Amid Reddit Revolt, Popular 'AMA' May Be Done

Moderators taking a big step back from organizing one of site's most popular communities
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2023 2:40 PM CDT
Amid Reddit Revolt, Popular 'AMA' May Be Done
"Reddit executives have shown that they won't yield to the pressure of a protest," the team wrote. "They've told the media that they are actively planning to remove moderators who keep subreddits shut down and have no intentions of making changes."   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

The moderators of one of Reddit's most popular communities say they're taking a big step back because they're fed up with "poor site management." The moderators who organize AMAs—"Ask Me Anything" interviews, in which people, including celebrities, field questions—say they'll no longer organize AMAs, recruit celebrities, or verify people's identities, Quartz reports. In a post on r/IAmA, the team of unpaid volunteers that has been running the community for a decade said that they'll now run it "like your average subreddit," which means removing spam and enforcing the rules but dropping other activities "that took up a huge amount of our time and effort."

"We'll be ... leaving proof and requests for verification up to the community, and limiting ourselves to removing rule-breaking material alone," they wrote. "This doesn't mean we're allowing fake AMAs explicitly, but it does mean you'll need to pay more attention." The move comes amid a wider Reddit revolt against new charges for third-party developers and other issues. In their post, the IAmA moderators cited a New York Times op-ed two of them wrote in 2015, which said they were temporarily shutting down the subreddit. "Reddit's management made critical changes to a very popular website without any apparent care for how those changes might affect their biggest resource: the community and the moderators that help tend the subreddits that constitute the site," they wrote at the time.

The community's lead moderator tells the Verge that the biggest change will be the retirement of its IT infrastructure, including a website that dealt with scheduling and verification, because "none of the people on our team with the technical qualifications to run it had any interest in doing so anymore" In their post on Saturday, the team said of the changes: "Will this undermine most of what makes IAmA special? Probably. But Reddit leadership has all the funds they need to hire people to perform those extra tasks we formerly undertook as volunteer moderators, and we'd be happy to collaborate with them if they choose to do so. Thanks for the ride everyone, it's been fun."
(More Reddit stories.)

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