Former Reddit employee Victoria Taylor, whose firing sparked a widespread shutdown of Reddit last weekend, broke her silence Wednesday -- but only to say thank you. In a post on the Web site, Taylor expressed her thanks for the support she's seen over the past several days. She also said that the reaction to her firing wasn't about her, but rather about a desire from the Reddit community to make sure user-voices are heard.
"I’ve been incredibly humbled and honored to serve this community, and I truly believe all voices matter," she wrote. "And really, this weekend wasn’t about me. It was about you. And if I know one thing about this community, it’s that you’ll continue making your voices heard. And that's an inspiration."
Taylor was a popular administrator and the company's Director of Talent known for being a good bridge between the volunteer moderators that curate and manage nearly all of Reddit's content and the company itself, before being abruptly dismissed from her position last Thursday. Her firing apparently came without warning and, according to moderators, done with little thought about who would pick up her duties. In her latest post, Taylor did say that she doesn't know what her next step will be yet.
Top Reddit officials, including chief executive Ellen Pao, have apologized for not telling those who worked with Taylor about her dismissal. But neither Reddit nor Taylor have offered any explanation for why she was let go.
Reddit moderators Brian Lynch and Courtnie Swearingen -- who worked closely with Taylor as moderators of the "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) question-and-answer sub-section of the site -- said in a piece in the New York Times that Reddit made no effort to tell them Taylor was no longer with the company. According to the article, the moderators found out about her dismissal when a person scheduled to do an AMA found that appointment canceled with no explanation.
"Our team got a panicked message — and we had no real idea what was going on," Lynch and Swearingen wrote. As a result, they shut down the AMA section of the site while they got things back in order; they didn't anticipate that others would follow suit to protest Taylor's dismissal and the way it was handled. The situation, they said, is emblematic of a bigger problem at Reddit.
"We feel strongly that this incident is more part of a reckless disregard for the company’s own business and for the work the moderators and users put into the site," the pair wrote. "Dismissing Victoria Taylor was part of a long pattern of insisting the community and the moderators do more with less."