Everything has come to a head at Reddit Inc
These past few months, and more importantly these past few weeks, there has been an air of discourse in the Reddit ranks. What initially started with certain subreddits being banned outright for reportedly harassing content in an event now called the fattening, because the largest subreddit to be banned was called /r/fatpeoplehate. This event on its own caused a huge backlash against Ellen Pao the then Reddit interim CEO, resulting in many subreddits and posts being created as a matter of protest (most of which were NSFW).
More recently the level of protest increased to feverpitch as /u/chooter (Victoria) the person generally responsible for the majority of work behind the scenes of /r/IAMA was let go from Reddit. This in itself is a normal thing for companies, but moderators of subreddits that relied on Victoria’s help in arranging and coordinating the AMA threads were reportedly not made aware in advance of this fact which threw upcoming AMA’s into disarray. The moderators then decided to take the subreddit private as another form of protest against the lack of coordination between the paid Reddit admins and the volunteer moderators.
This event caused other subreddits to join in The Darkening as a form of solidarity. In the end well over 30 subreddits of various sizes went dark until one by one they came back online as the Reddit admins penned a we apologize post to say that they screwed up how they handled the event. I myself thought it was a bit of a textbook response and a few in the Reddit userbase agreed and thought that it was more of a placating statement in an attempt to calm users down.
It didn’t really work, with people posting the below video as if to say the apology was a bit hollow.
All of this has come to a head however, after a petition to get Ellen Pao to step down as Reddit CEO reached over 214K, news has come out that Ellen Pao has now resigned by mutual agreement from her role as Reddit CEO. With Reddit’s founder and original CEO Steve Huffman, returning to the helm and to steady the ship.
The main thing I hope Reddit as a company take from all this is that no company is ever bigger than its users. You only have to look back a few years at what happened to Digg, to see what really can happen. Alas I have to mention that everything seems a bit too good to be true in all of this. Even the post announcing it seems a bit odd.
We were planning to run a CEO search here and talked about how Steve (who we assumed was unavailable) was the benchmark candidate—he has exactly the combination of talent and vision we were looking for. To our delight, it turned out our hypothetical benchmark candidate is the one actually taking the job.
But we will leave that for the /r/Conspiracy people to go nuts over.