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Reddit CEO Steve Huffman hold AMA on site, says Pao was not made a ‘scapegoat’

One of the most important things that was evident in the AMA was that Huffman was not going to spend time criticising former CEO Ellen Pao.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 13, 2015 2:13:39 pm
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman took to the site for an AMA. (Source: Reuters)

Reddit has been in a bit of a whirlwind for the past couple of days. While Ellen Pao has resigned as CEO, returning CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman held an AMA on the site to discuss some of his future plans with the company.

Huffman emphasised on his priority to improve the relationship with the community and even expressed his desire to hold weekly AMAs.  One of the most important point that was evident in the AMA was that Huffman was not going to spend time criticising former CEO Ellen Pao.

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When asked if the policies undertaken during Pao’s tenure will be changed and whether she was made a scapegoat for changes that would have taken place anyway, (Pao had banned threads that encouraged bullying, harassment) Huffman went with a more diplomatic route.

He replied, “We will reconsider all our policies from first principles. I don’t know all of the changes that were made under Ellen’s tenure. I’m mostly still getting to know everyone here.”  He went on to add that Ellen was “not used as a scapegoat,” and that she had “stepped up during a time of crisis for reddit” and that the company was thankful for that.

It remains unclear if Reddit will indeed keep threads that promoted bullying as closed or whether it will revert to its earlier self.

Huffman also addressed concerns about advertising models and monetisation of Reddit and said that, “reddit has a lot of cash. Monetization isn’t a short-term concern of ours. Yes, we will continue to experiment with different efforts so that when time is right we know what works and what does not.”

On the mobile front, Huffman added that there are lot of ideas for Alien Blue but refused to divulge details. Alien Blue, the unofficial Reddit app was acquired by the company in 2014.  When asked about an official Reddit client for Android, Steve said they would need many more Android developers before bringing an official client.

With Pao’s sudden exits, questions have been raised about how the community also reacted against her. Reddit board member Sam Altman had called the treatment meted out to Pao as “sickening.”  For now, Huffman will need to bring some stability to the Reddit, along with bring better tools for moderators and ensure that the bullying culture does not return.

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