The reddit firestorm continues as a petition calling for interim CEO Ellen Pao’s resignation reaches over 130,000 signatures.
The firing of communications director Victoria Taylor, who was responsible for coordinating the hugely popular Ask Me Anything Q&As, sparked outrage among the community, where she was well liked.
Taylor’s popularity with volunteer moderators was apparent after over 300 subreddits shut down to protest her firing. Seven challenges and potential solutions.
Reddit CEO Ellen Pao and co-founder Alexis Ohanian both stepped up to take responsibility and apologize for what they call a mishap in communication about the “transition” process. “I’ve got the inbound coming through my inbox right now and numerous people who come on to do AMAs are excited to do them without assistance (most recently, the noteworthy Channing Tatum AMA)”.
“One moderator who helped lead the protest against her outster, karmanaut, posted last week that “[t]he admins didn’t realise how much we rely on Victoria.
A number of AMAs had been scheduled for the day Taylor was fired. We do value moderators; they allow reddit to function and they allow each subreddit to be unique and to appeal to different communities. Pao did post a statement on Reddit on Friday, in which she said: “We are going to figure this out and fix it”. He also belied speculations that Taylor’s departure was linked to how she moderated the AMA with Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday. “Without her, we can’t know or enforce any of that”.
Despite the popularity of the blackout, he described the underlying problem as being “ultimately between Reddit and the moderators”, to the inevitable chagrin of the userbase. Since her appointment in November of a year ago, large swathes of the community have expressed fears about censorship under Pao’s watch, with some having taken to calling her “Chairman Pao”.
On Wednesday, the online forum announced that it has banned five of its online groups, also known as subreddits, which are dedicated to ridiculing gays, the obese, and blacks, among others.
While antiharassment advocates cheered the decision, Internet freedom supporters were quick to criticize. We are also making changes to reddit.com, adding new features like better search and building mobile web, but our testing plan needs improvement.
The signatories to a petition to remove Pao, now exceeding 132,000 gathered in just three days, cited in their petition Pao’s legal battle as proof of what kind of person she is.