Reddit Moderators: The Issue Goes Beyond Reddit
Lawyers for Reddit moderators who took down hundreds of subreddits to contest Victoria Taylor’s termination made a statement, saying the issue on temporary inaccessibility of subreddits “goes beyond Reddit.”
Reddit’s business is on the fire following an alleged termination of one of its key figures. At the present time, hundreds of its subreddits, which accumulate more or less eight million users, are inaccessible as volunteer moderators decided to take down such sites to stage opposition to the employee’s termination, which until now ekes some questions.
“Our primary concern, and reason for taking the site down temporarily, is that Reddit’s management made critical changes to a very popular website without any apparent care for how those changes might affect their biggest resource: the community and the moderators that help tend the subreddits that constitute the site,” the statement says as quoted by New York Times.
The statement also cited Taylor’s “sudden termination” as a latest example of how management makes changes without taking into consideration how such change affects “people who use the site on a daily basis.”
“The issue goes beyond Reddit,” the statement continues, pointing out that the moderators “concerned with what a move like this means for for-profit companies that depend on the free labor of volunteers.”
Moderators also mentioned their secondary reason in shutting down subreddits was to communicate to the relatively tone-deaf company leaders that the pattern of removing tools and failing to improve available tools to the community at large, not merely the moderators, was an affront to the people who use the site,” New York Times further reports.
Explained with clarity, too, was why Taylor’s termination was too“disheartening” to warrant such online protest:
“We received news of Ms. Taylor’s termination in a chaotic way: Someone who was scheduled to conduct an A.M.A. flew to New York to visit the Reddit office and discovered a canceled appointment and no backup support. Our team got a panicked message — and we had no real idea what was going on.”
An additional hundred thousand of voters signed the online petition on Friday, calling for the ouster of Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao following news that a key employee of Reddit left, news said.
Reddit patrons surmised Victoria Taylor, talent director and a key figure in running its “Ask Me Anything” segment, where popular guests like United States President Barack Obama and American business magnate Bill Gates had been featured, was fired. Reddit pages draw 20 to 30 million views per page, according to the moderator’s lawyers.
Speculations that Taylor was fired grew stronger when she posted a comment about her departure in a thread, saying, “She was dazed by the news,” and “hopefully plans to stay in the PR field,” according to Business Insider.
In staging protest against her dismissal, moderators shifted the settings of subreddit communities to private, denying access to users. While there are also paid employees at Reddit, volunteers who are not part of its payroll run many of its communities, it has been reported.
Moderators initially shut 11 community groups on Friday and closed down another 11 communities about movies, history, gaming and other fields. There were also subreddits that ceased taking submissions. To date, hundreds of subreddits are already inaccessible.
Reddit confirmed Taylor is no longer connected with the online community, but refused to make further comments.