The dismissal of an employee of the company prompted a chorus of protest, hate speech and insults against the chief executive Ellen Pao. His departure has rekindled the debate on the limits of online comments and gender equality.
They called it the "Reddit Revolt". Various forums and sub-categories of forums American site Reddit - where users can write or publish links that are voted by the community - were closed by the moderators in protest against the dismissal of an employee. Victoria Taylor was in charge of coordinating a series entitled Ask Me Anything / AMA (Ask Me Anything), a forum with great success among users. When Victoria was fired without prior notice or explanation, users and Reddit community moderators "attacked" not only the site as the chief executive (CEO), Ellen Pao in particular.
"The attacks were the worst in the case of Ellen because she is woman," said Sam Altman, Reddit board member. "And that's a shame for humanity."
During the last week, more than 200,000 people signed a petition demanding the resignation of Ellen Pao. And to nothing the reasons for the chief executive in a letter published on the site after the first protests, apologized for this and other communication failures with the community over the years and have "surprised moderators with major changes." But the chorus of the revolt was too high. After Pao output was announced, users celebrated: "The great demon was killed."
In an interview with Wired , Sam Altman refused Pao had been dismissed, stating that they have reached an agreement. "She brought a face that changed perceptions, is a pioneer for women in the technology industry," he said.
Ellen Pao joined the Reddit team two years ago and in November 2014 was named CEO. In March this year lost a gender discrimination lawsuit against one of the largest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, Kleiner Perkins. The trial has generated an intense debate on gender equality within the technology industry discussion around emerging now with sexist and racist comments that were published last week demanding the resignation of Ellen Pao.
Sam Altman condemned the personal attacks: "It was sickening to see what some users wrote about Ellen. Reducing the compassion that happens when we are all behind a computer screen is not good for the world. People are still people even if the Internet is in the middle, "he argued.
Ellen Pao justified output, however, with the fact that fail to meet the company's growth targets over the next six months without harm Reddit values. One of the biggest fights of Pao within the company have been the effort to update policies barrassem harassment and online hate, which led to many forums with topics racist or bullying were banned.
In the farewell letter , Ellen Pao said that throughout the process the more touched were stories of others: "Some talked about people they knew who had committed suicide for being transgender or their intimate images have been exposed." "I'm just a woman, she has family and feelings," he wrote.
In an opinion article published in the New York Times , two moderators of forums coordinated by Victoria Taylor, the dismissed employee, explained that the boycott of the site served to show the importance of the Reddit community of volunteers: "We are concerned about the significance of a decision in these businesses that rely on volunteer work - and if they really understand what makes a vibrant online community. "
Reddit, which calls itself "the Internet homepage" monthly records 164 million active users and has been trying to grow without alienating the community that supports it. With the limits to be tested, the direction of Reddit announced that it will not tolerate "death threats" and offenses, and said that without a balance between "authenticity and compassion" Reddit can be "a great site but never a large community."