Thursday, July 16, 2015
Meet the New Reddit Boss, Worse Than the Old Reddit Boss
Meet the New Reddit Boss, Worse Than the Old Reddit Boss
by Allum Bokhari 15 Jul 2015
Ellen Pao has resigned as CEO of Reddit following the worst set of user and moderator revolts in the site’s history, but Redditors who hoped her departure marked the end of threats to free speech on the site are likely to be disappointed.
In fact, judging by the remarks of her successor, Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman, the threat level should probably be turned up a notch.
Pao confined her censorship only to communities deemed to be engaged in harassment, i.e directly targeting other internet users for abuse. Her announcement was worded in a language reminiscent of college safe spaces, and was followed by a comment to NPR that Reddit was not a “completely free speech zone”.
It was at this point that the meme of “Chairman Pao,” intended to portray the CEO as authoritarian, began to gather steam.
But Huffman wants to go far beyond Pao’s policy, promising the site’s users that he will establish a Reddit-wide content policy aimed at tackling “reprehensible” communities on the site. If the subjective measure of “reprehensible” is met, a community and all its content can be banned.
In a post yesterday evening, Huffman said:
There has been a lot of discussion lately —on reddit, in the news, and here internally— about reddit’s policy on the more offensive and obscene content on our platform. Our top priority at reddit is to develop a comprehensive Content Policy and the tools to enforce it.
The overwhelming majority of content on reddit comes from wonderful, creative, funny, smart, and silly communities. That is what makes reddit great. There is also a dark side, communities whose purpose is reprehensible, and we don’t have any obligation to support them. And we also believe that some communities currently on the platform should not be here at all.
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.
Huffman’s insistence that he and co-founder Alexis Ohanian did not create Reddit as a “bastion of free speech” is already causing him some embarrassment. The top-voted comment underneath his announcement links to a Forbes article from 2012 in which Ohanian says Reddit is a “bastion of free speech on the World Wide Web”.
Huffman is planning a Q&A with his users later today — but judging by the response to his original post, he’s going to get some tough questions about where Reddit really stands on free speech.
A big part of Huffman’s problem comes in the form of ex-CEO Yishan Wong. A friend of Ellen Pao who personally pushed for her to succeed him when he stepped down last year, Wong has been releasing a string of tell-all posts over the past few days about the motivations of the Reddit board.
According to Wong, not only was Pao framed for the sacking of Victoria Taylor, but she was also fighting off pressure from the Reddit board to enforce tighter content restrictions across Reddit — the same content restrictions now being considered by Huffman.
“On at least two separate occasions, the board pressed [Pao] to outright ban ALL the hate subreddits in a sweeping purge” Wong wrote. “She resisted, knowing the community, claiming it would be a shitshow… Ellen was more or less inclined to continue upholding my free-speech policies.”
Furthermore, Wong alleged that Huffman was far more willing to ban controversial Reddit communities than either himself or Pao. According to Wong, Huffman once told him that when he was CEO, he would ban offensive content “right away.”
There’s a possibility that Wong is just causing trouble — he describes himself as a personal friend of Ellen Pao, and he is clearly angry with the way she has been treated by the Reddit board of directors. He recently described the failure to explain Pao was not responsible for the sacking of Victoria Taylor — the incident that sparked the second ‘Reddit Revolt’ — as an “incredibly shitty thing to do.”
But enterprising Reddit users have unearthed evidence that points to the truth of Wong’s assessment of Steve Huffman. Posts from 2008 and 2010 show him banning users that engage in “hate speech” on the spot and editing offensive usernames.
Wong’s comments have now put Huffman in a difficult situation. If he presses ahead with his content policy and bans “reprehensible communities” on Reddit, he will be confirming Wong’s prediction that Pao’s departure heralds even more censorship on the site, and is likely to face another user revolt. Competitors like Voat.co would be wise to prepare their server capacity.
Ellen Pao is married to Alphonse Fletcher Jr., was an interim CEO for Reddit, a corporate attorney for Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a partner; the sued Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and a director at the Apollo Alliance.
Note: The Man at the Center of a Dispute at the Dakota
By CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY and PETER LATTMANFEB. 25, 2011
But in recent months, Mr. Fletcher’s 2,600-square-foot, three-bedroom apartment has largely been silent. And Mr. Fletcher is engaging in one of the ugliest co-op battles in the world of Manhattan real estate. This month, Mr. Fletcher, 45, sued the co-op board, which he once led, charging it with racial discrimination because he was not allowed to buy a neighboring apartment, and accusing it of discriminating against other residents and applicants, too, including the singer Roberta Flack.
Alphonse Fletcher Jr. is married to Ellen Pao, an apartment owner at The Dakota, and a director at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a director at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, a Harvard University professor, a director at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and an Oak Bluffs (MA) homeowner.
Harvard Professor Jailed; Officer Is Accused of Bias
By ABBY GOODNOUGH
Published: July 20, 2009
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, the NPR, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sundance Institute, the Aspen Institute (think tank), the International Rescue Committee, and the Climate Reality Project.
George Soros was the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society, and a benefactor for the NPR.
Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr. is a senior director at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, the chairman emeritus for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a senior counsel at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Robert Redford is a trustee at the Natural Resources Defense Council, the founder & president of the Sundance Institute, and was a director at the Apollo Alliance.
Adebayo O. Ogunlesi was an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and is a director at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.
Tonya Lewis Lee is a director at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and married to Spike Lee.
Spike Lee pays up for wrong-address tweet in Trayvon Martin
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Spike Lee is married to Tonya Lewis Lee, and is an Oak Bluffs (MA) homeowner.
Vernon E. Jordan Jr. is an Oak Bluffs (MA) homeowner, a senior director at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Valerie B. Jarrett’s great uncle, a director at the American Friends of Bilderberg (think tank), and a 2008 Bilderberg conference participant (think tank).
Valerie B. Jarrett is Vernon E. Jordan Jr’s great niece, the senior adviser for the Barack Obama administration, and a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Commercial Club of Chicago, Members Directory A-Z (Past Research)
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
R. Eden Martin is the president of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and counsel at Sidley Austin LLP.
Barack Obama was an intern at Sidley Austin LLP.
Michelle Obama was a lawyer at Sidley Austin LLP.
Sidley Austin LLP was the lobby firm for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Antonio Banderas was a spokesperson for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and turned down by The Dakota co-op board.
Newton N. Minow is a senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, and a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Rahm I. Emanuel is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Chicago (IL) mayor, Ari Emanuel’s brother, and was the White House chief of staff for the Barack Obama administration.
Ari Emanuel is Rahm I. Emanuel’s brother, and the co-CEO & director for William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.
Ray Romano is a William Morris Endeavor Entertainment client, and was the spokesperson for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
James S. Crown is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and a trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank).
Lester Crown is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and was a lifetime trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank).
Stephen L. Carter is a trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank), and an Oak Bluffs (MA) homeowner.
Michael K. Powell is a trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank), and Colin L. Powell’s son.
L. John Doerr is a trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank), and a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Colin L. Powell is Michael K. Powell’s father, an overseer at the International Rescue Committee, and a strategic adviser at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Ellen Pao was a partner; the sued Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, an interim CEO for Reddit, a corporate attorney for Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a director at the Apollo Alliance, and is married to Alphonse Fletcher Jr.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was an investor in Twitter Inc., and a donor for The Climate Project.
The Climate Project is a merged organization with the Climate Reality Project.
Albert A. Gore Jr. was a donor for The Climate Project, is the chairman for the Climate Reality Project, and a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Posted by Sam and Bunny Sewell at 2:00 PM