The administrator and CEO of Reddit, Steve Huffman (who goes by the Reddit handle Spez), admitted to altering user comments to say things that the user did not intend to say. When the shadow edit is made there is no indication that the comment has been edited, meaning that it’s made to look as if the user made a comment in earnest when they did not.
The news broke when Huffman made a post on the popular political sub-Reddit, The_Donald. On November 23rd, 2016 Huffman explained that he did indeed edit a user’s comment after he and the rest of the Reddit staff have been receiving lots of critical remarks for completely banning the PizzaGate sub-Reddit, which was the hub for investigating pedophilia rings. Huffman wrote…
“Yep. I messed with the “fuck u/spez” comments. It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff. As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly. As the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now. Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again.”
The change was quickly added to Huffman’s Wikipedia page, where it currently lists Huffman’s admission to modifying user comments.
Nick Monroe posted a tweet comparing one of the edited comments that was archived.
Reddit CEO edited comments. https://t.co/TrELltRFtV
— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) November 24, 2016
One of the moderators from The_Donald, going by the handle of shadowman3001, was not pleased with this at all given the implications of what it means for users accused of potentially saying things they may not have said, writing…
“You understand the gravity of the massive fireball you just put out there, correct? You have lost the trust of (at least) thousands of users of this website. You have literally, in that petty act, destroyed the credibility of Reddit. Any article that quotes a user post, uncredible. For all people know here, we are all now in danger of the admins throwing child porn into one of our histories, and endangering us.
This was a massive mistake. This is your career, and you put your emotions into making this massive mistake.”
Others within the thread questioned if it was actually true that PizzaGate really did have dox information on the sub or if maybe it was all staged to shut the entire sub-Reddit down.
According to a user claiming to be a former moderator of the PizzaGate sub, he stated on a Voat thread that they were actually trying to clamp down on dox and any other content that broke the site-wide rules, writing…
“Hey guys, I’m a mod over at reddit and an admin just told us the sub will be banned. Apparently we didnt do a good enough job keeping people from posting personal information. I call bullshit on that though, due to us banning that shit on sight. It would probably make sense to send people here now.”
Some people accused them of not being more vigilant to the requests made by the administrators, and on Reddit the self-proclaimed moderator of PizzaGate tried to defend their policing of the forum, writing…
“Topmindsofreddit users were also brigading us like hell. Two of them even messaged me saying they would shut the sub down. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually spammed links on other accounts and reported them to the admins. They also messaged me before our official thread was up. So the question remains how did they know beforehand?”
This all comes amidst a week of citizens trying to crack down on what they believe is potential mounting empirical data of pedophile rings operating within the highest executive orders of our nation’s government.
Twitter has been suspending and banning users to outing pedophile rings, and have been actively censoring hashtags that have been trending in order to spread the information that there is a serious problem facing the nation. When Twitter began censoring the content, people moved their operations into the PizzaGate sub-Reddit, but just a day later Reddit banned the sub.
This all comes shortly after rumors about an anti-human trafficking activist, Monica Petersen, was reported dead in Haiti last week after investigating sex trafficking, allegedly in connection with the Clinton Foundation. Some sites have hand-waved away the information saying it’s all baseless rumors; these same sites also actively ignored ties that were found to the alleged Haiti corruption that were mentioned within Wikileaks e-mails by former legislative aide Brent Budowsky, who warned Clinton and Podesta about burying the Haiti corruption before the media got a hold of it. Budowsky’s comments seemed to synch up to what Petersen had mentioned to her friends in one of her last messages.
PizzaGate and The_Donald were two of the most active subs in uncovering and sharing this information, just until PizzaGate was permanently banned by the Reddit administrators on the grounds of “witch hunting”.