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Angry Reddit users, pitchforks in hand, call for CEO’s removal after controversial firing

Reddit private subreddit
Reddit users are angrily protesting the site’s leadership, pitchforks in hand, after the firing of its well-liked director of communications. The move, which follows a recent string of disputed moves by the site, has led to an online petition calling for CEO Ellen Pao to step down. It has more than 86,000 signatures.

Victoria Taylor, known for helping many of Reddit’s popular “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) Q&A sessions, was dismissed by the company on Thursday for unknown reasons. The most prominent theory is that Taylor was let go because of the recent controversial AMA with Jesse Jackson.

In response to Taylor’s firing, the moderators of the /r/IAmA subreddit temporarily changed the AMA-hosting section of the site to “private,” which basically shut everyone out. This had a cascade effect, which saw a long list of other subreddits also switched to “private.” While most have gone back to being public, some remain locked.

“The admins didn’t realize how much we rely on Victoria,” wrote /r/IAmA moderator karmanaut, who described Taylor’s value in terms of proof, communication, and organization. “Without her, we need to figure out a different way for it to work.”

Taylor, under her Reddit handle u/chooter, left a handful of well-received comments on an /r/pics post on Thursday. When asked, “How are you feeling?” she responded with “Dazed!

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Pao have responded on the site but have done little to quell the community’s wrath, which already has a long and eventful timeline.

Taylor’s controversial dismissal follows other recent blemishes, such as the celebrity photo hacking scandal and a new policy against harassment.

A Change.org petition calling for Pao to step down as Reddit’s CEO has more than 86,000 supporters. The goal is 150,000 supporters.

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