Entire sections of online community Reddit have witnessed a blackout after a staffer Victoria Taylor, much loved by the website’s users suddenly left the business. Now the unpaid volunteer moderators of the site have turned against the admins aka the employees of Reddit. Users are hence directed to a static landing page.

Taylor, the site’s director of Talent, known by the username chooter on the online link-cum-discussion site, was a troubleshooter for the volunteer moderators who do all the work on Reddit. She would often to available to help them navigate the message boards as well.

Reddit has refused to comment on individual employess but confirmed that Taylor has indeed been sacked, without divulging reasons for the said action.

The hugely popular Q&A forum called “I am a … Ask me anything” (r/IAmA) and the science message board (r/science) have been hidden from public view by the site’s moderators “due to internal administration reorganization at Reddit.”

Other popular subreddits – including r/movies, r/videos, r/AskReddit, r/books, and r/gaming – totalling millions of subscribers were also locked down by moderators in the site-spanning protest. The features have been set to private as the remaining moderators attempt to determine as to how to maintain the sessions.

Today, we learned that Victoria was unexpectedly let go from her position with Reddit. We all had the rug ripped out from under us and feel betrayed.

commented senior moderator karmanaut. 

The admins didn’t realize how much we rely on Victoria. Part of it is proof, of course: we know it’s a legitimate [AMA] when she’s sitting right there next to the person and can make them provide proof [of identity]. We’ve had situations where agents or others have tried to do an AMA as their client, and Victoria shut that shit down immediately. We can’t do that any more.

Another top moderator, Gilgamesh, said the problem runs deeper, wrote a long explanation:

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.

Taylor is yet to come out with an official statement post the incident, but she did take to Reddit to thank her supporters. She described herself as ‘dazed’ and was looking forward to holidaying with her family.

I’m more surprised that that AMA can’t go on because of one person.  Interesting to know that they actually spun the entire feature out into an app but doesn’t have a team dedicated to do this AMA.

While the lockdown continues, the publisher Conde Nast-owned Reddit hasn’t given any concrete indications of what it intends to do about this situation. The site, infamous for nude picture scandals, has a small workforce count; it relies heavily on volunteer moderators to keep the engine running.

We’ll be updating the post if we hear anything from Reddit’s side.


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