Reddit messaged its subreddit moderators Friday saying it will work with them to replace or reorder other moderators if they “are hindering reopening,” according to messages leaked to The Verge, the latest in what has been an ongoing protest that went days beyond what was expected, and hobbled the platform.
The messages were sent to moderators who are part of protesting subreddits, and also asked the moderators to inform Reddit if they are not “able or willing to reopen and maintain the community.”
The messages follow a separate post from Reddit warning that moderators, some of whom lead closed subreddits, could be replaced under a violation of the company’s moderator code of conduct.
The rule most commonly referred to in the post is Rule 4, which states that if a user requests to take over a community that is either empty or unmoderated, Reddit will consider granting the request.
However, Reddit is enforcing stipulations that are not explicitly stated within its moderator code of conduct, saying if moderators keep private subreddits with users who want a more open experience, new moderators will be found—adding that if moderators are disagreeing with one another, it will enforce reordering of moderator rankings so “community-minded” leaders are at the top.
Reddit has insisted that any actions being taken by it against moderators are because of rules being broken, not for protesting.
The company is under fire from users upset over its upcoming changes to API fees, which they say will kill apps from third-party developers that provide users with alternate interfaces made for browsing Reddit—something the company argues is costing them millions of dollars.
Users on r/Save3rdPartyApps and r/ModCoord who are pushing back against Reddit’s changes have said some of the user blowback is due to Reddit’s “poor” communication and the short notice given for the API changes. One user at r/Save3rdPartyApps said the company, “is willing to replace any of us at the drop of a hat if we go against the narrative.”
$10 million. That’s how much Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said it costs Reddit to support third-party apps through its own infrastructure.
Reddit’s blackout started Monday with nearly 9,000 subreddits closing or limiting access to their pages, some of which are followed by millions of users. The number of participating subreddits has dwindled by nearly half, with more than 4,500 subreddits continuing the protest—which had been planned to end Wednesday for some communities. Some subreddits have vowed to go dark indefinitely, a decision fueled by an internal Reddit memo written by Huffman published earlier this week, in which he told employees that it expected the protest to pass and that it was not significantly impacting revenue. The company told Forbes on Tuesday that it would not back down from its decision to institute pricing changes to its API policies, a stance reiterated by Huffman in multiple interviews with other news outlets.
Reddit CEO Pushes Back Against Blackout—Will Consider Letting Users Vote Out Moderators (Forbes)
Reddit CEO slams protest leaders, saying he’ll change rules that favor ‘landed gentry’ (NBC)
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