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Altering people’s comments is a no-no

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman earns the title of Worst Communicator this month. Late in December, he was forced to issue an apology after it came to light that he had altered comments in a pro-Donald Trump subreddit. In short, he removed his name from comments that criticized him and subbed in the names of the subreddit group’s leaders, so expletive-filled posts about him appeared to be about the group’s leaders. His aim was to flip the script on the people who had been attacking him for months, but he admits that it was a flagrant abuse of his power.

While you may have your opinions about a pro-Donald Trump subreddit or Reddit, in general, it’s not hard to see that Huffman is right. His actions send a clear message that the website can’t be trusted to publish content as the user’s intended.

While he did apologize for undermining people’s trust and for creating work and stress for the employees who had to return all the altered comments to their original states, he doesn’t take full accountability for his actions. Instead, he says he did it because he was tired of being attacked.

Here’s the thing, people aren’t always going to like you, and they could share their negative feelings about you in a very public way. Don’t attack back and never try to cover up or hide their feedback. Instead, set the story straight with facts—once—and offer a solution. If that doesn’t work, ignore them. In other words: Don’t feed the trolls.

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