150,000 angry Redditors demand Chairman Pao's head on a spike

Petitioners want interim CEO to GTFO before she runs site 'into the ground'

CC, commercial use allowed: "Photograph by Christopher Michel - (https://flic.kr/p/tVNkZj)"
Photograph by Christopher Michel - (https://flic.kr/p/tVNkZj)

Ellen Pao, the increasingly reviled interim CEO of Reddit, is facing more than 150,000 signatures on a petition calling for her to quit.

The gargantuan link aggregation site was home to a user-supported blackout last week, sparked by the apparent sacking of popular staffer Victoria Taylor, but is built upon increasing tensions between the platform's owners and users.

Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of the site, used a post on Reddit to try and take responsibility for what he suggested was a matter of informing the moderators of Reddit's activities, rather than actually listening to what they had to say.

Despite the popularity of the blackout, he described the underlying problem as being "ultimately between Reddit and the moderators", to the inevitable chagrin of the userbase.

As with any revolution, the Reddit demos has been catalysed by this moment of dissatisfaction to air its larger grievances as it comes to recognise that the site is just another advertising platform. One user wrote that it wasn't "just Ellen Pao, it's the whole direction Reddit seems to be taking and 150,000 Redditors feel strongly enough to make this statement".

He continued:

We dont want a watered down, sanitised, market-friendly Reddit. We want the organic Reddit thats unpredictable and a true reflection of us as a collective.

Even Chris poole (moot) knew he couldn't monetise 4chan, so why do the new admins of Reddit think its a good idea?

According to an interview with the New York Times a couple of days ago, Pao believes her unpopularity is overstated:

Ms. Pao says that the most virulent detractors on the site are a vocal minority, and that the vast majority of Reddit users are uninterested in what unfolded over the past 48 hours.

A petition on Change.org, calling for Pao's dismissal has exceeded 150,000 signatures at the time of writing. Mentions of its successes continue to reach the site's front page.

The petition claims that Reddit users “fear [Pao] will run Reddit into the ground”.

Additionally, every comment made from Pao's user account within recent weeks appears to have received thousands of downvotes.

Users are complaining that Pao "has talked to news sites and even Buzzfeed", but has not made a reasonable effort to engage with the site's userbase. ®

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