Reddit CEO Ellen Pao commented this morning about the firing of Reddit Director of Communications Victoria Taylor, a move that has resulted in a very public revolt from users of the site. Pao wrote that the site is working on better tools for its moderators, but it will be a while before those tools are made available. "The bigger problem is that we haven't helped our moderators with better support after many years of promising to do so," Pao wrote in a comment. She said that Reddit has hired new employees to help build these tools, as well as new employees to engage with the community and its moderators. "We are going to figure this out and fix it," Pao wrote.
"We haven't helped our moderators with better support after many years of promising to do so"
Since she was hired in 2013, Victoria Taylor has worked on Reddit’s popular "Ask Me Anything" question-and-answer sessions. She served as the main contact for celebrities and other high-profile figures participating in the sessions, helping to transcribe their answers to users’ questions over the phone. In response to her firing, Reddit moderators have effectively shut down many of the site’s most popular sections.
Pao did not confirm the exact reason why Taylor was dismissed. An image making the rounds suggests that, when asked if Taylor was fired over a bigger push to commercialize the AMAs or a desire to do video AMAs, Pao responded that the claims were not true.
Here is Pao's full comment:
The bigger problem is that we haven't helped our moderators with better support after many years of promising to do so. We do value moderators; they allow reddit to function and they allow each subreddit to be unique and to appeal to different communities. This year, we have started building better tools for moderators and for admins to help keep subreddits and reddit awesome, but our infrastructure is monolithic, and it is going to take some time. We hired someone to product manage it, and we moved an engineer to help work on it. We hired 5 more people for our community team in total to work with both the community and moderators. We are also making changes to reddit.com, adding new features like better search and building mobile web, but our testing plan needs improvement. As a result, we are breaking some of the ways moderators moderate. We are going to figure this out and fix it.