuff. 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.”
Understandably this made a lot of users mad, one of them commented on this, he wrote,
“It’s honestly not at all less serious than if Twitter decided to edit someone’s tweet, without any notification, to say something else and pass it off as that person’s writing. If your account is linked to your real identity and an admin changes your post to say “F**k Someone” they don’t like, there’s no Terms of Service they can write that can protect them from that being a lawsuit.
I think it’s really important to document this precedent, and also how shoddily it was handled after he was caught by users. It would surprise most people to hear that the admins would edit a post willy-nilly because their adolescent feelings got pricked.”
While another one had this to say, ‘I don’t normally follow this sub or its politics, but came upon this post and was surprised. I was hoping it wasn’t really the reddit admins that did it, but he just confirmed it. I’m hesitant to join any controversial topic now. It’s one thing if a post is deleted, but another when a precedent is set that content can be changed without the author knowing.”