EXCLUSIVE: Reddit’s Internal Plan To Fix Itself

As Reddit charts its future with a new CEO, co-founder Steve Huffman, the company has been scrambling to decide on what to do with the hateful subreddits that currently exist on the site (such as /r/CoonTown). The Michael Report talked to several employees and people familiar with the matter and here was what they told us…

  • The company has reached a middle ground between what previous CEOs Yishan Wong and Ellen Pao wanted for Reddit (for it to be as free as possible from restrictions; to allow offensive content to exist as a small price to pay for having meaningful discussions and not letting users feel as though they’re censored) and what the board of directors wanted for the company (for Reddit to purge all of its offensive subreddits once and for all, so the site becomes more ad-friendly).
  • Under Steve Huffman’s guidance, Reddit will allow the offensive subreddits to exist, but each of them will be flagged and hidden from those who aren’t looking for them specifically (i.e. logged-out users). TMR has also heard that Reddit plans to exclude these subreddits from search (it was not clear from our source whether this means Reddit’s internal search system, Google search, or both).
  • Subreddits that host offensive content will be flagged with some version of the NSFW tag. In order to view these subreddits, users would have to create a Reddit account and get to them through URLs rather than search.
  • This is done in part to demotivate people from creating more of these hateful subreddits, and to decrease viewership numbers to the more offensive parts of Reddit. If and when traffic to the offensive subreddit decreases, it will be easier for the company to just purge them all once and for all.

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