So, if you've been keeping an eye at all on social media this morning, you may have noticed a lot of chatter about the online community platform, Reddit. Well, more than usual anyway.
Yesterday at around 5pm GMT (1pm EST) Reddit allegedly dismissed their Director of Talent, Victoria Taylor (/U/Chooter). Who is she? Well, essentially, her role was to act as a liaison between Reddit itself, IAmA, and anybody that wanted to do an AMA (AskMeAnything).
In a show of solidarity, moderators of at least 11 of the most popular subreddits turned their groups private. For those of you who are still scratching your heads, this is essentially the online equivalent of strike action, something we've never seen online to date. At the time of writing, the number of protesting subreddits have grown to include /r/gaming, /r/movies and /r/history.
Her role as the point of contact between the Reddit administrators and the moderators of all these subreddits has essentially burnt the bridge between mods and admins. In business terms this could be likened to a board of directors sacking the director that just happens to be the voice of the employees.
It remains to be seen what Reddit's course of action will be over the next few days, how quickly she'll be replaced/reinstated and how far the moderators of these subreddits will take their action. One thing we can be sure of, however, is that this is a huge statement on how we run websites and online communities.
It shows once again that even the most powerful admins are still not omnipotent. Just like business owners they need to weigh up all consequences and fully understand the repercussions before taking such drastic action with such a crucial member of the team.
TL;DR: Don't screw with your community.