That was on June 5th, that Reddit’s CEO and co-founder took an earth-shaking decision of abandoning his post simply in favour of some black person who would also be proud board member. The move is to show solidarity with protesters who throng every nook and corner in America presently, seeking justice for brutal murder of an unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands (in fact knee)of a policeman.
Mr. Ohanian held a high level position in the company, which is again infamous for racial issues. Mr. Ohanian made an iconic declaration, “I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now.” He went on to announce, ”To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop”.
He took onto Twitter with these words, ”I co-founded @reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging. It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family and for my country”.
In wake of declaration, he also made clear that the revenue inflow, in days to come, would be spent for the welfare of black community with strong focus upon mitigating hatred and promoting mutual respect and social harmony among people in general. Such amount is likely to be somewhere around $50 million. Initially, he plans to finance the “know Your Rights Camp” with a whopping $1 million, which is a group founded by Colin Kaepernick with the sole and strong intention of restructuring safety, empowerment and self-reliance among black and brown people.
Inside tech arena, globally, eminent personalities advocate dealing with race issues with stern and serious approach and to encourage a cordial atmosphere and harmony at the workplace.
Mr. Ohanian’s initiative, experts believe, will simply give wings to such a narrative. For a longer period, tech companies have faced criticism because of absence of any black or brown person at the top of the corporate affairs.
In fact, Mr. Ohanian developed a great distance from his top position as co-founder at Reddit in 2018, but still, he retained a board seat. During the past couple of years, he is said to have focussed upon Initialized Capital, which is a venture fund, also co-founded by him. He has also zealously supported scores of workplace issues such as “paid family leave”, equitable employee-friendly policy ensuring easy leaves and so forth.
Current Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman has assured full honour to Mr. Ohanian’s request to appoint a black person in his place, in the board.
As for this social media platform Reddit, it carries the worth and charm of its own and while this may not be as popular as Twitter and Facebook are, but there do appear a handful of structural issues in the company, as people claim. For instance, there are a few sub-communities which put forth obnoxious content from time to time, such as r/blackpeoplehate, r/The_Donald etc. At times, necessary action has been initiated against such communities where some are either deleted completely while some are being isolated from popular access and search.
However, Mr. Hoffman has tried to highlight the issues of circulating unpleasant and racial content on the platform and has promised a determined approach to counter it. In his words, “In 2018, I confusingly said racism is not against the rules, but also isn’t welcome on Reddit. This gap between our content policy and our values has eroded our effectiveness in combating hate and racism on Reddit; I accept full responsibility for this.”
Further, he also lamented upon the employee concerns pertaining to corporate decisions and policy matters and revealed his deep pain arising out from the murder of George Floyd.
He inculcated,” These questions, which I know are coming from a place of real pain and which I take to heart, are really a statement. There is an unacceptable gap between our beliefs as people and a company, and what you see in our content policy”.