Reddit Management Woes Continue, Parent Company Silent Michael Farnsworth November 28, 2016 1 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Neither Reddit, Inc. nor their parent company Advance Publications, has formally addressed the behavior of Steven Huffman, CEO of Reddit. Huffman admitted to secretly altering user submissions by directly modifying the site’s database, a method that prevents users from knowing that any edit took place. Further questionable management decisions by Huffman and his staff have emerged. Users question Reddit’s viability as a platform for their voice considering its management’s inclination to silence communities it deems “damaging.” These questions were soon followed by accusations against Huffman, Reddit, and Advance Publications regarding their silence and inaction against communities such as r/pedofriends. Doubling Down Reddit administration staff has found some of their more recent inflammatory remarks against sub-reddit r/the_donald leaked to the public, days after Huffman’s confession. The leaked discussion shows the irritation felt by Reddit, Inc. administrators and moderators at Huffman’s actions. The same individuals also voice their opinion of concerns brought up by users following the event as nothing more than attempts to “spread the drama,” as stated by u/spaghetticatt. Other staff had considerably more detailed opinions to post. Additional reports seem to lend credence to the leaked discussion. The administration and moderation teams of Reddit have allegedly threatened r/the_donald moderation staff, doubled efforts to villanize the sub-reddits user base, and published unsubstantiated posts from alternate Reddit accounts. Huffman’s crusade has caused users to point out his management failures against what many view as sub-reddits that actually make Reddit worse. Permitted Pedophilia Discussion Many recall the fallout related to Reddit and its sub-reddit r/jailbait. Huffman and his staff have come under fire for similarly questionable sub-reddits that have been permitted to exist on the website. The sub-reddit r/pedofriends is a text only public access sub that allegedly allows pedophiles to seek support. The discussion board’s mission becomes suspect after quickly reviewing the contents within. One of the more disturbing topics among the many is an admission of one poster’s continued working experience with children 12-13 and how certain events are “a frequent source of masturbation for” the poster. In addition to discussion of this nature, threads challenging age of consent and child pornography laws abound. r/Pedofriends has a private sister sub-reddit called r/pedochat. This private sub allegedly has fewer restrictions regarding content posted within it. Neither Huffman nor his staff have commented or acted on concerns voiced over these sub-reddits and their content. There are possibly similar, more unreasonable sub-reddits like these that are permitted to exist on the website. Additional information regarding this topic can be found here. Advance Publications Silent Reddit’s parent company Advance Publications has not made a statement regarding Huffman’s management decisions. The media giant owns a number of state news outlets including The Ann Arbor News, The Star-Ledger, and The Patriot-News. It also owns recognizable magazines such as Wired and Vanity Fair. Advance Publications lack of condemnation against their subsidiary’s CEO is surprising when considering how many news outlets are owned by the $8 billion company. While it is doubtful that Advance Publications actively encourages censorship, their lack of response brings to question whether or not such events of bias and censorship have occurred within other Advance Publications subsidiaries without their knowledge. If such events have transpired, then the implications would be far reaching and potentially drastic for both Advance Publications’ reputation and its investors. However, the issue of Reddit harboring pedophiles (and potentially worse) is more concerning than the amateurish actions by Huffman and his staff. Many will claim that Reddit has the right as a private social media company to act in the manner it has. But where do corporate rights and corporate responsibilities meet? Social media remains a vast and easily accessed platform for everyone to voice their issues, concerns, and knowledge. The influence these websites harness will only grow as their user base continues to expand. This growth provides reason to debate the rights and responsibilities of social media corporations and whether they should be permitted to have political bias influence their management activities.