Things are a bit dark over at Reddit this evening. Following the unexpected and abrupt firing of Victoria Taylor, who just over two years ago joined the Reddit team as the Director of Communications, subreddit /r/IAMA moderators set the page to private. The sudden locking of the page was accompanied by the message “Due to internal administration reorganization at reddit, /r/IAmA has temporarily been made private by the moderators. We will be using this time to restructure our process for AMAs.”
According to /r/IAMA moderator /u/karmanaut, Victoria was an integral part of planning AMAs (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. “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.”
“The admins didn’t realize how much we rely on Victoria. Part of it is proof, of course: we know it’s legitimate when she’s sitting right there next to the person and can make them provide proof. 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 anymore.”
Karmanaut also stated that Victoria was capable of immediately assisting with issues, as well as providing vital organization, namely in scheduling. There are concerns that several high profile AMAs may not be able to continue as scheduled with Victoria’s duties currently uncovered.
“We have been really blindsided by all of this. As a result, we will need to go through our processes and see what can be done without her.”
Victoria’s firing follows a particularly ugly AMA on July 1 with the controversial Jesse Jackson. The top question accused him of being “an immoral, hate-filled race baiter that has figured out how to manipulate the political system for your own gain… How is your relationship with the illegitimate child you fathered in 1998 while cheating on your wife? Bonus question: How much money have you extorted from various people and companies over the years of practicing your shakedown scheme? Do you think Al Capone would be jealous of your business model if he were still alive?”
In addition to receiving very difficult questions, his answers often did not match up at all with even the simple questions being asked, leaving many to wonder if he had actually read what was asked. An archive of the thread can be viewed here.
So far /r/science, /r/movies, /r/circlejerk, /r/gaming, /r/history, /r/art, /r/crappydesign, /r/askreddit, /r/sexwithbears, /r/law, /r/listentothis, /r/PaoMustResign, /r/spain, /r/splitdepthgifs, /r/PiratesoftheCaribbean, /r/ienjoybathing, /r/htgawm, /r/subredditcancer, and /r/videos have all gone private in solidarity with /r/IAMA, with more joining at a rapid pace.
Subreddit /r/Nintendo is currently hosting a poll in order to determine whether or not it will go private, with an overwhelming majority voting “yes.”
Moderators for /r/gaming included the 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” while /r/circlejerk reads “#thankmsvictoria. Due to internal administration reorganization at circlejerk, /r/circlejerk has temporarily been made private by the moderators. We will be using this time to restructure our process for jerking.”
Moderators for /r/IveFappedtoThis were less vague, simply stating “It’s no time to fap when Victoria’s been fired.”
This is just the most recent event in what has been an emotional and tumultuous year for Reddit users.
Last January Ellen Pao, the woman who lost a gender discrimination case against her employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was appointed as CEO of Reddit. Many were left concerned that personal ideology and even potential censorship would accompany her appointment, and they were correct. In June a number of “bullying” subreddits were closed, primarily ones geared towards fat-shaming. One subreddit that was included was /r/whalewatching which, funny enough, was actually about watching real whales. That page has since been unbanned. Pages criticizing Pao directly were also banned.
It is unclear how long this “boycott” will last, or whether any demands will be made. One thing is certain – many eyes are on it.
Liz Finnegan is a soulless ginger with no political leanings. Pun enthusiast. Self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Person.” Retro gaming contributor for The Escapist.
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