Reddit Moderators Fed Up, Revolt After Employees Fired

Reddit moderators are getting fed up in the midst of its controversy. It all started on Thursday night when large sections of Reddit were set to private after Victoria Taylor, the site’s employee and community moderator, was fired. Now it’s being reported that another Reddit employee has recently been fired.

The Reddit drama hasn’t stopped there though. Now the site’s moderators and users are moving to /r/Subredditdrama, a community that was created to discuss the “internet fights and other dramatic happenings from the other subreddits.”

Traffic to the new site has caused it to crash, according to one of the /r/subredditdrama moderator.

“Our traffic stats indicate that SRD is on track to easily beat the amount of traffic from /r/FatPeopleHate’s banishment. We got a ton of new subscribers who wanted to watch this drama as it unfolded. Some of that drama unfolded in SRD itself, because /u/kn0thing (Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Reddit) and /u/ekjp (Ellen Pao, the CEO of Reddit) made some comments.”

Thursday night’s protests have carried on today. According to a previous BuzzFeed News report, it’s the second protest in recent months. Reddit’s moderators are finally fed up with the executive management, especially with the shakeup that’s been going on. On Friday morning, Reddit user stopscopoiesme, an /r/BestOf moderator, expressed his frustrations with management.

“As moderators, our frustration with reddit’s management has been building over years. The moderation tools we are given are severely lacking in certain functionality, and much of what we do is cobbled together through hacks which may eventually be supported, or have their functionality broken entirely. We are given the responsibility of enforcing global rules lest our subreddits our banned. However, our tools are subpar, the rules are unclear and have varying interpretations, and our attempts to mail the admins for their help frequently go unanswered.”

“Many of us our losing faith in the ability of the management of reddit to understand us, communicate with us, and effectively run the company. We have been desperately appealing to admins for answers and often are ignored. Ellen Pao and Alexis Ohanian, (who as far as I can tell are in charge) have seemed especially poor at dealing with the community. [sic]”

When the moderator was asked about how the tensions between the Reddit community and management began, he linked an alleged post by a former employee and community manager who claims that CEO Ellen Pao fired him after she found out that he’s recovering from leukemia. According to him, Pao said he was too sick to work after overcoming his years-long struggle with the disease.

“When I asked what the specific reason was, she had roughly stated that ‘because of our discussion, you are too sick to properly fulfill your duties as Community Manager.'”

This comes days after a favorite Reddit employee, Victoria Taylor, was fired for unknown reasons. It was reported because of disagreements with Reddit’s popular “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) feature, including an answer that had to do with Jesse Jackson. This caused over hundreds of the site’s popular forums to get set to “private.” Moderators revolted in protest against the company’s decision to fire the Director of Talent.

The moderators relied on Taylor to arrange the AMA sessions, a increasingly popular feature where public figures or celebrities would answer questions from Reddit users, explains moderator Gilgamesh.

“Victoria was important to AMAs for a number of major reasons: firstly, she provided concrete proof of the identity of a celebrity doing an AMA, and made sure that it was not a second party purporting to be the celebrity; she was also a direct line of contact to the admins, allowing the moderators of AMA to quickly resolve an issue encountered during an AMA.”

Not only is there a revolt taking place, but there’s also a petition asking for Ellen Pao to step down. According to a previous report on CNBC, the online petition already has over 14,000 signatures who agree that Pao is destroying the Reddit community.

Reddit is more than just another social media site or public forum. It affects 6 million readers since it has a combined subscriber base of over 124,000,000, according to BreitBart News. It appears that the relationship between the moderators and the executive management has faltered.

According to Reddit’s moderators, they don’t have a plan in place, nor do they have a plan they can trust in. As for the executive and administrative teams, they have “refused to provide essential information about arranging AMAs with the new team.”

As moderators continue to revolt, users will flock to Reddit alternatives, as previously reported via the Inquisitr. How are you handling this Reddit revolt? Have you found an alternative? If so, share your thoughts below in the comments section.

[Image: Mehdi Kabab/Flickr]