Ellen Pao, who was in charge of Reddit as acting director during 2014, accused the platform of amplifying racism by refusing to close the The_Donald subreddit. The signal comes after a letter published by Steve Huffman, current director of Reddit, who uses the moment to show his support for the protests by police brutality in the United States.
In the letter, Huffman says they work for Reddit because “they care deeply about community and membership.” The executive says he shows solidarity with the black members of the communities on his platform, and at the same time points out that they do not tolerate racism and violence.
This caused Ellen K. Pao will publicly point to Reddit for amplifying discrimination. On her Twitter account, the ex-CEO of the platform noted “You can’t say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and I hate all the time.”
I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence. So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don’t get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long https://t.co/VN5XCiYp5g
– Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) June 2, 2020
Reddit did nothing to stop hate speech
The subreddit Pao mentions is The_Donald, a community riddled with racism who became popular during the 2016 presidential election. One of the most famous participants of that section was Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus Rift, who in September of that year founded a group of trolls supporting Trump
Luckey, like other Donald Trump supporters, published memes of support for the now US president in the subreddit. Another peculiarity is that The_Donald has hosted A.M.A. (ask me whatever) with ultra-conservative leaders and fanatics of conspiracy theories. Names like Milo Yiannopoulos, Tucker Carlson or Alex Jones, a well-known anti-vaccine conspiracy, are some of those who have paraded around.
Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus.
While Reddit applied a constraint to The_Donald After the high number of reports against him, the community found a new subreddit to share controversial content.
The accusation of Ellen Pao It is not the first crusade that the former director of Reddit begins against abusive forums. During his management in 2014 closed five subreddits promoting bullying and took action against Celebgate, the famous incident where several photos of nude celebrities leaked.
The reaction after the closure of the forums generated a wave of rejection by some users, who called for the resignation of the acting director. The requests were joined by a gender discrimination lawsuit that Pao lost and a series of events that led to his final departure from the company.