Steve Huffman has admitted he “messed with” the posts for about an hour, with members of the community quickly noticing the changes
The founder of online discussion forum, Reddit has admitted to altering website posts made by supporters of US President-elect, Donald Trump.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has admitted he “messed with” the posts for about an hour, with members of the community quickly noticing their posts had been altered without their consent.
Mr Huffman had become the target of abuse after Reddit moved to shut down a reddit sub-forum entitled “Pizzagate” which was spreading false allegations that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was kidnapping, molesting and trafficking children in the back room of a Washington pizza restaurant.
The sub-forum was banned and replaced by the warning, "we don't want witch-hunts on our site."
Mr Huffman said he re-tagged abusive comments sent to his personal account - and redirected them so they were sent to the moderators of a sub-forum for supporters of the now President-elect instead.
In post yesterday afternoon, Mr Huffman said, “as the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now.”
“As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a paedophile constantly,” he said.
“Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again.”
Reddit boasts 234 million unique users around the world with approximately 8 billion page views a month according to a recent report.
The news could prove extremely damaging for the website with many users unhappy with Mr Huffman’s actions - some going as afar as to call for his resignation.
One user said the move “compromises everything about this website” with another suggesting it was no less serious than if “Twitter decided to edit someone's tweet, without any notification, to say something else and pass it off as that person's writing.”
“I think it’s really important to document this precedent, and also how shoddily it was handled after he was caught by users,” wrote another user.
“It would surprise most people to hear that the admins would edit a post willy-nilly because their adolescent feelings got pricked.”
Mr Huffman replaced former CEO, Ellen Pao after she resigned amidst a storm of controversy over the unexplained firing of an employee last summer.