Reddit dismisses Aimee Knight while controversial controversial sees hundreds of subreddits go private

A Reddit employee whose hiring sparked a wave of delisting this week is no longer with the company, CEO Steve Huffman confirmed.

Hundreds of communities went public this week in protest against the employment of a former UK politician named Aimee Knight, formerly known by the surname Challenor, who was recently hired as an administrator by the popular messaging platform.

“The employee in question is no longer hired by Reddit,” said Huffman in a post on Wednesday explaining Reddit’s outlook on the situation.

Many of the disappeared subreddits had more than one million members, including r / apple, r / Music, r / HistoryMemes, r / pokemongo, r / PrequelMemes and / Cringetopia.

Knight, 23, was suspended by the UK Green Party in 2018 after his father, David Challenor, was appointed Knight’s electoral agent, although he was previously accused of several serious sexual crimes, including taking indecent photos, false imprisonment, rape and sexual acts assaulting a child in November 2016.

An investigation found that Knight appointed David Challenor as his electoral officer in April 2017 and mid-2018. In August 2018, David Challenor was sentenced and sentenced to 22 years in prison, and was formally expelled from the party.

In 2019, Knight was suspended by another political party, the Liberal Democrat, after his partner, Nathaniel Knight, reportedly shared children’s sexual fantasies online. Knight kept the Twitter account used to share the hacked posts.

Controversies spread through Reddit this week after a moderator from the popular r / ukpolitics community shared an article that mentioned Aimee Challenor by name, apparently triggering the site’s anti-doxxing protection for her employee.

The article was removed and the moderator banned – generating a massive protest to sympathize with the suspicion of censorship or excessive moderation of the page. Mods from the political channel argued that no private personal information was disclosed.

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley (R) and LGBTIQA + spokesman Aimee Challenor – now Aimee Knight – (L) established the party’s commitment to uphold LGBTIQA + rights during a campaign event before the next general election on April 28, 2017 in London, England.
Carl Court / Getty Images

Since then, the moderator has had his account restored, but not after the page voluntarily became private to investigate what had happened with the ban.

The r / ukpolitics team said in a statement: “We took this step to protect subreddit users and ourselves from future actions by the Reddit management team. It became apparent that Reddit hired that individual as a Reddit administrator, and were forbidding people from discussing their past to protect their employees from harassment. “

According to her website, Knight married her husband on December 12, 2019. Since then, she has left the UK and moved to the United States, apparently around February last year.

Some users suspected that more protections were needed for Knight because, as a transgender woman, she faced abuse and harassment online.

Huffman admitted flaws in the hiring process, continuing: “We built a relationship with her first as a mod and then through her outsourced work at RPAN [Reddit Public Access Network]. We did not properly examine your history before formally hiring you.

“We made a significant effort to improve the way we deal with doxxing and harassment, and that employee was the subject of both. In this case, we over-indexed protection, which had serious consequences in terms of enforcement actions.”

The CEO said that extra protections for the employee were added on March 9, moderating content that mentioned the employee’s name or shared personal information.

He confirmed that the news about the employee was shared on March 22, forcing the moderator to be removed according to the site’s broader anti-doxxing rules.

Huffman said in his post: “Mentioning the name of a public figure should not get you banned. We care deeply about Reddit and we appreciate that you like it too. We understand the anger and confusion about these issues and their larger implications. The employee is no longer with Reddit, and we will be developing a number of relevant internal policies. We do not operate according to our own standards here. We will do our best to do the best for you. “

Reddit logo
The Reddit logo, an aggregation of social news, is portrayed along with other apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp on a smartphone on January 29, 2021. A Reddit employee whose hiring sparked a wave of community privatization this week is no longer at the company, said CEO Steve Huffman.
Yuriko Nakao / Getty Images