Reddit CEO Steve Huffman Is Confident the Current Sitewide Protest Is No Big Deal

Mia Sato and Jay Peters, the Verge:

In an internal memo sent Monday afternoon to Reddit staff, CEO Steve Huffman addressed the recent blowback directed at the company, telling employees to block out the “noise” and that the ongoing blackout of thousands of subreddits will eventually pass.

Sato and Peters published a copy of Huffman’s memo, and I would like to call out a few statements which stood out to me:

We have not seen any significant revenue impact so far and we will continue to monitor.

This is a message for the venture capital underwriters of Reddit, not Reddit staff.

There’s a lot of noise with this one. Among the noisiest we’ve seen. Please know that our teams are on it, and like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well. […]

This memo contains zero self-reflection. Perhaps Huffman’s stubbornness will pay off in making Reddit profitable for its shareholders and, if this near-sitewide protest really does end tomorrow, maybe it will be seen in the rearview mirror as only a blip. But there is no denying some damage has been done. The spell has been broken; moderators and users have realized the semi-decentralized premise of Reddit has been a growth strategy as much for the site’s owners as it has been for its users.

I am sorry to say this, but please be mindful of wearing Reddit gear in public. Some folks are really upset, and we don’t want you to be the object of their frustrations.

Any aggression toward rank-and-file Reddit employees would be not only awful, but entirely unwarranted.

During the 2010 “Tonight Show” dispute, Jay Leno told people not to blame Conan O’Brien, about which David Letterman asked, “in the thousands and thousands of words printed about this mess, who has blamed Conan? No one!” I do not think anybody is blaming the people who work at Reddit for this debacle; I would hope nobody directs their rage toward people who are just trying to eke out a living. This is a problem arguably of Huffman’s creation, and one he is defending.