Reddit's chief engineer quits

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I expect this is going to be the end of Reddit. It doesn’t take much to push a community like those who create and manage so much of Reddit’s content to jump ship and take their talent and eyeballs elsewhere. And if I remember correctly, Reddit’s code is open-source, which means it would be easy enough for some motivated mods to set up their own identical site pretty quickly. And there are dozens of other platforms that do much of what Reddit does anyway - it’s just a matter of having a reason to find an alternative and bringing together a critical mass.

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As a casual user of Reddit that checks a few times a day, I’m not so sure. My day to day experience has been relatively unchanged through all of this, but I definitely remember the crap Digg went through before I switched and it doesn’t feel at all the same. Digg was overloaded with self-promoting spammers and people that could game the system to keep their content on the front page, Reddit makes it trivial to avoid this by breaking it up into subreddits. Maybe places like /r/IAMA won’t be as huge or well done as before, but that has no affect on subreddits for specific games and TV shows that I follow. Them showing that they are willing to ban subreddits full of harassers makes me more likely to stay on Reddit.

People who feel that recent changes have ruined Reddit are perfectly welcome to start a new Reddit or try Voat, but they shouldn’t kid themselves into thinking they are the Majority in any way. As long as /r/funny continues to have stupid pictures Reddit will continue to see most of the same users.


They may not be the majority but then, the majority are not the central content creators. If the central generating mechanism goes full exodus then the majority will eventually follow.

I suspect that there is enough inertia to at least sustain them until the new management does whatever the unspecified ‘new direction’ that keeps being ominously hinted at is.

Nobody seems to be saying; but if the very popular AMA coordinator/community relations person got fired because she didn’t fit in with the ‘new direction’; the old CEO quit because she didn’t share the board’s vision for the ‘new direction’; and nobody has laid out the ‘new direction’ as an exciting “Sorry we screwed up; but just look at the cool plan!”; I’m going to guess that it won’t go over very well.

I have to wonder if there is some ego tripping going on here, or if somebody on the owner/investor side decided that letting Reddit be Reddit indefinitely wasn’t going to deliver that shareholder value; and started pushing for monetization. You’d think that the original crew wouldn’t be dumb enough to muck it up(but that has been false quite a few times throughout history, so maybe they are); but it is also possible that Advance Publications, Inc. was getting edgy about all the unpleasant PR that Reddit’s less savory users were accruing; and demanding that something be done.

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I’m not sure who is supposed to be the central generating mechanism here. Content creators aren’t putting their stuff on Reddit, redditors are. Most subreddits don’t allow people to put their own stuff up, someone has to submit it for them. So as long as someone finds something interesting, they can submit it to Reddit for other people to see. 99.9% of Reddit will be unaffected by any of the new content policies, because even if they start removing “distasteful” content at large, that still doesn’t affect most major subreddits. And unless I’m mistaken they’ll still rely on moderators to enforce that policy.

Spam has been a problem for a long time.

I moderate a 50k-subscriber techology-specific reddit and it can be difficult without RES to figure out what’s spam and what’s legit content.

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