The co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, resigned from the platform’s board on Friday afternoon. The co-founder said that he was dedicating his time and money to better serve the black community, and asked for his position on the board to be replaced with a person of color.
Ohanian announced his departure on social media, telling his Twitter followers, “I’ve resigned as a member of the reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, + I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to kaepernick7’s yourrightscamp.”
In a lengthy post on Reddit, the company’s CEO confirmed Ohanian’s resignation and said that the board will agree to his request. The CEO talked about Reddit’s accomplishments over the past 15 years when fighting online hate and racism on the platform, as well as acknowledged the company’s shortcomings.
Huffman told the community, “Alexis Ohanian, my Reddit cofounder, announced that he is resigning from our board and that he wishes for his seat to be filled with a Black candidate, a request that the board and I will honor. We thank Alexis for this meaningful gesture and all that he’s done for us over the years.”
“The majority of our top communities have a rule banning hate and racism which makes us proud, and is evidence why a community-led approach is the only way to scale moderation online,” Huffman continued. “That said, this is not a rule communities should have to write for themselves and we need to rebalance the burden of enforcement. I also accept responsibility for this.”
Huffman added, “Despite making significant progress over the years, we have to turn a mirror on ourselves and be willing to do the hard work of making sure we are living up to our values in our product and policies. This is a significant moment. We have a choice: return to the status quo or use this opportunity for change. We at Reddit are opting for the latter, and we will do our very best to be a part of the progress.”
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