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Reddit’s most popular subreddits go private in protest against ‘censorship’ (gamerevolution.com)
559 points by LordAtlas 20 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 528 comments



The Reddit CEO has announced that the employee in question is no longer employed there.

https://www.reddit.com/r/announcements/comments/mcisdf/an_up...

But it's such a weaselly post.

First, it admits they didn't vet her before hiring: "We did not adequately vet her background before formally hiring her." Apparently, a basic google search is too difficult for HR.

Second, it says this: "On March 9th, we added extra protections for this employee, including actioning content that mentioned the employee’s name or shared personal information on third-party sites, which we reserve for serious cases of harassment and doxxing."

OK, and they _still_ didn't check why people were opposed to this person? Still no Internet search or, oh, reading the comments people were posting?

Notice that this "protection" was two weeks ago, not recently.


Screw ups happen I guess. Looks like they got to know her through earlier work and assumed she was ok.


Why did they even hire such a controversial person in the first place? It's baffling how they're doubling down on defending her after her previous actions. I wonder if this'll all cool down in a couple of days with everyone forgetting about this or if there'll be a new established rhetoric in inflammatory communities like 'reddit admins are confirmed pedophiles'.


From wikipedia Aimee's accomplishments seem to be resigning in disgrace from a couple of minor political positions and convincing a transportation department to stop using the phrase "ladies and gentlemen".

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aimee_Challenor


They seem to be the product of a very dysfunctional home, so don't judge them too harshly.


Even as the product of a dysfunctional home, Aimee's actions and political positions are unacceptable, and should be swatted down - if only to teach her that they are not okay.

Who really needs to be taken to task for this: Anyone who participated in the hiring and then covering for this creep. Hiring Aimee Challenor in a well-supervised manual labor position would be commendable. Hiring Aimee Challenor as an moderator of an online forum, based on her history of moderating an online forum aimed at children, knowing her political positions (and there's no argument to be made that they didn't, as the whole thing came about because they had instituted special protections based on those) should result in jail time.


Here's a bit more info about this person (it's a bit hit-piece-y for me, but it doesn't look false) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjYkx-ZhUQ4


Good PR, trans activist etc.


I find it interesting that Reddit still manages to find themselves invoking the Streisand effect in full force.


I think the decision makers at Reddit are fully aware of the Streisand Effect but they don't care because they know the userbase has a short memory and things will go back to normal within a week or two.


I think it's even worse than that.

They'll remember, but still keep coming back. You can't even blame short memory for it. They literally don't care more than the inconvenience they'd face in going elsewhere for forums.

And as long as that's true, the things they dislike will keep happening.


The beatings will continue until morale improves


Users will switch if there is a viable alternative.


Setting up an alternative to a huge platform is hard to do. It's not the early days of the social internet any more, there aren't really any "killer features" that might attract users that haven't already been integrated into the big platforms, and "better management" is not the kind of thing that inspires mass adoption.

And if you don't have a killer feature, then you've just made a clone, and you suffer the fate of all social media clones from 8chan to Voat to Vidme to Gab and Parler. As observed by Dan Olson:

> when you compete with a monolith, the first people to jump on board will be the people that were thrown off the other ship, and most of them were thrown off for a reason... before you know whats happened, toxic users will have become your core userbase, and then you're never going to recover.


The problem with those clones is they weren't made with pure intentions. Most of them are "the original site except we hate their admins" or "the original site except you can do crimes on this one". This isn't the kind of mindset you need to have a good mod team.


Digg died when they rolled out v4 for this exact reason. Reddit was there when people got salty and they left and never went back. Haven’t been to digg in probably 10 years. Just cracked it open and it’s basically buzzfeed now.


There are plenty of alternatives out there. Reddit has become a huge echo chamber for pretty much everything but doubly so for politics.

I abandoned political reddit years go, and now I find myself finding less and less use for technical reddit as well

the last vestige of reddit now seems to be for the lol's and meme's but even for the base level content that started redit it is becoming less funny, and more and more cringe


> There are plenty of alternatives out there.

Can you please provide a few of the best alternatives?


You're on one right now.


I hate references to the Streisand effect, because in the age of digital censorship, you have absolutely no idea which stories are _failing_ to invoke the Streisand effect.

I'm absolutely sure a lot of news is completely successfully censored, and calling out the effect on the ???5%??? of stories which break through does nothing except hide that fact from us.


One way reddit is strange is that the users and mods seem to hate the admins. Every reddit post I read from the admins the comments are full of people raging at them.


A lot of users hate the mods too.


Well effects do not systematically happen. I'd say that as a general rule people don't care, even if they should. So if a Streisand happen it would mostly be because of a tini active and loud minority and maybe a medium sized passive community of "retweeters", the vast majority being as always passive and silent.


Reddit has addressed the situation here, in a mealy mouthed sort of way: https://www.reddit.com/r/modsupport/comments/mbqgx2

However they seem to be denying the accusations that admins (possibly including the individual in question) were manually editing contents containing her name.

This whole situation is incredibly bizarre to me. In the first place, why would reddit hire a 23 year old admin whose greatest accomplishment is being forced out of politics due to her connections to multiple pedophiles? Why did they taking such extreme steps to hide the admin's name, when they don't offer the same protections to mods or other users of the site? Does reddit have any audit trail or safeguards when admins edit comments? It would be interesting if they did a postmortem on the situation, but so far they seem reluctant to say that anything went wrong on their end.


I agree, but a minor nitpick: Aimee was forced out not just for being connected to pedophiles, but also for lying about and/or endorsing them (among other issues). A massive failure of safeguarding from the Greens and Lib Dems, and now from Reddit.

It's astonishing to me that a person like this can become an admin on a website used by millions of teenagers. We already know that admins can access private messages and other personal information.


I have seen allegations on reddit that Aimee also moderated a number of subreddits, specifically ones pertaining to minors, before, during, and after her fathers' rape and torture of a 10 year old in the house she lived in.

Allowing a person who willfully ignored pedophilia and torture be in a position of power near/directly engaging with minors, and then hiring that person, is despicable.


Obviously horrible if true, but what's the evidence?


> Challenor moderated the major Reddit forum r/lgbt among others for several years.

Key quote from this article: https://freebeacon.com/culture/reddit-faces-massive-user-pro...

I deactivated my reddit account and blocked reddit domains on my devices this morning as a result of the censorship. So now I'm cut off from any more reddit interaction and can't provide anything further. Also, Challenor and other admins deleting evidence and permabanning people is like, the whole issue.


>also moderated a number of subreddits, specifically ones pertaining to minors

I meant the one about moderating a number of subreddits pertaining to minors. I'm aware of the other claims.


Couple this with the pornography subreddits. After pornhhub had issues with user generated content, Reddit needs much stricter regulation.


It's seriously a shame you are being downvoted for this comment.


Odd, was it critical of Reddit or the appearance of being anti pornography (I’m just extremely anti child porn and other things like sex slavery/trafficking).


Sex trafficing is not a real thing. It's more common to be trafficed as a low-wage worker, sometimes partially with your own participation, eg as a servant or working at an extended family restaurant.

Sex trafficing is just something police like to bring up at press conferences when they arrest women for prostitution. Often they don't actually charge anyone with it though, it just sounds cool to say so they do it.


> Sex trafficing [sic] is not a real thing

Human trafficking (for non-sexual exploitation), sex trafficking, and non-coerced criminalized sex work have differences; but they all are very real.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palermo_protocols

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victims_of_Trafficking_and_Vio...


My information on the topic comes from actual sex workers or women who know them (eg aminadujean, Naomi Wu) whose experience is that anti-trafficing is usually used to try to criminalize their work for their own protection.


> anti-trafficing [sic] is usually used to try to criminalize their work

I understand you have anecdotes from 2 women which describe non-coerced criminalized sex work, which is not sex trafficking.

My information comes from decades of global, publicly available and verified data. Sex trafficking is a real thing, and you delegitimize its victims when you say otherwise.

https://2009-2017.state.gov/documents/organization/136020.pd...


(you really don't have to put the emphasis on how much you dislike their spelling of trafficking, everyone can see it's a direct quote and it distracts from the rest of your post)


The spelling's wrong, not disliked. To your point--it's poor form to mark the same mistake twice.


It's astonishing to me that a person like this can become an admin on a website used by millions of teenagers

Unfortunately not so astonishing, people like that are drawn to and commonly inhabit exactly the kinds of places you wouldn’t want them. There are some fairly recent public examples you could easily find.


Absolutely. These people actively seek out access to children, and many of them are extremely clever in the way they do this, and the way they manipulate good-natured people around them.

The only part that astonishes me is that Reddit hired the person. It suggests they are either not performing proper background checking (terrible), or they are and decided to overlook what they found (even worse).


Anyone that would seek power should not have power, and the best way to guard against that is to ensure accountability, objective based rules enforcement where an individuals subjective beliefs are not a factor

unfortunately all of these platforms focus almost exclusively on subjective "We know bad things when we see them" type of rules


I am 100% convinced that the rate of pedophile is higher in:

- positions of power (we have had a few in france who were judges / party representatives etC...)

- any job close to children, which includes in particular schools, but also..

- church

Why ? Because if you woke up tommorow as a pedophile, without any morals, and wanted to maximise the "chances" to satisfy your sexual attraction, where would you go ? Exactly.


I had a colleague with a theory that a lot of pedophiles are really in love with the power aspect. There is no bigger power than that what an adult can have over a child. Both physically and mentally.

And therefore, they will try to get those positions where they are in power. I don't know if this was ever investivated, but it makes sense to me.

Edit: when you look at the dad in this story, raping and torturing a child seems more like the power aspect than the sexual one.


interesting idea. that said there's a lot of power aspect in basic "adult" sex with bdsm etc...

and in that case the father was dressing as a child when he was torturing the girl according to an article so i'm not sure he was looking specifically for power more than being downright crazy.. but why not


Church is far from being the biggest offender in France for jobs close to children, there is a whole generation of public educators that were openly for it (for some overlapping with your first point like Cohn-Bendit).


Ecxept that the church has constantly been trying to cover up the stories and constant sex scandals. All the fucking time.

At sone point "if you are not a groups of pedohpiles covering each other, dont act like a group of pedophiles covering each others".

If i was pedophile i would absolutely go to the church, also because so many people have their faith blind the truth. The "cant even imagine" its possible this "respectable priest" can do that.

And yes you are right, i also forgot sport trainers.


The Catholic Church has covered up many other things.

It has nothing to do with child sexual abuse per sē, but simply that it's modus operandī, and that of many other organizations seems to be silence money to protect it's brand.


> Church is far from being the biggest offender in France for jobs close to children

Surprisingly that's all I hear about in the media. I've been looking for hard data and haven't been able to find any, especially for things like priests vs teachers vs other people. Do you have any data on that?


Well, there are a lot of people who want positions of power, like working as a judge, or having a high position in the government. Undoubtedly, some will turn out to be pedophiles, and / or abusers.

We likely hear a lot of places like Churches, hospitals, and schools, because historically people were pretty quiet about what went on there, and now all these horrible historic revelations are coming out one after another.

I can imagine access to children being a factor too, although actual pedophiles have an instinctual emotional closeness with children which might influence them towards those positions. If any are in those positions and see this, I really hope you don't do anything to anyone there.

The highest frequency of abuse actually happens in none of those places but at home. It is usually a family member who does it. Sometimes, it may even involve drugs, rather than a sexual interest. I'm not very fond of the War on Drugs, as it destroys lives, but I really hope people use drugs responsibly, when / if they do. And we may need better mental health services to reduce the perceived need to rely on alcohol / drugs.

From what I know, pedophilia is a spectrum, which goes from very weak (insignificant and easy to ignore for most intents and purposes) to the exclusive type. There are some sub-types, like ones who are only interested in infants, rather than older children. Pedophiles aren't synonymous with abusers. Many don't abuse.


I am not convinced at all.

What I am convinced of is that the ratio of those that break the law in crimes that typically involve abuse of power, are more commonly found in positions of power.

The average pædophile will live his life without ever breaking any such laws, by either lack of willingness, or lack of opportunities awarded by such power.


You don't join the greens or lib dems to gain political power


You don't join the greens or lib dems to gain political power

The Greens control Brighton unequivocally. There are Greens and LibDems in the House of Lords. The LibDems forced through a referendum on PR. They may seem like a harmless joke but they do wield power in their own way.


And what about judge ? also they were classic left wing before being in minority parties.


> - any job close to children, which includes in particular...

Schools! Oh...you went a different route. Right, we don't acknowledge the widespread sexual misconduct and cover-ups in the schools for another 5 years in this timeline because the church story was just so juicy.


I absolutely meant school on this bullet point :) (i edited)


I don’t remember where I heard it but I recall some stat that child sexual abuse reports are just as common in public schools as they are in religious organizations


why not.

that said reports in general are between like 1% and 10% of the total abuse so i'm not sure how significant it is


It’s a shame your comment was downvoted.


Yeah, even more sad when you realize people downvoting this are inconsciously enabling the pedophiles.


Normal rules of balance can be twisted or broken in this case, depending on your desired outcome.

On the one hand, you've got the (reasonable) rule "always condemn and distance yourself from pedophilia". On the other hand, you've got the also reasonable rule "never discriminate against someone because of their gender". If the Greens, Lib Dems, Reddit, or anyone else involved had chosen not to hire her, she could stir up outrage against them for gender discrimination. If they did hire her, the public could stir up outrage against them for their connection to pedophiles.

It's easy to agree that both pedophilia and gender discrimination are bad. It's harder to take action, especially when people have prior agendas.


>If the Greens, Lib Dems, Reddit, or anyone else involved had chosen not to hire her, she could stir up outrage against them for gender discrimination

We don't even need to hypothesize this specific "if", because that's exactly what she did[0] after being ousted from Green Party due to all the pedophilia-related concerns.

0. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aimee_Challenor


In a rational world, that wouldn't have happened, but we seem to have lost our ability to say behavior A (which has supporting facts) is significantly worse than behavior B (which is alleged).

Preying on children, or advocating for those who want to, is a significantly bigger problem than the _accusation_ of bias based on preference.


Do such allegations really hold any real water to achieve political ends?

I find that every time I read about such matters, it is from some Anglo-Saxon place where emotions about such matters seem to run high.

I cannot think of any Dutch occurrence of someone being dismissed from a party alleging any gender discrimination, and I would to what extent such arguments are truly something that sways the Anglo-Saxon, because every time I see them made, publicly or privately, they seem to be coming from an Anglo-Saxon source, in particular the U.S.A., but the U.K. is not very far behind.

But perhaps, it is simply a function of district-based politics where one votes for the man, rather than the party, so the personal life and identity of politicians takes a far grander scale than in other systems.


Is a claim of discrimination as much of a superweapon of discourse in Dutch culture as it is in the US? From what I've experienced, Europeans are a bit less prickly on such matters.


I cannot remember any such counter claims made when similar terminations of politicians occurred in the Netherlands, discrimination or otherwise.

The most similar situation that comes to mind was the situation of Philomena Bijlhout in 2002, who was terminated after having lied about being a member of the Bouterse Militia when the December Murders occurred.

That was that; — he was terminated without any further drama or allegations that it was political gamesmanship, sexism, racism, xenophobia, manipulated evidence or anything else when the pictures that proved his word false surfaced.

I find that U.S.A. and U.K. politicians often have what I would consider petulant blame shifting when such matters occur that I feel are not strategic and only serve to bury them deeper, so I wonder if they actually are strategic in such a political climate of districts which creates far more extensive tribalism and voter loyalty, whereof I wonder if it contributes to actually making such claims worthwhile.

I have noticed that the U.S. and U.K. population seems to be very loyal in general and often unreasonably defend a cause, product, and man to the death, even when flaws are apparent.


Except as I understand it her accusations didn't stick at all. Did anyone buy that it was gender/trans-discrimination? Certainly the party did not hire her back. So it seems as if, by this minor measure, the world can still be rational.


What? This makes no sense. If you refuse to hire someone because of their (alleged, I have no idea) implicit support for pedophilia, it has nothing to do with refusing to hire someone because of their gender.

The fact that someone could pretend you aren't hiring them because of their gender is moot when you can simply point to the real reason you're not hiring them.

If I'm faced with the question of whether to hire an unrepentant serial killer, I'm not going to let their gender inform my decision. That's not "balance" in any way.


This person was probably hired because they have great trans advocacy credentials, which seems well aligned to the political orientation that Reddit is converging on. It’s easy to imagine how safeguarding issues were overlooked in a rush to hire an ally.


ding ding ding ding


Reddit administration seems pretty ad hoc, undisciplined, at times weirdly disconnected from the community, and uncoordinated as it could possibly be.

Then again so are all its subreddits, and the volunteer mods are about as opaque and strange as the admins, with the added excuse that they're doing it for free.

The fact that the ecosystem has survived seems more like happenstance.


It'd be interesting to see demographics on moderators. My perception is that they must skew young because who else has time to do all that work for free?

Volunteer moderation is one of those things that must baffle economists. Here you have people putting in a lot of work for free for a profit seeking enterprise.


>Here you have people putting in a lot of work for free…

I'd wager it's either a perceived, or in some instances, actual, power that motivates a few few of these folks. I don't doubt there are do-gooders out there who want to see their artisan needlepoint subreddit do well, so they volunteer their time to the community... but I also believe that once a community reaches a certain size, the folks motivated by power start to seep in.


Some economists maybe? Perhaps, if you think the only thing to gain is money? Some people do silly things because of other reasons (fame, ego, obligation, greed, retribution, etc). See recent 'stonks' as a good example of people actually spending money for non monetary gain. It is these other factors which feed into many economic models unknowingly. When those variables move they can radically change a model and cause it to do funny things.


There’s an economic concept called “psychic profits”, and it encapsulates exactly those non monetary gains one gets from volunteering like power, recognition, respect, status, and so on


> Volunteer moderation is one of those things that must baffle economists

They do the same thing for the same reasons when it comes to peer review...


Yeah I used to voluenteer moderate a very busy gaming forum and I quit when I got older.


Which is why it attracts those for whom power is it's own reward.


I think they’re very coherent, connected to reality and mission driven, except their mission being clearly far from that of users or what user think it is, deliberately.


This doesn't seem to be particularly different from H.N., most other websites, or even the political leaders of many nations.

More often than not, the man who seeks power is ill-suited to have it.


It's not entirely different, but at least in a democracy a politician still has to mingle with their party members / tries / does, maybe even try to get some votes. Admins, sub moderators, don't have to at all.

Not that I think there's a way to force that, but the disconnect is still there.

Agreed about the folks who want power. When I moderated a large forum and we picked new moderators we had a rule where anyone who lobbied 'too hard' to be a moderator was automatically out. What is funny is that if you followed those users they often ended up banned later on ...


TBH it was one of the things I liked about Slashdot. Essentially everyone was thrown into a pool and was expected to moderate, but it was completely random. You also got thrown into a pool to meta-moderate. Those whose meta-moderation scores were good and didn't let the tokens expire too often were thrown into the moderation pool more often. It was pretty difficult to game without a lot of sock-puppet accounts.


I never really could tell of meta moderation ever ... did a thing tho...


> Admins, sub moderators, don't have to at all.

Don't they have to mingle with whoever decides who's going to be promoted to admin or moderator? For indirect votes via party lists, I think it's quite similar, isn't it? You don't have to convince the public, you just have to convince the tiny amount of people that decides who's placed on the list.


At least as far as some subs goes there's a lot of batches of mods who seem to be copy and pasted of sorts across subs... regardless if they post across them. So I'm not so sure they have to do much at all, just know each other.

Granted its a trust thing, I get it, but it's also a disconnect.


> Does reddit have any audit trail or safeguards when admins edit comments?

No, and despite being told multiple times over the years they have not made any attempt to develop anything like this, despite it being an obvious step to prevent admins from controlling group think on the site.

My theory is that the company is worried that if they start letting people see under the covers that all the users will realize how much the site is used to manipulate them... deletions of "wrong think", bot posts, etc.


Well, there is also the fact that Ellen Pao, former Reddit CEO, is linked to Partys by Epstein.[1]

Also, there was a lot of circumstantial evidence alleging Ghislaine Maxwell was a powerful mod on reddit, with a very disgusting collection of "evidence"[2]

[1]https://www.businessinsider.com/ghislaine-maxwell-attended-k...

[2]https://www.reddit.com/r/Epstein/comments/hnckn0/umaxwellhil...


Ellen Pao's tweetstorm about Epstein was so bizarre. I honestly viewed her as a good ally and champion for a lot of my values. Seeing her casually divest that she mingled with Epstein and co. completely shattered that.

How can you advocate for women's rights and inclusion while fraternizing with Epstein and not seeing anything wrong with that... man, it bummed me out.


Number 2 has beed deleted.


The link is in the cached screenshot:

https://archive.is/https://www.reddit.com/user/maxwellhill


> possibly including the individual in question

Even assuming that Reddit learned nothing from the /u/spez-debacle and that admins can still edit comments, it would be a problem in its own right if she already had such far-reaching permissions when just getting started.


> why would reddit hire a 23 year old admin whose greatest accomplishment is being forced out of politics due to her connections to multiple pedophiles?

Hiring trans people gets you a lot of Virtue Credits. The incentives are clearly there.

It’s ridiculous, of course. And I say this as a trans person.


I suspect they are circling wagons and presenting a united front but this person will be fired or "resign" in the next day or so. She must not have told them about her history. You would think a network savvy company like Reddit would have HR department that can do a google search on someone's name though.


I wonder with her being a UK citizen how much the EU/UK"right to be forgotten" laws has made it harder to do background checks on this.


This Verge article was updated an hour and a bit ago to say that they have indeed "cut ties".

https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/24/22348255/reddit-moderator...


> However they seem to be denying the accusations that admins (possibly including the individual in question) were manually editing contents containing her name.

Are you talking about replacing contents / titles with "[Removed by Reddit]"? That's the "Content Removed by Reddit Admins" category in https://www.redditinc.com/policies/transparency-report-2020-...


According to the r/UKpolitics moderator that got banned, one of their comments was manually edited multiple times (first to change the content of the comment, then to fix typos in previous edits)[1]. Reddit hasn't refuted this.

From context I've seen elsewhere, my guess is that the mod posted the text of the Spectator article in its entirely as a comment on their submission. Then, someone edited out the sentence which contained a passing mention of Aimee, but in a nongrammatical way. Then someone went back to fix the edit, and a little while later the comment was full-on deleted (so now it shows up as [ Removed By Reddit ]) [2]

[1]: https://www.reddit.com/r/ukpolitics/comments/mbytxw/_/gs0wor...

[2]: Visible from the mod's user page but not on the submission itself


According to the r/UKpolitics moderator that got banned, one of their comments was manually edited multiple times (first to change the content of the comment, then to fix typos in previous edits)[1]. Reddit hasn't refuted this.

It seems to me that the biggest problem with that specific situation, assuming the description is indeed correct, isn't that the admins of a forum have the power to edit content on their own site, but rather that if the content has been edited by the admins then this isn't necessarily being disclosed transparently to others, and by extension the original author might still be held responsible for something they did not in fact write.

You might expect that, for legal CYA reasons if nothing else, a forum of Reddit's prominence where controversial subjects are sometimes discussed would at least keep some sort of irrefutable log of any changes made by its admins and clearly mark any content that has been edited by admins to avoid misrepresenting the original author. However, going by various other comments made over the past couple of days, it looks like this might not be the case, which seems dangerous for both Reddit and the people writing the content that gets changed.


It appears that reddit prefers that people believe it is the original author's words when they edit someone's post:

> "I messed with the “f*** u/spez” comments, replacing "spez" with r/the_donald mods for about an hour," Huffman said, indicating that the only thing he secretly altered was the target of the insults.

https://www.theverge.com/2016/11/23/13739026/reddit-ceo-stev...


> first to change the content of the comment, then to fix typos in previous edits

Does anyone have screenshots showing these various states?


Screenshots have no value here because they're so trivial to fake. A Wayback Machine archive would be much better.


While a screenshot can be fake, most screenshots you see are not, and they're still useful for understanding what's going on.


I'm asking myself the same question. There many LGBT+ activists out there; hiring this particular person is just asking for trouble. And the current censorship situation simply makes no sense.


I remember related articles being flagged on HN as well. That is some very effective moderation tools


You yourself can flag any article you want, you just have to click a link at the top.


I am aware of it, it was a bad joke I guess. I wanted to say censorship (done by this site's users) was a thing. I would expect them doing the same if they were admins on reddit. I am doubting that this is a moderation tool going haywire


I pretty sure that response was as close to a post mortem as we are going to get.


The obvious answer is because diversity trumps qualifications, and Silicon Valley companies are desperate to get their diversity numbers up.


Yep, gotta meet those diversity quotas, everywhere except board of directors, of course.


One can be forgiven a lot of one's politics are correct, especially if one has the mitigating status of minority status, even if it's a minority status that one grants oneself and no one is allowed to question.

We've just witnessed two celebrities on the same show, make tweets comparing a political situation to Nazism. Only one was fired for it.

One was conservative, the other liberal. If you immediately knew that one kept their job based purely on that description, the question of why Reddit would hire such a disastrous individual becomes much less mysterious.


The CEO himself admitted to going into The_Donald subreddit (before it was banned) and editing user comments. I don't think this guy is leading the charge to admin transparency.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/reddit-ceo-edits-user-comment...


This gets brought up a lot. And it's a bit of a doozy to make sense of.

First, consider the context: the CEO (spez) was an easy punching bag on the_donald subreddit, in fact it was a bit of a meme there to attack reddit's admins (and those in the know do know that the attacks were often crossing a line, like accusing them of being pedophiles and things of the nature). The change that spez made was a bit of a joke itself, it was turning an attack on its head. If the edit had been made in the early early days of Reddit, especially in the jokey context it was made in, I don't think anyone would have batted an eyelash. But in the last few years, right around the time these things happened, it became clear that Reddit is a big deal.

I think what I'm trying to say is, whatever may be your feelings of Reddit and its stature, this particular act by spez was pretty insignifiant in the grand scheme of things. Indeed the subreddit that this happened in actually no longer even exists, the_donald and similar subreddits were banned to make Reddit a friendlier place such that it's now an easier decision for corporate America to put ads on there.


> pretty insignifiant in the grand scheme of things.

It was super significant in that it was evidence that Reddit employees have the ability to edit messages with no audit trail and no governance.

So while the individual edit was not important, the fact that it happened was. And there is an unknown number of other edits that were never disclosed and is unprovable. So Reddit broke the one thing it’s supposed to do- allow users to talk to each other.

Important for this article too because Knight claims her boyfriend’s Twitter account was hacked and someone else posted about fantasizing about kids. If it was Reddit we wouldn’t be able to know if it was Knight’s boyfriend, hackers, or some Reddit admin.


> It was super significant in that it was evidence that Reddit employees have the ability to edit messages with no audit trail and no governance.

Yeah this is an issue, but let’s be real here, this matters to you me and a few other people here, and outside in the real world no-one cares. Even this expectation is new, any admin who was hosting phpbb forums or whatever else had this freedom to change a few entries in their Mysql Db, heck there was an engineer who was able to go inside people’s private gmail (https://www.wired.com/2010/09/google-spy/) — and Google is a company we expected to have better safeguards. Better security measures, sophisticated software architecture to prevent this, these things only happen after a startup reaches a high level of maturity in its timeline, Reddit hadn’t quite reached that point when this happened. I would be concerned if such a thing happened now though. Now these safeguards do exist on Reddit so there’s that.


It mattered a lot to the people in the subreddit who were upset enough about that and other things to create their own website and move their community off reddit.

I think it's less about the technical aspect and more about the expectation that people with the ability to change your comments won't do that. If you wrote an opinion letter to a magazine, and they published it, but only after changing a few words in your letter to make you seem dumb, everyone would understand why you were upset even though nobody would doubt that magazines have the technical capability to do this.


One of the things I first set up in systems like this is to really lock down who can change and do stuff like put content into immutable read only stores so it’s hard to change.

And I also set up audits and alarms so if someone does change things that shouldn’t be changed then alerts get pushed out to the right places for review. Even if it’s simple stuff like putting a trigger on a column that shouldn’t change so it’s logged and reviewed when someone changes it.

This is just a reasonable thing for an admin to set up. Decades ago, I got really pissed when sysadmins were just reading email and worked to set up controls so people could only do this with the right controls and reading a users’ content was a big deal that was super hard, hopefully impossible to do inappropriately.

There are situations where this has to happen right- HR investigating a complaint, laws, audits, etc- and that’s still possible. But casually browsing and changing without anyone knowing should not be allowed in any serious business. It’s not that hard to set up.


>Reddit employees have the ability to edit messages with no audit trail and no governance.

How did you come to this conclusion? It is entirely possible that there was an audit trail and governance, spez simply ignored the governance, and he would have been fired after an examination of the audit trail if he was anyone else but the co-founder/CEO.


"he would have been fired after an examination of the audit trail if he was anyone else but the co-founder/CEO"

That assumes theres an ethical corporate culture which many doubt.


I'm not going to defend Reddit's corporate culture, but you are making a much more nebulous complaint here than OP did when they stated rather definitively that there was "no audit trail and no governance".


Think you're replying to the wrong person. Im not username "prepend" above.


I realize that and it is why I referenced “OP” in that comment. They made a specific and direct statement which was in my opinion unsupported by the evidence. You countered my response with a more general and vaguer complaint that I can’t really disagree with but isn’t directly related to the original complaint I was refuting.


If someone can ignore the governance process then it’s not an effective governance process.

If there’s not auditing to identify when someone bypasses governance, then that’s not effective auditing.

Assuming effective controls are in place without any description of them and evidence that they fail is foolish, I think.

Reddit could have shown off their governance and audit process, but didn’t. I’ve worked on similar systems where someone can just edit the db records and there have been places with no and decent governance. It’s more likely that anyone with admin rights can change stuff. This is bad for a company as big as Reddit with as many users.


> If it was Reddit we wouldn’t be able to know if it was Knight’s boyfriend, hackers, or some Reddit admin.

Sorry I don't see your point, I work in systems in very large e-commerce multinationals and I have been given the production database credentials many times allowing me to change anything of any user or any product using the mandatory company VPN and the admin account. What are you going to track? The VPN IP and and the general admin credential that can be 100 different people not including hackers that could have compromised any of our PCs?

The only important thing is that she doesn't stand behind the comments, she denies them. So that's it. She clearly doesn't support those statements, end of story.

Doxxing on the other hand is a federal crime in the US and thus is not considered "free speech" and must be censored according to https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2261A

Whoever with the intent to kill, injure, harass, intimidate, or place under surveillance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, uses the mail, any interactive computer service or electronic communication service or electronic communication system of interstate commerce, or any other facility of interstate or foreign commerce to engage in a course of conduct that causes, attempts to cause, or would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to a person described in clause ...


>It was super significant in that it was evidence that Reddit employees have the ability to edit messages with no audit trail and no governance.

Uh, this was already known by then, though. What made it significant is that it happened to be spez.


>that Reddit employees have the ability to edit messages with no audit trail and no governance.

Help me understand this. Reddit is a private company. Is there some sort of contract somewhere that says they won't edit messages and will maintain an audit trail? I mean, I might not like that they are doing it, but I'm also not paying a dime for Reddit (and I have all ads blocked, so they doubly aren't making any money off of me) so I don't see where I can be upset if Reddit does this. You get what you pay for.

If we want governance and audit trails, it either needs to be maintained as a public resource, paid for out of tax dollars, or needs to be a fully paid for product that involves entering into a 2 way contract. Otherwise, I think they are free and clear to do whatever they want to do with any subreddits, posts, or comments.


> Is there some sort of contract somewhere that says they won't edit messages and will maintain an audit trail?

Legal contract? No. Social contract? Yes.

> Otherwise, I think they are free and clear to do whatever they want to do with any subreddits, posts, or comments.

I'm surprised this is where you went with your rationale. The parent was clearly saying that the intent of the communities is the ability for people to freely speak each other. Any function, especially by authority, to undermine that will erode confidence and thus eventually cause people to use the site less.


Social contract? Seriously? Who in the world is using Reddit because they have confidence in it? That is insane. It's an anonymous black hole of posts and comments and come and go like dust in the wind and have no lasting permanence or value. It's not social. There is no contract. Nobody in their right mind should have confidence in Reddit or believe that anything on there is real or authentic.


> dust in the wind and have no lasting permanence or value

You mean like the massive russian "troll farms" that have effectively coerced people into political beliefs, or places like /r/RedPill that have galvanized young males to be ant-feminine, or WSB where thousands of people have placed savings into Gamestop. Want me to go on?

So yes there is most definitely a social contract. Just because you don't believe the information, doesn't mean others don't as well.

> It's not social. There is no contract.

You should probably read up on what "social contract" means: https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/glossary/social-contract-...


Has anyone been harmed by losing money in GameStop meme investing? It seems like everyone more or less got what they paid for in entertainment.


Define "harm"? How is losing money not objectively considered harmful to a person?


When you go to Disneyland it involves losing a lot of money but people usually enjoy it. Same thing here. People are not being quoted in the news or testifying to Congress that they lost their retirement and Mr. DFV has not lost his SEC broker registration.


You are right up until you end the sentence with the wrong cranberry. A vast majority of content on Reddit is shockingly real (going by Occam's razor), it is one of the reasons why in light of this whole debacle I'm considering never setting foot on that platform ever again.


The content of Reddit comments have been used in legal proceedings. It's a huge deal that the CEO has edit permissions in the main Reddit site database, they simply shouldn't have that access at all.


It's like Mark Zuckerberg personally (and invisibly) editing your facebook posts, for which you're legally culpable. I don't really get how people here just brush it off.


The fact that Reddit comments are admissible in a court sounds insane to me. I can't believe people actually take Reddit that seriously. It's like taking preschoolers yelling at each other seriously, but with anonymity thrown in. The fact that adults can take it seriously enough to use it in court cases is crazy.


Just because you don't know the reddit user in real life doesn't mean other people don't know each other in real life. If someone says they're going to kill someone for a comment, and then that user ends up dead, I don't see why it would be shocking that might be used as evidence in a court case.

It was a pretty common occurrence on Twitter back when people posted their gang crap everywhere.


> It's a huge deal that the CEO has edit permissions in the main Reddit site database

Surely you jest! Do you know how programs work? You don't think HN comments can't be edited by anyone with access to the DB and permission to make changes?

Frankly the idea that people on HN thought that people who run a website can't edit the content on it is one of the most bizarre, disingenuous things I've read on here.

You all know it can be done. Why is everyone pretending otherwise? Is it performative?


I think the expectation is that spez (and, ideally every other Reddit employee) would not have credentials to the prod database. Definitely not _write_ credentials.

In a system as large as Reddit, there's rarely a good reason for a human to be running hand-written SQL commands in prod.


There's a large amount of process in place at traditional companies to prevent this kind of tampering. Commonly, it involves separation of powers, with an "Operations" team that runs the software and an "Engineering" team that runs the software. This way, theoretically, nobody who has the knowledge of how to abuse the system would have access to abuse it. Making "unwanted" changes to software would require the consent of two parties at odds - One on Ops, one on Eng.

In practice, it was impossible to debug software if you didn't have knowledge of how it ran and it was impossible for teams to cooperate when designed as antagonistic. "Operations" people needed to know enough programming and SQL to be able to audit engineering access, or they became blind drones parroting the actions that the Engineering team took. A useless layer of signaling that added no substance. And it was easy to align bad actors in Ops and Eng, at least in places where it mattered - Usually with money.

My career in DevOps has been breaking down these barriers, promoting a "shared ownership" model where it's devs are directly oncall and have production credentials to their services. Still, there are serious protections in place: The passwords to the production databases are stored securely, not typically visible to devs - They have to jump through hoops of using a auditable bastion box to run SQL commands directly on the production databases. Not that it's not possible, not that it's not done (Though good engineering practices make it an uncommon task, I think we've actually used the ability half a dozen times in the last year), but as the commands are being typed they send out logs to a third-party service that's instructed to archive them. It's not hard to get access, but it would be easy to see the trail.

That said: This is on a mature team. That doesn't come out of the box and we didn't get there easily. Many teams, even with all of that protection, don't actually audit the logs, and do generate a lot of logs because of poor system behavior.

Knowing the engineering talent at Reddit, I doubt that it's a concern. Whether by malice or naivete, it has likely never crossed their mind that anyone would break protocol and access databases directly for anything other than legitimate debugging purposes. I'm convinced that the SF bay has some of the narrowest focused minds... and also many of the most malicious.


At a technical level it is always possible somehow but the point people are trying to make is that there should be access controls and protocols in place. The CEO should not have absolute unconstrained access in all matters.


The person I would trust the least to run raw SQL at (easy to find if you care) has the most privilege to do so: The "Growth Hacker" business operations person. Probably reddit is among the few companies where the CEO is technical enough to be doing raw SQL queries themselves, but it's trivial for a CEO to generate a purpose for credentials to be stored in their remit: Business reports. The bizops people with direct ties to the CEO will do whatever they're asked.

Still, agreed - The fact that they've now shown, multiple times, to have insufficient auditing and repercussions for the administrative abuse is sobering.


C* executives are normally prevented from accessing these systems directly for accounting reasons. I'm certain the person meant that it was inappropriate for the CEO of Reddit to have the ability to edit the production database, not that they didn't understand how DB ACLs work.

I've worked on production DBs that have had these kinds of restrictions- like, an alert gets sent if an SVP accesses a system. There are a lot of good reasons for this but most of them come down to avoiding fraud.


If Reddit publishes the claim that I wrote something that I didn't, I don't see how that wouldn't be potentially libelous.


How would anyone know it was you? I assume you aren't stupid enough to use your real name on Reddit or make any self-identifying remarks.


Yes, like many people, I use my real name on HN. (But not on Reddit, of course.) And people frequently identify themselves on HN by linking to their blogs or projects. I wouldn't call those people stupid.


You're missing the point. No one is saying that they're not legally allowed to do it. The issue here is that it's possible, and that it was done at least once.


What if it was done constantly all day long every day? How would that be any different than having been done once? This is reddit, the bastion of anonymous inanity.


That's possible and likely. It would obviously be worse.


Worse why? This is Reddit we are talking about.



There is really no excuse for what he did and most other businesses would have fired him immediately. Reddit simply has a very immature corporate culture. Post-IPO (if they get that far) I would expect a massive clean-out.


What's the harm in such a pointless joke? It was silly, but it's not like the meme subreddit he did it to was a super serious one like AskHistorians is.


Personally I don't think that action in itself is a big deal, but it shows that Reddit has a lack of internal security i.e. reddit employees are admins in the old-school CMS/forum software sense: they simply can do anything. (Edit: Reply points out that spez says not all admins can do this)

For comparison, I don't expect that a Google employee, or C-level executive, has an "Edit" button next to every single post on Google Groups.

Being able to silently change the content appearing under a user's name is a big deal. It's a more significant capability than being able to e.g. take down content.


To be fair, nobody has an edit button on any Google Groups post anymore. Nobody has any buttons on them, in fact. Also, when it happened, he also pointed out that most reddit admins weren't able to do this.


> Also, when it happened, he also pointed out that most reddit admins weren't able to do this.

That’s worse though, right? Why does he have this special functionality the other admins don’t have? Why would the CEO ever legitimately need to personally edit a reddit comment? Surely he has many better things to do.


I'm sure he could just connect directly to the database if he wanted to. At some point people have enough access to systems to bypass any security checks put in place.


This is the guy who created reddit, by default he can do anything physically possible. The only way he wouldn't have this functionality is if one of his employees specifically added something to block him from being able to do it, and this addition could not be reversed.

And there are many very legitimate reasons to have the capability to modify entries in a database, but honestly even if there weren't, making a system where it's impossible for anyone other than the originating user to modify an entry is a challenging task.


Why does he have this special functionality the other admins don’t have?

He wrote the site's first version, and co-wrote the (modern) Python version. Lots of things stay in place in legacy systems.


People have been arrested over reddit comments, and what he did showed that there are employees at reddit who can go in and edit your comments to say whatever they want, with no oversight.


It is rather fascinating isn't it. Not that long ago I remember reading FBI agent documentation describing to the judge how he got the information and publicly available comments were a big part of this. It throws a serious wrench into validity of such submissions by LEOs now.


The point is not the joke, the point is the betrayal. It eroded confidence that any post or comment on reddit is real or authentic.


Is this a joke? Why would anyone think that any post or comment on a place like Reddit is real or authentic? The entire thing is an anonymous black hole. It is as far from real and authentic as I can imagine anything being.


Things can be both real and anonymous. Things can be both authentic and anonymous.


> What's the harm in such a pointless joke

The clear harm is that Reddit posts have been used in court cases. People have and will go to jail based on that content.

The unclear harm is they use “we’re being professional business” as an excuse to do unpopular and unfriendly things and also “it’s just a prank bro” when stealth editing posts... no dude. Can’t have it both ways. No one should trust this company at all, and they’re proving why.


Would it be ok if Twitter employees secretly changed people's tweets without informing them?


Yes. You're the one who chose to use their platform to broadcast your words, if you don't believe they will do so with fidelity use a different platform. You're not paying or otherwise offering them anything in exchange for a guarantee of fidelity, nor are you under any obligation to use their service.


So by your logic, it would be okay for a twitter employee to modify a tweet from of the president's account to declare war (or to any number of things that would have very real repercussions in the real world)


I take no issue with the modification. Trying to start a war is wrong, but that's true regardless of method. Giving someone food isn't a problem, giving someone food you know they are deathly allergic to on the other hand is. They would certainly be responsible for any damages they caused through malice or negligence, but they have the right to face those consequences.


Why not, if they had it in their terms of service?


I get where you're coming from, but to the users of the_donald, it wasn't a meme subreddit. They thought they were the main reason he got elected in 2016 and were looking forward to playing a similarly pivotal role in 2020.


It was so close they could have made an impact. The Clinton email address / wikileaks dumps were being mined as a collective in the forum. That probably brought to light some emails the press would have ignored.


Steve Huffman: "I’m confident that Reddit could sway elections"

https://bgr.com/2018/03/12/reddit-election-interference-stev...


> I get where you're coming from, but to the users of the_donald, it wasn't a meme subreddit. They thought they were the main reason he got elected in 2016 and were looking forward to playing a similarly pivotal role in 2020.

That sounds exactly like what a Donald Trump meme subreddit would say.


> I think what I'm trying to say is, whatever may be your feelings of Reddit and its stature, this particular act by spez was pretty insignifiant in the grand scheme of things.

In court there’s a concept called “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus”[1]. If you’re shown to have lied to the court once, then anything else you’ve said can be considered to be a lie as well. You lose the assumption of good faith of the judge and jury.

It might not be a courtroom, but the same concept applies to a so called “bastion of free speech” platform like Reddit.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsus_in_uno,_falsus_in_omnib...


Sorry to be so cynic, but why do you assume good faith on the part of Reddit? It's a free product, you are not paying for it, they don't owe you a damn thing. If they don't care about their reputation, they can do whatever they want with your comments, including changing them or deleting them.

This is the problem of free stuff, you have no leverage and little to no value to the company as a single user, and if you are the kind of problematic user such as the ones in The Donal, you have negative value because you scare away the ads and ruin the companies reputation, so they actually have a very powerful incentive to push you away and make you leave the site.


if I recall correctly, he edited the comment outside the official moderation workflow. there was no indication that the edit was not made by the user themselves. imo, this is a pretty big deal. if it were done in a way that clearly showed the edit was spez's, it would be a harmless joke. instead it raised questions about how many admins are able to silently edit comments and how often it might happen.


I couldnt disagree more. If Zuck was found out to have been manually changing posts that criticize him would that be insignificant? Not enforcing some moderation policy but manually changing posts.

Like is that really the most important thing for any CEO to do? It's incredibly stupid and worse it kills user trust. I think Reddit should have banned TD early on but I still think this act was awful.


The CEO of a social media company going and personally making political edits to user messages to push their agenda sounds about as bad of a thing as I can imagine. I have a hard time imagining something more wrong for a social network to do. Imagine the CEO of YC editing posts and comments with no way to prove it, people would be rightfully furious. I guess promoting child pornography is worse, but that's also something Reddit and their admins did in the early days. People can say all they want about Facebook and Zuckerberg, but if he had done any of dozens of things Reddit has done and continues to do, he may have literally been crucified. Reddit gets away with way too much crap just because there is no alternative. Reddit is one of the most toxic social networks with the most corrupt leadership but it generally gets ignored because of their political leanings.


The problem isn't just that spez had an act of weakness - it's that reddits admin tools have built in features to modify comments. Meaning they're using that feature more than just this singular time.


Do we know for the a fact that those tools exist? I work on a website that has a database backend. It is trivially for me to go into the database and make any edits I want. How do we know that he doesn't have that kind of database access?


Just replace spez and reddit with Zuckerberg and Facebook and you'll immediately understand why it is bad. Just imagine Mark editing your posts. CEOs shouldn't be monkeying around without a transparent changelog with user content.


Why not? Is their company and you are not paying them a damn thing. Why the entitlement if you are not paying for the service that you are enjoying? That's not how the world works.

If you are not paying don't complain, just move to another site or pay for the service so you are under a different contract and relation and you are no longer the product and are the customer instead.

You are not the customer of Facebook, Reddit or Google, the ads buyers are, and the customer is always right. If they don't like your post, it makes all the sense in the world to change it, censor it or kick you out because you are making them lose money and they are not a non-profit existing to serve you. They exist to make money for their share-holders like any other corporation.


On the contrary, it's the most significant thing I could imagine: The Admin Feels Free To Do Anything.

Ponder this. Unconstrained. Doesn't see what the big deal is. Can do, will do. Frictionless, untrackable.


You say the r/the_donald doesn't exist but it's only banned at the moment.

Some search engines like Duckduckgo actually keeps a bang shortcut (!) awaiting the day when that subreddit gets unbanned.

Its hard to really make something disappear completely once it's on the internet.


Thats a lot of mental gymnastics and whataboutism to give him a pass. At the end of the day he did what he did. And they lost trust through his actions which is the currency of their platform. As CEO, he made a stupid decision and then joked about it more than he apologized after. If they're doing that type of thing on the front-end, what do you think they're doing on the back-end?

I barely even use Reddit anymore because I simply dont trust it for an accumulation of reasons. Its ~50% astroturf for political and commercial reasons, you can somewhat easily game the votes, and I don't think they care because they make money.


Agreed

It's a bit ironic that the group that likes saying how other groups are "snowflakes" get the most offended by what was essentially a joke.


Every group seems to accuse every other group of being a snowflake and easily offended, in particular it's enemies.

“easily offended” is more often than not to be taken as “offended by something I do not find offensive”.


For reference, they moved to: https://patriots.win/

It's been interesting to watch the community actually grow (it was thedonald.win, but there was a difference between moderators - aka the domain owner wanted to make money).


You left out some context: he did that in a (failed) attempt at lulz. It was a long thread where (IMHO) he was fielding tough questions pretty frankly and honestly, as one might hope he would, but he ruined it by editing someone's post to troll them. In context, it was obvious that he did it, he wasn't trying to be sneaky.

I'm not justifying it; obviously it was dumb, given that people are still using it to denigrate him years later. But the implication that this means he is more likely to have edited other peoples' posts surreptitiously is (again IMHO) not true.


I can't imagine Twitter/Facebook/etc. actually changing what a user wrote, in any context. This does reveal something about Reddit and I would be less surprised to learn they are editing other posts.


On the flip side, administrators can and do directly edit user posts on a lot of web forums I've used, some of which make it more obvious than others. I think the Facebook/Twitter position is the more unusual one, and it's tied up with those platforms' obsessions with real names and verified identities...


Not defending him but it was very clear after this that admins were willing and able to do this. That's good to know, at least.


> this means he is more likely to have edited other peoples' posts surreptitiously is (again IMHO) not true.

In what way can you support this claim? We’re you provided any indication or proof that this is the first this has happened? Or is the first time they were caught?


IMHO means "in my humble opinion". The reason I hold that opinion is that when someone is using their power surreptitiously, they generally don't call attention to it.

More subjectively, none of us can know for certain, but this line of reasoning just isn't supported by an honest reading of the thread in question. The Reddit leadership was in between a rock ("this sub is full of white supremacists and if you don't ban them you're racist!") and a hard place ("we're being persecuted for being conservative and white and if you ban us you're racist!"). Spez isn't perfect, but he seemed to be at least trying to engage honestly and field questions about what he had done and why. After many hours of arguing with people (and, it goes without saying, taking a fair amount of insults and abuse) he did this thing where he edited some posts in a way that seemed pretty clearly to be an attempt to blow off steam.

Now, was that wise? Clearly not, and I'm not defending it. But neither is it defensible to selectively pluck the fact that he edited some posts out of its context and use it to push the idea that Reddit leadership is in the habit of editing peoples' posts surreptitiously to push a viewpoint. AFAIK that's never happened, and I feel like Reddit is under enough of a microscope that we'd know if it had.


It was a single time, and in a way that was an obvious joke (literally just regex to switch his name with mods' names). It's not exactly heinous, what he did.


> It was a single time

That we know of that he admitted.


He's been remarkably open every time he's changed user content (once with a post in 200...7? I think, and the single time he edited comments).

I don't like reddit, and I don't like spez for other reasons (downgraded from Lisp to Python), but what he did was literally just a harmless joke. All reddit posts and comments are publicly archived by services like pushshift; we'd know if they had a habit of doing this.


> He's been remarkably open every time he's changed user content

I have no stake in this story, but how could you, or anyone, possibly know that?


As he mentioned in his comment, there are plenty of reddit thread archivers, especially on popular subreddits.

But I also have no stakes here.


Everything on reddit is archived roughly as soon as it's posted. Any manipulation can therefore be spotted just by looking at an archive.


> remarkably open every time he's changed user content

Are you sarcastic? This is logically a very useless statement due to the nature of trust. Once trust was broken it’s hard to obtain because does clearly lied about other things, why should he be trusted now that he’s been caught.

“I’ve been remarkably open about all the extra marital affairs where I’ve been caught, please trust there are no others.”

“I’ve been remarkably open about all the robberies where I was convicted, please trust that there are no others.”

Etc etc.

I would feel foolish even presenting any unsound logic and can’t even think of a situation where it would be relevant to trust. Officiated lie detector? Sodium pentathol administered by an adversarial government? Testimony under oath?


The trust was never broken. He neither denied nor tried to hide that he changed the post. No one caught him, he did it in broad daylight.

If you have extra marital sex right in front of your spouse, that is no indication that you are hiding secret affairs.

If you walk into a police station and tell them you robbed the bank across the street, there is no reason to believe you have secretly robbed many others.


Everything on reddit is archived roughly as soon as it's posted. Any manipulation can therefore be spotted just by looking at an archive.


And who is reviewing the archives for everything, all the time, looking for diffs?


A handful of services automatically show diffs. reddit only really deletes stuff, it doesn't care about changing them.


You’re saying he was open about it in all the cases that are public. Kind of like the NSA has been open about all its tools that we know about.


Everything on reddit is archived roughly as soon as it's posted. Any manipulation can therefore be spotted just by looking at an archive.


The obvious answer is they probably didn't, this is probably a pseudo QAnon/Pizzagate conspiracy theory where people were "censored" for the harassment of a random person.


Reddit admins have confirmed she is an employee. And there are a bunch of reputable articles of her actions and controversy from years ago.

https://www.reddit.com/r/ModSupport/comments/mbqgx2/a_clarif...


Funny that you so casually dismissing something with many facts around it makes you more like any Q related stuff.


> due to her connections to multiple pedophiles?

You mean, her own father? The article says her fiancee also had been accused of saying he feels attracted to children but they claim his account was hacked, which may be true as no one in their right mind would tweet something like that.


Stop defending pedophile apologists before you know the full facts of the case.

Her father raped and tortured (a car battery was involved) a ten year old. This happened over multiple days whilst the child was tied to the rafters in the attic of the family home. This is the same house Aimee Chancellor was living in at the time. But she claims she didn't know and she was not on trial. Regardless, during the trial photos of Aimee with the victim were discovered on Amiee's phone.

After her father was arrested and charged with 22 counts of sexual violence, she forged documents in order to hire him as her election agent. This is a position where he would have had contact with children. She was kicked out the Green party when this came to light.

She then joined another political party, and was kicked out of that after her fiance was found to have tweeted:

"I fantasise about children having sex, sometimes with adults, sometimes with other children, sometimes kidnapped and forced into bad situations."

They were both contacted by the media about this, she claimed he had been hacked, he claimed that these were only fantasies, and would never act on these urges... She later married him.

Amiee Chancellor is a despicable human being who can only be viewed positively if she is compared to the people she chooses to surround herself with.


I'm confused. Why did reddit hire this person?


Some have hypothesized that Reddit was trying to increase their diversity numbers but it seems more likely that she's friends with someone or has a group of friends at Reddit and that's how she made it though whatever hiring process they have. Reddit doesn't strike me as the type of place that's very rigorous when it comes to process so knowing the right people might have been enough. Of course this is all conjecture.


I mean, at some point, the folks who do background checks during hiring would have flagged this as a risk, and I can't see the company proceeding to the offer stage once they were aware. I mean this purely from a corporate risk-avoidance perspective. But, I guess reddit might not adhere to this approach.


Indeed, confirmed. reddit did not background check this person when hiring them.


Aimee was already a moderator on quite a few subs. I believe the husband (or perhaps the other boyfriend) is also.


A trans activist is a fantastic hire to brag about how diverse we are!

Yes I'm being cynical but why else hire someone with such a history for a social media company?


My question was answered by the CEO of reddit (well, I didn't ask him, but he answered it) in a post just 15 minutes ago: "As of today, the employee in question is no longer employed by Reddit. We built a relationship with her first as a mod and then through her contractor work on RPAN. We did not adequately vet her background before formally hiring he"

It's exactly as I thought. They thought they had a good employee and failed to vet with due diligence.

But, in their response, they absolutely failed to convince anybody: by banning a bunch of people for posting things that are in mainstream external media. Even if it doxxes your employee, once it's in the mainstream, you can't control it.


> during the trial photos of Aimee with the victim were discovered

> he claimed that these were only fantasies

This are some pretty serious accusations, and the situation is much more fucked up if true (i.e. she shouldn't just be fired, more likely jailed).

Do you have any sources to back them up?


I'm confused. Your comment talks about her father and her fiance. What did she do?

"Amiee Chancellor is a despicable human being" is pretty heavy, but the only thing related to her in your comment is that "she forged documents in order to hire him as her election agent." Not cool, but is there more here?


She lied to protect a known pedophile. I have limited myself to facts which have been proven in court. As a UK citizen, I am unable to make any statement which I cannot prove, less I be sued for libel. However I'll point out again that she lived in the house, the child was there for days, and there were photos of Amiee and the ten year old victim found by the police on Amiee's phone. There are plenty more facts available about this case which might cause you to question the decision making process of the CPS.

EDIT: I would link sources but the only sites which have properly covered this story are highly transphobic so I will refrain.


Hire her father after the allegations were known (to her and the public) as an election agent which put him into contact with vulnerable people[1], which is arguably both very reckless and borderline crony.

[1]https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/12/green-party...


I don't know anything about the case that's not covered in this article... but I have the impression she's being judged by what her father did, which I find despicable. She deserves to be treated independently of that as I am sure it was not easy to live her whole life in the shadow of what happened.

Though I have no idea, I suppose her father couldn't get a job (I suppose he has paid his 22 years in jail now) so she might have felt like she had to step in to help?? I don't find that a huge problem, though if she did indeed forge documents , then of course she should be held accountable.

EDIT: I am sorry, I hadn't read the details of the case, so I assumed the crime had happened 22 years ago (as the father was free to work, I assumed he had paid his time)... but it seems he was on bail (!!!) from the crime, which happened in 2016!!! How does one get bail after such a crime?! I withdraw my comment above, this story is far too horrible and I don't want to be on the wrong side.


As far as I understand, he is currently in jail.

I think bail before conviction is fine if the person is not a flight-risk. (Innocence before being proven guilty, etc.) Far too many stories of people who are denied or unable to post bail (usually people without power or means) and get stuck in jail for months before ever seeing trial.


"photos on her phone" is pretty damning.


Oh wow, I completely missed that. Sorry!

Regardless, during the trial photos of Aimee with the victim were discovered on Amiee's phone.

Thanks for pointing that out. Yes of course, that's completely different.

Does anyone know where to find more info about this? It's such a strange situation.

EDIT: There are some details here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/coventry-captive...

though nothing about Aimee being in the photos. I'm curious how she wasn't implicated in that case. How weird...


While the site itself is pretty terrible, kiwifarms has a well written up history with evidence to back it up.


I'm sceptical about that detail because the UK is pretty zealous at paying attention to and prosecuting women believed to have been actively supporting the sex offences and there dont appear to have been any charges, or even any insinuations from the press.


What were the photos, though? People are saying photos of her with the victim, but were they pictures that implied she knew about the abuse?


Is lying to protect pedophiles not despicable?


Her partner posted content about being attracted to children as far back as 2015.

A five year setup followed by a Twitter hack seems incredibly unlikely.

Edit: The unique name used for her partners keybase account is associated with similar content posted in 2004. The evidence appears concrete that her partner is a self-confessed paedophile.


>no one in their right mind would tweet something like that.

You must be blissfully unaware of the child-oriented fetishes that exist online. I know kink-shaming is a no-no, but I find it hard to believe that adults who participate in these activities don't have any desire to include real children. Just like I find it hard to believe that someone who uses an "islamic terrorist" target at a gun range doesn't have any desire to shoot a real one.

EDIT: replace "islamic terrorist" with "gangster thug" (I don't like altering comments in this way so just pretend I did)


Do you think it's wrong to target a terrorist?


It is wrong to want to. To be clear, it is laudable to train for the situation. But to eagerly anticipate it, to hope for enemies to attack your country and community, is abhorrent.


it depends? when I was a kid, my tennis instructor used to prop up pictures of osama bin laden on hitting targets. a little odd to do with young children, but not a big deal I don't think. if "islamic terrorist" means a picture of someone wearing typical pashtun garb holding an ak, that's a bit less okay.

it's kinda like people who are really into home defense. there's nothing wrong with people who train a lot to defend against a home invasion. but with some of them, you get the impression they actually hope it happens. not a great look.


Not gonna lie, that's kind of an insane thing for a tennis instructor of children to do.


It is a big deal that your hatred for a terrorist was used to improve your performance at a sport, when you were a kid. I despise Al-Qaida, but hating Bin Laden to such a level was exactly his goal. Proper warfare against Islamic terrorists means shielding children from senseless hate, not embracing it. Preparing children for a difficult world with tough problems and impossible solutions. You were taught that terrorism could be solved by throwing things at its nominal leader. During tennis practice!


> You mean, her own father?

To be clear, the connection is not just that he is her father. He raped and tortured a 10 year old girl in his own house while living there with Aimee. Then after he had been charged but not yet convicted, she hired him as her campaign manager.


I hate to be the guy that point this out, but no one should be Shamed for admitting they have a problem. Context matters whether they Were admitting attraction or endorsing the molestation of children


I hope you don't get downvoted for this. If you care about childrens welfare, you should be 100% in support of pedophiles coming forward and seeking help.


Right, but the context here is not the guy seeking help. It's him explaining why he thinks it's okay for his girlfriend (now wife) to work with vulnerable children while he actively produces content fantasizing about raping children.


I don't think it makes sense to view producing such content as so frightening.

https://web.archive.org/web/20190602191056/https://cphpost.d... > Cartoons and drawings depicting paedophilia do not encourage people to commit child sex offences in real life, a report by experts who treat sexual problems concludes.

The report, carried out by Sexologisk Klinik, which is a part of Rigshospitalet, was ordered by the former justice minister, Lars Barfod (Konservative), after the Socialdemokraterne, then in opposition, demanded a ban on drawings and animations of children being sexually abused.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130111326.h... > The findings support the theory that potential sexual offenders use child pornography as a substitute for sex crimes against children. While the authors do not approve of the use of real children in the production or distribution of child pornography, they say that artificially produced materials might serve a purpose.


Absolutely. My comment was meant as a generalization.


The account wasn't hacked. Aimee lied about that, along with many other things, in order to protect a pedophile (again).


If the tweet was years ago, then I can easily imagine a kid tweeting something like that to be edgy/something else - I know I've said some stupid stuff as a kid


And her partner.


I think the idea that we should cancel people because of what their parents or partners did is incredibly wrongheaded.

Is there even a shred of evidence this person did anything illegal, immoral or unethical themselves?

they hired their dad, BEFORE he was even convicted of crimes she had nothing at all to do with. That's the worst thing this person ever did?

Usually I'm not a "cancel culture" critic but this is just insane.



This is the Reddit "Out of the Loop" thread that sort of explains what's happening: https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/mbeycw/whats_...

It's still somewhat difficult to find a clear explanation because the admins were banning people who mentioned her by name (despite the fact that she is a public/political figure in the UK). That had an extremely chilling effect on the discussions, but now the Streisand Effect is kicking in.


This all feels very witch hunt like to me. If there's any evidence that she's a danger to children, I feel like people should put up or shut up. All I've seen is people slandering her for the actions of her father (proven) and some comments that might have been made by her partner about his own interests (completely unprovable). It's kind of disgusting what conservatives are trying to turn this into without a shred of proof.


The accused internet accounts are all linked via Keybase. The usernames and content go back as far as 2004. Lots of this information is already common knowledge in the UK because of previous scandals.

At what point do you acknowledge that her partner has been doxxed as a self-confessed paedophile? The alternative would involve an incredibly elaborate plot targetting a random US citizen years before he happened to meet the person involved.


Right she didn't nothing more than reside in a house with a 10 year old girl who was being tortured by her father for 11 days, and the went on to marry another pedophile. What a coincidence!


Stranger things happened. Additionally she is autistic.


The guy she married posted a lot of rape fantasies of children on his Twitter. Someone connected all the dots and circled around that it’s possible based on actions of known associations.

Someone also mentioned that she lived in the same house at the time her father locked up and tortured the ten year old. If you’re oblivious to someone being tortured under you’re roof, you’re either really naive or part of the problem.


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