Monday 19 March 2018

Reddit 'goes dark' to protest 'firing' of Reddit employee

This photo was uploaded with the caption 'Put a face to the name. This is Victoria'.
This photo was uploaded with the caption 'Put a face to the name. This is Victoria'.
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

Users of community-run link-sharing website Reddit have made large sections of the website 'private' in protest at a well-liked Reddit employee being let go by the company.

The users of the site are taking a stand "in response to the removal of (Victoria) but also due to underlying resentment against the admins for running the site poorly - being uncommunicative, and disregarding the thousands of moderators who keep the site running".

Some of the biggest subreddits (sections of the site) made themselves private while others disabled all submissions in support.

Victoria was a "key administrator" in one of the site's biggest subreddits, 'IAmA' - the section that has hosted some of the biggest celebrity Q&As in recent years. 'Ask Me Anything' sessions allow users direct contact for a set period of time with major celebrities and people of note, with the majority of the sessions making the news. The Obama 'Ask Me Anything' held on the site was the biggest AMA on the site and only thread to ever briefly crash Reddit's website due to the volume of traffic.

The users of 'IamA' in particular "felt that they, along with the other subreddits that host AMAs, should have been warned beforehand, if only so that they could have someone or something in place to handle the transition".

"Many of the (user moderators) affected by this do not believe that the (reddit staff) understand how heavily(Victoria) was relied upon to allow AMAs to go smoothly".

"For /r/IAMA to work the way it currently does, we need Victoria. Without her, we need to figure out a different way for it to work".

Users took to sharing photos of Victoria across the site in subreddits that had not been made private.

Reddit staff took to the site to apologise for "how we handled communicating change to the AMA team".

"Your message was received loud and clear. The communication between Reddit and the moderators needs to improve dramatically".

"At this point, however, the blackout has served its purpose".

"Moderating AMAs are  a uniquely heavy burden because it requires a lot of co-ordination between guest and moderators... our process won't be perfect overnight but we will refine it over time".

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