Being a keen redditor, I was shocked this morning when I logged into Reddit to check my daily subs and the majority were set to private. It turns out overnight a large number of subreddits have gone into meltdown following the release of a Reddit member of staff named Victoria Taylor. Victoria was officially known as the company’s head of communications, but she was also in charge of the popular Reddit culture of AMA’s (ask me anything). Part of Victoria’s every day job was to organise and effectively manage these AMA’s, with the release however there was noone left to manage or support the subreddits who regularly host AMA’s. This has understandably upset a large number of subreddit admins and has resulted in a good number effectively going offline by going into private mode. A number of the largest subreddits who have gone offline include /r/askreddit, /r/gaming, /r/pics and /r/science.
The first subreddit to go offline was /r/IAMA, an admin of the subreddit named karmanaut explained their reason for going offline:
The admins didn’t realize how much we rely on Victoria. Part of it is proof, of course: we know it’s legitimate when she’s sitting right there next to the person and can make them provide proof. We’ve had situations where agents or others have tried to do an AMA as their client, and Victoria shut that shit down immediately. We can’t do that anymore.
Part of it is also that Victoria is an essential lifeline of communication. When something goes wrong in an AMA, we can call and get it fixed immediately. Otherwise, we have to resort to desperately try messaging the person via Reddit…Part of it is also organization. The vast majority of scheduling requests go through her and she ensures that we have all of the standard information that we need ahead of time (date, time, proof, description, etc.) and makes it easier for the teams that set up AMAs on both ends. She ensures that things will go well and that the person understands what /r/IAMA is and what is expected of them. Without her filling this role, we will be utterly overwhelmed.
Reddit or Victoria are yet to make an official comment but this is sure to have been a shock to the system!