More bad news for Reddit; after the fervour and backlash over several parts of its community being shut down, a key member of Reddit’s team was unexpectedly fired yesterday and the admins and moderators of many parts of the site have shown their anger.
Victoria Taylor, better known as the user “chooter” to the community, had the official title of “Director of Talent”. This meant Taylor handled interactions between members of the public partaking in Ask Me Anything (AMAs) threads with Reddit. If you’d like a quick insight into what AMAs are, check out out our ten memorable moments of ten years of Reddit.
The AMAs are one of Reddit’s biggest draws as they’re an easy way for celebrities and public figures – like Barak Obama, for example – to interact with the public. Up until she was let go, Taylor managed these AMAs ensuring those doing them were who they claimed to be, and not third parties or PR companies.
Yesterday the AMA part of Reddit was made private, meaning that only a select few (moderators and other approved users) could access it. If you head over to any of them, you’ll be greeted with the image at the top of this story. In short, that part of Reddit ceases to exist until it is made public again. A similar incident took place with the World of Warcraft subreddit in an effort to protest login issues following the Warlords of Draenor expansion.
Following this, more and more subreddits began to become private or lock submissions. This is especially important considering default subreddits were included. Default subreddits form the core of Reddit and as more of them go dark, Reddit becomes anaemic and will have very little content filling its once thriving homepage.
The reason for this extreme hostility on the side of the community seems to be the lack of communication between Reddit’s official employees and those who manage the site unofficially.
The structure of the Reddit means that many community members who become administrators and admins have a lot of power over how the site works (which is being demonstrated at the moment) but are not officially employed or compensated for their time and efforts to keep the content of the site rolling in. Up until recently Reddit’s new content has been kept going by the admins and moderators who enjoy being a part of their small communities and Reddit as a whole. However, the new management and practices at the higher end of the management of the site seem to have left them jaded and unwilling to continue their services.
It’s unclear what will happen to Reddit now. A small portion of the site is migrating to Voat and some users are suggesting that everyone on the site should stop purchasing Reddit’s premium “Gold” membership packages in protest – and this outage may severely cut into the revenue of the site in the coming days and weeks. As always, we’ll keep you posted.
- List of subreddits suddenly going private.
- The top moderator of the AMA subreddit explains the situation.
- A summary of the events and user discussion.
//Updated – 4th July
Many of the default subreddits have begun to switch back to public, meaning that they are accessible.[Source – Reddit]