Reddit CEO apologises for lack of communication, reveals plan of action

Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao has offered an apology to the moderators and users on the “front-page of the Internet” for lack of communication, and set in motion a plan to fix some of the issues on the platform.

The apology was centred on moderators, who spoke out against the firing of Victoria, the Head of Talent at Reddit. Victoria was the main source of verification for AMA (ask me anything) threads, and routinely moderated these threads. Redditors believe she was fired over a conflict of interest, involving Reddit’s new approach to AMAs.

Moderators are also unhappy on the lack of communication between mods and admins, the latter employed by Reddit, the former volunteers for subreddits. Moderators claim admins regularly overrule moderators, and make changes without first consulting or asking the opinion of moderators.

One of the big changes recently implemented added a new search feature, but moderators and users spoke out against the change to no avail. Plenty of these small changes appear to be happening on Reddit, but it might not be for the best.

In the post, Pao mentions three significant changes that will help moderators:

  • Tools: We will improve tools, not just promise improvements, building on work already underway. u/deimorz and u/weffey will be working as a team with the moderators on what tools to build and then delivering them.
  • Communication: u/krispykrackers is trying out the new role of Moderator Advocate. She will be the contact for moderators with reddit and will help figure out the best way to talk more often. We’re also going to figure out the best way for more administrators, including myself, to talk more often with the whole community.
  • Search: We are providing an option for moderators to default to the old version of search to support your existing moderation workflows. Instructions for setting this default are here.

Some users have asked for shadowbans to be removed from Reddit, as they are all too often used by moderators and admins to block anyone with a different opinion. Others want to subreddits like SRS and bestof removed, due to vote brigading.

These moves to focus more on moderators could secure Reddit’s future, considering the vast majority of users are not bothered about the changes in management. If moderators are happy, the content will remain vast on Reddit, keeping the vast majority of the audience.

That said, a growing petition hitting over 200,000 signatures is asking for Ellen Pao to step down as Reddit CEO, something the company may have to look into at some point.