A number of Reddit’s most popular subreddits have been set to private after a well-known member of the site’s staff was fired.
Victoria Taylor, who was the Reddit communications director and one of the main coordinators of the site’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions, was ousted from her position at the site and, due to her holding the administrator’s key for AMAs, a number of scheduled sessions were immediately thrown into question. This led a number of moderators from the site’s other subreddits, such as r/gaming and r/history (which is now back up and running), to set several subreddits to private. Rather than taking visitors to its front page, clicking on r/gaming instead displays the following message: “Due to an unexpected Reddit administrative personnel change /r/gaming joins a group of default subreddits going dark temporarily in an effort to resolve the situation. Our apologies for any disruption this may cause.”
Victoria was a popular figure in the Reddit community, with her having conducted several high-profile Reddit AMA sessions including the subreddit’s two most popular interviews ever, with Barack Obama and a man with two penises (because Reddit). While the details of Victoria’s firing haven’t been revealed, r/OutoftheLoop moderator Gilgamesh explained that the subreddits being set to private isn’t due to her being removed from her position with the company, but rather it is a reaction to the little warning they were given from Reddit management, causing many arranged AMA sessions to be thrown into doubt.
Victoria Taylor, known as “chooter” on the site.
As much as Victoria is loved, this reaction is not all a result of her departure,” Gilgamesh wrote. “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.”
Unlike Reddit’s staff, moderators on the site work on a volunteer basis and are not paid for the work they put into maintaining each of its subreddits. The general feeling among the moderators who have set their respective subreddits to private is that Reddit did not give them ample enough time to readjust their schedules regarding AMAs accordingly.
Karmanaut, a moderator of r/IAMA, explained that the swift firing of Victoria meant that a number of interview sessions had to be canceled without the mods receiving any warning, writing: “We had a number of AMAs scheduled for today that Victoria was supposed to help with, and they are all left absolutely high and dry. She was still willing to help them today (before the sub was shut down, of course) even without being paid or required to do so. Just a sign of how much she is committed to what she does.”
Reddit has yet to make an official response in regards to the current state of the site, though Victoria has thanked those who have supported her since her firing, tweeting: “Thank you to everyone for their good wishes and support. Love you guys.”
Just another controversial day on the Internet.