Steve Huffman Defends Reddit’s Decision to Run Political Ads

The 2020 US presidential election is around the corner and Reddit is already preparing to feature Trump’s ads. You can be sure that some employees were not happy with the decision. Steve Huffman, the CEO, headed a meeting, addressing the employees’ interests.

Huffman pointed out how a majority of the employees are against the idea of featuring Trump’s ads. The employees don’t want to be associated with a president that has controversial views. During the meeting, Steve Huffman acknowledged the fact that most employees feared for the future of the country under Trump’s leadership.

Huffman added that he might have also shared similar sentiments. His greatest fears included the division of political discussion, rhetorical, and incompetent governance. All these factors gave the impression that the state of the country was deteriorating.

Even so, Huffman mentioned that he still has to separate personal beliefs from business as the head of Reddit. The company has collaborated with the president in the past. Way back in 2016, Reddit ran the r/The_Donald campaign on its platform.

The decision to allow President Trump’s campaign ads came after Huffman stressed on their community policy. These include a non-tolerance towards racism, violence, and hate. So far, Reddit has always maintained this policy. The CEO encouraged his team to fight against the social vices in the community.

On June 1st, Huffman said that he was deeply saddened and appalled by the acts of violence committed against members of the public. He said that the company would support the black lives movement by allowing people to express themselves on the platform. However, there would be no verbal attacks and abuse against users of the platform.

Huffman defended his decision to run the president’s ads saying that they would create a platform for positive and transformative discussions. He pointed out that the best way to address the issues facing the country was to support the upcoming elections. He ascertained that Reddit has a significant role to play in ensuring that there is a fair election. The company will give presidential candidates an open platform to explain what they are going to do for the country.

Steve Huffman also said that he respected people’s opinions on the matter and his views didn’t necessarily have to resonate with other people. Huffman explained that Reddit is against discrimination of any kind. He said the best way to heal the nation is through the reconciliation of beliefs, starting with the forthcoming elections. Therefore, the first step is to allow political ads. But the ads will be a little different.

The ads will be featured on the homepage and not in the sidebar section. Reserved buys will also be allowed. This can only be done via a transaction with the sales team. The CEO highlighted the best direction would be to disable direct comments on the ads

Also, comments on a political ad will only be directed to specific communities. Members will discuss and moderate the comments without causing any further misunderstandings. The sticky comment with a link would ease tension and allow new chats during the election.

In summary, Steve Huffman has taken bold steps towards an integrated community plan that will promote healthy politics. The limitation of open commentary will help maintain the company’s policy. It will also provide a resourceful discussion platform.


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