Reddit is publicly extending an olive branch to the moderator community it has been largely outraged over the past few weeks. In a post on Wednesday, a Reddit contributor described the company’s outreach efforts, including new weekly feedback sessions, which it hopes can help re-establish ties with the social media platform and the more than 50,000 volunteer mods it relies on. But as you might expect, mods remain sceptical.
Extending an olive branch
A Reddit admin who went by Go_JasonWaterfalls on the site and claimed the title of Reddit VP of the community (Ars tried to confirm the identity of /u/Go_JasonWaterfalls, but Reddit spokesman Tim Rathschmidt refused to confirm the employee’s identity by name ) acknowledged the shattered relationship between mods — who spent thousands of hours providing free labor and recently engaged in several disruptive forms of protest against API prices on the site — and Reddit — which has responded to said protests by some protesting moderators of delete their posts. The company has also offered controversial interviews with CEO Steve Huffman. Reddit also reportedly forced some subreddits that moderators labeled “not safe for work” as a form of protest (claiming to have conducted member polls beforehand) to return to “safe for work” and threatened to forcibly reopen subreddits that had gone private in protest.
“So we’ve all been having a… time on Reddit lately,” wrote Go_JasonWaterfalls. “And I’m here to acknowledge it, acknowledge that our relationship has been tested and start with ‘now what?’ conversation.”
Go_JasonWaterfalls noted that Reddit’s “role is facilitating” and to give mods a platform they can “rely on”, including the necessary tools and resources, and stressed the need for “consistent, inclusive and instant connection” with mods before committing outreach efforts, as Weekly detailed. Mod feedback sessions.
The sessions will take place every Tuesday and Thursday through October and will “continue as valuable going forward,” the Reddit admin said. Redditors must fill out an interest form to participate. Reddit can easily reject people with inactive accounts or whom it deems to be currently in violation of Reddit’s mod or content policies.
Go_JasonWaterfalls said Reddit will be sharing notes from feedback sessions in the r/modnews subreddit.
Go_JasonWaterfalls also highlighted Reddit’s Mod Council and Partner Communities programs, the next monthly Accessibility Feedback Group meeting, and upcoming in-person events in the US, Brazil, Canada, England, France, and India.
Mods have low expectations
Meanwhile, mods, traumatized by a tumultuous few months, have very low expectations for Reddit’s efforts. Ars spoke to some who have already participated in similar efforts, such as feedback sessions or the Mod Council, claiming mixed results regarding Reddit actually taking steps in response to mod critiques and suggestions.
“The Reddit Mod Council in particular is one where they’ll yo-yo about whether or not they listen to moderators. Sometimes they do, most of the time they don’t,” Alyssa Videlock, a mod for countless subreddits, including big ones like r/tumblr and r/lgbt Ars said.
Reddit refuses to give in to virtually all of the mods’ demands, including things like more accessible API pricing or more time to adjust to the new pricing for apps they like and broader exemption for apps used by users (including mods) with accessibility needs. Reddit’s removal of disturbing mods has also helped erase the trust of the Reddit community.