Reddit is clamping down on controversial content.
The popular website’s CEO Steve Huffman fielded questions on Thursday in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) about what content is and isn’t allowed on the popular online bulletin board, amid a controversy over the company’s alleged content policing and lack of transparency.
“As Reddit has grown, we’ve seen additional examples of how unfettered free speech can make Reddit a less enjoyable place to visit, and can even cause people harm outside of Reddit,” Huffman wrote.
Huffman also told users that several notorious, offensive subreddits—the “really dark side” of Reddit, as some have said—would be banned, including a thread about raping women.
The clarification of Reddit’s free speech limits, and, perhaps more importantly, the audience-facing, participatory way in which the restrictions were explained, arrive after months of user complaints over Reddit administrators’ lack of transparency when policies are changed.
Much of the community’s anger had been directed at former interim CEO Ellen Pao, who last week stepped down as chief after hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition calling for her ousting. Though Pao acknowledged the company’s lack of communication with users, she maintained her belief in restricting certain content in a Washington Post op-ed on Thursday, writing that she is “rooting for the humans over the trolls.”
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