I read the rules, but still not 100% sure this is the place for this, I think it is though, well, I've been reading a lot of what people have to say and I believe that everything that is happening right now on reddit is a very well put together, and elaborate plan to commercialize the website, (which may seem obvious, but not in the way you think). Just go with me here -
I believe that the person who is actually deserving of the hate is Alexis, not Ellen. I believe that everything, even all of this "backlash" has been planned by reddit management and the plan is going down exactly as they intended it to. Hear me out -
1. A few years ago: Yishan and Alexis suddenly find themselves sitting on a goldmine. Reddit has, for-all-intents-and-purposes, actually become the front page of the internet. K, what do now? Yishan loves it the way it is, wants it to remain this open place free of corporate content manipulation. Alexis wants to make some fat cash. They fundamentally disagree about what direction to take reddit, but they are buds, so they agree to disagree and Yishan wipes his hands of the mess and steps down, leaving Alexis to do as he wishes.
2. Pao-er hour: Alexis knows that the reddit community would flip a fucking shit and a half if this place suddenly became the home shopping network of the internet. He would lose all the content creators, and in turn, he would lose the audience. K, what do now? He sees Ellen Pao, a long-time investor of the site, and overall awful person. Obviously, Alexis is familiar with the reddit hivemind and knows the kind of people that they generally are, and the sort of culture that reigns supreme around here. Unless he hit his head and is dealing with the world's slowest stroke. He had to have known that the reddit community would fucking hate her from day one. And he put her in an "Interim" CEO. We'll return to this later.
3. Manufactured Bumpy Road OR How to make this place safe for business (where we are now): First the tiny censorship that came with the fappening, that wasn't that huge of a deal, technically speaking it was censorship, but none of us really minded. Then the Fattening, then Pao makes comment after comment about stopping harassment and making reddit a "safe space." Obviously as these incidents add up, the reddit community will grow more and more dissatisfied, something that Alexis actually plans happening. But there is a small wrench in the gear: Victoria Taylor. This woman is both the most popular reddit employee, and the sole-power broker of the biggest cash cow on the site, AMAs. I bet there there were talks with Victoria about the long-term plan for commercializing reddit. I bet Victoria told them to stick it up their ass and she wouldn't do it. Here Alexis is at a crossroads, She runs AMAs, he can't do anything without her being on board. She is not on board, but he also can't fire her because he knows reddit will flip a fucking shit, especially when it comes out why he fired her. But then, a saving grace came to him in the form of a Jesse Jackson AMA. From a corporate media standpoint that AMA was a fucking nightmare. Even people on reddit were ranking it up there with Mr. Rampart's Wild Ride. This is his fucking chance to strike and he fucking knew it. If he fires her immediately after the Jesse Jackson AMA he presumed that, while the reddit community would be sad, they would ultimately chalk it up to her doing a catastrophic job on the Jesse Jackson AMA, and he figured that reddit being the lovers of meritocracy that they are, would understand her firing, probably have one-or-two well wishing front page threads saying goodbye to her, and that would be that, he thought people would just accept that she got fired because she is losing her touch with her job. And she would never be able to refute it because her severance is reliant on her NDA. And I'm pretty sure it all would have gone according to plan if it wasn't for one gigantic misstep: not warning the AMA mods. These people, who are essentially his bread-and-butter were furious at the fact that their beloved leader was terminated without even a consultation, so they reacted and blacked out their sub. Other subs who may not even care too much about Victoria, but have been quietly stewing over the culture-change at reddit management saw this opportunity and stood with them in solidarity, in a matter of hours 80% of the site was blacked out. And with 80% of the site blacked out, people talk, and talk, and talk, and share ideas, and you know, do the thing that reddit was intended to do - share thoughts in a community soas to come up with better ideas and conclusions. And that's what happened. What may have been something that would ostensibly have been swept under the rug, turned into reddit figuring out that this whole thing is actually about turning reddit into a commercial; a fact he had hoped with all hope would never come out. But, he still has a play up his sleeve...
4. Pseudo-revolution: Almost 200k signatures on the fire Ellen petition. This is exactly what Alexis and Ellen want. The perfect scapegoat. I've been feverishly looking through every "anti-reddit" post put up since Victoria. I read so many of the comments on "apology" yesterday. And one thing is abundantly obvious to me. Reddit management is doing a fantastic job at spinning this narrative into "we're so sorry for being bad communicators! We're so sorry for not giving the mod what they want! We promise we'll give them mod tools!" It's the sort of spin job that would make the people at Fox News jealous. Because the thing is, while mod tools are cool and all, and I want the mods to get what they need, it was never about that. It's about the commercialization of reddit. Unfortunately, their spin tactics worked. Sure, there are a few redditors here and there that have upvoted posts about this whole thing - from the censoring to Victoria's firing - is actually about commercialization, but mostly the hivemind is content with believing it's about the mod tools. And the mods (good people! Not blaming them!) are stoked to be at the center of attention, stoked to be getting shiny toys, I mean, look how quickly the vast majority of them backed away from the blackout after they realized that management is ready to bend over backwards for their shiny toys. And the thing is, while mods are the content engine, and are absolutely necessary now, they won't be soon enough, (more on this in the next stage). In 6-8 months, Pao will step down. The reddit community will be drunk off victory, thinking they won some grand war. Alexis will write some incredible PR-dream of an apology letter, saying something to the extent of "the Pao reign is over!" and everyone on reddit will forget all of this because they want to think that they win. And Pao? She's in on this plan too. She took the job of "interim CEO" yet said publicly that she'll leave this job "over her dead body." That's classic heel acting if I've ever seen it, she's painting herself as the bad guy, she's playing along. Why? Because I'm sure that Alexis made some shady deal with her where if she can be the bad guy for a while, she'll leave reddit with a massive check that can cover her huge debt.
Too long, so I'm continuing in a comment; if this sounds ridiculous, please keep in mind that my username is "BigDrunkBoat" and I am intoxicated, so if nothing else, you may simply laugh at this and move along