Reddit, the self-described “front page of the Internet” isn’t a place where you can post anything you want without consequences, its new interim CEO says.
Ellen Pao told NPR this week that “it’s not our site’s goal to be a completely free-speech platform. We want to be a safe platform and we want to be a platform that also protects privacy at the same time.”
Pao’s comments are likely upset a number of “Redditors,” who see the largely anonymous platform as a place where any opinions or material can be shared, with few exceptions—child pornography and other illegal materials, for existence. Reddit users, fairly or not, have a reputation for leaning libertarian when it comes to the free flow of information and ideas.
But that freedom can get ugly, with misogynist and racist “subreddits” popping up frequently. Pao—who was the plaintiff in an ultimately unsuccessful gender discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins—said a case-by-case determination would be made for how to deal with pages like that.
“The question is whether it would make them fear for their safety, or the safety of those around them or where it makes them feel like it’s not a safe platform,” she said. “Somebody expressing ideas that aren’t consistent with everybody’s views is something that we encourage.”