Science, Technology, and Social Media

Reddit Co-Founder Quits Board, Requests Black Replacement

Alexis Ohanian resigned from Reddit’s board on Friday, saying that he wanted to be replaced by a black candidate.

Ohanian, who founded the popular news aggregation and forum site in 2005, posted a video on Twitter explaining his decision to step down. “I’m doing this for me, my family, and for my country,” Ohanian says.

Ohanian also wrote a blog post on his personal website titled “What Did You Do?” He writes, “I’m writing this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?’”

He also said he donated a million dollars to Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights Camp” charity and will donate money he makes from his Reddit stock position to the black community.

Ohanian and star tennis player Serena Williams had their first child in 2017.

In response to the death of George Floyd, current Reddit CEO Steve Huffman penned a letter Monday saying “we do not tolerate hate, racism, and violence, and while we have work to do to fight these on our platform, our values are clear.” Reddit also made its logo black.

George Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, according to video from the scene. Mass protests and riots have erupted across the U.S. in response to his death.

Reddit has faced criticism in the wake of Floyd’s death. Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao called Huffman out for not shutting down a pro-Trump forum titled r/The_Donald. “You don’t get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long,” Pao tweeted.

Reddit users have joined in a protest of the site’s policies as well, according to The Verge.

“Reddit has harbored racists as policy for years,” a moderator for the site’s NFL forum wrote. Several subreddits have gone private or prevented users from posting content as part of the protest.

The subreddit r/The_Donald has been the subject of many attacks since it was created in 2015. Reddit placed r/The_Donald in “quarantine” last year after users made “threats against the police and public figures,” a reddit spokesperson told the BBC at the time.

Users who visit r/The_Donald today are greeted with a prompt that reads “Are you sure you want to view this community?” They must then verify their email address before entering the forum.

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