Earlier today, it started breaking that Reddit — the user-controlled web content aggregator recently purchased by Condé Nast, which has now been accurately described as “their most visable web property” — wasn’t allowed to run “Yes On Prop 19” ads supporting pro-legalization that Facebook had also previously rejected, as Conde has told them they couldn’t. Reddit, which isn’t used to be told what to do or who they can or can’t sell ads to, decided to show their corporate backers some elbow by issuing a statement in support of the ads, which Condé corporate countered with a statement of their own. Reddit responded by giving Condé the finger and running the ads for free, and then Reddit users promoted a page supporting the ad to the top of Reddit.
Needless to say, this is the most awesome publicity fuckup media conglomerate Condé Nast has been involved with in recent history, and it just got better.
Ben Huh of the Cheezburger Network — he basically invented those pictures of cats with broken, misspelled English on them called LOLCATS — has offered to add Reddit to his ever-increasing network of sites via The Daily Wh.at, one of those sites, as he just gave them a letter to publish:
Condé Nast, I’m publicly offering to buy Reddit.
Hi TDWers, I’m Ben Huh, and I run the Cheezburger Network (which includes The Daily What, if you were too Prop 19’d to notice). I have made this offer privately to a few people associated with Reddit, and I’ll say it publicly now:
I believe that Reddit is one of the best communities I have seen on the Internet. I also believe that Reddit would benefit from more resources and less corporate interference. We can offer all of the above. And we’d love to buy Reddit and all those pesky troublesome users that we love so much.
Condé, we’ll be waiting for a call.
Genius. Condé Nast has a problem, now: On one hand, they know the value of Reddit and they didn’t just buy it to sell it only a short while later. They’re too smart to just sell it. On the other side of the coin, they now have a petulant company on their hands, but if they fire or get rid of whoever’s associated with Reddit right now, the quality of the product will descend. Also, there’s always the possibility Reddit’s users will revolt, game it, and turn it into 4Chan’s /b — a message board so vile it’s commonly referred to as the “asshole of the internet” — which is also something Conde Nast wouldn’t want to have on their hands. And yes, Huh’s got the money to take this thing. So, yeah, it’s not hard to agree with The Daily Wh.at, when they write that they “can’t wait to see what happens next.” Neither can a lot of people, us included. This should be fun.