It will be interesting to see how much they ramp up the propaganda machine for the upcoming midterm elections. I’m sure it’ll make the inorganic push for Net Neutrality look like peanuts comparatively. But if it didn’t work for Hillary in 2016, why do they think it will work in the future? Was that the entire point of them changing the algorithm to “detoxify the internet”?
Reddit CEO: ‘I’m confident that Reddit could sway elections’
The impact of social media and online communities on politics was one of the hottest topics of 2017. Thanks to an election upset (to put it mildly!) and stories about Russian trolls or Macedonian click-farms, plenty of hands were wrung as the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter took it in turns to pass the buck elsewhere.
But in recent interview with the New Yorker, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman took things in a very different direction. “I’m confident that Reddit could sway elections,” Huffman told reporter Andrew Marantz. “We wouldn’t do it, of course. And I don’t know how many times we could get away with it. But, if we really wanted to, I’m sure Reddit could have swayed at least this election, this once.”
Marantz’s article is a rare behind-the-scenes look at how large social media companies view their increasingly important role as the platforms for online discourse. Huffman’s comments on how Reddit could fix an election are shocking and egotistical, for sure, but they also admit something that most other social media companies have shied away from. Facebook and Twitter are loathe to acknowledge the power that their policies have, while Huffman thinks so highly of his company that he believes a handful of engineers and community managers could sway an entire nation’s political system.