The most anxious day of Reddit CEO Steve Huffman's life, he says, was showing up to work on the Monday after Thanksgiving this year. The week before, he had thrown the company into a minor political crisis. From a CNBC report: After weeks being antagonized by the users of Reddit communities like /r/The_Donald and /r/pizzagate, Huffman had covertly edited messages posted by other users that were critical of him, to instead be critical of those communities' leaders. On the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, Huffman said he conceived this as a prank, "in the spirit of fun." "I figured, I'm just going to mess with these bullies, and I actually have the capability of messing with them, so I'll do so," Huffman said. "I wanted to do something. I didn't do the right thing, but that was my mentality." Huffman says the aftermath of this "prank," users questioning whether their posts had ever been edited without their consent in the past, was "devastating," and that he knows it will take time to rebuild trust within the community. At an all-hands staff meeting on that anxious Monday, he apologized directly to Reddit's staff and said he wanted them all to be proud to work there.
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