Reddit Reaches Out to Moderators; It Goes Predictably Bad

Reddit has reached out to moderators — without apologizing — in an effort to move forward productively, and it has gone as bad as expected....
Reddit Reaches Out to Moderators; It Goes Predictably Bad
Written by Staff
  • Reddit has reached out to moderators — without apologizing — in an effort to move forward productively, and it has gone as bad as expected.

    Reddit angered its community of users and moderators when it announced pricing for its third-party API access. While the company had previously said it would avoid following in Twitter’s footsteps and keep terms reasonable, its pricing was anything but, effectively killing off the majority of third-party clients.

    In what became an ongoing drama, Reddit falsely smeared the developer of Apollo, one of the leading third-party clients, and other developers reported similarly bad experiences dealing with the company. In response, many of Reddit’s community’s voted to go private in protest. While the company initially said it would respect communities’ decisions, it grew increasingly hostile, ultimately replacing moderators that did not reopen their communities. In the midst of all of this, CEO Steve Huffman had some choice words for Reddit users.

    At the heart of the issue is the fact that many moderators depended on third-party clients to perform their duties since Reddit’s official client has been woefully short of the tools many moderators need — despite the company promising such features for years. Reddit, in turn, depends on volunteer moderators to manage its many communities, putting the company in a unique position among social media platforms.

    Needless to say, Reddit has lost a tremendous amount of its moderators’ trust and goodwill, leading the company to reach out in a post in r/modnew:

    Hey mods, Go_JasonWaterfalls here, Reddit’s VP of Community. So, we’ve all had a… time on Reddit lately. And I’m here to recognize it, acknowledge that our relationship has been tested, and begin the “now what?” conversation.

    Go_JasonWaterfalls went on to outline several initiatives supposedly aimed at improving communication between Reddit and its moderators. The moderators, on the other hand, we’re having it.

    RhynoD’s response was fairly typical of the responses to Go_JasonWaterfalls’ post:

    Your CEO called us “landed gentry” and accused us of failing to care about the communities that we built, which Reddit profits off of without paying us for our work; and then when a bunch of mods directly polled users for what they would like to do and then followed through with the results the moderators were forcibly removed from the communities because the CEO didn’t like it.

    So, I wouldn’t say the relationship was tested, I would say it was tenuous to begin with and Spez shat on whatever goodwill and benefit of the doubt that we tried to offer. If the CEO of the company wasn’t interested in hearing what we have to say, I have zero confidence that anybody else cares about our “needs.” Or, if you do care, that you are in a position to do anything. We made our “needs” pretty damn clear over the past two months. Why weren’t you listening then? We’ve made our needs clear for the last decade and had to turn to third-party apps and tools to make up for the deficiencies that you’ve been promising us for years. Why didn’t you make any changes then?

    What I need is a functional app that doesn’t randomly freeze up, doesn’t spam me with more ads than cable TV and has basic functions

    It’s safe to say Reddit is still a long way from putting its issues behind it.

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