During his testimony Thursday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman will aim to help lawmakers understand the social media site’s content moderation policies and “governance structure,” as well as how the now-famous WallStreetBets community came about.
Reddit’s content policy prohibits “hate, harassment, bullying and illegal activity,” and is enforced by an “Anti-Evil” team that monitors the site, Huffman said in prepared testimony ahead of the hearing.
The site is also governed by a structure “akin to a federal democracy, where the aforementioned policies and teams represent the federal government, and the communities themselves represent states,” he said. For example, each community, or “Subreddit,” is created by users who become that community’s moderators.
Of WallStreetBets, Huffman said: “A few weeks ago, we saw the power of community in general and of this community in particular when the traders of WallStreetBets banded together at first to seize an investment opportunity not usually accessible to retail investors, but later more broadly to defend all retail investors against the criticism of the financial establishment.”
He added that Reddit evaluated whether “bots, foreign agents or bad actors played a significant role” in the volatile trading of meme stocks and found that “they have not.”
“It is important to protect online communities like WallStreetBets,” Huffman said. “WallStreetBets may look sophomoric or chaotic from the outside, but the fact that we are here today means they’ve managed to raise important issues about fairness and opportunity in our financial system. I’m proud they used Reddit to do so.”