October 16, 2021

Reddit fires controversial employee after subreddits go black

Reddit fired an employee after reports of her past sparked dissatisfaction on the platform. Reddit tried several ways to remove information surrounding the new admin, causing dozens of major subreddits to temporarily go black.

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The controversy revolves around a new employee who joined Reddit since early March. The employee was soon associated with a history of child abuse . Then users started spreading her name on Reddit. The platform then took action, not because of its controversial past, but because of its own rules on harassment and the sharing of personal information.

As part of these measures, articles, posts or comments mentioning the employee’s name were removed and posters were banned in some cases. It is not clear whether this was automated or whether employees hand out bans manually. Reddit came under fire in the past when it turned out that the CEO had changed posts who were critical of him.

In protest against the bans and for hiring the employee, dozens of major subreddits went black. They were made private, making it impossible to read them without subscribing to them. In some cases, new posts could no longer be created. These are small, but also large subreddits with sometimes millions of subscribers, including standard subreddits that appear on the front page. The subreddits are now available again.

Reddit now writes that it fired the employee. “We have not sufficiently checked her background,” the company writes. Interestingly, Reddit says it has been aware of harassment towards her since March 9, and then tightened the rules.