Reddit CEO Gets Caught Editing User Comments


Steve Huffman, the CEO of Reddit, admitted to editing negative comments about himself in r/The_Donald. His user name on the site is “spez”, and several users in r/The_Donald were posting negative comments about him for recently banning the Pizzagate subreddit.

His initial admission is as follows:

Hey Everyone,

Yep. I messed with the “fuck u/spez” comments, replacing “spez” with r/the_donald mods for about an hour. It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff. As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly. As the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now. Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again.

Fuck u/spez.

He posted a full apology about a week later.

This event shows the power that technology companies have to spread misinformation. As many redditors proposed, how do we know that this hasn’t been done in the past in order to justify banning certain users?

In other words, Reddit could have edited a user’s comment to be in violation of the ToS, and then subsequently removed that user, using the edited comment as justification. And who would believe someone who says “I didn’t post that” when it clearly appears as though they did?

Sources / Relevant Material

  1. The Verge "Reddit's CEO edited comments that criticized him" by Rich McCormick (23 Nov 2016)
  2. The Washington Times "Reddit CEO admits editing posts, directing obscene comments to pro-Trump administrators" by Andrew Blake (25 Nov 2016)
  3. u/spez admission in a comment
  4. u/spez formal apology post