Reddit lost an adult CEO and installed a child

Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao is still a Reddit user, and she just took her successor down a couple notches with pretty much the sickest burn I have ever seen on the site. Reddit co-founder and current CEO Steve Huffman recently “fucked up” (his own words) by editing comments on the site that were critical of him. When a Reddit user called out an ArsTechnica piece comparing his behavior to Pao’s disciplined approach in the role, Huffman first responded by questioning her expertise:

It's fair. Ellen wasn't the first Reddit engineer, so she probably lacked the expertise to do it, and even if she did, she was smart enough to not.

Pao later saw the comment and responded directly to Huffman:

Yeah, there's no comparison. I would have immediately fired anyone who did that.

In another thread, she corrected a user who pointed out Huffman and Pao represented “the difference between an engineer that turned CEO and a lawyer turned CEO.”

The difference between an engineer that turned CEO and an engineer turned lawyer turned CEO. FTFY

Pao faced an insane amount of abuse as Reddit CEO for wanting to ban abusive trolls. Angry Reddit users called her tyrannical, lobbed vicious insults at her, and at one point even tried to associate her name with the Nazi swastika in Google search results. Nonetheless, she kept her head until eventually stepping down.

In the middle of apologizing and announcing a purge of “toxic users” yesterday, Huffman said “I spent my formative years as a young troll on the internet.” In a different world Pao probably would have fired and banned him from Reddit.


Wow, Pao’s pretty badass.

Hijacking first comment to point out the irony of the verge.
I lol’d to the comment that compared reddit’s censorship to the verge’s similar path to censoring comments.
That comment is now long gone.

It’s gone for good reason. It was ridiculous. This community has higher standards.

You do know that there’s a fairly large difference between:

  1. removing a comment deemed heinous (civics lesson: it’s not "censorship" unless the gov’t is doing it to its citizens)
  2. surreptitiously editing a comment deemed heinous in order to troll another group


You do know that censorship does not only apply to gov’t right?
Secondly , calling out The Verge for editing their comment section is not heinous.
I was merely poitning out that this article is calling out Hoffman for editing comments whilst the staff here is doing the same – if not worst.

In a different world Pao probably would have fired and banned him from Reddit.

You mean in a world where being openly hostile to your userbase makes you money instead of loosing it? There’s a nice way to do things and then there’s a way that completely alienates you from your customer and Pao chose the latter path. She would still be there if she was actually good at her job.

I know you equate the trolls to terrorists who shouldn’t be reasoned with, but that’s not how you can treat your users. You need to reason with them and one tactic is to try and get yourself on the same level as your users, like Huffman mentioned when he said

I spent my formative years as a young troll on the internet

Yeah, she should totally have tried to get on the same level as communities such as "Coontown" and "FatPeopleHate", whatever that means.

I think she was saying she would have fired anyone who would have used their engineer access to modify posts.

Let’s not pretend that Pao wasn’t a bit piece of work too. She was fairly evidently a transitional CEO brought in by the Reddit board to bring in, correct but, controversial changes to the site whilst absorbing all the heat herself (helped by her pre-existing bad reputation owing to her failed lawsuit) before they switched back to the old guard.

There’s definitely a narrative emerging that she was an immensely competent CEO ousted because of a toxic userbase.

Having lived through it, I thought she took too much crap from a toxic group of users and handled it very very poorly. (Both can be true!)

Oh absolutely, the abuse she received was abhorrent.

From the title of the article i thought Huffman was the "child" and Pao the "adult", so posting those kind of comments on a social network, as the previous CEO of the same social network is "adult behavior"?

I feel like maybe our threshold for sick burns is drastically lower than it used to be…

Reddit is a toxic cesspool of pre-teens and millennial assholes. If I even say the name reddit around my friends everyone rolls their eyes.

It’s certainly becoming that way lately.

The population and quality of the community absolutely depends on the subreddit in question. Yes, there are plenty of unfortunately very visible subreddits that are frequented by those people you mention, but there are also tons that are almost entirely tame and reasonable. Labeling the entirety of a community as problematic based on the actions of a vocal minority is not at all productive.

The problem is that the people in those toxic subreddits leak into the others. They provide a place for racists, sexists and misogynists to gather. But those people don’t just comment in those subreddits, they comment in other subreddits too, spreading their garbage around. City subreddits are particularly susceptible to this.

Reddit like to pretend that it is made up of discrete, independent communities, but that simply isn’t true.

Labeling the entirety of a community as problematic based on the actions of the vocal minority is not at all productive.

The thing is, if nobody is doing anything about that vocal minority, then the entire community IS problematic.

Spez did literally nothing wrong.

Yep, editing a user’s comment behind their back is definitely not wrong. Literally.

what is a "reddit"?

Reddit is a toilet.

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