Reddit Community in Uproar

Reddit Community in Uproar

In response to Victoria Taylor’s dismissal, around one hundred popular subreddits were closed down in protest by their volunteer administrators, who have opted to stand in solidarity with her.

Reddit Community in Uproar

Management of the popular entertainment, social networking and news website ‘Reddit’ are under fire from its online community, after the sacking of popular employee Victoria Taylor last month.

Reddit, who describe themselves as “the front page of the internet”, has 36 million registered users, attracts 169 million monthly visitors and is largely self-policed by volunteer administrators. The site contains a vast range of content, and is organized in a bulletin board type system, whereby users post content in ‘subreddits’ on an extensive range of topics.

At the beginning of July however, the Reddit management relieved Victoria Taylor of her duties, much to the anguish of several of the site’s users. Taylor was in control of the Ask Me Anything (AMA) section of the website, where influential and well-known figures are invited to respond to questions from the Reddit user base in real-time. Taylor was responsible for attracting big names, and even secured President Barack Obama’s appearance in an AMA in 2014.

In response to Taylor’s dismissal, around one hundred popular subreddits have been closed down in protest by their volunteer administrators, who have opted to stand in solidarity with Taylor. Reddit responded to the demand for an explanation by releasing a statement reading that they do not pass comment on “individual employee matters” and moderators said that they too have been kept in the dark. The anguish felt by the online community was highlighted in a statement released by a moderator which said: “We all had the rug ripped from under us and feel betrayed.”

Reddit’s huge popularity stems from its traditional freedom of speech ethos, one which countries like Russia aren’t too fond of and consequently banned access to some parts of the site due to increasing discussions on drug use. Many regard it as one of the few places left on the internet where users can speak with anonymity on a huge public platform.

People around the world all have a right to know the real news that’s happening, and social media sites like Reddit and Twitter have made the truth much more transparent, such as with the recent unrest we’ve been seeing in South Africa.

Many disillusioned social commentators are even opting to create their own blog with help from sites like this, like a virtual soapbox to express their thoughts and views. However, as this social media age has shown us, we can be sure that if one voice is silenced, another one will be raised even louder.