Reddit Founder Claims Site Was Not Created “to be a Bastion of Free Speech;” Co-Founder Said the Literal Opposite in 2012

Writing a “content policy update” on Reddit today, co-founder “spez,” whose real name is Steve Huffman, stated that when he created the site with Alexis Ohanian, that they did not make the site “to be a bastion of free speech.” However, in 2012, Ohanian said the literally opposite of that, claiming that the Founding Fathers of America would like that Reddit was “A bastion of free speech on the World Wide Web.”

Huffman’s post was put on Reddit around five o’clock EST. In it, he detailed updated policies for Reddit. “The overwhelming majority of content on reddit comes from wonderful, creative, funny, smart, and silly communities,” he wrote. “That is what makes reddit great.

“There is also a dark side, communities whose purpose is reprehensible, and we don’t have any obligation to support them,” he continued, however. “And we also believe that some communities currently on the platform should not be here at all.”
Huffman then made the assertion, “Neither Alexis nor I created reddit to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen.” The Alexis he is referring to is Alexis Ohanian.

The problem with that is Ohanian said the literal opposite of Huffman in a 2012 interview with Forbes. The double-speak was caught by user theEnzyteGuy.

According to the Forbes interview, when asked what the Founding Fathers would think of Reddit, Ohanian responded, “A bastion of free speech on the World Wide Web? I bet they would like it.”

This is likely to further the conflict with the Administrators of Reddit and its userbase, whose relationship has been strained over the last few months with controversial decisions made by the site’s leadership.


Founder and editor of the Social Memo

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