Reddit has a history of allowing its users to say just about anything. Wednesday, its CEO said racist language is just fine — officially giving license to the hatred that already lives on the site, which bills itself as the front page of the internet.
Now he’s backpedaling a bit.
As tech companies face increasing pressure to police content on their platforms, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said something to the equivalent of the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
In response to a question about whether slurs are against Reddit’s rules, Huffman said: “It’s not. On Reddit, the way in which we think about speech is to separate behavior from beliefs. This means on Reddit there will be people with beliefs different from your own, sometimes extremely so. When users actions conflict with our content policies, we take action.”
That resonates in 2018, in the aftermath of the fatal Charlottesville white-supremacist march last year, and as racists feel more emboldened to say what they want online and offline.
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Some Reddit users, a.k.a. Redditors, let him have it.
“You allowed r/the_donald to advertise for a fascist rally that culminated in a deadly terror attack,” wrote a Redditor called kitten cupcakes, referring to Charlottesville.
“Not all speech is ‘valuable discourse,’ and by letting it exist on your platform you are condoning its existence and assisting its propagation,” user aYearofPrompts said.
And PostimusMaximus referred to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional grilling: “Zuckerberg is sitting over here getting grilled for not removing hate-speech fast enough due to AI limitations and yet you find yourself passing hate speech off as okay.”
Thursday, Huffman updated his remarks, saying that “While racism …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Business