A petition on Change.org seeking the resignation of Reddit Inc. interim CEO Ellen Pao seems to have gathered steam today in the wake of the firing of popular Ask Me Anything coordinator Victoria Taylor.
The petition, which was started three weeks ago, calls for Pao to step down because the
"the Reddit community believes that Pao ... has overstepped her boundaries and fears that she will run Reddit into the ground." While the petition seems chiefly motivated by the high profile gender discrimination case Pao recently lost and a view that Pao is censoring Reddit communities, it appears to have found more fuel with the week's events.
Shortly after news hit Thursday that AMA coordinator Taylor was apparently let go from her job at Reddit, the petition was updated with the news of the departure. By Friday morning the petition hit 15,000 signatures. As of 11 a.m., the petition had about 16,300. It was listed as having 10,000 signatures three weeks ago.
Pao, who joined Reddit in 2012 and became interim CEO in 2014, has made a number of high profile changes at the company and its community-driven website, including eliminating salary negotiations and banning a number of subreddits for harassment. In May, Reddit announced new anti-harassment rules, saying it would begin taking a more active role in preventing harassment among its members.
Starting yesterday, a number of Reddit moderators began taking their subreddits private, meaning that the page can't be viewed by most users. The first to shut down was the IAmA subreddit.
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. Among those locked down is /r/Gaming.
Reddit celebrated its 10 year anniversary last week.