Big Changes at Reddit

Yesterday, Alexis Ohanian (u/kn0thing), co-founder of Reddit, announced that he would resign for the board of the company with the request that he should be replaced with a Black candidate and that he would donate all further income from his Reddit shares to support the black community.

Right after that Steve Huffman (u/spez) posted in r/announcements that there will be some updates forthcoming to the site’s content policy based on the experiences of the last couple of weeks most likely related to Twitter’s and Snapchat’s handling of Donald Trump’s content posted on the respective platform.

Right now the policy primarily contains a list of things that are not allowed on the site:

Content is prohibited if it

  • Is illegal
  • Is involuntary pornography
  • Is sexual or suggestive content involving minors
  • Encourages or incites violence
  • Threatens, harasses, or bullies or encourages others to do so
  • Is personal and confidential information
  • Impersonates an individual or entity in a misleading or deceptive manner
  • Uses Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services
  • Is spam

The updated policy should not only contain the rules themselves but also the values these rules are based on. The primary goal here seems to be to make the interpretation of these rules easier for moderators and therefore make their actions more consistent.

Some areas of Reddit have become extremely nasty over the years and the company has struggled with what subreddits to block/delete and which not. My hope is that they will move into a zero-tolerance mode regarding content that is prohibited and even more so on content that encourages violence, hate speech and so on.