Steve Huffman: Reddit is not a “bastion of free speech”


Reddit has always been a sort of free speech haven where users could do or say pretty much whatever they wanted, but as Reddit’s co-founder and current CEO Steve Huffman pointed out, the website was never intended to be such. According to him, Reddit was supposed to be a place for open and honest discussion, and the website has no obligation to protect all kinds of free speech. 

In yet another announcement addressed to the wider Reddit community, new CEO and cofounder Steve Huffman, also known as /u/spez, will host an AMA on Thursday to present an institutionalized Content Policy for users. Huffman wrote: “Neither Alexis nor I created reddit to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen: These are very complicated issues, and we are putting a lot of thought into it. It’s something we’ve been thinking about for quite some time. We haven’t had the tools to enforce policy, but now we’re building those tools and reevaluating our policy.” Reddit’s current stance on content and free speech is tenuous at best. Former CEO Ellen Pao’s decision to ban five particularly heinous subreddits — including r/fatpeoplehate, which targeted and harassed users on Reddit — was met with ire by Reddit users who are adamant that the site should protect all free speech.

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