What's Next for Reddit: CEO Steve Huffman Faces Tough Questions

PHOTO: A Reddit mascot is shown at the companys headquarters in San Francisco, April 15, 2014.Robert Galbraith/Reuters
A Reddit mascot is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, April 15, 2014.

Reddit's new CEO is expected to face tough questions from its online community on Thursday during an "Ask Me Anything" interview that could provide more insight on the future direction for the site as it struggles with an identity crisis.

While Reddit is known for its "anything goes" mentality, co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman in a post ahead of Thursday's 4 p.m. ET interview that he and co-founder Alexis Ohanian did not create the forum "to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen."

Much of Reddit's content is creative, funny and smart, but the site is also home to a side Huffman doesn't see having a future on Reddit.

"There is also a dark side, communities whose purpose is reprehensible, and we don’t have any obligation to support them," he wrote. "And we also believe that some communities currently on the platform should not be here at all."

Huffman, who took over after interim CEO Ellen Pao resigned on Friday, said his team is re-evaluating Reddit's policies and is working on tools for how to enforce them.

PHOTO: Reddit CEO Steve Huffman is seen in an undated handout photo. Reddit
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman is seen in an undated handout photo.

Pao's departure from the job was described as a mutual decision between her and Reddit's board, but comes after she was subjected to hateful messages on the site. She will remain at the company as an adviser through the end of 2015, company officials said.

"In my eight months as reddit’s CEO, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly on reddit," Pao said in a resignation post. "I just want to remind everyone that I am just another human; I have a family, and I have feelings. Everyone attacked on reddit is just another person like you and me."

The Reddit rebellion began after the tight-knit online community learned Victoria Taylor, a popular Reddit employee who helped facilitate the forum's "Ask Me Anything" interviews with politicians, celebrities and other news makers had been abruptly fired without an explanation given to the Reddit community.

Much of the blame was directed at Pao, with Reddit users circulating a petition calling for her to be fired. Pao apologized earlier this month in a Reddit post and promised better communication in the future.

"We screwed up. Not just on July 2, but also over the past several years," she wrote. "When you've had feedback or requests, we haven’t always been responsive. The mods and the community have lost trust in me and in us, the administrators of reddit."