Business is to be expanded: Reddit is focusing more on Germany
The online platform Reddit wants to play a bigger role in Germany. The US company opened an office in Berlin and is relying on more contributions in German. “I want to offer users in Germany what we give Americans today: a sense of community and belonging online, a place they can go to when they have questions or need help in life,” said Reddit’s co-founder and boss Steve Huffman of the German Press Agency.
Reddit currently consists of around 100,000 online communities in which users come together according to their interests. These so-called subreddits are largely self-regulated under the supervision of their moderators. Huffman was convinced that Reddit’s approach of decentralizing the checking of content and involving the users themselves is the only sustainable way.
Far-reaching content control regulations could give an advantage to wealthy companies like Facebook, which could pay tens of thousands of employees to do so, he warned. “I fear that regulatory requirements will not only be inefficient, but will also cement the strong position of the large platforms and disproportionately affect smaller platforms like ours.”
Over the past few years, Reddit has repeatedly been accused of not acting consistently enough against hatred and hate speech. Last year, however, the service cracked down on the subreddit “The_Donald” by Donald Trump fans, among other things. Previously, Reddit was also one of the places where the QAnon conspiracy theory first spread.
In Germany, Reddit has so far reached a user community that does not largely overlap with that of the larger platforms: 37 percent of them are not active on Facebook and one in four not on Instagram. The German users reminded him “of the idealism of Reddit of the year 2005”, among other things because they are not prepared to compromise on data protection, said Huffman. The company starts in the German office in Berlin “with a handful of employees” and wants to expand.
Reddit has made headlines in recent months as the platform on which hobby investors came together for campaigns. The result was a roller coaster in stocks like the paper of the video game chain Gamestop, which made some investors rich and destroyed the stakes of others.
Such developments are ultimately positive for Reddit, said Huffman. On the one hand, the platform gets more attention as a result. On the other hand, this contributes to the democratization of the stock market and more personal responsibility. Financial media and the financial establishment shouldn’t have control over how people think about investing, he argued. (dpa / rw)