Reddit CTO On Fake News, QAnon, Harassment, And Running ‘The Front Page Of The Internet’

Reddit CTO On Fake News, QAnon, Harassment, And Running ‘The Front Page Of The Internet’

I spent some time with Reddit CTO Chris Slowe at Traction Conference in Vancouver today. John Koetsier: What is it like to run one of the busiest sites on the planet? John Koetsier: You've been at Reddit for quite a while ... Slowe: Well, I was the first employee. My job is to slowly replace all my old code with new better code. John Koetsier: You also manage security and site safety? If we facilitate intelligent discussions we’re doing our job. John Koetsier: Are you starting to use AI to help manage the site? One of my first jobs was to built a recommendation engine ... this was pre-Netflix. This is hard because what is considered to be 'normal' behavior on, let me say, our more cat-friendly sites, is very different from what's normal on our gaming sites. John Koetsier: Thank you for your time!

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Reddit is the 24th busiest site on the planet with 1.6 billion visits a month. People spend more than 15 billion minutes on the site each month, and that doesn’t even count time on Reddit’s apps.

That scope and scale means that running Reddit is a huge challenge.

Especially in today’s era of fake news, manufactured conspiracy theories, and propaganda, because Reddit is now ground zero in the culture wars.

Reddit is one of the most-trafficked websites in the world. Reddit

I spent some time with Reddit CTO Chris Slowe at Traction Conference in Vancouver today.

John Koetsier: What is it like to run one of the busiest sites on the planet?

Slowe: There’s a lot of crying. The trick as CTO is to do it under my desk.

No … it’s a lot of fun, actually.

John Koetsier: You’ve been at Reddit for quite a while …

Slowe: Well, I was the first employee. I left in 2012 … came back in 2016, and I’ve been the CTO since 2017. The role is basically chief architect; I don’t code much anymore. My job is to slowly replace all my old code with new better code.

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John Koetsier: You also manage security and site safety?

Slowe: Yes, I lead the trust and safety team. Our primary job as admins is to stay out…

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