Reddit is in turmoil today after apparently letting go Ask Me Anything coordinator Victoria Taylor yesterday afternoon.
In response to that and a long-growing sense of unhappiness with management, volunteer moderators for hundreds of subreddits, including Reddit Gaming, turned their subs private, ostensibly locking out most readers.
It's unclear how or when this will resolve itself, but it looks like this could be a pivotal moment for a site that leans so heavily on an unpaid community.
The best run down of what happened and why can be found over on Reddit section Out of the Loop.
In it moderator Gilgamesh walks visitors through the who, what, when, where, why of the growing turmoil created by the online protest.
The whole thing kicked off about 1 p.m. ET yesterday when the moderators of /r/IAmA took the subreddit private. That means that only moderators and a small pre-approved group users can view the subreddit's content. The rest see a locked page.
That initial shut down was, according to the top mod of the subreddit, done because when Taylor was let go, it "pulled the rug" out from under the moderators who relied on her to run the popular Ask Me Anything sessions.
Over the course of the day, other moderators began taking their subreddits private, not out of an inability to run the subs, but in protest of Taylor's sudden departure and what it meant from a larger perspective.
"As much as Victoria is loved, this reaction is not all a result of her departure: there is a feeling among many of the moderators of reddit that the admins do not respect the work that is put in by the thousands of unpaid volunteers who maintain the communities of the 9,656 active subreddits, which they feel is expressed by, among other things, the lack of communication between them and the admins, and their disregard of the thousands of mods who keep reddit's communities going," he wrote. "The moderators of an increasing number of default subreddits have been making them private, in an attempt to draw the admins' attention to how they have been mismanaging the site with a substantive demonstrative act — since for many years, they've been trying to get the admins to listen normally with relatively little improvement."
As of this morning, nearly 400 subreddits, including Gaming, Gaymers and Gaming4Gamers, have gone private leaving those communities mostly out in the cold.
Update: It looks like most subs are back now.