Reddit, the famous entertainment, social networking and news website where registered community members can submit content, is suffering an existential crisis on its tenth anniversary following the resignation of its CEO in the wake of a mass revolt by its moderators. Reddit is now reviewing its operating procedures as well as its financing.
The current crisis began on July 2, 2015, when Victoria Taylor, Reddit's communications director, was fired. She was known for having started the popular "Ask Me Anything" series that allowed numerous celebrities, from Barack Obama to Bill Gates, by way of Madonna and Edward Snowden, to basically speak directly to Reddit users and answer their questions.
Reddit's many moderators, all volunteers, were shocked and demanded more transparency from the site's directors, the result of which was a barrage of insults in the forums, certain conversations becoming private, and an online petition demanding the dismissal of Ellen Pao, Reddit's CEO, which garnered over 200,000 signatures. On July 10, she announced her departure and was immediately replaced by one of the site's cofounders, Steve Huffman.
Generally speaking, Reddit moderators are complaining about a lack of communication and clarity coming from those in charge of the site. For several months now, Reddit has been straddling the line between being "politically correct" and taking a stand against abusive content and harassment, all the while trying not to alienate its base.
As if that wasn't enough, the discontent resurfaces even when Reddit is questioning its way of making money. Besides its "Reddit Gold" offer, which allows users to surf the site without any advertisements for a fee of $3.99 per month or $29.99 per year, the site is aiming to soon put in place a video service financed by advertisements.
Launched in 2005, Reddit attracts more than 150 million unique visitors per month.