Testifying earlier than Congress on Thursday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman defended the role Reddit performed in the January surge of GameStop shares.
Huffman instructed members of the House Financial Services Committee at a listening to on Thursday that Reddit didn’t detect any important exercise pushed by bots or international actors on the WallStreetBets subreddit. Users in the net group helped spark a shopping for frenzy final month for highly-shorted shares like GameStop and AMC.
As retail merchants continued to purchase once-undesirable shares, lawmakers and media observers raised questions on who was actually behind the posts driving the buying and selling and the way such a mechanism may very well be manipulated.
Huffman testified that Reddit’s moderation mechanism makes it notably good at hunting down unhealthy data. The website permits customers to vote feedback up or down to extend or lower their visibility. Moderators of various communities assist implement the principles in their corners of the platform. Huffman stated Reddit has invested closely into the voting system and that the WallStreetBets moderators have carried out an “excellent job.”
“Our userbase is exceptionally good at sniffing out untruths, misinformation, fake stories, both within this community and Reddit at large,” Huffman stated. “In order for any piece of content to be successful on Reddit, it has to be accepted by that community and receive the same amount of votes that anything else would.”
While customers needn’t use their actual identities, Huffman stated asking them to take action wouldn’t essentially make the location safer.
“Other platforms have real identity and it doesn’t do anything to improve their behavior,” he stated.
Financial recommendation from Reddit customers may very well be extra dependable than recommendation from conventional media, Huffman prompt.
“People can say, in fact they do on television all the time, encourage people to make what I would call bad investment decisions,” Huffman stated. “On Reddit, I think, the investment advice is actually probably among the best because it has to be accepted by many thousands of people before getting that sort of visibility.”
Reddit is essentially shielded from obligation for his or her customers’ posts by means of a regulation generally known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The laws shields on-line platforms from legal responsibility for customers’ posts and likewise permits them to freely average or take away content material as they see match. The regulation has attracted scrutiny from lawmakers on either side of the aisle who imagine it unfairly shelters them from accountability for his or her merchandise.
Still, Huffman prompt his firm may very well be held answerable for issues that occur on its platform. Later, Huffman famous Reddit may nonetheless be topic to civil litigation.
“Reddit can be held responsible and we take our responsibilities here incredibly seriously,” he stated.
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