Please tell me if we missed anything. Or if you have any improvements, sources, or concerns about the document’s accuracy.
In 2010, CNN drew attention to the Subreddit /r/jailbait, which was dedicated to sexualized images of underage girls. The Subreddit was closed by Reddit administrators in 2011 following a large amount of media scrutiny.
Violentacrez, a controversial Reddit user known for creating and moderating several contentious Subreddits, was “doxxed” (had his identity revealed) by Gawker journalist Adrian Chen. This led to a major debate on Reddit about privacy and the ethics of doxxing. 2013: Boston Marathon Bombing Misidentification.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing, numerous Reddit users attempted to identify the perpetrators. They wrongly identified an innocent student who was missing, leading to significant harassment of the student’s family and a major discussion about online vigilantism.
Firing of Victoria Taylor
Reddit unexpectedly terminated Victoria Taylor’s employment, a popular staff member responsible for coordinating the site’s AMAs (Ask Me Anything) sessions. This led to a major protest from the Reddit community, with many major Subreddits “going dark” in protest. 2016: /r/The_Donald Controversy
Throughout the 2016 US Presidential Election, the Subreddit /r/The_Donald became a center of controversy due to allegations of hate speech, misinformation, and manipulation of the site’s voting system.
Quarantining and banning of controversial Subreddits
In an attempt to combat hate speech and harassment, Reddit began quarantining and eventually banning several controversial Subreddits, including /r/The_Donald and /r/ChapoTrapHouse. This was met with mixed reactions from the Reddit community. 2020: Resignation of Alexis Ohanian and appointment of Michael Seibel.
Following protests over the killing of George Floyd, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigned from the company’s board, asking that his position was filled by a Black candidate. Michael Seibel was appointed to the board in response.
Hiring of Aimee Knight
Reddit hired Aimee Knight, whose father, David Challenor, was convicted earlier that year for raping and torturing a 10-year-old child. This led to another major blackout protest on Reddit, where numerous Subreddits went private in protest of the decision.
Reddit API Changes Announced
Reddit announced it would start charging for its API service, a feature of the site that was free since 2008. This decision threatened to shut down several third-party applications, including Apollo, and sparked an ongoing dispute.
Apollo developer Christian Selig stated Reddit’s pricing on the API would force him to cease development of the app. This led to a planned protest from June 12 to 14, in which moderators for the site would make their communities private or restrict posting.
Reddit goes into site-wide protest. At first, the protest was about the API changes, but as the protest grew, a new cause was found.
By the time of the protest, over 7,000 Subreddit, including many of the most-subscribed communities on Reddit like r/funny, r/aww, r/gaming, r/music, and r/science, had set themselves private. Many of these communities planned to remain private for 48 hours, from June 12 to June 14, but some planned to stay private until changes were made.
While many Subreddits went private, others such as r/NintendoSwitch, r/Frugal, and r/StarWars chose to restrict new posts. Historical posts were still visible, but moderators didn’t allow new content on these communities while the protest took place12.
Reddit’s response was to kick moderators and take over their Subreddits. The response from the community was mostly in favor of the volunteer moderators.
On June 23, 2023, the Reddit user known as AwkwardTheTurtle was unexpectedly banned, and their account deleted, with no clear explanation provided. Previously, Awkward had asserted on the platform that they were the driving force behind the campaign to promote John Oliver. In the midst of these events, screenshots of AwkwardTheTurtle’s interactions with Reddit’s administrative team were made public.