SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Reddit moderators shut down over 250 subreddits on Friday to protest the unexpected termination of an employee who managed the site’s popular “Ask Me Anything” interviews.
Victoria Taylor, the site’s director of talent, coordinated Q&A sessions with politicians and celebrities ranging from Elon Musk to a man viciously mauled by a bear. She was dismissed on Thursday without explanation, Wired reports. The move unleashed a fury of frustration among moderators — the unpaid volunteers who manage the site’s communities.
Within hours, they took down hundreds of subreddit groups including /r/todayilearned and /r/pics.
Reddit CEO Ellen Pao commented on the situation Friday morning, saying that she is working on better tools for its moderators.
“This year, we have started building better tools for moderators and for admins to help keep subreddits and reddit awesome, but our infrastructure is monolithic, and it is going to take some time … We are also making changes to reddit.com, adding new features like better search and building mobile web, but our testing plan needs improvement. As a result, we are breaking some of the ways moderators moderate. We are going to figure this out and fix it.”
The site is estimated to have some 160 million users.
Reddit users speculate Taylor’s termination is connected with her moderation of Reverend Jackson AMA on Wednesday, which turned into a mess of racially charged questions.