Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and husband to professional tennis player Serena Williams, has resigned from his position at Reddit to persuade the company to hire a black candidate to take his place.
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, prominent subreddit pages, such as “The Donald,” posted derogatory and racist content toward black people.
While social media platforms are usually able to monitor and ban this kind of content, according to the company’s hate speech policy, the posts remained and were promoted on Reddit remained. In outrage, many popular subreddit pages privatized and blocked new content from being posted as a form of protest. Many called for Steve Huffman, co-founder, and CEO of Reddit, to fix the policy including former CEO Ellen Pao.
Ohanian, desiring to better the platform, posted on Twitter on June 5, just two days after the Reddit protests began, and resigned from the company in favor of hiring a black candidate to take his place.
“I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?’” Ohanian tweeted.
In addition, Ohanian has pledged to use any profit he makes in Reddit stocks to serve the black community, starting with one million dollars donated to Colin Kaepernick’s Foundation.
Huffman responded that he will be honoring Ohanian’s request and will be working to change their policies to specifically address hate. “I want to take responsibility for the history of our policies over the years that got us here,” Huffman stated, “and we still have work to do.”