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Reddit Names Michael Seibel to Board After Ohanian’s Call for Black Candidate


Social network company Reddit on Wednesday named venture capital investor Michael Seibel to its board, days after co-founder and former director Alexis Ohanian resigned and called for the company to replace him with a black candidate.

Ohanian’s resignation came as the death of George Floyd in police custody triggered widespread protests against racism and police brutality, while also reigniting the debate of diversity in America’s corporate boardrooms and content moderation practices on social media.

Responding to Ohanian’s request, Chief Executive Officer Steve Huffman said on Friday “the unacceptable gap” between Reddit’s content policy and values has reduced the company’s effectiveness in combating hate and racism, and slowed down its response to problems.

“This current policy lists only what you cannot do, articulates none of the values behind the rules, and does not explicitly take a stance on hate or racism.”

Huffman also said Reddit should have moved sooner to restrict access to r/The_Donald, a major forum for supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump that Reddit ‘quarantined’ last year citing threats of violence against police and public officials.

Seibel is also the CEO of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley incubator of startups, whose notable early investments include Airbnb, DoorDash, Dropbox, and Reddit itself in 2005.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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