I’m not a user of Reddit. But the current meltdown is turning one of those bad car crashes you just can’t look away from. It’s a textbook demonstration of the fundamental incompatibilty between a top-down autocratic management style and a business that’s very heavily dependent on unpaid voluntary labour. I’m getting flashbacks to AOL’s gutting of CompuServe’s forums a decade and a half ago.
Meredith Patterson provides the best summary of the whole thing I’ve read, in the Medium post On Port 80 which ends with this quote.
Users may be the cash cows of the internet economy, but thinking that users can be herded like cattle is a mistake that entrepreneurs cannot afford to make.
The whole thing is well worth a read, especially the observation that so many of the most popular web applications (Gmail, Reddit, Twitter) are essentially web-based versions of much older internet protocols.