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POLL: Leaked Memo Shows Reddit CEO Bored by Blackout: Do You Think It's an Act?

Reddit PollAs we covered earlier, there is a massive protest on Reddit that’s been going on since Monday.  Thousands of subreddits – including many of the most popular ones – have been set to private, meaning that new visitors are not allowed, radically reducing Reddit’s views.  Some have also been set to disallow new threads.

A memo leaked late yesterday shows CEO Steve Huffman’s reaction: a dismissive yawn.

In it, he takes great pains to minimize the effect:

  • “we do anticipate many [of the subreddits that have gone private] will come back”
  • “we knew this was coming”
  • “we have not seen any significant revenue impact”
  • “there’s a lot of noise”
  • “like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well”
  • “we’ll get through it”

That’s six minimizations or outright denials in only 291 words.

Some of this may technically be true.  They knew it was coming because it was discussed on Reddit, and “significant” revenue impact is how you define it.  If they lost, say, 50% of views for 2 days, he might be able label that as “insignificant” but he’s the one setting the bar.

So what do you think?  Is this a CEO honestly saying “yeah, some folks are angry but it’s not a big deal” or is he trying to put on a brave face?

Read the memo and vote in our poll!

Hi Snoos,

Starting last night, about a thousand subreddits have gone private. We do anticipate many of them will come back by Wednesday, as many have said as much. While we knew this was coming, it is a challenge nevertheless and we have our work cut out for us. A number of Snoos have been working around the clock, adapting to infrastructure strains, engaging with communities, and responding to the myriad of issues related to this blackout. Thank you, team.

We have not seen any significant revenue impact so far and we will continue to monitor.

There’s a lot of noise with this one. Among the noisiest we’ve seen. Please know that our teams are on it, and like all blowups on Reddit, this one will pass as well. The most important things we can do right now are stay focused, adapt to challenges, and keep moving forward. We absolutely must ship what we said we would. The only long term solution is improving our product, and in the short term we have a few upcoming critical mod tool launches we need to nail.

While the two biggest third-party apps, Apollo and RIF, along with a couple others, have said they plan to shut down at the end of the month, we are still in conversation with some of the others. And as I mentioned in my post last week, we will exempt accessibility-focused apps and so far have agreements with RedReader and Dystopia.

I am sorry to say this, but please be mindful of wearing Reddit gear in public. Some folks are really upset, and we don’t want you to be the object of their frustrations.

Again, we’ll get through it. Thank you to all of you for helping us do so.

What's Your Reaction to the Leaked Reddit Memo?

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