An update on the Reddit sitch

ICYMI in the midst of all the fireworks celebrations happening this weekend, the site Reddit has been in the midst of some upheaval lately.

After the departure of a popular administrator, several volunteer moderators took to the site to protest her leaving the company.

Last week it was reported that the site’s director of talent Victoria Taylor had been dismissed without warning. Taylor had been in charge of the successful Ask Me Anything subreddit (/r/iAmA) – not only that, she had worked with Reddit moderators who maintain the site on a purely volunteer basis as well as with admins who are directly employed by Reddit. Almost 300 subreddits had been marked as private in the wake of Taylor’s firing on Thursday; however, most of them had been restored by the weekend.

In a statement released by a Reddit’s interim CEO Ellen Pao admitted that action should have been taken in advance to notify moderators. “I want to apologize for how we handled the transition yesterday. We should have informed the moderators earlier and provided more detail on the transition plan. We are working to make improvements and create the best experience for our users and we aren’t always perfect.”

However, it seems that tensions had been brewing between active parties on the site for some time in advance of Taylor’s dismissal. On the /r/OutOfTheLoop subreddit, moderator Gilgamesh alluded to the growing problem that has not yet been addressed. “As much as Victoria is loved, this reaction is not all a result of her departure: there is a feeling among many of the moderators of Reddit that the admins do not respect the work that is put in by the thousands of unpaid volunteers who maintain the communities of the 9,656 active subreddits, which they feel is expressed by, among other things, the lack of communication between them and the admins, and their disregard of the thousands of mods who keep reddit’s communities going.”

While Pao has stated that there have been efforts made to assist moderators via comment on the site, many mods and users have expressed unhappiness that their specific concerns have not been addressed.

There has still been no official comment made on why Taylor exited as a moderator; while the bulk of the site is now back online, it seems there are still lots of questions that have yet to be answered.

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