According to reports, Reddit has sent warnings to at least two moderation teams, stating that their moderator rights will be revoked by the end of this week if their respective subreddits remain blacked out. The platform seems to be invoking the expectation that moderators should be “active and engaged.”
The Verge has confirmed that Reddit’s message was sent to two moderation teams. The company’s communication states: “Following an initial modmail message on June 27, 2023, your mod team indicated that you do not wish to reopen [the relevant subreddit]. This is a courtesy notice to inform you that you will lose your moderator status at the end of this week. If you let us know that you are interested in actively moderating this community, we will consider your request.”
According to Reddit’s Content Policy and Moderator Code of Conduct, moderators are expected to participate in moderating subreddits actively. By blacking out a community, which essentially makes the subreddit private, users cannot access the forum, and there is little practical moderation to be done.
One of the two communities that received the warning, the web browser Firefox subreddit, has since removed its private status and is now accessible again. As a form of protest, only images of red pandas are currently allowed on the page. This is one of many ways subreddits continue their protest even after Reddit’s warnings. Recently, Tweakers published an extensive overview of the ongoing protest.