Reddit CEO Steve Huffman claims Big Tech regulation is unnecessary because Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are ‘values-driven people’
- Reddit CEO Steve Huffman appeared on a New York Times podcast on Monday
- He was asked to react to Facebook and Twitter’s decisions to ban former President Donald Trump after the Capitol insurrection
- Huffman said he believes the platforms will continue to face scrutiny over their content moderation practices from Democrats and Republicans alike
- But he said: ‘Regardless of the regulatory change, the real improvement we’re going to see [with content moderation] is independent of that’
- He called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey ‘values-driven people’ and said ‘they will try to do the right thing for their users’
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman (pictured in 2017) has argued that regulating content moderation by Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter is unnecessary because the people who lead those platforms are ethical and will make changes without input from the government
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has argued that regulating content moderation by Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter is unnecessary because the people who lead those platforms are ethical and will make changes without input from the government.
Huffman appeared on the New York Times podcast ‘Sway’ on Monday to share his reaction to last week’s Gamestop frenzy, which saw Reddit investor buy shares of the struggling video game retailer that hedge funds had bet against, sending them up as much as 1,600 percent.
Toward the end of the episode host Kara Swisher asked Huffman about Facebook and Twitter’s decisions to ban President Donald Trump from their platforms in the wake of the Capitol insurrection on January 6.
‘I thought it was probably the right move,’ he said. ‘I think what happened on January 6 was unprecedented, and I think citing that as reasoning [to remove Trump] is probably a reasonable thing.’
Asked what he thinks will happen with content moderation down the road, Huffman said: ‘You’ll see conservatives say that platforms do too much moderation, and you’ll see Democrats say we do too little. We live in the United States, we’re going to fight it out in the middle. I think both can be true.’
He then defended social media platforms, saying they are ‘not sitting still here’.
‘We’ve all learned, we’ve all gotten better, we’ve all made improvements, and I think we all have improvements to make,’ he said.
‘And I think honestly as with many things, regardless of the regulatory change, the real improvement we’re going to see is independent of that.’
Referencing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, he said: ‘They are values-driven people, you can see it when they speak.
‘And I think they will ultimately try to do the right thing for their users and their customers, even though its really difficult, even though they might not know the answer yet.’
Huffman described Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (left) and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (right) as ‘values-driven people’. ‘I think they will ultimately try to do the right thing for their users and their customers, even though it’s really difficult,’ Huffman said in reference to Facebook and Twitter’s handling of content moderation
Huffman’s defense of Zuckerberg and Dorsey came as Facebook and Twitter’s content moderation practices face scrutiny from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Republicans have asserted that the platforms’ decisions to ban Trump were part of a years-long campaign to silence conservative voices, while Democrats have argued that the sites were allowed to become breeding grounds for dangerous rhetoric like that which fueled the Capitol riots.
Both Facebook and Twitter have sought to shirk responsibility for the riots, saying that participants organized on other websites such as Parler and Gab.
The companies also vowed to redouble their efforts to crack down on the spread of misinformation, hate speech and violent content, insisting that government intervention is not appropriate or necessary.
Facebook set up an internal Oversight Board last year to review decisions on content removal, giving users a chance to appeal when their posts are taken down.
Critics accused Facebook of forming the so-called ‘supreme court’, which handed down its first rulings last week, in an effort to stave off government regulation.
It comes as the Big Tech titans, along with others such as Apple, Amazon and Google, face an onslaught of anti-trust lawsuits and Congressional investigations accusing the firms of unfairly crushing competition at the expense of their consumers.
Huffman (pictured in 2018) appeared on the New York Times podcast ‘Sway’ on Monday to share his reaction to last week’s Gamestop debacle, which saw small investors on Reddit take on hedge funds that had bet against shares of the struggling video game retailer, sending them up as much as 1,600 percent
Reddit is also now under scrutiny after the Gamestop frenzy, in which small-time investors organized on a WallStreetBets forum and used fee-free brokers such as Robinhood to drive a 1,600 percent rally in shares of the video game retailer, scooping up assets big hedge fund managers had bet against.
During Monday’s Sway podcast, Huffman refused to say whether the Securities and Exchange Commission had contacted him over the ordeal.
and argued that: ‘People talking about their trades is perfectly legal.’
‘If and when they contact us, I would not be able to disclose that,’ he said.
Huffman argued that ‘people talking about their trades is perfectly legal’ and said regulators will ‘see if anything crossed the line’.
It came as shares in Gamestop fell as much as 30 percent in early trading Monday while Wall Street’s main indexes opened higher.
Cinema chain AMC, another stock targeted by online traders, was up around 12 percent shortly after opening bell.
Instead, day traders now are turning their sights to silver with prices jumping as much as 13 percent Monday.
On Twitter, #silversqueeze was trending as investors looked to the latest market strategy to emerge from the ‘WallStreetBets’ forum on Reddit. Silver had already been up 6 percent last week.
Robinhood, which had restricted the purchase of 50 different stocks late on Friday, reduced that list to just eight companies by Monday.
They are: GameStop Corp., AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., BlackBerry Ltd., Express Inc., Genius Brands International Inc., Koss Corp., Naked Brand Group Ltd. and Nokia Oyj.
The list had included blue-chip names Starbucks and General Motors. Vaccine makers Moderna and NovaVax were also on the list. The move was an apparent act of desperation as the company’s cash reserves were stretched to the limit.
Shares in Gamestop fell as much as 12 per cent in early trading Monday as the Reddit-fueled volatility continued into February
Now silver has become the latest example of the influence wielded by followers of WallStreetBets targeting inequality in the global financial system
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