Reddit - The Community Has Spoken
Over the past 24 hours, it has been made clear that popular online community, Reddit, has continued it’s mission to self-destruct. The news of the recent dismissal of the highly regarded key employee, Victoria Taylor, has shaken Reddit’s foundations. Taylor, famous for her smooth coordination of popular subreddit, Ask Me Anything (IAMA), recently replied to a thread on /r/pics moments after she was given her notice stating she was ‘dazed’ by the news. Current speculation is that Reddit Management insisted Taylor was to ‘do a bunch of highly commercial things’, and that she was to integrate video interviews alongside her usual text-based medium. This didn’t sit well with Taylor as she felt it wouldn’t be beneficial to the Reddit community, and so management made their decision there and then: she had to be let go.
As Director of Talent, Taylor had many duties across Reddit. Her role in IAMA was to act as liason between Reddit, IAMA, and any members of the public that wanted to do AMAs; often helping to set up interviews with celebrities over the phone and in person. Ask Me Anything has been responsible for two of the highest voted posts in Reddit’s history - one with Barack Obama; another with a man with two penises. Classic Reddit. Before any readers attempt to click on those links, and we all know which one you were going to first, you should know that because of these recent events the subreddit IAMA has been made private, and thus you are faced with this disheartening image.This privatization of subreddits isn’t limited to Taylor’s IAMA. A count this morning revealed that over 50 major subreddts have followed suit. Some have closed for restructuring, others are performing a dark protest. This protest is intended to draw the administrators’ attention to how they have been mismanaging the site. The constant disconnect between moderators, ran by the community, and administrators, the guys cashing checks, has been increasing more and more over the past few months. The community are getting restless, and it’s fair to see why.
What can be done about it? I can’t help but feel the effort is somewhat futile. Placing subreddits in the dark won’t last for ever. Moderators will leave their post, and new ones will happily replace them. Users may boycott the site and traffic may temporarily drop, but with Reddit being such a huge community with no real competition even the most damaging news will eventually fade into oblivion.