Our AMA tips for Reddit’s new boss

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Reddit proudly calls itself “the front page of the internet” and its own figures show it’s one of the biggest sites online.

But its popularity has presented a problem – keep to the liberal, community-led moderation it began with, or get tough on pages devoted to abuse.

Last week Reddit’s chief executive Ellen Pao resigned after an online petition accused her of overseeing a “new age of censorship”.

New boss Steve Huffman has promised to take action against the site’s “dark side”.

His challenge will be to do that while keeping the rest of the fiercely loyal Reddit community on his side. And he’s pledged to start by answering any question about the new approach via an AMA (Ask Me Anything).

AMAs are the site’s bread and butter and have landed some of the highest profile names on earth, from Barack Obama to Channing Tatum.

But we advise Mr Huffman to recall some of the more notorious AMAs in preparation for his session.

Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson didn’t fully understand, or didn’t want to fully understand, the concept of the “Ask Me Anything” forum.

Back in 2012, the actor decided to use the AMA platform to promote his film Rampart and it went horribly wrong.

Whenever he was asked something about his life or anything other than his new film he avoided answering and directed everyone “to focus on the film”.

Harrelson’s AMA goes down in history as the worst of all time.

Tip: Answer the questions on the page, not the ones in your head.

Morgan Freeman

When Morgan Freeman, signed in with the username “OblivionMovie” in April 2013, posted a run of one-line answers, those following the AMA suspected it was not the actor but his PR team doing the talking. A day later a Reddit user and YouTuber posted apparent video evidence claiming the picture posted of Freeman had been doctored in Photoshop. We may never know the truth… a topic surely worthy of its own subreddit.

Tip: Don’t fall asleep.

Trent Reznor fron Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor gained support from his fans in 2007 when he encouraged them to take on the music industry by illegally downloading his music online. “Steal and steal and steal some more, and give it to all your friends, and keep on stealing,” he said. So when Reznor did an AMA for Reddit, one angry fan asked: “As millionaires, why did you sign up with a record label to promote your new album?” Trent replied: “Sorry, the wi-fi on our yacht is having issues, we can’t get your full question to load. Try sending me an email at gof***yourself@youc***.com.” In a previous AMA another frustrated fan said: “You spent years being trashed by these kinds of entities. Not only you, but your fans.” Trent replied to the fan with one word… “Poop.”

Tips: Don’t do an AMA from a yacht (and don’t pretend to do an AMA from a yacht).

Madonna

First of all Madonna had her AMA re-titled to A.M.A.A (Ask Madonna Almost Anything) assuming that this would be the coolest AMA ever. It didn’t quite turn out that way. Sadly for her rebel heart, lots of her responses were branded boring and dull.

One person asked if it was actually Madonna typing and she replied “my housekeeper im vaccuming the housekeeper is typing”. She then came under fire over her grammar. The most memorable part of Madonna’s AMA was controversial, in true Madonna style.

She was asked what gay man she would turn into a straight man if she had the power to do so. Madonna typed: “frank ocean.”

Tip: Stop hoovering.

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