Victoria Taylor, whose dismissal from social media platform Reddit set off a mutiny among the volunteer moderators of some of the site’s most popular sections, has finally broken her silence about being let go by the site.
“I’ll never forget my time at reddit,” Taylor, who joined the company in 2013, wrote in a Wednesday post on Reddit itself. “You allowed me to be a part of some of the greatest conversations of our time, and it was an honor to be your ambassador.”
Taylor’s responsibilities at Reddit included serving as an ambassador of sorts for the site’s highly popular “AMAs,” or “Ask Me Anything.” AMAs began as a loosely organized way for interesting but not necessarily famous Reddit users—air traffic controllers, for instance—to answer questions about their job or some other aspect of their lives. But they have since attracted the likes of authors, actors and even the President of the United States looking to promote their latest project or policy agenda to Reddit’s growing audience (Reddit had more than 36 million accounts as of last month, though many users have more than one account to share information anonymously).
Much of Taylor’s work involved corralling those A-, B- and C-list celebrities, ensuring the person behind the keyboard was indeed the notable figure in question and getting them comfortable with Reddit’s interface and community, both of which have unique quirks that can be off-putting to a first-timer.
Taylor, who was beloved by many of Reddit’s hard-working but unpaid moderators for making their lives easier, was unexpectedly fired last week for reasons that remain unclear. Some have speculated she was let go after an AMA interview with civil rights leader Jesse Jackson was set adrift by racially charged comments, though Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has denied that.
In protest against Taylor’s dismissal and other changes, several Reddit moderators set their subsections to private late last week, effectively turning them off to public view. That disruption forced interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao to make a public apology on Monday for what she called “a long history of mistakes” in the way Reddit’s paid staff has dealt with the site’s volunteers and community at large.
“We screwed up,” Pao wrote. “We haven’t communicated well, and we have surprised moderators and the community with big changes . . . The mods and the community have lost trust in me and in us, the administrators of reddit.” An online petition for Pao’s dismissal from Reddit, meanwhile, gained nearly 200,000 signatures as of the beginning of the week. Ohanian, too, has been on the defensive, spending time talking to his site’s community about the recent changes.
Here’s Taylor’s Reddit post in full:
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