Reddit CEO plans to use AI to supplement moderation

This man wants so badly to be Elon Musk it's embarrassing.

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Remember back in July. It was a simple time. Twitter was going through some changes. It was the height of “Hot Labor Summer”. It was also when Reddit decided to charge high prices for access to its API for ReasonsTM. We saw the #1 Reddit app, Apollo, fade into oblivion as a result. This, then, lead to a protest on Reddit. Subreddits were shutdown. Some switched to NSFW to keep ads from showing up. Then, Reddit staff, moved the moderators holding the line to get the site back up.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman isn’t mad at all that y’all did that. This is what he had to say with FastCo.

When I asked Huffman about the moderator blackouts and their aftermath during a recent visit to Reddit headquarters in San Francisco, he defended the company’s decision to limit free access to its API as a necessary measure to foil AI-training freeloaders. “Reddit is an open platform, and we love that,” he told me. “At the same time, we have been taken advantage of by some of the largest companies in the world.”

Huffman does acknowledge missteps on Reddit’s part, especially relating to how it communicated its thinking to users. “The business decision itself, we stand by it, and we stood by it in that moment,” he says. “But I think a lot of how we worked our way through it could have been better.”

However, in an unrelated note, he plans to bring AI moderation to the platform to help supplement the moderators who’d bend to Reddit’s will.

The latitude that individual moderators have to govern their communities means that they can set rules that Huffman describes as “sometimes strict and sometimes esoteric.” Newbies may run afoul of them by accident and have their posts yanked just as they’re trying to join the conversation.

In response, Reddit is currently prototyping an AI-powered feature. called “post guidance.” It’ll flag rule-violating material before it’s ever published: “The new user gets feedback, and the mod doesn’t have to deal with it,” says Huffman.

So, yeah, he’s totally cool with what happened. And he seems to understand how hard moderation of the platform can be for volunteers. You know, unpaid labor. So, adding AI to the product will make it all better than listening to the community.

These all sound like great business decisions to the folks on Wall Street, but not sure how that’ll work out for your users.

Source: 9to5Mac

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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