Reddit CEO secretly edited Trump supports' posts

By midian182 ยท 28 replies
Nov 24, 2016
Post New Reply
  1. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has admitted that he secretly edited certain posts on the site that targeted him, replacing his username in the abusive comments with the names of moderators from unofficial Donald Trump subreddit r/the_donald.

    Huffman faced the anger of certain Redditors after the Pizzagate subreddit was banned. The section was being used to discuss a fake news story started by 4Chan users that claimed a pizza place in Washington D.C. – Comet Ping Pong – was the home of a child abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief, John D. Podesta.

    r/Pizzagate was set up with the intention of proving the existence of the conspiracy, but Reddit shut it down after users started posting personal information of those supposedly involved. "We don’t want witchhunts on our site," reads part of the notice that replaced the page.

    This didn’t go down well with members of r/the_donald community, some of whom accused the company of censorship. In retaliation for the ban, they targeted Huffman with a series of insults using his “spez” Reddit name so he would be notified each time one appeared.

    It seems the CEO reached breaking point after some of the posts accused him of being a pedophile. “Yep. I messed with the ‘f*ck u/spez‘ comments, replacing ‘spez’ with r/the_donald mods for about an hour,” he said. “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.”

    Huffman’s acknowledged that he made a mistake, and the altered posts have now been returned to their original state . “Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again,” he wrote.

    Not surprisingly, Huffman’s justifications for his actions haven't placated members of r/the_donald, who say he has single-handedly destroyed Reddit’s credibility and are calling for his resignation. “This is not a the_donald thing anymore. This should infuriate and concern EVERY SINGLE USER FROM EVERY SINGLE SUB. Falsifying content. CEO ethics violations,” wrote one user.

    Permalink to story.

  2. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,301   +429

    There is no justification...whadda punk
    psycros, captainload and Tibeardius like this.
  3. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    What's to stop them from editing comments to incriminate users of crimes they don't commit? Reddit has been losing its free speech status over the years but now its definitely lost it.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
    SirChocula, psycros, EClyde and 2 others like this.
  4. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 570   +372

    F*cking sc*mbag. fake news or not, you were in the opposite end of what a reddit is.

    oh, im gonna kick your smile.
    EClyde likes this.
  5. Radical

    Radical TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +34

    Fair game I say. Huffman should actually have sued these punks for defamation of character. An hour of misdirected links is completely fine if someone is calling you a pedofile in public.
    Yynxs, SalaSSin and alexnode like this.
  6. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    He's the CEO of the 8th largest website in the USA, he needs to put on his big boy pants and deal with it like a professional.

    Also, if he can change one persons comment, he can change anybodys comments. The entire sites integrity is compromised. You're not seeing how deep this blow runs.
  7. Radical

    Radical TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +34

    I get it. But what's more dangerous to public discourse - fake news stories that suggest a high ranking politician and presidential candidate is running a sex ring, or a guy redirecting hate mail back to users who are spreading defamatory slander (for about an hour).

    No, it's not ideal, but come on, these Reddit users are *****s and don't deserve free speech if all they do is spread hate and lies.
    SalaSSin likes this.
  8. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    That's the problem. People like you deciding who gets free speech and who doesn't. You're not talking about justice. You're talking about petty revenge.
    SirChocula, psycros, BSim500 and 3 others like this.
  9. Radical

    Radical TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +34

    Lord above, he just pranked them, and they deserved it. Justice would equate to law suits. Don't worry dude. Your precious freedom is still safe.
    lipe123, Yynxs and SalaSSin like this.
  10. WookieInHeat

    WookieInHeat TS Rookie

    Pizzagate wasn't a "fake news story started by 4chan", it was started by Wikileaks.
    fakehuman likes this.
  11. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    Omg, you're so edgy. Can't believe how lame I am for caring about my freedoms.
  12. Mr Dude

    Mr Dude TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +47

    I find it very interesting that you have a bigger problem with a-holes being rightfully pranked than with people being incredibly offensive and defamatory.

    On that matter, you should read on what Freedom of Speech actually entails. It does Not enable you to defame and slander. By engaging on it, you are abdicating on your right to free speech and setting yourself up for a smacking.

    It's not so much about who gets free speech and who doesn't, as it is about it not giving you a free pass to ye-haw whatever verbal diarrhea you have brewing up.
    Yynxs and alexnode like this.
  13. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,329   +1,976

    Yep ... there's the perfect example of election rigging ....
    Nobina and captainload like this.
  14. Tibeardius

    Tibeardius TS Booster Posts: 64   +42

    I haven't said anything like that. That's just your strawman. The internet is full of trolls, I'd hope that the CEO of Reddit wasn't one of them. That's my focus here. Condemning one side doesn't mean I approve of the other.

    The comment he ghost edited wasn't defaming or slandering him so how's your argument even relevant? If he wanted to reply to that message that would be fine. Editing someone elses comment is totally over the line.

    Actually that's exactly what free speech is.
    psycros, BSim500 and captainload like this.
  15. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Wow that rich coming from the first few commenters here..

    Soo the users on reddit accused Hillary and the mods and everyone else they didn't like pedophiles but when the tables get turned on them suddenly its the worst thing ever and all credibility is lost?

    How about this, how about every person that falsely accused someone of being a pedo online gets a nice public trial for false accusation and whatnot, then goes to prison for 6 months with a pedo label on their backs.
    Maybe then they will think twice (or hopefully way more times) before doing something so stupid again.

    On line bullying needs to stop and it needs to start carrying some tough real life penalties. The internet has become a cesspool of hate and there is nothing being done about it.
    Yynxs and wiyosaya like this.
  16. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Addict Posts: 182   +114

    Don't be so foolish, they told you its fake so you believe. No one wanted Trump in charge, every major media outlet tried their hearts out to convince you he would change USA to a totalitarian state. World wide child sex rings are very real, OperationDeatheaters for those interested.
  17. mizkitty

    mizkitty TS Enthusiast Posts: 44   +11

    It's not really a "secret" when you do it on a public forum...
  18. fakehuman

    fakehuman TS Rookie

    Who decides what news is fake and what news isn't?
    abysal likes this.
  19. Is that a CEO or just a High School yearbook photo? How many years is this guy past puberty?
    SirChocula likes this.
  20. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,264   +436

    lol I was thinking the same thing.

    I think its a year book photo he barely looks old enough to go to vegas!
  21. Chazz

    Chazz TS Evangelist Posts: 679   +75

    What CEO do you know that can't change something on their servers? There's more than him that can do that within his own company and many others especially when it comes to internet technology. He removed his name from a bunch of hate posts. A little unethical but nothing worth going on a alice in wonderland trip about.
  22. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,923   +756

    As I see it, what this guy did was completely wrong and an egregious abuse of his power, just as wrong as the other side promulgating a fake story about Hillary Clinton. Neither side has any honor in my eyes. Instead of editing the posts, this guy should have found a way to shut down the accounts associated with the fake stories, or change the terms of service so that accounts responsible for such fake posts could be shut down. Anything else is vigilante justice, and that is not what the US is founded on.
  23. Radical

    Radical TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +34

    I actually think shutting down accounts is more akin to censorship than simply flipping a username so the users sending him hate mail got a little bit of their own back. Sure, it's a bit immature, but it really has nothing to do with free speech.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  24. Radical

    Radical TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +34

    Also, at least he did it himself and didn't get an underling to take the fall. If he really wanted to abuse his power, I'm sure he could have come up with something far more sinister.
  25. Yynxs

    Yynxs TS Addict Posts: 202   +70

    And you have no concept of what being in the public view mean. As a public figure your private life is up for grabs, but even as a private citizen, TRY proving the negative; that you didn't do that. It's the reason there are defamation laws.

    Frankly, I think he was very conservative in his reaction. He's the CEO of the company and has complete access to everything, including registration information and where the ISP and IP address is located. If I had that level of power over tiny little missing manhood keyboard warriors, I would redirect their posts on all subjects to the local police, FBI, school website, job bosses, and parents (even if I had to print them and mail them).

    He should be applauded for his low level reaction and the dweebs involved should get a lesson in reality physics. Free speech is one thing. Character destruction is another and it's time they learned.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...