As a petition calling for for her resignation reaches over 210,000 supporters, Ellen Pao has finally addressed the Reddit community. Her apology come after almost four days after turmoil regarding Reddit Admin Victoria Taylor’s dismissal.
Taylor was an incredibly prominent and well-known member of the Reddit community. She was responsible for coordinating the site’s Ask Me Anything threads, one of the site’s most popular features. Her dismissal prompted unrest from within Reddit. Almost all of the site’s largest Subreddit’s closed their doors in protest of the decision.
The move to remove Taylor has been widely criticized, Forbes even likened the decision to “Walt Disney firing Mickey Mouse.” Ellen Pao, Reddit’s CEO, has been under fire for the Taylor situation and her decision making in general.
“We screwed up. Not just on July 2, but also over the past several years.” Said Ellen Pao in a post to the /r/announcements Subreddit. “We haven’t communicated well, and we have surprised moderators and the community with big changes. We have apologized and made promises to you, the moderators and the community, over many years, but time and again, we haven’t delivered on them.”
Pao’s apology was quickly met with backlash and disparagement. Users pointed out how while she promised better communication, she spoke with outlets like The New York Time days before she addressed Reddit. Redditors pointed to this as evidence she’s out of touch with Reddit as a whole and unfit to head the site. Redditors also questioned her ability to lead soundly, siting her previous incident with Kleiner Perkins and her firing of an admin with cancer. Inc. Magazine referred to Pao’s apology as a “Mad-Libs template” and “an example of one of the worst corporate apologies of 2015”
As Reddit struggles, Voat.co, a Reddit alternative, has surged in popularity. While the site has been mostly inaccessible due to extreme traffic from fleeing Redditors, the site is mostly stable now. Unless Reddit takes steps to remedy their issues, the site will follow the same path as Digg, namely into disuse.