Parts of Reddit Go Dark in Revolt Over Firing of AMA Coordinator

A Civil War has broken out at Internet company Reddit after the alleged firing of its "AMA" coordinator and director of communications. Robert Galbraith/Reuters

If you woke up this morning wondering why many parts of Reddit suddenly went dark, here's the reason: Moderators are setting their sections to private after the company's director of communications, Victoria Taylor, was allegedly fired on Thursday.

Taylor was one of Reddit's main coordinators of the popular "Ask Me Anything" (iAMA) question-and-answer feature on the site, and was instrumental in its succes. Her alleged firing has sparked a reddit revolution, with many popular subreddits currently on lockdown, including r/movies, /r/todayilearned, r/AskReddit, /r/technology and r/gaming, in addition to the r/IAmA subreddit itself, which was the first to be made private by volunteer admins, Forbes reports.

User "Karmanaut" explained the situation on Reddit:

Today, we learned that Victoria was unexpectedly let go from her position with Reddt. We all had the rug ripped out from under us and feel betrayed.

Before doing that, the admins really should have at least talked to us (and all the other subs that host AMAs, like /r/Books, /r/Science, /r/Music, etc.) (Edit: not to suggest that we expect to know about Reddit's inner workings. Just that there should have been a transition in place or something worked out to ensure that Victoria's duties would be adequately handled, which they are not) We had a number of AMAs scheduled for today that Victoria was supposed to help with, and they are all left absolutely high and dry (hence taking IAMA private to figure out the situation) She was still willing to help them today (before the sub was shut down, of course) even without being paid or required to do so. Just a sign of how much she is committed to what she does.

Taylor made a brief Twitter comment about the situation and has responded to questions on Reddit under her username "chooter," saying she feels "dazed" and that she plans to stay in the PR field.

Thank you to everyone for their good wishes and support. Love you guys.

— happysquid (@happysquid) July 2, 2015

It remains unclear why Taylor was fired. But Reddit users speculate that a poorly run AMA on Wednesday with Reverend Jesse Jackson may have been part of the reason. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has not commented on the matter, though he briefly addressed the AMA issue:

We don't talk about specific employees, but I do want you to know that I'm here to triage AMA requests in the interim. All AMA inquiries go to where we have a team in place.

I posted this on [a mod sub] but I'm reposting here:

We get that losing Victoria has a significant impact on the way you manage your community. I'd really like to understand how we can help solve these problems, because I know r/IAMA thrived before her and will thrive after.

We're prepared to help coordinate and schedule AMAs. I've got the inbound coming through my inbox right now and many of the people who come on to do AMAs are excited to do them without assistance (most recently, the noteworthy Channing Tatum AMA).

Users of Reddit, which boasted more than 160 million unique visitors last month, are not happy about the situation. According to the latest tally, more than 1,200 moderators have made their sections private. An "AMAgeddon" list continues to be updated here, and #redditrevolt is quickly gaining traction on Twitter.