In the wake of a major change that left moderators feeling disadvantaged, Reddit is making earnest attempts to repair its strained relationship with the volunteer moderators. The popular social platform, known for its diverse community-driven forums, faced criticism from moderators who had dedicated countless hours to managing and curating subreddits without compensation.
The issue came to the forefront when Reddit introduced API pricing, leaving many moderators taken aback. This sudden shift in policy sparked protest and resentment among the dedicated volunteers who had been contributing their time and efforts to keep the platform running smoothly.
To address the mounting concerns, a Reddit employee recently revealed the company’s commitment to mend fences with the moderators. Efforts include regular outreach initiatives and weekly feedback sessions, designed to bridge the gap and foster a positive atmosphere for moderators to voice their grievances and suggestions.
Acknowledging the severity of the situation, Go_JasonWaterfalls, Reddit’s VP of Community, publicly recognized the rift that had developed between the company and its dedicated moderators. With over 50,000 volunteer mods, the relationship between these moderators and Reddit admin had been severely fractured, necessitating immediate repair.
One aspect that added fuel to the fire was the decision to reclassify certain subreddits as “safe for work” instead of their previous “not safe for work” categorization. This unilateral move caused frustration and anxiety among moderators, who feared the prospect of having to reopen previously private subreddits.
In an attempt to engage more effectively with moderators, Reddit introduced the Weekly Mod Feedback Sessions. These sessions, set to continue through October, offer moderators a platform to provide insights and suggestions for the platform’s improvement. Participants were required to fill out a form to take part in these sessions.
Additionally, Reddit emphasized the significance of the Mod Council and the Reddit Partner Communities program. To foster better communication and collaboration, these events were scheduled to take place monthly and even in-person across different countries, including France, India, Brazil, the US, Canada, and England.
Despite these efforts, some moderators expressed their trauma and disillusionment, stating that they have low expectations regarding the company’s response to their concerns. Reports from Ars Technica indicated that feedback sessions yielded mixed results, with some moderators feeling heard, while others believed their critiques and suggestions were not adequately addressed by the Reddit Mod Council.
Notably, Alyssa Videlock, a renowned moderator for several subreddits, claimed that the Mod Council occasionally considered the moderators’ feedback but more often than not disregarded their requests. Moderators had called for improvements in API pricing and requested extended adjustment periods, yet Reddit has thus far not acceded to their demands.
The consequences of Reddit’s API pricing change have been felt beyond the moderators’ community. Many third-party apps, reliant on Reddit’s API, were forced to shut down following the implementation of the new pricing structure on July 1.
Reddit’s relationship with its moderators remains a focal point of concern and contention. The company’s attempts to address the issue through outreach, feedback sessions, and engagement initiatives may play a crucial role in rebuilding trust and collaboration within the platform’s vibrant community. However, with some moderators expressing skepticism and disappointment, Reddit will need to demonstrate tangible actions and a willingness to address the moderators’ legitimate concerns to restore a sense of harmony and partnership.
TL;DR: Reddit is trying to repair its strained relationship with volunteer moderators after making significant policy changes. The platform is engaging in outreach initiatives and weekly feedback sessions to bridge the gap. However, some moderators remain skeptical, having spent countless hours providing free labor and facing API pricing challenges. Third-party apps have been affected too. The company is striving to address concerns, but moderators’ expectations are low, and demands for better API pricing remain unmet.
Hi, I’m Oren, founder at BIGINTRO, a content strategy agency that helps B2B companies drive growth. We develop search, social, PR, and content marketing strategies tailored to business goals. I also have a dog named Milo.