- By editing users’ comments to reflect something other than their original intent, Huffman changed himself and Reddit from being an “interactive computer service”2 to an “information content provider.” i.e. If Huffman or Reddit are sued, they cannot claim Section 230 immunity from a lawsuit.
- That the CEO of a media company so flagrantly violated the integrity of the copyright of its users is insane. It represents a complete lack of understanding of the ethical, moral, and legal duties he has to his customers and his shareholders. Huffman has potentially exposed Reddit to legal liability through his actions. By any account, it’s a breach of his fiduciary duty to shareholders.
A long time ago, when I was just a lad, I was told by the old men around me that I should always remember the following statement: When men get emotional, people get hurt and killed. Now, because of an emotional reaction to what basically amounts to shitposting, Reddit the Company is going to have to answer a ton of questions, all of them uncomfortable. Section 230 is there to protect the web site and the web site operators from the shitposting trolls and bullshit spewing idiots; breaking that legal wall is a big oopsie.
It's not a secret that I no longer like Reddit as a community, a company or a site. But this fuck up by an, ostensibly, adult man who simply did not walk the fuck outside for a few hours is going to reverberate all across the so-called Web 2.0 companies. Twitter employees worked to trend Hillary Clinton news and information. Are they now subject to FEC rules and have to register as lobbyists, to give an example? Somewhere in a dank office with lots of loose paper strew across a desk, a lawyer is planning out how to take advantage of this information and run with it. I fully anticipate a spike in litigation against Reddit the company here in the next few months.
What is the line on the spez death watch? My bet is he does not last the weekend.