You are on page 1of 3
sane. g me & y Congress of the United States ‘Wouse of Representatives ‘Waashington, BE 20515-1403 May 28.2020 Mr, Steve Huffinan CEO & co-founder Reddit, Ine. 420 Taylor Street San Franciseo, CA 94102 Dear Mr, Huffman, {Pm writing you to express my disappointment over Reddit Ine.’ decision to ramp up its censorship ofthe pro-Trump suibreddit, R/The_Donald. In October, | urged you to reconsider Reddit’s ban of /The Donald from its main page and search resulis—a practice known on Reddit as a “quarantine”. I deseribed how since its quarantine, e/The Donald has largely complied with sitewide content policies, while numerous left wing subreddits have violated Reaiit’s policies more egregiously than r/The Donald ever did, Instead of reversing ‘The_Donald’s quarantine, or applying its policy in a politically neural manner, Reddit decided to censor 1/The Donald even more stringently. On February 26 Reddit administrators announced that they had removed several r/The Donald user moderators for, “approving, stickying and generally supporing content in this subreddit that, breaks our content policy.” They went on to explain that future r/The Donald moderators will be velted by Reddit employees according to various criteria. This policy only applies to The Donald, moderators ar self-selected in every other community on Reddit. Given that Reddit administrators conveniently provided no evidence of specific wrongdoing by the removed 1 Tae_Donald moderators it's impossible to refute any specific charges. However, i's easy to prove that this decision, like the decision to continue R/TIke Donald” s quarantine, was politically motivated, ‘Many moderators of politeally-neutal or lefiving subreddits have violated one of your site's ‘most serious rules—"do not past content that encourages violence” —but have faced no repercussions. User “underbridge” who moderates the ant-rump subreddit, “«/TheDrumpf,” posted that he would lke to make “Trump-ade" for Trump supporters, “Then put arsenic i it ‘And tell them to all drink it fast on MAGA Day.” User “davidreiss666” who currently moderates Liberal and r/PoliticalDiscussion posted tha, “the only way to fix this [Trump's presidency] is extra-consttutional. According to him, “Trump deserves similartceatment” to Mussolini, whose “body was hung from the raflers of service station.” I'm not gcing to beleaguer my point and list the hundreds of unaddressed, rule-breaking comments from left-wing moderators, but they are easy to find. Since 2016, there have been countless Congressional hearings, opinion pieces, and academic sludies examining the ability of large social media sites, ike Facebook and Twitler, 0 affect electoral outcomes. Reddit has avoided similar serutiny, but with430 million monthly active users itis one of the largest social media websites on the intemet~by that meri, larger even than Twitter. Unquestionably, Reddit can influence politcal outcomes. A fact na lost on you: in 2018, you told Andrew Marantz ofthe New Yorker, “I'm confident that Reddit could sway elections,” followed by “We wouldn’t doit, of course.” Well, you lied. You've targeted supporters ofa specific presidential candidate with arbitrary, capricious censorship, and inexplicably bolstered your restrictions after te election process beyan. In short, your billion