Though Donald Trump's AMA was thoroughly boring, the Reddit community never wastes the opportunity to stir up some internet drama: Users of the r/the_donald subreddit have begun calling for the resignation of Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, claiming that the site purposefully made Trump's AMA less visible to users of the site and allowed the now-infamous "baby dick" Trump drawing to become one of the most popular posts on the site during the AMA.
To understand any of this, you have to know the basic mechanics of how people find posts on Reddit. If you type in reddit.com, you'll be served the "default" home page, which uses a voting algorithm to show the most popular posts from 49 different subreddits. The Donald Trump subreddit, r/the_donald, is not a default subreddit. Neither is a competing subreddit, called r/EnoughTrumpSpam. Both of these subreddits nonetheless have a lot of users, and Reddit has another algorithm that determines the mot popular posts across the entire site, called r/all. Lots of people choose to browse r/all instead of the default home page (or even their own customized version of the homepage), because it comes closest to showing what's going on across, well, all of Reddit.On Reddit, like in America, Trump is controversial. And so while members of r/the_donald were excited to see their "God Emperor" grace the subreddit with his presence, lots of other people weren't happy to see a candidate who seems to have firmly earned the alt-right's vote posting on Reddit. On r/EnoughTrumpSpam, two separate posts depicting a cartoon version of Trump with a tiny penis got enough support to find their way onto r/all, while Trump's actual AMA was kicked off r/all because it got enough downvotes (as well as thousands upon thousands of upvotes) to push it out of the ranking."While the post did receive many upvotes initially, it was also one of the most controversial posts ever on Reddit, and received nearly as many downvotes," Huffman, who uses the username "Spez" on Reddit, wrote on a post to r/the_donald explaining why Trump's AMA fell out of the most popular post rankings.
Huffman's explanation wasn't sufficient for many posters there, and many began crying censorship, vote manipulation, and started calling for him to resign."We upvoted Donald's ama to the front page legitimately and got more comments and upvotes than the Obama AMA, yet mere minutes later, mods enact a script which steadily removes upvotes from the post," Redditor SnrPonchoVillegas wrote in a post calling for Huffman's resignation that had thousands of upvotes on the_donald. "But the icing on the cake was this piece of cancer [the Trump baby dick picture] which r/enoughtrumpspam manipulated to get to the top of r/all … we have seen a general level of unprofessionalism and vote-manipulation by a reddit mod team who has abandoned what were the original principle values of Reddit to be a bastion of free speech after the fall of Digg and instead converted it into what would be a 'Hugbox.'"One of the other top posts on the_donald depicts Clinton in blackface and calls her a lesbian; another calls Huffman a "lying piece of shit cucked to hell and back by Hillary."The_donald has also started posting naked drawings of Clinton in the same style of Baby Dick Trump in hopes Reddit will delete it (so they can call out the site's hypocrisy).I'd be remiss to not point out the various layers of hypocrisy going on here. Posters at r/the_donald call it a bastion of free speech and complain about Reddit manipulation and censorship, yet moderators there bragged about banning 2,200 accounts during Trump's AMA. They complain about how Trump Baby Dick is unbecoming of Reddit, yet post images of Clinton in blackface. They say they want Huffman to step down and want to leave Reddit, yet more than 100 users donated "Reddit Gold" to Trump, which costs $3.99 per "gilding" and is used to keep Reddit's servers online.The incident shows that, yet again, Redditors will always find a way to turn any major event inward, making it about Reddit politics, drama, and infighting more than anything else. It also shows that, though the_donald claims to be a subreddit about positivity, it quickly gets unruly and disgusting when something goes wrong.