Reddit CEO Proposes User Voting System to Resolve Site Protests and Remove Moderators

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In this video, NBC News’ David Ingram discusses the recent controversy surrounding Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman’s proposal to allow users to vote out moderators involved in user-led protests on the platform. As one of the most popular websites, Reddit has struggled to monetize its platform like other social media giants. This video explores the tension between the CEO’s desire for profitability and the community’s resistance to change.

– 0:00 Introduction
– 0:25 Reddit’s popularity and user-led protest
– 1:15 CEO’s perspective and the need for revenue
– 2:05 User backlash and the role of moderators
– 3:12 The future of Reddit and the loss of open online spaces

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*Keywords/tags associated with the video:*
NBC News, Reddit, Protest


Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said he wants to end user-led protest by instituting a rule that would allow users to vote out moderators who have overseen the protest. NBC News’ David Ingram shares the latest.

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  1. I am a moderator on a large sub that went dark. It was not a mod decision. We asked our users with a "sticky" post. The sub was overwhelmingly in favor of action.

    I am committed to our community. It helps people. We did not stay dark. It makes me mad to see the moderators being made out as the villains. In our sub we are users first and moderators second. We put up with a lot of abuse from trolls and outsiders who do not like our sub. We put a lot of emotional effort into protecting and nurturing our community. It is hard to keep moving forward when we hear the things the Reddit management is saying about us.

    I once worked in city government. The city manager made some bad decisions. As a political move, he tried to demonize city employees. That did not end well for him. This feels like a very similar situation.

  2. Thank you for covering this. As other commenters have mentioned, there's more nuance to this situation than can be covered in this short amount of time. But any more visibility to this situation is welcome as it is hopefully showing Reddit that their platform is at risk if they continue to operate with such poor leadership and communication.

  3. horrible reporting. Reddit is price gouging 3rd party apps. The community rather shutdown reddit than use the the reddit app or website.

    If reddit should have instead charged a fair price to 3rd party apps, and none of this would have happened.

    Also the reddit CEO says and does things that make him very unlikable. Clearly his motivation is making money with an upcoming IPO.

  4. Re: "Reddit is dead"
    Sure, but not the way you think. Reddit did this abrupt move because they've been told by their creditors and prospective investors that they have to pay their bills.

    Reddit is a fraction of Facebook and even Twitter, and while power users are a small part of the community, they likely produce at least half of the high-value engagement: good posts and comments, and moderation. Reddit's problem is that they were never able to convert these power users into whales, or users who pay money. What Reddit is going to end up doing is killing this golden goose that they've never been able to effectively monetize. The benefits of Premium were never worth the price, after all, and power users hate ads to the point of using ad blocking software on their devices or networks.

    This is the result of an unprofitable company sitting on a valuable community until the bills started piling up. They probably could have solved this years ago by introducing an API subscription that was reasonable (pennies per X amount of accesses per month or something AWS like) or finding a revenue model that didn't try to ape Google or Twitter. But they didn't, and here we are, hearing Reddit lie to the world in desperate hopes that the upcoming IPO/SPAC covers the bills.

  5. Dear NBC: the blackout was not protesting paid access to the API – it was widely agreed that some fee schedule, at reasonable parity with going market rates, made sense to everyone. The protest was, in part, due to the pricing that Reddit announced being so high that it priced 3rd party apps out of any possible way to pay those fees. Something like 20 times the high-end of market rate.

  6. No mention here of Reddit's terrible moderation tools that they have refused to spend the necessary $$$ to update so that moderators won't have to use 3rd party apps to do their jobs. If they continue with their plan I think they won't need to fire their mods—the real Q is whether they can find patsies to do the job for free when it becomes much harder without the proper 3rd party tools. That's the thing that no one in the MSM is mentioning.

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