Reddit Co-Founder Resigns, Says Company Must Replace Him With a Black Candidate

"To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop," Alexis Ohanian said in his resignation announcement on Friday.
07 June 2020, 12:33pm
Reddit logo in black.
Screenshot via Reddit

In a tweet Friday, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian announced his resignation from Reddit's advisory board, encouraging the company to fill his seat with a Black candidate.

The announcement follows a statement made by Reddit CEO Steve Huffman on Monday in support of Black Lives Matter, amid nationwide protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. For years, Reddit has allowed racism to thrive on its platform with lax content moderation.

“I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now,” Ohanian said in a series of tweets. “To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop.”

In a video Ohanian said he cofounded Reddit 15 years ago "as a place for people to find community and a sense of belonging." With regards to his resignation, Ohanian said it was for himself, his family and his country.

“I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able answer his Black daughter when she asks, ‘What did you do?’” Ohanian said. “So I have resigned as a member of the Reddit Board. I have urged them to fill my seat with a Black candidate, and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the Black community.”

Ohanian then went on to pledge one million dollars to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Ohanian’s resignation comes days after Reddit’s current CEO, Steve Huffman, shared an open letter to Reddit employees calling on them to stand in solidarity with the Black members of its communities.

“As Snoos, we do not tolerate hate, racism, and violence, and while we have work to do to fight these on our platform, our values are clear,” Huffman said in the letter.

In response to Huffman's statement, former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao called out the company for allowing hate to thrive within its communities — specifically for not shutting down the subreddit r/the_donald, which Pao said was able to amplify “its hate, racism, and violence" using Reddit as a platform.

“So much of what is happening now lies at your feet,” Pao said in a tweet. “You don’t get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long.”

This article originally appeared on VICE US.