Reddit CEO Resigns Following User Revolt

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Reddit CEO Resigns Following User Revolt

ellen pao

Ellen Pao has stepped down as CEO of reddit following a mass online protest over the firing of a popular moderator.

Most internet users are likely to have visited the massively popular internet discussion board reddit at some stage in their internet travels. If you've been on the site in the last few weeks, you may have noticed a bunch of petitions and protests being thrown around, usually involving the names "Ellen Pao" or "Victoria Taylor". The short and skinny of it is that the site's CEO (Pao) fired a popular moderator (Taylor), and the internet lost its collective shit, starting a protest movement that has culminated in Pao's resignation.

Steve Huffman, one of reddit's original co-founders, will be filling Pao's shoes as the site's new CEO. "First, I'm super excited. Second I am terrified," Huffman said of the promotion.

However, Sam Altman, a board member at reddit, claims that Pao's resignation was not a result of the recent controversy, and rather a "mutual decision over a number of weeks." Pao, who will remain an adviser for the reddit board, said "We had different views in the potential growth rate in users for Reddit this year. We couldn't come to an agreement on that and I decided to step down."

In a blog post detailing the change, Altman scolded his users for their "sickening" actions against Pao. "It was sickening to see some of the things redditors wrote about Ellen," he wrote. "The reduction in compassion that happens when we're all behind computer screens is not good for the world."

Looks like big changes are afoot at reddit for the coming year. Are you happy to see Pao go?

Source: Bloomberg

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Is it 'reigns' or 'resigns'? They don't mean the same thing!

Other than that, it's refreshing to see an unpopular leader actually take their head out of their ass and listen to the people for once.

Porygon-2000:
Is it 'reigns' or 'resigns'? They don't mean the same thing!

Other than that, it's refreshing to see an unpopular leader actually take their head out of their ass and listen to the people for once.

My bad! It is resigns

Good for Reddit, though the debacle gave Voat a good chunk of notice. Now we have Voat has become the "Hitbox" to Reddit's "Twitch".

Steven Bogos:

However, Sam Altman, a board member at reddit, claims that Pao's resignation was not a result of the recent controversy, and rather a "mutual decision over a number of weeks."

Eeeeeehh, sure. Outrages are scary and business does not like scary, so it stands to reason that it probably had quite an effect on this "decision".

Before this all happened I was thinking of visiting Reddit more but now since all this bad stuff happened over the past few weeks I wonder if there is even a point anymore.

Yeah the person that said their disgusted in the revolt is dumb. Regardless of how legit it is (I don't visit reddit and don't know what was said) the last thing you do is attack your consumer.

RicoADF:
Yeah the person that said their disgusted in the revolt is dumb. Regardless of how legit it is (I don't visit reddit and don't know what was said) the last thing you do is attack your consumer.

Considering how far people on the internet go when they pull this kind of shit I think we need more people calling them out. This sort of attitude really isn't healthy for the internet as a whole.

Oh good.

More fuel for the 'if we stamp our feet and act like children we'll get our way!' internet mentality.

Im not going to comment on the validity, because I know nothing about reddit, but everytime the internet chucking a tantrum gets their way, I am further saddened. Dont take this to believe I think leadership is infallible, do what you want, etc etc. I just think collectively acting like a child who just got put in time out, is shameful.

RicoADF:
Yeah the person that said their disgusted in the revolt is dumb. Regardless of how legit it is (I don't visit reddit and don't know what was said) the last thing you do is attack your consumer.

The Reddit users in question's justification for being cunts is irrelevant, because at the end of the day, they're still cunts.

I don't give a damn if they were "attacked" or not. There's a graceful way to deal with being slighted, and then there's... that.

OT: I have literally no idea whether Pao's presence was good for Reddit or not. So I guess I'm opinionless on that front.

So does anyone in this thread even know what those "sickening actions" were or is everyone here so cued up that you don't even need information before you go calling a group... "children, cunts, disgusting, ect ect".

Good to know that all I need to do to add validity to my argument is say my opposing group was doing something mean to another person and I have total agreement even if they admittedly know nothing about the subject at hand.

(Note I know nothing about what happened, just that a few boards were taken down in protest, but I'm not going to go around saying one side is right or wrong without fucking proper knowledge on the subject).

NiPah:
So does anyone in this thread even know what those "sickening actions" were or is everyone here so cued up that you don't even need information before you go calling a group... "children, cunts, disgusting, ect ect".

Good to know that all I need to do to add validity to my argument is say my opposing group was doing something mean to another person and I have total agreement even if they admittedly know nothing about the subject at hand.

(Note I know nothing about what happened, just that a few boards were taken down in protest, but I'm not going to go around saying one side is right or wrong without fucking proper knowledge on the subject).

How is assuming we're dismissive of the complaints because we dislike the methodology, any different to what you're doing?

They could be as right as rain, I will still always be critical of tantrums. In fact, if someone is right beyond reproach, why the hell are they throwing a tantrum?

At least half of the revolt was imo justified as it was mods protesting a complete lack of communication from the admins (hell the whole thing was kicked off when the admins basically crippled one of the most popular subreddits by firing the admin who handled the celebrity AMAs) the other half was an extension of a user protest stemming from the banning of distasteful subreddits that were allegedly breaking reddits rules. Of course I don't doubt some people went way too far in their criticism of Pao, this is the internet afterall, we all know what it's like

Elijin:

NiPah:
So does anyone in this thread even know what those "sickening actions" were or is everyone here so cued up that you don't even need information before you go calling a group... "children, cunts, disgusting, ect ect".

Good to know that all I need to do to add validity to my argument is say my opposing group was doing something mean to another person and I have total agreement even if they admittedly know nothing about the subject at hand.

(Note I know nothing about what happened, just that a few boards were taken down in protest, but I'm not going to go around saying one side is right or wrong without fucking proper knowledge on the subject).

How is assuming we're dismissive of the complaints because we dislike the methodology, any different to what you're doing?

They could be as right as rain, I will still always be critical of tantrums. In fact, if someone is right beyond reproach, why the hell are they throwing a tantrum?

I'm asking if you even know what the methodology was, you're saying they threw a tantrum because of Altman's comment.

Like I said all I know on the subject is some boards were taken offline (this isn't something like DDOS attack, the moderators who created the boards have the option of making it private and did so in protest). While I don't believe this is what Altman was referring to, I'm not going to call some people (and I quote) "cunts" if I don't know what the fuck they did in the first place.

The people in this thread who called the protestors childish, cunts, and disgusting were quick to point out they know little of reddit, which is why I question their knowledge on what even happened, and also why I targeted my comment to those people.

NiPah:

Elijin:

NiPah:
So does anyone in this thread even know what those "sickening actions" were or is everyone here so cued up that you don't even need information before you go calling a group... "children, cunts, disgusting, ect ect".

Good to know that all I need to do to add validity to my argument is say my opposing group was doing something mean to another person and I have total agreement even if they admittedly know nothing about the subject at hand.

(Note I know nothing about what happened, just that a few boards were taken down in protest, but I'm not going to go around saying one side is right or wrong without fucking proper knowledge on the subject).

How is assuming we're dismissive of the complaints because we dislike the methodology, any different to what you're doing?

They could be as right as rain, I will still always be critical of tantrums. In fact, if someone is right beyond reproach, why the hell are they throwing a tantrum?

I'm asking if you even know what the methodology was, you're saying they threw a tantrum because of Altman's comment.

Like I said all I know on the subject is some boards were taken offline (this isn't something like DDOS attack, the moderators who created the boards have the option of making it private and did so in protest). While I don't believe this is what Altman was referring to, I'm not going to call some people (and I quote) "cunts" if I don't know what the fuck they did in the first place.

totheendofsin:
At least half of the revolt was imo justified as it was mods protesting a complete lack of communication from the admins (hell the whole thing was kicked off when the admins basically crippled one of the most popular subreddits by firing the admin who handled the celebrity AMAs) the other half was an extension of a user protest stemming from the banning of distasteful subreddits that were allegedly breaking reddits rules. Of course I don't doubt some people went way too far in their criticism of Pao, this is the internet afterall, we all know what it's like

totheendofsin is pretty much correct.

This last week saw the firing of a more or less universally loved lead moderator from the Ask Me Anything reddit, without letting anyone else on the board know about it. Because she helped run everything pertaining to the celebrity AMAs, which was the major feature of the board and a big draw of Reddit itself, the moderation put the board into private mode while they attempted to figure out how to manage without their lead organizer.

This drew a lot of attention to the situation with the AMA board, and a TON of other boards, some of them being main boards also went into private in an act of solidarity due to the administration being completely no-signal on the issue.

kn0thing made a snarky comment in a redditdrama thread about it which only exacerbated the issue further.

Eventually, the administration finally spat out a "Sorry we've always been terrible and have emptily promised to get better, but we promise that we'll stop it and get better, so unlock the boards".

There's some debate on if some of the boards were then forced by admins to unlock, or if it was the moderators, but the fact of the matter is, the administration mismanaged, pissed off a gigantic number of moderators across a ton of boards on the site due to their radio silence and snark following the mismanagement, and this in turn pissed off a lot of the end users because their boards were down due to the admin's behavior.

That's the overview of this last week's events, as I've understood them to play out so far.

NiPah:
snip

You're the only person I have seen in here throwing most of those words around. With the exception of children, which yeah, totally. I have said having a tantrum is childish. You know like saying you dont agree with how the game is being played, so you're going to take your ball and go home. Or in this case, close boards.

Also I think these issues are always a hilarious powder keg. If someone is in an employment role, and gets suddenly canned, there's something up. If the person who got canned doesnt step up to the bat for themselves, its usually not the black and white affair the internet wants it to be. And transparency? Are you kidding me. If you got into a situation worthy of being fired over, do you want the whole internet to know about it?

This sort of stuff reminds me of the Bungie/Marty thing. The community cried for ages, but he got his severance cheque and walked away. If it had actually been an unfair dismissal, I imagine he would have fought it.

Because thats the thing. These companies are very public, and it leads people to forget that they're companies. With policies and rules and guidelines for conduct. If someone in a 'public' position is suddenly fired, and doesnt fight it back, its very rarely 'sudden' and definitely not everyones business.

Edit: I just noticed the offensive lanuage. I must have skimmed over it as not worth the time to read fully. Because you're right, thats totally uncalled for.

lacktheknack:

The Reddit users in question's justification for being cunts is irrelevant, because at the end of the day, they're still cunts.

I don't give a damn if they were "attacked" or not. There's a graceful way to deal with being slighted, and then there's... that.

OT: I have literally no idea whether Pao's presence was good for Reddit or not. So I guess I'm opinionless on that front.

I think you misunderstood me, I was saying that I don't know what these users apparently said or how legit the "disgusting" comment was, I was saying that his response in attacking all of his customers for the actions of some is stupid.

T-Shirt Turtle:

Considering how far people on the internet go when they pull this kind of shit I think we need more people calling them out. This sort of attitude really isn't healthy for the internet as a whole.

Calling out what someone is said and calling everyone disgusting are 2 different things.

Elijin:
Oh good.

More fuel for the 'if we stamp our feet and act like children we'll get our way!' internet mentality.

Im not going to comment on the validity, because I know nothing about reddit, but everytime the internet chucking a tantrum gets their way, I am further saddened. Dont take this to believe I think leadership is infallible, do what you want, etc etc. I just think collectively acting like a child who just got put in time out, is shameful.

Objection! People who don't know anything on the subject matter don't get to comment on the matter!

OT: Ya wouldn't think that stepping down was really the intended goal here. Will it actually quell the masses? I wonder...

Elijin:

NiPah:
snip

You're the only person I have seen in here throwing most of those words around. With the exception of children, which yeah, totally. I have said having a tantrum is childish. You know like saying you dont agree with how the game is being played, so you're going to take your ball and go home. Or in this case, close boards.

Also I think these issues are always a hilarious powder keg. If someone is in an employment role, and gets suddenly canned, there's something up. If the person who got canned doesnt step up to the bat for themselves, its usually not the black and white affair the internet wants it to be. And transparency? Are you kidding me. If you got into a situation worthy of being fired over, do you want the whole internet to know about it?

This sort of stuff reminds me of the Bungie/Marty thing. The community cried for ages, but he got his severance cheque and walked away. If it had actually been an unfair dismissal, I imagine he would have fought it.

Because thats the thing. These companies are very public, and it leads people to forget that they're companies. With policies and rules and guidelines for conduct. If someone in a 'public' position is suddenly fired, and doesnt fight it back, its very rarely 'sudden' and definitely not everyones business.

lacktheknack:
The Reddit users in question's justification for being cunts is irrelevant, because at the end of the day, they're still cunts.

My apology on the "disgusting", I actually had misread Rico's comment and attributed it towards the other side. (or actually it looks like it was edited? not sure)

But my point still stands, until I mentioned that they had taken boards down I doubt you knew any of the actions taken by the crowd you were so quick to call childish. You can easily defend your arguments after the fact, but that's not my point, gather the pertinent information before you make a snap judgement on the validity of a side.

(Yes I know there is quite a bit of irony in the fact that I'm making a snap judgement on many of the early posters without fully knowing the extent of their knowledge and simply going off their comments on not being familiar with Reddit, but it's more fun this way)

FalloutJack:

Elijin:
Oh good.

More fuel for the 'if we stamp our feet and act like children we'll get our way!' internet mentality.

Im not going to comment on the validity, because I know nothing about reddit, but everytime the internet chucking a tantrum gets their way, I am further saddened. Dont take this to believe I think leadership is infallible, do what you want, etc etc. I just think collectively acting like a child who just got put in time out, is shameful.

Objection! People who don't know anything on the subject matter don't get to comment on the matter!

OT: Ya wouldn't think that stepping down was really the intended goal here. Will it actually quell the masses? I wonder...

If it doesn't it will still be a fun thing to watch. I'll admit I would love to see Reddit be burned down. Not because I dislike the site or anything but purely because I find stuff like that funny.

NSFW video

Elen Pao, Working hard to make the glass ceiling thicker for all the other women. Trying to sleep her way to the top. Crys of sexual harassment after he wouldn't leave his wife. Lawsuit fishing for money when she couldn't progress in the home office.

And now Pushing her agenda against the people who use the company's services, then saying negative things about them when it didn't work. I think its well proven that calling the users of your product negative things is a good way to get negative results for the company.

Her failures are NOT the result of sexism. Her failures are not the result of "patriarchy". Her failures are on Her.

Huh. Can't wait for Kotaku to hire her as their CEO and pen a column on how all men are dead and gamers are rapists.

What a bitterly unlikable person!

I'm still confused as to how someone so blatantly out of touch with Reddit, and it's effective unspoken rules and customs was made CEO. When you are dealing with something so volatile, it needs to have a leader who knows exactly what they are doing. Reddit has been run in a fairly hands off manner for quite some time, so trying to tighten the companies grip over it's own creation was inevitably going to cause a backlash.

This is just another example of the patriarchy bringing a strong woman down.

First the confusing and selective censorship, then firing Victoria. Can't say that I'm sad to see her go. And it has nothing to do with her resigning? Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure.

Pax Romana:
This is just another example of the patriarchy bringing a strong woman down.

Oh please spare us all, Pao screwed-up and therefore Pao has taken the fall voluntary. You want equalism? then here it is baby.

Pax Romana:
This is just another example of the patriarchy bringing a strong woman down.

That is a joke, right?

09philj:

Pax Romana:
This is just another example of the patriarchy bringing a strong woman down.

That is a joke, right?

mad825:

Pax Romana:
This is just another example of the patriarchy bringing a strong woman down.

Oh please spare us all, Pao screwed-up and therefore Pao has taken the fall voluntary. You want equalism? then here it is baby.

At ease gentlemen. Pretty sure it was a joke, judging by Pax's previous posts.

OT: Can someone fill me in as to what it was that everyone was gettin' mad about? The only bits of reddit I frequent are r/Airsoft and r/ksp, which are pretty far removed from a lot of the general site drama.

All of you people slinging insults are absolutely clueless, do you have ANY idea how bad pao messed up the site and what mistakes she made? She went back on so many of reddit's policies, had no communication with moderators, shut off the community so that she could sit in her little throne of power, and then fired several absolutely vital employees without giving reason.

Silentpony:
Huh. Can't wait for Kotaku to hire her as their CEO and pen a column on how all men are dead and gamers are rapists.

What a bitterly unlikable person!

Lol, best post in the thread aye.1!

Snowfox_:
All of you people slinging insults are absolutely clueless, do you have ANY idea how bad pao messed up the site and what mistakes she made? She went back on so many of reddit's policies, had no communication with moderators, shut off the community so that she could sit in her little throne of power, and then fired several absolutely vital employees without giving reason.

And what a fantastic little throne it was.

image

I shed a tear for the little internet left wing authoritarian utopia she never got to carve out. All those problematic opinions and jokes are just free to be read by anyone now, I mean it's just horrible. People are saying things I DON"T LIKE at this very moment! Orwell would have spun in his grave, sadly it is not to be :'(

FalloutJack:
Ya wouldn't think that stepping down was really the intended goal here. Will it actually quell the masses? I wonder...

Only if the masses want to believe in the illusion that something changed.
The unpopular changes are still in place and if Reddit doesnt take action over those changes i guess she served her purpose and was hired just to be a scapegoat.

So they decide to fix a series of very bad decisions with another bad decision...
Her presence in the company was not the issue, her being allowed to do crazy ass shit was. And as far as anyone can tell all that crazy ass still stands, no one has said anything about reverting things back to normal, so I'm guessing they will just keep this going on the same path.

09philj:
I'm still confused as to how someone so blatantly out of touch with Reddit, and it's effective unspoken rules and customs was made CEO. When you are dealing with something so volatile, it needs to have a leader who knows exactly what they are doing. Reddit has been run in a fairly hands off manner for quite some time, so trying to tighten the companies grip over it's own creation was inevitably going to cause a backlash.

CEOs more often than not, especially in cases like reddit, are basically there as figureheads to voice the opinion of those who have a controlling interest in the company to the public. It's one thing to be a CEO of a company that you have a controlling interest in, it's another to just be tossed the position. In reality Pao is nothing more than someone who was hired to eat up all the blame and then get shit canned if and when things went sour. The same parties who own most of reddit will continue to own it and drive the company through another puppet CEO. Though I wouldn't shed a tear because she got a nice check for sitting around while it lasted.

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