Reddit has notified moderators of private protesting communities that they will lose their moderator status by the end of the week, as reported by The Verge. Should a moderator express interest in actively moderating the subreddit, Reddit will take their request into consideration.
The full message, confirmed to have been sent to moderators of at least two subreddits, reads as follows:
After sending a modmail message on June 27, 2023, your mod team indicated that you do not want to reopen the [name of subreddit] community. This is a courtesy notice to let you know that you will lose moderator status in the community by the end of the week. If you reply to let us know you’re interested in actively moderating this community, we will take your request into consideration.
In the message threads we have seen, moderators of both subreddits have informed ModCodeofConduct that they do want to reopen, but only if Reddit makes certain changes.
“We see no reason to reopen as I don’t think we’re the bad guys here,” yoasif, a moderator of r/firefox who received the message, stated in an email to The Verge. “Reddit has had a chance to reconcile with the protest for weeks now, and they haven’t.” As of now, r/firefox is still private.
Following escalated messages from the company this week suggesting possible action against them, Reddit has now declared its intention to remove the moderators. On Tuesday, the Reddit admin account ModCodeofConduct requested that some moderators of private subreddits inform them within 48 hours whether they planned to reopen their communities.
However, when some moderators responded, the admin took a more aggressive approach. “This community remaining closed to its [millions of] members cannot continue” beyond the deadline, stated ModCodeofConduct in a message seen by The Verge. The admin added, “This community will not remain private beyond the timeframe we’ve allowed for confirmation of plans here.” ModCodeofConduct also argued that protesting by switching to private violates the Moderator Code of Conduct.
Reddit has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Although over 8,000 communities went dark earlier this month to protest the company’s upcoming API pricing changes, many subreddits have since reopened. According to one tracker, just over 2,300 subreddits remain private or restricted in some form.