February 29, 2024

Angry Redditors Take Out r/Subreddit to Insult the CEO

Reddit took down a popular project today only to watch it devolve into a new way to protest the company’s CEO, Steve Huffman.

Revive the social media platform r/Place(Opens in a new window), which allows users to shift the pixels across a giant digital canvas to draw whatever pictures they want. After hosting it twice before, Reddit relaunched r/Place, perhaps hoping to unite the community after weeks of protests over the company’s controversial API change.

“Hey, what better time to offer a blank canvas to our communities than when our users and mods are at their most passionate … right?” the company said(Opens in a new window) in the notice.

But the effort seems to have backfired. Users were quick to pull images for messages of protest, including telling Reddit’s CEO, who goes by the screen name Spez, to quit.

The picture r/place on Reddit right now

(Credit: Reddit)

As a result, r/Place risks drawing more attention to the controversy surrounding the social media platform, which began charging for access to its API this month. The reason for the change was the shutdown of some popular third-party clients, which always angers some users. It doesn’t help matters that Huffman called the volunteer protest moderators “gentlemen of the country” while threatening to push them out.

“Don’t forget what was stolen from us r/save3rdpartyapps,” wrote one protest message on r/Place. Others tried to draw a guillotine executing(Opens in a new window) Reddit, but they claim that the company’s administrators have intervened to color it.

Users trying to draw a guillotine to execute Reddit's mascot.

(Credit: Reddit)

Reddit did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the platform is trying to patch things up with volunteer moderators, a core group that launched the protests over Reddit’s API change. Wednesday, the company said(Opens in a new window) he would host small-scale meetings with moderators to listen to their needs. But so far, the announcement has been met with a harsh reception.

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“We have clarified our ‘needs’ poorly in the last two months. Why weren’t you listening then?” one moderator write(Opens in a new window) in response.

“What good is our feedback when Reddit seems perfectly happy to ignore it all? What’s the point?” write(Opens in a new window) another.

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