“I Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse”: Reddit Moderators Are Fed Up

by Charlie Warzel on July 3, 2015

Reddit

Starting Thursday night, large sections of Reddit were set to private and have 'gone dark' in the wake of the termination of Victoria Taylor, a site employee and community moderator. In response, the site's devotees are now flocking to r/Subredditdrama, a community dedicated to discussing “internet fights and other dramatic happenings from other subreddits.”

And traffic has exploded, according to one r/subredditdrama moderator. “Our traffic stats indicate that SRD is on track to easily beat the amount of traffic from /r/FatPeopleHate’s banishment,” the moderator told BuzzFeed News. “We got a ton of new subscribers who wanted to watch this drama as it unfolded. Some of that drama unfolded in SRD itself, because /u/kn0thing (Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Reddit) and /u/ekjp (Ellen Pao, the CEO of Reddit) made some comments.” Below is Ohanian's comment:

Later, Ohanian retracted the comment:

Last night's protest, which has continued well into today, is the second in as many months. For many moderators, it's a sign that the relationship between Reddit's executive management and the community has reached a breaking point. Early this morning, stopscopiesme, the r/BestOf moderator, expressed his frustrations in a widely shared post:

As moderators, our frustration with reddit's management has been building over years. The moderation tools we are given are severely lacking in certain functionality, and much of what we do is cobbled together through hacks which may eventually be supported, or have their functionality broken entirely. We are given the responsibility of enforcing global rules lest our subreddits our banned. However, our tools are subpar, the rules are unclear and have varying interpretations, and our attempts to mail the admins for their help frequently go unanswered.

Many of us our losing faith in the ability of the management of reddit to understand us, communicate with us, and effectively run the company. We have been desperately appealing to admins for answers and often are ignored. Ellen Pao and Alexis Ohanian, (who as far as I can tell are in charge) have seemed especially poor at dealing with the community.

These frustrations also echo what prominent subreddit moderators told BuzzFeed News. When asked about the tensions between the community and management, a moderator pointed to an alleged post by a former Reddit employee and community manager who alleges Pao fired him after saying he would remain on staff while recovering from leukemia. “I Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse,” he told BuzzFeed News.

When reached last month, one moderator lamented that “the community management side of Reddit has been poorly handled for a long time. The people who dealt directly with the community were not the people who seemed to be making policy decisions, and there were never enough community managers to answer user mails in a timely manner, if at all.”

Reddit's management problems, especially its ability to provide its moderators with proper resources, has led to burnout among its most devoted volunteers. Last month, one well-known moderator told BuzzFeed News the current management climate creates a toxic relationship between users and moderators, which reflects poorly on the site as a whole. “Being a mod will make anyone hate reddit and reddit's users,” he told BuzzFeed News.

“I am not proud to be a part of reddit, or my contributions to reddit, and I haven't been for years,” he continued. “Most of the subreddits I moderate are unseemly. I understand that nothing I build here is actually meaningful or will last. I suppose in some internal way I care about doing things right, but I know that to the greater world what I do doesn't matter at all, and certainly doesn't look impressive,” he said. “A lot of moderators are really bitter and jaded, but still put in a lot of effort to help their subreddits and make them better. It's hard to articulate why.”

When asked if parent company Conde Nast has been in contact with Reddit about the recent problems the site's community has had with Reddit's executive management, Patricia Rockenwagner, senior vice president of corporate communications at Condé Nast, told BuzzFeed News that “Reddit is completely autonomous” and noted that “they're the only ones who can comment on this.”

Originally Posted By BuzzFeed - Tech

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135B songs streamed by US listeners in first half of 2015

by JR Bookwalter on July 3, 2015

135B songs streamed by US listeners in first half of 2015

When it comes to streaming music, Apple’s new service has been the talk of the town this week – but a new report claims US growth has nearly doubled even before Cupertino sauntered onto the scene.

Re/code reported late Thursday that American music listeners appear to finally be warming up to the concept of streaming music, with a total of 135.2 billion songs and music videos served up in the first half of this year alone.

According to Nielsen data (via Billboard), that number marks a 92 percent increase over the same period a year ago, when Americans streamed a mere 70.3 billion tracks by comparison.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this figure is that it came during a period when the usual suspects like Spotify, YouTube, Google Play Music and others had no new competition – notably Apple Music, which only launched this past Tuesday, right at the tail end of the six-month mark.

Now stream this

"Obviously, the streaming piece is really great news, when you’re talking about darn near 100 percent growth … with no new players," Nielsen Senior Vice-President Dave Bakula told Re/code yesterday.

The growth in streaming comes somewhat at the expense of more traditional delivery methods, with sales of digital songs down 10.4 percent to 531.6 million; album sales in both CD and digital format also dipped slightly to 116 million units, a four percent drop.

Perhaps ironically, streaming critic Taylor Swift’s latest album "1989" dominated the top of the charts with two million physical copies sold, but only a mere 188,213 streams following her rather vocal protest with Spotify.

TaySwif’s streaming numbers should receive a nice boost for the remainder of the year now that she’s front and center on Apple Music, after crying foul over the iPhone maker’s "no payments" policy during the free three-month trial.

Originally Posted By TechRadar: All latest Mobile computing news feeds

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