This week saw history made on Reddit as thousands of subreddits created a blackout. Here, the moderators of said subreddits decided to make their subreddit closed to the public. Originally, this was set to be a two-day affair that lasted from 12th-14th of June. However, since then – many of these subreddits have decided to remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Overall, many subreddits have re-opened but there still remains a large contingent of closed communities. For example, the subreddit /r/mma has millions of users but is currently not accessible to the public.
As you can imagine, this poses a financial problem for Reddit, which need its biggest communities to be open for business. Quite literally. So, in what has been labeled an ‘authoritarian’ twist, Reddit has issued an ultimatum of sorts – and had this to say, “If a moderator team unanimously decides to stop moderating, we will invite new, active moderators to keep these spaces open and accessible to users.”
In short, this can be interpreted to re-open subreddits, or expect new moderators to come in who will do it for them. Whilst many have reacted negatively to these changes, the cold facts remain that Reddit is owned by Reddit, and isn’t owned by the moderators. At the same time, from a PR perspective this doesn’t look great.
So, it’s certainly been a long week for the owners of Reddit, and this one looks set to rumble into next week with just as much ferocity.