Reddit Says It Will Keep Policies That Curb Racist and Sexist Harassment

By Kenrya Rankin Jul 16, 2015

Despite the forced departure of interim CEO Ellen Pao, Reddit says it will not remove the policies she enacted to shut down racist and misogynistic subreddits that harassed users.

Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman, who stepped in as CEO when Pao resigned, issued a statement on July 14, 2015, saying that website has no obligation to support communities that violate the ideas upon which Reddit was based:

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 also used the statement to announce an “Ask Me Anything” forum today at 1pm PT to answer user questions and update the community on the site’s policy regulating abusive behavior.

The policy, put in place in May 2015, pointed to growing concern for the safety of users in the community, saying that, “Instead of promoting free expression of ideas, we are seeing our open policies stifling free expression; people avoid participating for fear of their personal and family safety.”