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Co-Founder Leaves Reddit Board, for 'Family and Country'

Alexis Ohanian says he thinking of what he'll someday tell his daughter
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2020 3:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – Fifteen years after co-founding Reddit, Alexis Ohanian made announcements Friday that he said were long overdue. He resigned from the company's board, KNTV reports, and told Reddit that his successor should be a black person. "I'm doing this for me, for my family, and for my country," Ohanian said, explaining in a tweet, "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 and his wife, Serena Williams, have a daughter, Alexis Olympia, per People. He also announced that he will use future income from his Reddit stock holdings "to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate." The first installment will be $1 million for former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp, a legal defense program.

A forum founded as a home for uncurbed free speech, the San Francisco company has been under heavy criticism for not doing enough against racism, per the Verge. Though it's made moves recently, a former CEO is among those who called Reddit out over its tolerance of racist communities, some of which support President Trump. "You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence," Ellen Pao tweeted Tuesday. "So much of what is happening now lies at your feet," she said, adding that Reddit "nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long." In his announcement, Ohanian said he co-founded Reddit "to help people find community and a sense of belonging," acknowledging that, for him, "It is long overdue to do the right thing." (Read more Reddit stories.)

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