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Earlier today on Reddit, users have alerted all over the site that the immensely popular subreddit r/IAmA went private, along with many other default subreddits that are currently unable to be viewed by non-admins and anyone who isn’t an approved submitter.  Reddit user Diotic currently has posted a running list of “darkened” subreddits that is being actively updated as this situation unfolds.  This appears to be the latest issue Reddit has had since new CEO Ellen Pao took the reigns of the site and banned some popular subreddits.

Explanations on the site include a post on subreddit r/OutOfTheLoop from user karmanaut explaining that well-liked admin “chooter”, aka Victoria Taylor, has been fired from the site.  According to karmanaut, Victoria was the go-to admin for the higher profile IAmA participants, ensuring verification that they were who they said they were and actively administering the ongoing IAmA sessions.  User karmanaut had this to say in his comment informing of Victoria’s untimely firing:

..Before doing that, the admins really should have at least talked to us (and all the other subs that host AMAs, like/r/Books, /r/Science, /r/Music, etc.) (Edit: not to suggest that we expect to know about Reddit’s inner workings. Just that there should have been a transition in place or something worked out to ensure that Victoria’s duties would be adequately handled, which they are not) We had a number of AMAs scheduled for today that Victoria was supposed to help with, and they are all left absolutely high and dry (hence taking IAMA private to figure out the situation) She was still willing to help them today (before the sub was shut down, of course) even without being paid or required to do so. Just a sign of how much she is committed to what she does.

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 sh*t down immediately. We can’t do that anymore..

Twitter has been trending with the hashtag #TheDarkening, with users expressing their displeasure at the unceremonious dismissal of a popular admin.  This is a developing story, and we will update it with more information as soon as possible

[UPDATE] – Reddit staff admin u/kn0thing has posted a response to karmanaut’s statement regarding Victoria’s dismissal:

We don’t talk about specific employees, but I do want you to know that I’m here to triage AMA requests in the interim. All AMA inquiries go to [email protected] where we have a team in place.

I posted this on [a mod sub] but I’m reposting here:

We get that losing Victoria has a significant impact on the way you manage your community. I’d really like to understand how we can help solve these problems, because I know r/IAMA thrived before her and will thrive after.

We’re prepared to help coordinate and schedule AMAs. I’ve got the inbound coming through my inbox right now and many of the people who come on to do AMAs are excited to do them without assistance (most recently, the noteworthy Channing Tatum AMA).

[UPDATE 2] – Victoria, under her Reddit handle, u/chooter, has answered to a question from a CC Weekly Herald reporter that “You guys know what I know” regarding her dismissal from Reddit.  In the meantime, we have reached out to her for comment.

[UPDATE 3] – The count is over 200 subreddits (over 200 subreddits with at least 5000 subscribers) so far on Reddit that have decided to go “dark.” This doesn’t seem to be from just a specific type of subreddit (i.e. those regarding gaming, default subreddits, tech subreddits, etc.) but widespread from a wide variety of different subreddits.

It is also worth noting that an image is floating around alleging Victoria was fired due to disagreeing on certain commercial matters surrounding AMAs. We have not seen or heard any further evidence that this is the case. It is also worth noting the image that is going around includes a post that has now been deleted.

[UPDATE 4] Regarding the previously discussed image’s allegations about Victoria’s disagreement regarding commercial matters and AMAs, Reddit CEO Ellen Pao has denied them.

Admin kn0thing posted a response to the major subreddits, saying that their message was heard loud and clear and that the subreddit should come back online to not further punish redditors.

Further, kn0thing claims that Reddit will put more resources into helping mods, particularly with AMAs, in addition to being more communicative.

There are also unconfirmed reports that admins are pressuring default subreddits to come out of the dark.

[UPDATE 5] Some of the subreddits that went dark have come back online today, citing the admin response as well as explicit promises to fix  things at this time. Of the major subreddits, those that have come back online include r/History, r/Books, and r/Gadgets.

Additionally there has been confusion over r/Punchablefaces caused by that Reddit’s going private page. It has come back up since, but the reports that it was banned were erroneous due to the fact that the moderators intentionally made the private page message look like it had been banned.

Dustin Urness

I am an IT specialist whose had a lifelong affair with computers and gaming since the Atari 2600. I revere gaming as a living art form in all its varieties, and am very glad to be alive in this time of rapid digital innovation. No genre of game is untouchable to me, I'll play anything at least once.

  • GEhotpants101 .

    For those interested, here’s a live feed of the full reddit meltdown:

  • Cred

    now let’s see how many of them realize their site is under new management and might as well be dead and move along

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Site is getting slammed with traffic right now, but, after the dust settles, people should check out this brilliant Reddit alternative:

  • destroy_all_monsters

    I really don’t understand why people haven’t abandoned ship already. Reddit is determined to go down the toilet and has been for several years. As soon as admins decided to start siding with the vermin at SRS/AMR/Ghazi and other sjw reddits the game was up. It’s been a steady decline since then.

    Support voat – at least until the sjws fuck that up too.

    BTdubs SRD is mostly made up of SRSers at this point.

  • Hawk Hopper

    I hate this “I know r/IAMA thrived before her and will thrive after” because it shows that this admin really doesn’t care about its users. But I do find it funny how the admin’s crowning achievement is a Channing Tatum AMA.

  • Bitterbear

    PAO! Right in the kisser.

  • Alex

    And is down -_-

  • mrwizeass


  • Check We are still open and working!

  • Vanilla Knight

    Infrastructure (both physical and social), sunk-cost fallacy (yes, this applies to forums), and the identity politics. Voat will be and is being labeled the place for sexists (because gamergate is sexist, of course). They are better at playing the game than their counterparts when it comes to that game. That just isn’t appealing to anyone who isn’t keeping up with recent events on the internet regarding those groups like SRS/AMR/Ghazi/SRD and the general Redditor browses the default subs for funny pics, news, or neat facts anyways.

  • ArsCortica

    And so they are replacing the mods and subreddit owners with SJWs, one after another.

    Reddit must burn.

  • MrGrenadeMcBoom

    I mod a small sub of less than 1k and I’m still getting questions about this. A lot of people are pissed off.

  • Alex

    What’s worse is that servers can’t handle new traffic….. someone make a new but decent reddit alternative!

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Reddit has pretty much always been kinda meh, but now it is just a horrible cesspool of censorship and discretionary enforcement of vague or difficult to interpret rules. I hope something better pops up.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    It’s…. not even loading

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Yeah, my hackles rose at that too, it was intentionally disrespectful and full of malicious undertones that I don’t think were professional at all.

  • TheSharpeful

    I hope chairman Pao is proud.

    Infiltrate, co-opt, destroy.

    The SJW / feminist mantra holds true.

  • AnounymOs EEEEEEEEEE

    8chan is much better IMO. Better taste in vidya, and people are less goody-goody.

  • Demetirus

    I hope kn0thing enjoyed his popcorn.

  • Dave The Sandman

    “Some of the subreddits that went dark have come back online today,
    citing the admin response as well as explicit promises to fix things at
    this time.”

    Ah, the sweet smell of blind optimism with a frisson of pissy pants.

  • Bio Sock

    This is fucking glorious. =D

  • Ryan Juel

    u/SlendyTheMan has graciously started a live feed for updates regarding what is now dubbed, “Victoria’s Secret.”